I finally got to spend a little time with a couple of these new computers. This is not a review, but by impressions and recommendation.
The new MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is a sleek machine, beautiful crafted and with an excellent feature set. For most people, this is the best Mac. It has a bigger, better display, an improved camera, better speakers, MagSafe charging, and a beautiful new design.
These are also as light and portable as we’ve come to expect from MacBook Air — only the 11″ MacBook Air models and the short-lived 12″ MacBook have weighed less. (For full history of specs and sizes, see https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook-air/index-macbook-air.html)
I agree with many reviewers that you should consider this not a $1200 computer, but a $1400 or even $1600 computer. Sure, you can get a MacBook Air M2 for $1199, but at that price, I think the old-style MacBook Air with M1 with 8GB/512GB is a better computer for most people. Even at $1399 it’s a bit of a toss-up whether the MacBook Air with M2 configured with 8GB/512Gb beats the MacBook Air M1 with 16GB/512GB.
As always, I recommend getting as much computer as you can afford. Any upgrades, especially above the base model, will extend the useful life of the computer and improve eventual resale value.
First, I recommend getting at least 512GB of storage. If you already have a computer with more storage, look at what you have and how much of it you are using and adjust accordingly.
If you still have a little elbow-room in your budget, then upgrade the RAM next to 16GB. Now you are at $1599
The same configuration in the M1 MacBook Air, 16GB/512GB, is only $1399. And this is an EXCELLENT computer. Yes, the new M2 Air has a better display, better camera, MagSafe charging, and the beautiful new style. But the M1 MacBook Air is still a great computer and configured with 16GB/512GB it’s the best value at that price for many people.
I do not recommend the old-style MacBook Pro with M2. This computer is inferior in several ways and offers only one advantage over the MacBook Air with the same processor, and that’s an active cooling system. If you have the kind of workload that’s going to require the active cooling, then you probably should save up and get the MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Max, featured next…
If you have heavy computing needs, like software development or media production, or if you have two to four grand burning a hole in your pocket, then stepping up to the MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or even the M1 Max may be the right choice. These are stupefyingly powerful computers and come in configurations ranging up over $6k! As I write this in late July, 2022, only the desktop Mac Studio with M1 Ultra is more powerful than the most powerful MacBook Pro.
I don’t want to leave out the Mac Mini and the lovely iMac with M1. For some people, one of these desktop computers and an iPad in their bag is exactly what they need. If you think this combination might be possible for you. it’s worth considering as an option. Especially now that the iPad Air comes with an M1 processor.