MacBook Air M2 ‘scuffgate’ — what the heck is going on?

MacBook Air M2
(Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The M2 MacBook Air is a great laptop, but there is one issue that could be a dealbreaker — turns out Apple’s latest release is reportedly super prone to scratches and scuffs.

As was picked up by 9to5Mac, MKBHD and iCaveDave, the midnight finish is not just a fingerprint magnet, but seemingly a metaphorical magnet for noticeable nicks and scuffs. In particular, they are appearing around the ports and the trackpad.

What is happening? Let’s take a look.

What’s going on?

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

Users and reviewers across the globe have noticed that the dark blue MacBook Air picks up visible scuffs and dings really easily. The Air comes in four finishes: Space Grey, Silver, Starlight and Midnight. 

On the first three colorways, this doesn’t seem to be a problem (although the TechRadar Editor-in-Chief tweeted a gnarly-looking scratch on his Silver model).

(Image credit: 9to5mac)

So what gives with the Midnight model? The dark paint that covers the MacBook Air shows any visible damage more noticeably, whereas on the lighter-colored laptops, they aren’t so visible.

This isn’t just the expected amount of wear and tear over the course of a few years, these are visible scratches after just a few days of use. You would have expected a company like Apple to have tested the laptop for any scratch-based issues before considering offering the finish.

What do you think?

Is this going to be yet another controversy around an Apple product? That all depends on how you view the situation.

Many of us (understandably) want to keep our laptops pristine for as long as possible. To know that this is more prone to visible damage means you really should look towards the plain silver MacBook Air — even though that dark blue does look really cool.

However, there is another way to think about this, and I point your attention to the fascinating 2009 documentary ‘Objectified.’ The late British product designer Bill Moggridge talked about the Grid Compass (one of the world’s first consumer laptops in 1982), and how the enclosure was made from magnesium and covered with black paint.

He believed that every scratch and scuff caused in general use individualized the laptop to the user and made it “better.” Some people still subscribe to this ideology, but that’s certainly not an opinion held by all of you.

Do you feel that dings add personality? Or is this a dealbreaker for the M2 MacBook Air? Let us know on Twitter.

Jason England
Content Editor

Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.