Today, Apple officially launched the overhauled MacBook Air, its second laptop — following the upgraded MacBook Pro — to use its new M2 chip, which Apple announced at a developers conference in June. According to Apple, the chip speeds up the CPU by 18% and the GPU by 35% compared to the M1 chip. That means the new MacBook Air has faster processing and graphics, while using less power than its predecessor. The new Air also gets a design refresh: It has a less tapered shape (so it looks more like a slim MacBook Pro) and now allows for MagSafe charging. Apple also recently announced substantial updates to its operating systems, including iOS 16 and watchOS 9.
Apple launches new MacBooks with M2 chip
Apple’s newest MacBooks contain the M2 chip and both are available now.
The MacBook Air’s major redesign with the M2 chip and slim but boxier shape also sports a larger screen (13.6 inches, with smaller borders) that has up to 500 nits of brightness, 100 more than the previous model. The 2.7-pound, 11.3-millimeters-thick laptop now allows for MagSafe charging, which can free up one of its two Thunderbolt USB-C ports for connecting other devices. Apple says it provides up to 18 hours of battery life. The new laptop is available in four colors: Midnight, Silver, Space Gray and Starlight.
The new MacBook Pro, which launched in June, essentially keeps its same design, complete with a Touch Bar, but it gets the chip update from M1 to M2. The Pro has up to a 20-hour battery life, according to Apple, with up to 24GB of RAM. It comes in two colors: Silver and Space Gray.
Apple’s new 35-Watt charging adapter has two USB-C ports that can charge the new MacBook Air to 80% in 20 minutes, according to Apple. (The new adapter is also compatible with other Air models as well as several iPhone and iPad models.) You can purchase the adapter separately for $59 or bundle it with your new MacBook Air purchase for an additional $20.
Other Apple updates
Apple also detailed their upgraded operating systems, which will be released this fall.
- iOS 16: Perhaps the most exciting upgrade is that users can edit and unsend sent text messages. Users can also customize their lockscreen by changing text, having multiple lock screens and adding app widgets.
- WatchOS 9: The updated Apple Watch operating system includes an upgraded sleep app that tracks time spent in each sleep stage, as well as sleep and wake times. And a new medication feature allows wearers to scan medications to the app and set reminders to take them. The app can also determine if any combinations of those medications or other substances (like alcohol) may cause adverse reactions.