MacBook Air M2: ZDNET Product of the Year and Here It Is

Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the MacBook Air M2 at WWDC 2022. Photo: Getty/Bloomberg.

When the MacBook Air M2 went on sale in July 2022, there were two concerns: its price – €300 more than its M1-powered predecessor – and its new ‘Midnight Black’ color, which attracts fingerprints. But beyond these two points, there is one important thing that is not emphasized.

Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022)

Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022) – Best prices:

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After more than two months of daily use, I confirm the second fear: the MacBook Air M2 is a fingerprint magnet. Positive point: they are easy to clean. As for the price, I think it’s more than justified by the performance boost – if you need it – and the many other improvements included in this model, one of the most impressive laptops ever made.

ZDNET readers are mostly business professionals, tech enthusiasts, and innovation enthusiasts, so we have no hesitation in naming the MacBook Air M2 our 2022 Product of the Year.

Why is the MacBook Air M2 the best product of 2022?

Among other criticisms leveled at the model when it was launched, we heard about redundancy in the Mac range. And for good reason: on one side was the very powerful MacBook Air M1, which is still on sale (and now serves as an entry-level Mac for €1,199), and on the other was the MacBook Pro range. , choice. Starting at €1,599, it’s the choice for professionals and creators who need more power.

When testing the MacBook Air M2, I tasked it with a number of power-hungry tasks while waiting for it to crack to go even further. I transferred monstrously large files, created multimedia-laden PowerPoints, rendered and compressed video files, and ran three of my favorite Adobe Creative Cloud apps: Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and Lightroom.

And yet, he never cracked.

MacBook Pro for the price of a MacBook Air

I usually work with a 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip. Its performance is breathtaking and worthy of a powerful desktop computer.

When I tested the MacBook Air M2, I was surprised at how close it was to the MacBook Pro for most tasks.


The “starlight” version of the MacBook Air M2. Photo: Getty/Bloomberg.

My conclusion is that you can now pay 500-1000 euros less with the MacBook Air M2 for 75% of the tasks you used to need a MacBook Pro for.

The MacBook Air M2 I tested had a 10-core GPU and 16GB of RAM. Its price is 1700 euros. For comparison, a similar MacBook Pro will cost at least 2000-2500 euros.

A powerful and portable Mac

Another advantage is that the MacBook Air, as the name suggests, is lighter than the MacBook Pro and therefore more pleasant to carry around.

To give you an example, my 16-inch MacBook Pro weighs 1.5 kg, is just over 35 centimeters long and 25 centimeters wide. Suffice it to say, it’s heavy in a bag. MacBook Air M2 weighs 1.2 kg, and its length is 30 centimeters by 21 centimeters. So it’s a lightweight in comparison.

Of course, if you’re involved in complex video and photo editing, animation, artwork, and rendering of massive files, you’ll still need the full power of the MacBook Pro to handle these tasks. The biggest thing I miss about using the MacBook Air M2 is the wide and smooth 16.2-inch XDR display on the MacBook Pro. But you’ll be surprised at what the MacBook Air M2 can do, and how well it does.

In addition to its raw power, the MacBook Air M2 also represents the first design in the MacBook Air line in more than 10 years, and Apple has crafted a piece of hardware that’s both impressive in form and function.

The MacBook Air M2 has the following improvements:

  • a much improved webcam, now 1080 pixels;
  • thinner bezels around the screen and more usable space;
  • 20% brighter 13.6-inch screen;
  • a full-sized Touch ID fingerprint scanner;
  • full-size function keys;
  • more powerful speakers with clearer sound;
  • MagSafe power connector with colored cables to match the laptop.


MagSafe has returned to the MacBook Air line and now includes cables that match the color of the laptop. Photo: Getty/MacLife Magazine.

While no Apple product has ever really flown under the radar, you’ve got to admit that the MacBook Air M2 hasn’t exactly been underrated in 2022, so we’re happy to highlight it as the best product of the year.

Dear notes

  • Insta360 Link: The pandemic has forced us all to appreciate the value of a good webcam, and Insta360 has hit the big time with the Link webcam, which includes 4K, auto-tracking, AI, whiteboard and table view modes.
  • Google Pixel 7: The Pixel 7 Pro is Google’s flagship smartphone, but the Pixel 7 offers almost all of its high-end features (except for the 120Hz display, large battery, and telephoto lens) and it’s priced at €649, which certainly makes it the top-of-the-line phone. does. the best smartphone in the market in terms of quality/price.
  • Apple Watch Ultra: Among the year’s biggest surprises was the feat of Apple’s first high-end sports watch, the Marine, which packs premium materials, sharp GPS tracking, extended battery life and even low-cost functionality.


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