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MacBook Air in the test: New laptop with M2 chip, FaceTime camera and “ridiculous” battery life

Apple’s latest laptop may come with a hefty price tag, but Elly Awesome was blown away by its performance, display, sound quality, and battery life.

This week Apple launched its 2022 MacBook Air and it’s back with a fresh look and updated features.

The MacBook Air comes in four different colors — Silver, Space Gray, and New Starlight and Midnight — both of which I’ve played around with.

unpacking

There’s not much in the box – just everything you need to get started. The MacBook Air, Apple stickers, documentation, the new MagSafe to USB-C charging cable, and a 30W USB-C power adapter.

I love how versatile this new MacBook Air is when it comes to charging. Not only can you charge it via either of the two Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports, but you can also use the new MagSafe connector, which quickly detaches if accidentally pulled on it.

For example, if you trip over the cable, the whole laptop will not be ripped off the table. We’ve had MagSafe on Apple laptops a lot in the past, so it’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s great to have it back.

New MacBook Air colors

I got my hands on the two new MacBook Air colors, Starlight and Midnight. Starlight is a really beautiful colorway that’s mixed with gold like silver, but also tends to pick up hues from the light sources around you. Sometimes it looks more gold, sometimes silver or even pink. i really like it

Midnight is another unique color that falls somewhere between black and dark blue depending on the environment. However, in my opinion it definitely tends towards a dark blue most of the time, so don’t expect a pitch black color.

features

More importantly, the new MacBook Air now features Apple’s M2 chip – a big performance boost for the slim device. With a faster 8-core CPU, up to 10-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine, it truly offers serious pro performance.

In fact, the new Macbook Air 7 can edit streams of 4K video with titles and effects that video editors would know are really impressive for such a thin, fanless laptop. I frequently edit video content and am now considering using the Air as my travel machine instead of my 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The design is less tapered, going back to the classic rectangular shape with rounded corners. And it really does feel like two super-thin iPads are stuck together but have a keyboard and trackpad on one side. It’s pretty much the same weight as the previous model, but the screen size has been increased slightly from 13.3 inches to 13.6 inches and features a new Liquid Retina display.

There’s also a new four-speaker sound system, including two tweeters and two ultra-thin woofers as opposed to stereo speakers.

You must make a difference when my partner asked if I was watching TV when I was testing the Macbook Air’s speakers.

I watched the show Prehistoric Planet on the Apple TV+ and the sound quality, clarity and volume was stunning for such a thin laptop – quite impressive if you can mistake it for the sound quality of a large TV. The video and image quality of high definition content is also really great.

New 1080p FaceTime camera

Other new and notable features would be the 1080p FaceTime camera, which has finally arrived on the MacBook Air after years of being a 720p camera.

The camera quality looks better when you have good light conditions, but to be honest I think it still falls a bit short in low light compared to my iPhone. I’ll forgive that, though, because later this year Apple is making it possible to use your iPhone as your webcam with iOS 16 – how awesome is that?

Battery life

The battery life on this thing is ridiculous. It can last up to 18 hours. While testing the MacBook Air, at times during my workday I would check the battery percentage and expect it to drop seriously, and just didn’t want to.

From editing a few morning videos to working out on Apple Fitness+ (using AirPlay from my iPhone) to playing a few games on Apple Arcade and writing this article, I was still pretty much at 54 percent battery at 8pm.

should you buy it

I was really blown away by the performance, display, sound quality, and battery life of the 2022 MacBook Air.

Its new M2 chip has given me the ability to pack a lighter computer in my bag while still using my heavy video editing programs and enjoying some streaming and gaming in my free time.

Aside from not having a ton of ports and no old-school USB ports or HDMI ports that some people might miss, this is now such a versatile machine for anyone to use.

The price is definitely higher for us Australians, starting at $1899, but the features are worth it. I think students, especially, would find the new MacBook Air to be a great investment, with new-age technology that should last well into their careers.

Elly Awesome is an Australian Tech and Lifestyle Vlogger | @elyawesometech | youtube

Originally posted as Elly Awesome, “blown away” by features on Apple’s 2022 MacBook Air

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