CUPERTINO, Calif.—The MacBook Air will soon get a total design overhaul, Apple announced today. Taking the virtual stage at the company’s summer developer conference, Apple representatives unveiled the new laptop, which includes the faster and more efficient M2 chip and design cues from the 24-inch iMac and the recently redesigned 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro computers.
Before announcing the new MacBook Air, Apple revealed the 5 nm Apple M2 processor with four high-performance cores, four low-power efficiency cores, and a claimed 18 percent performance boost over the M1. The processor has up to a 10-core GPU, and Apple claimed up to 35 percent better graphics performance than the M1 with up to 5 GPU cores.
More specifically, Apple claimed in its announcement that the 2022 MacBook Air would be almost 40 percent faster than its predecessor in intensive workloads, like “editing complex timelines in Final Cut Pro” and up to 20 percent faster in “applying filters and effects in apps like Adobe Photoshop.”
Performance aside, the 2022 MacBook Air looks notably different than its predecessor. It’s thinner and lighter at under 0.5 inches (11.3 mm thin) and 2.7 lbs (1.22 kg). And like the 24-inch iMac, it comes in several colors, albeit more boring shades called silver, space gray, starlight, and midnight. The display is also supposed to have thinner bezels. Further, it abandons the wedge-shaped design that has characterized the MacBook Air for years.
The new MacBook Air has MagSafe, and it works just like it does on the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Also, it has a larger, 13.6-inch (up from 13.3 inches) Liquid Retina display for 25 percent more brightness than the previous Air’s LCD screen at 500 nits and a color coverage claim of “1 billion colors.”
Unlike the Pros, though, the 2022 MacBook Air lacks an HDMI port or an SD card slot. USB-C is the star with the new Air featuring two Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5 mm jack.
The MacBook Air will have a new 1080p FaceTime HD camera. That gives it twice the resolution and twice the low-light performance of the shooter in the prior MacBook Air, Apple claimed. The laptop also has three microphones integrated between the keyboard and display, as are the four speakers that support spatial audio and Dolby Atmos. This design purportedly kept the clamshell thin.
Speaking of the keyboard, the MacBook Air’s Magic Keyboard has a full-height function row with Touch ID, and there’s also a force-touch trackpad on the machine.
The new MacBook Air is supposed to be both faster and quieter than its predecessor, with a video playback battery life of up to 18 hours, Apple claimed. The laptop’s adapter has been updated to include two USB-C ports, so you can charge another device alongside the MacBook.
The MacBook Air will come with a 35 W dual USB-C power adapter, but Apple will also offer a larger 67 W USB-C adapter for an undisclosed price.
Apple’s 2022 MacBook Air will start at $1,199 and ship next month, Apple said. You’ll still be able to buy an M1 MacBook Air for $999.
Apple’s WWDC keynote is ongoing, and this article will be updated with new details as we have them. You can follow along in real time with our liveblog here.