Rumours suggest that we’ll finally be able to pre-order the new M2 MacBook Air this coming Friday (July 8th).

Selfishly, I hope that’s the case because it should mean that my shiny new laptop will be delivered a week later, on the 15th. With a couple of family holidays looming, I want to ensure I can get my hands on Apple’s latest MacBook before I take a break.

The M2 MacBook Air is, arguably, one of the most anticipated Apple launches in recent years. And it has quite a task on its hands following hot on the heels of what remains one of the company’s most beloved, iconic products.

Will it live up to expectations? Do any of the hyperbolic reports surrounding the performance of the M2 chip in the ‘new’ 13-inch MacBook Pro have merit?

Personally, I’m looking forward to five very specific things about the M2 MacBook Air.

1. To see if I’m right

I’m conscious that I’ve spent the last couple of weeks telling people to buy the M1 MacBook Air if they’re at all unsure about the M2 version.

I still think this is solid advice; the M1 MacBook Air won’t be suddenly rendered useless or out of date once people begin getting their hands on the new version. Mine is as fast as the day I bought it and has the benefit of utilising a design and chassis that continues to stand the test of time.

But what if I’m wrong? What if this new MacBook Air is so good, that the additional spend isn’t just worth it – it should be encouraged?

2. That new design

The new MacBook Air is, basically, a squashed MacBook Pro. It features the same chunky aesthetic, the return of MagSafe, and a squared-off retro presence.

I really like it. Sure, the wedge design of the M1 MacBook Air is, as I keep pointing out, iconic, but it’s also sorely due an update. Whatever you think about the new version, this was always the direction in which Apple was going to travel with the replacement.

The only misstep, in my opinion, is the lack of iMac-like colour options. I still cannot fathom why Apple decided against this and to instead opt for utilitarian, MacBook Pro-like shades of grey, blue, and silver.

Despite this, I am looking forward to getting my hands on the Midnight version… if not only to see how long my fingerprints remain on the device once I’ve finished using it.

3. The video capabilities

The M2 chip isn’t the seismic leap forward we enjoyed from Intel to the M1. It was never going to be; this is nothing more than an iterative update to Apple silicon, and one that is already tempting lots of relentless benchmarking and claims that Apple has, in fact, taken a step backwards.

I’m quite angry about the hyperbolic reporting we’ve seen on this front. Apple has, clearly, made some changes to the M2 that demand further investigation. But for the vast majority of would-be M2 MacBook Air owners, the results of the benchmarks we’re seeing are completely irrelevant. Given the price tag, that laptop will feel as snappy and speedy as they’d hope.

Personally, I’m not expecting big things from this new MacBook. It won’t feel any different in everyday use from its predecessor. It can’t; the M1 version cannot get any quicker for me when it comes to going about my daily business.

An area in which I am interested, though, is the video capabilities. The M2 chip offers some interesting advancements over the M1 when it comes to graphical prowess, and as a video editor, I can’t wait to see how that translates to real-world use.

I maintain that the M2 MacBook Air could be the perfect travel companion for video editors whose main production machine is static. With that in mind, I’ll be testing the raw output of the chip with Final Cut Pro, but also how the thing feels when ploughing through a realistic workflow*.

4. Making it my new daily

If there’s one aspect of the M2 MacBook Air I’m not overly looking forward to, it’s having to say “goodbye” to my M1 MacBook Air.

Don’t worry – that laptop isn’t going anywhere. It is now covered in stickers and minor battle scars, and is likely to be used for the long term by my girlfriend.

But I am going to miss using it myself.

Despite this, I’m not averse to change, and the idea of having a brand-new daily carry is rather exciting. I can’t overemphasise how important the MacBook Air is to my business; it fills the role of an ultra-lightweight, portable, powerful do-it-all device better than anything I’ve ever owned.

Will this new one slot as effortlessly into my daily routine as the outgoing model? I have a feeling the answer will be a resounding “yes”, but you never know until you get your hands on these devices.

5. Comparing it against the 16-inch MacBook Pro

I’ve noted plenty of times in the past that I’m unable to maximise the performance that’s available in my 16-inch M1 Max-powered MacBook Pro. It is a ridiculously capable laptop that barely wakes up during my 4K video edits.

Trust me – you really have to hammer Apple’s latest pro MacBooks if you want to extract every ounce of performance for which you’ve paid good money.

This is why I can’t wait to see how the M2 MacBook Air compares to its biggest sibling. In a hypothetical reality where I don’t own the 16-inch MacBook Pro, could I get by with the M2 MacBook Air for everything? Bearing in mind I’ll be opting for the base version of the latter, could I have saved a whole heap of money by simply using that computer for production and general work duties?

This sort of comparison would have been unthinkable before the M1 chip entered the scene, but I believe it has merit now. It’s easy to get lost in spec options, benchmarks, and worries over how much unified memory is enough unified memory. What matters is how these machines feel each day and whether or not they frustrate you during important tasks. I’m yet to experience the latter with any of the M1 devices I own.

Final thought

We’re getting closer, folks; that new M2 MacBook Air is finally within grabbing distance. Like any brand-new product, it has a lot to live up to – particularly when you consider what this particular laptop is following in terms of the model it replaces.

Mine will play a huge role in my business, and you can expect lots of content about it over the next 12 months. Will it live up to my expectations? Am I right about the M1 MacBook Air being its biggest challenge? Could it really become the single laptop with which I do everything for my business?

Stay tuned!

*i.e. NOT an 8K RAW video export.