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After 14 years, three revisions, and two different processor architectures, the iconic wedge shape of the MacBook Air is now history. In its place is a MacBook Air with a completely new design that’s the same thickness from front to back. Virtually every aspect of the new MacBook Air has been updated or changed — it’s the biggest update to the Air since it originally debuted nearly a decade and a half ago.
These kinds of changes are a big deal because the Air is the default laptop option for millions of people. Beyond that, the Air sets the standard for thin and light laptops that every other manufacturer chases.
In addition to the design and hardware changes, this new Air has Apple’s latest in-house processor, the M2. It also comes with a higher price tag — it starts at $1,199, $200 more than the model that preceded it, and a model with a decent amount of storage runs $1,499 or more. As a result, Apple is keeping the prior M1 model in its lineup, specifically to provide an option for the many MacBook Air buyers that don’t want to spend much more than $1,000 on a new computer.
The M1 MacBook Air was (and still is) one of the most impressive laptops we’ve ever tested — Dieter Bohn called it “a triumph” at the time. That’s quite a bar to live up to, and with all of the changes Apple made to the M2 model, it’s fair to wonder if this new model can best the prior version.
For the most part, that answer is yes. But as they say, the devil’s in the details, and there are quite a few details to note here.
The new MacBook Air borrows a lot of its design and shape from the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 that…