Wednesday, Jun 08, 2022, 10:19 Mac: Hardware

New M2 Macs: Apple Reveals New MacBook Air & MacBook Pro 13"

It's almost 2 years exactly since Apple announced its intentions to distance itself from its former chip partner, Intel, in hopes of finding some better luck with its own in-house chips. After a great deal of success with its chip development for iPhone and iPad, Cupertino figured it might as well be time to start applying that same methodology towards its own line of Mac products. Of course, it still took a few months after the announcement before Apple was able to release the first M-chip devices (MacBook Air, Mac mini M1, MacBook Pro 13" M1) onto the market, however, as soon as the public got their hands on the new products – it didn't take long for the entire branch to become excited. The standard M1 was followed by the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and then finally the M1 Ultra. Now, Apple has revealed the first basic re-tempering of the chip which does more than simply increase the number of available cores – as was the case with previous variants. The M2 was presented yesterday at Apple's WWDC and will see its debut with, yet again, the release of the next MacBook Air – or as Apple calls it, the notebook with the best sales figures worldwide.

About The M2: Performance Improvements
More than just each individual core has seen an improvement, the new M chip also comes with considerably improved graphical performance. Many journalists, leakers, analysts, and experts had already presumed that this would be exactly the area which Apple would focus on and as it turns out, they were right – thanks to new additional cores, amongst other improvements. Apple states that the M2 provides an 18% improvement to CPU performance. The chip still relies on 4 performance and 4 efficiency cores, although these new cores come with faster memory connection. There's an even greater performance improvement in the graphics sector, with an overall improvement of 35% thanks to the new total of 10 graphics cores. The new maximum amount of RAM has been increased to 24 GB as opposed to the previous generation's 16 GB.

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The Design Of The New MacBook Air
Whereas Apple left the housing of the first M1 devices more or less the same, this go around, the MacBook Air has been granted a rejuvenation. The design language is reminiscent of 2021's MacBook Pro, albeit significantly thinner and subtler. In comparison to the former MacBook Air's housing, the newer device is even skinnier, although the display is still slightly larger (13,6" vs. 13,3"). The notch is, however, still a staple feature of the device. There are 4 speakers for audio, 3 microphones, and support for Spatial Audio built-in. As far as connections, there are 2 Thunderbolt ports along with the addition of MagSafe for added safety. The device also supports fast charging. During video playback, Apple documented a battery life of 20 hours.



MacBook Pro 13" With M2 Chip
In contrast with the MacBook Air, Apple didn't alter the MacBook Pro's exterior design significantly. Instead, the device received the same well-known housing of the past with the continued inclusion of the somewhat controversial Touch Bar. The Pro notebook's computing power is still identical to the current MacBook Air's, however, thanks to the device's active cooling it is capable of continued work under maximal load without the same performance throttling that occurs in the MacBook Air due to the lack of an active cooling system during bouts of intensive performance.



Price & Availability
Delivery of the new notebooks should begin within the "coming month". However, it will be somewhat exciting to see how the delivery situation develops – the current market situation has only calmed slightly and Apple partner Quanta's production facilities are still not back at full capacity. The new MacBook Air costs US$1,199 with minimum specs and the new MacBook Pro a minimum of US$1,299. The MacBook Air M1 remains available for US$999 in Apple's lineup.

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