Remember MagSafe? The power cord that magnetically stuck itself to the charging port on old MacBooks to prevent it from flying off the desk when someone tripped over the wire? Apple brought the innovative connector back on its high-end MacBook Pro models last year, but the feature is now making its way down to the most affordable laptop in its lineup: the MacBook Air. At WWDC 2022, Apple announced this new laptop alongside a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, both of which are powered by the also newly announced second-gen M2 processor.

Both the new MacBook Air 2022 and MacBook Pro 2022 will go on sale in July. The Air costs $1,199, and the new Pro starts at $1,299. Apple has discontinued the older M1-powered MacBook Pro, but you'll still be able to buy the 2020 M1 MacBook Air for $999. Here's everything you need to know about the pair.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more.

Air Beats Pro

That shape.

Photograph: Apple

Quite bizarrely, the new (and cheaper) MacBook Air is the fancier of the two new laptops. For example, it picks up some of the design changes introduced with the pricier MacBook Pro models from 2021, including thinner borders around the screen and a notch for the webcam, making for a slightly larger 13.6-inch display as opposed to the new MacBook Pro's 13.3-inch screen. 

Despite the larger screen, the Air shaves down some weight over its predecessor. It's 2.7 pounds and merely 0.44 inches thick when fully closed, putting the “air” back in MacBook Air as one of Apple's lightest laptops yet. For comparison, the Pro is 3 pounds and 0.61 inches thick. 

That also means the new MacBook Air can take advantage of an upgraded 1080p webcam for better quality during video calls, whereas the new MacBook Pro is stuck with the same old 720p camera. The Air also has a quad-speaker setup for better audio versus the MacBook Pro's stereo speakers, though Apple suggests the microphones are studio quality on the Pro while the Air uses lesser, standard mics.

Both still have the same LCD IPS 2K-resolution screen, and the MacBook Air can get a smidge brighter than its predecessor, matching the MacBook Pro's screen brightness of 500 nits. Speaking of displays, the MacBook Pro remains the only Mac in Apple's lineup with the Touch Bar display above the Magic Keyboard, a feature that never quite caught on. The MacBook Air has physical function keys, though both have Touch ID baked in. (No, there's still no Face ID on a Mac.)

MagSafe makes its way to the Air at last.

Photograph: Apple

The new MacBook Air has a MagSafe connector, so the power cable will attach magnetically to the laptop and will safely disconnect if someone trips on the wire, keeping your laptop from suffering an untimely death. This is not available in the new MacBook Pro, even though that machine costs more. The Air also supports fast charging if you buy the (not included) 67-watt USB-C power adapter, but this isn't available on the new Pro. Apple claims the Air can recharge up to 57 percent in just 30 minutes. 

Duo M2

The M2 is the second-generation processor in the relatively new Apple-made chip line.

Photograph: Apple

Both machines are powered by the same new M2 chip, which Apple says has an 18 percent faster CPU, 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine than the M1 chip. We'll have to wait and see just how much better it really is in our real-world tests when we get our hands on these devices. That said, the MacBook Air remains fanless, so the MacBook Pro's fan will be able to eke out a little more power from the chip during intense workloads. You get two processor customization options for the MacBook Air—an 8-core or 10-core GPU—but the latter is the only option for the MacBook Pro.

Apple says the MacBook Air will still last “all day,” claiming around 18 hours of video playback, and the MacBook Pro bumps that up to 20 hours. Both have audio jacks and two USB-C Thunderbolt ports, and they start with 256 gigabytes of storage that can be expanded up to 2 terabytes at checkout.

The new MacBook Air 2022 comes in silver, space gray, the blue-ish “Midnight,” and a champagne-tinged “Starlight,” and it starts at $1,199, a $200 premium over its predecessor—though Apple still plans to sell the M1-powered MacBook Air for its original MSRP of $999. It can also frequently be found for even less on Amazon. The MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 and is more of a chipset update than anything else. Both will be available in July.

Content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.