The M2 MacBook Air Is Perfect for Almost Everyone

There are almost zero reasons not to buy it

  • The M2 MacBook Air features a whole new flat, slab-sided design and a bigger screen.
  • It’s powerful enough for many professional needs. 
  • It won’t run Windows.
Apple M2 MacBook Air


The new M2 MacBook Air is probably the most eligible computer ever. It covers everything that 99 percent of people need and does it without missing any important features. It doesn't hurt that it looks extremely cool, too.

Apple's brand-new M2 MacBook Air is available for pre-order today, then shipping in a week. Like the recent MacBook Pro redesign, this new Air gets a MagSafe charger—freeing up its two USB-C ports for other stuff—a new flat-sided design, plus a new expansive screen that pushes so far into the surrounding lid that it needs a notch to hold the webcam. If you're in the market for a laptop, this is almost certainly the one you should buy, unless you already have the M1 version. 

"A Mac user who is still on the Intel silicon should get the M2 MacBook Air," Anthony Staehelin, Mac user and CEO of product recommendation service Benable, told Lifewire via email. "As someone who has an M1 MacBook Air and is incredibly satisfied with its performance, I can think of no reason for any M1 user to spend more money investing in the M2."

Apple's Second-Best Laptop Ever

The Air uses Apple's latest M2 chip, the second generation of its home-grown Mac chips. The M1 wrong-footed the industry when it launched, thanks to a seemingly impossible combination of great performance, cool operation, and the kind of battery life usually seen in phones and tablets, but not laptop computers. 

The previous M1 MacBook Air was based on Apple's years-old Intel MacBook Air design. In fact, it was impossible to tell them apart from the outside—only the internals had changed. The new version looks like a thinner version of last year's MacBook Pro or, alternatively, an iPad Pro with a keyboard. And as you can see, it's thin, yet remains far ahead of the competition. And remember, this is Apple's entry-level laptop, not its Pro machine.

Apple M2 MacBook Air with MagSafe charger


The M2 chip is incrementally more powerful, but that's not nearly the best part. As mentioned, this machine adds a MagSafe charger, the kind that breaks away when you trip over the cable, instead of dragging the computer to the floor. It also packs a bigger screen, despite the body being almost the exact same size as the old version, and a hair lighter. All with 18 hours of battery life and no noisy cooling fan. 

Who Should Buy This?

This MacBook Air is light and thin and affordable enough to be the first choice for anyone who wants a laptop. And thanks to the Apple Silicon chip inside, it's even good for many professionals. The M2 chip adds the hardware video encoder from the M1 Pro chips, so as long as you're not hammering the thing, you can do some pretty esoteric, high-end work.

And that's video, which is heavy on resources. For everything else—photography, writing, design, music—this computer is more than enough and can be integrated into a larger setup with an external display and peripherals with a single cable, thanks to its two Thunderbolt ports. 

Who Shouldn't Buy It

This computer is right for almost everyone, but there are still several reasons to look elsewhere. If you want to run Windows, current Apple Silicon Macs can't do it. Old Intel Macs could boot into Windows or run a virtualized copy, but not these. For that, you'll need a PC. 

Also, the MacBook Air might be an absolute bargain for what you get, but it still starts at $1,200. Not everyone wants to pay that. 

And if your needs are truly pro, then you should consider the MacBook Pro M1. It has a bigger, much better screen, more power, and some extra connections: an SD card slot, more Thunderbolt ports, and an HDMI port. It can also power two external displays in addition to its own built-in screen, whereas the MacBook Air can only manage one.

Apple M2 MacBook Air video editing


"The Air doesn't have an SD card slot, which can be inconvenient for users who need to transfer files to and from their camera or other devices," Oberon Copeland, Mac user and CEO of tech site Very Informed, told Lifewire via email.

And the Pro has fans, so if you put your computer's chips at full power and they start to get hot, the fans can keep them running at full speed for longer. 

And the final reason for not buying this? If you already have the M1 MacBook Air. It might not have the fancy screen and MagSafe, but it's still an incredible machine that should last you for years. 

In short, if you don't know whether you need to pay more for the Pro, then you don't. The MacBook Air really is good enough for the majority of computer users, but if it's not for you, you already know it.

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