When Apple announced the MacBook Air 2022 featuring the new M2 processor at WWDC, it left out an exact release date, vaguely stating it would launch sometime in July. However, MacRumors claims that a retail source informed them the actual launch date will be July 15.
Pre-orders will start a week earlier on July 8, so get ready folks, there's going to be a rush. After rumors swirled that the new Air would not make it out of the gate on time due to the Covid-related factory shutdown in China, this is certainly welcome news for those looking for a new college laptop. However, they may still be in short supply, so it's best to have your credit card warmed up and ready for the July 8 pre-order date. With a number of design improvements to go with the powerful new M2 chip, it's hard to see the MacBook Air not earning a coveted spot among our best laptops.
The Good News
Just the fact that we should get the new MacBook Air on July 15 is exciting, but let's do a quick refresher on the MacBook Air M2 hardware. The refreshed Air gets a near bezel-less design, meaning a more viewable workspace. At 13.6-inches, the nearly 14-inch display is a win for Apple users that don't want to make the jump to the MacBook Pro 14 and its $1,999 and up pricing.
The M2 promises 18% better CPU performance and 35% better GPU performance, with greater memory bandwidth than its predecessor. The MacBook Air 2022 also is said to have 18 hours of battery life, 18! When you consider all that you can achieve on a MacBook Air, that is ridiculous and has even I, the most spiteful PC lover, casting an evil eye towards PC makers.
The other new features on the MacBook Air 2022 are a 1080p FHD camera (thank the gods!), a four-speaker audio setup, and a MagSafe power connector. That last one also means that your two Thunderbolt 4 ports remain free when you are charging. The new MacBook Air with M2 starts at $1,199 for its base configuration, with the top-end config cresting at $2,499, which isn't too bad considering the presumed performance, battery life and that more modern design. I'm starting to sound like a convert.
I will add that, in my humble opinion, the new MacBook Air is the better purchase option for most, as it has seen a meaningful hardware update to go with the M2. The performance should be close to the MacBook Pro M2, which only got a new chip and remains stuck in Touch Bar hell, even though its battery life is fantastic.