There are lots of rumours swirling around at the moment about forthcoming MacBook Air updates.
This is odd when you bear in mind that it feels like one of the least likely candidates for anything significant to happen under the hood – or, certainly, externally, following the huge redesign of last year.
Sure, there are some inherent issues with the base model variant, but even that one (which I’ve been using as my daily since launch) remains an incredibly capable machine. Tick a few more boxes during checkout and you end up with an amazing little laptop that can do things well beyond its pay grade.
There are, however, a few things they don’t tell you if you’re considering buying a new MacBook Air this year – regardless of what Apple does with the release cycle.
Oh, and if you’re wondering who “they” are, it’s a mixture of Apple, YouTube reviewers like yours truly, and people who already own these laptops.
So, let’s put that right.
1. You get used to the smudges
My Midnight M2 Macbook Air has been covered in smudges since the day I unboxed it.
I should clarify at this juncture that I’m the sort of person who doesn’t particularly like dirty tech. Occasionally, a smudge or ding here or there delivers a certain rugged beauty, but that usually comes with age – not within seconds of unearthing your new toy from its box.
However, it is impossible to own the Midnight M2 MacBook Air without inadvertently smudging the case (both inside and out) constantly. Wiping them with your finger only makes things worse, which means you’ll need to carry a microfibre cloth with you everywhere if you want to keep it looking pristine.
No one has time for that.
My advice, having lived with this since July last year, is to own those smudges, because you really do get used to them.
Oh, and just remember that you don’t have to go for the Midnight version, either. Although, yes it is the coolest option out of a rather dour bunch.
2. The chassis can get a bit ‘clicky’
This has only manifested itself recently with my M2 MacBook Air, but I’m definitely not imagining it.
Whenever I open or adjust the display, the MacBook Air’s chassis ‘clicks’. It’s not a creak or snap, but more a tiny, irritating release of a stiff metallic joint. It occasionally does it when I pick the laptop up, too.
I should note that, a couple of weeks ago, my nine-month-old son decided to grab the top of the MacBook Air display and attempted to yank the computer in the direction of his face. This was, presumably, because he wanted to eat it like he does practically everything. I do wonder if that encouraged this new chassis click, but I can’t be sure.
Most MacBooks I’ve owned have started clicking at some stage, and it’s usually a case of releasing and re-fixing the base plate that gets rid of it. But in this instance, it appears to be related to the hinge, which definitely isn’t a DIY operation.
Apple’s quality control still bothers me; most devices I’ve bought over the last few years have had some kind of defect or, in this case, an emerging annoyance that really shouldn’t be there.
3. You CAN get away with the base model
I admitted recently that I was too hasty with my praise of the base model M2 MacBook Air.
When Apple’s brand-new version of its most loveable Mac entered the market last summer, it did so to a deafening interrogation of the base model variant. Reviewers with far more patience than yours really put it through the wringer; they tested 8K video editing and a multitude of similarly stressful operations.
Those tests revealed that the base model M2 MacBook Air was slower than its predecessor – most likely due to the way in which the SSD storage was configured on the new machines.
It failed for me, too, during a trip to London last year when I needed to get some last-minute video editing done. To cut a long story short, I had to give up – something I know I wouldn’t have had to do with the M1 version.
Despite this, and as noted earlier, I’ve been using the base model M2 MacBook Air I’m typing on now as the main workhorse for my business since last July. Providing I don’t attempt anything too fruity, creative-wise, it never skips a beat. Therefore, if that’s all you need yours for, you can save yourself some money.
4. You forget about the notch (fast)
It really, really doesn’t matter, guys.
5. You’ll immediately want a 15-inch one
I’ve always thought that a 13-inch laptop display is a perfect size. It’s large enough for a couple of apps to run happily next to each other and small enough not to present any issues when you need to place it on a train seat table.
However, when I heard about the rumoured 15-inch version of the MacBook Air, all of that went out of the window. Immediately.
I now want a bigger MacBook Air and I have absolutely no idea why. Actually, that’s being a little harsh on myself – I do know why.
There are times when I really could do with a bit more screen estate. Specifically, when working on spreadsheets (yep, even I have to rely on them occasionally), or when building the description for my next YouTube video.
Also, let’s be honest – bigger displays are just cooler, aren’t they?
The idea of gaining a super-sized MacBook Air is very exciting. Providing it remains as light on its feet as the 13-inch version (I see no reason why it wouldn’t) it could turn into one of Apple’s most popular laptops for semi-power users.
This rumour feels incredibly left field, but if Apple really is going to drop a larger MacBook Air this year, they’re obviously doing so because they’ve identified enough demand for one. That also surprises me, but maybe I’ve not been thinking as creatively about the MacBook Air as others clearly have.
If you’re after a do-it-all Mac that doesn’t need a power source constantly nearby and which will happily join you on your travels without an ounce of trouble, buy an M2 MacBook Air today.
Need one now? I’d buy the current version. Even if the rumoured M3 edition is on the way this year, we have no idea when it’ll arrive, or what power gains will be available for normal users.
Ignore the threat of buyer’s remorse in this case, please; if you buy the right specification for your needs, this is a laptop that’s going to last you a very long time indeed.
If you’re a power user and you can wait, I’d give it until the summer before deciding – that’s when we’re most likely going to see something new.
This list contains one or two annoyances – no Apple product can escape that. But the MacBook Air remains my favourite portable Mac and I don’t see that changing.
Before you go
My Medium Academy is now open for registration! I’m sharing ALL of my secrets for becoming a successful writer! Find out more here.