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Oh, we’ve had some fun with the M2 MacBook Air over the last few weeks, haven’t we?
There have been multiple ‘gates’, digital fist fights, reviewers dropping out of the review game, fury over smudges, realisations that smudges don’t matter, and admissions that, actually, Apple is not doomed.
When it comes to content gold dust, the M2 MacBook Air is up there with the Studio Display’s potato cam.
As a result, most creators in the Apple niche enjoyed record levels of engagement and new subscribers during July – me included.
But what more is there to say about this new laptop? Well, after a month of using mine every single day as the main workhorse for this business, I’d like to offer you a review that isn’t really a review – and put a few things to bed.
Let’s start by covering the only things that matter with the M2 MacBook Air.
Firstly – the new design is a thing to behold. I absolutely love the mini MacBook Pro aesthetic, and it is easily the most satisfying laptop I’ve ever carried around.
It gets better the longer you own it, too. Even the smudges on the Midnight version quickly turn into a non-event; they’re almost akin to a worn leather patina. The screen is a genuinely pleasant upgrade over the M1 version, too. That extra brightness has served me well over the last few weeks with the blistering sun creeping through every available window.
Perhaps the most important thing that matters about this laptop, though, is the fact that it feels identical to the M1 MacBook Air in terms of performance. That works for me; I’m not sure how much more powerful this thing needs to get, given its intended user base.
It’s not all roses. I wish there were more exciting colours to choose from; I genuinely cannot fathom why Apple didn’t go down the iMac route with the M2 MacBook Air.
However, the most unavoidable aspect of this laptop is its price. It is very expensive – particularly today. And the M1 MacBook Air will remain a thorn in its side until the latter is pulled from the shelf.
What doesn’t matter
As mentioned earlier, I’ve grown to accept the smudges on my Midnight M2 MacBook Air. Over time – and far faster than I suspected – they become rather endearing. You have to lean into it because those smudges build up instantly and to the point where carrying a microfibre cloth everywhere becomes futile.
My M2 MacBook Air already looks used, loved, and ready for action. For that reason, I’m not going to mention the smudges again. You have my word.
Something else I’ve long put out to pasture is any concern over the 256GB base model. That’s the exact one I have (8GB of unified memory and all) and it is absolutely spot on – I’ve not experienced any issues with it. The furore created around ‘SSD Gate’ and the relentless benchmarking of these consumer laptops is tiresome. I’m a little embarrassed I got involved, to be honest.
There are some smaller things that don’t matter, too. The notch is a complete non-event – just like it is on the MacBook Pros; don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s an eyesore or that Apple should be ashamed of the design direction for their camera housing. If you spend that long staring at the notch, you’re clearly not busy enough.
Would I buy it if I wasn’t me?
A family member visited the studio earlier today. “How many computers have you got?” were literally the first words to escape their mouth.
They had a point. I own an unreasonable number of Macs – I know that. It comes with the territory and my questionable desire to keep hold of pretty much every Mac I buy for review purposes.
In my defence, I do find a use for each of these Macs in the studio, but that doesn’t make my purchasing decision for the M2 MacBook Air any more typical.
I don’t need this laptop. My M1 MacBook Air was performing brilliantly as the main workhorse behind the scenes in this business and I have a feeling it would have continued that job for many years to come.
For that reason, my answer to the question posed above is a resolute “no”; I would not buy the M2 MacBook Air if I wasn’t me. If I wasn’t a tech YouTuber, I’d stick with that M1 MacBook Air, and if I was a new buyer, I’d probably opt for the latter in order to save a few pennies.
The MacBook Air has and always will be a machine for normal users who have great taste in tech. It’s more expensive than most Windows alternatives, but that extra investment delivers oodles of user happiness, and the ability to get through an entire day without your computer throwing up a blue screen.
Yes, you can use this M2 version to edit videos, write code, and produce music. But people who do that with the MacBook Air are usually hobbyists who aren’t working against the clock or for clients. Any performance dips or deficiencies, therefore, do not matter and certainly aren’t noticeable – I stand firm on that.
This M2 MacBook feels identical to my M1 MacBook Air, and that’s the highest praise I can offer it. What a shame it has arrived at a time and price point when so many people are watching what they spend.
If you want a brilliant MacBook Air but you’re concerned about the current financial outlook, just grab the M1 version – you won’t regret it.
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