Technology

Here’s a first look at Apple’s redesigned M2 MacBook Air

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Enlarge / Apple’s new MacBook Air.

Samuel Axon

CUPERTINO, Calif.—Today, Apple unveiled the first major redesign in a long while to its most popular laptop, the MacBook Air. After a few minutes with the device, we can confirm that it feels quite different to hold compared to its predecessor.

The new laptop drops the tapered design of the previous model in favor of a flat, rectangular design reminiscent of the iPad Pro or last year’s 24-inch iMac redesign. It adds the new-and-improved returned MagSafe (as seen recently in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro) and includes an unusual charger with a different shape and two USB-C ports.

We handled the device for a few minutes at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters and found it to be noticeably lighter than other recent Apple laptops (as its name suggests). But because it borrows those iPad, iMac, and MacBook Pro elements, it also looks and feels familiar—right down to the MacBook Pro’s screen notch and slightly taller display.

The device comes in a few metallic colors, but we spent our time with the one Apple dubbed “Starlight.”

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  • The screen on Apple’s new MacBook Air.

    Samuel Axon

  • With the lid closed, it’s almost indistinguishable from the 14-inch MacBook Pro from above—apart from the unique color.

    Samuel Axon

  • Also like the MacBook Pro, it has pronounced feet on the bottom.

    Samuel Axon

  • The ports on the left side include MagSafe and two Thunderbolt.

    Samuel Axon

  • On the right side, there’s just a headphone jack.

    Samuel Axon

  • Here’s the keyboard, with a full function row and Touch ID.

    Samuel Axon

Remember when Apple shipped a charging cable and brick for the 24-inch iMac that had an Ethernet port built into it? The trend of multi-functional chargers continues here, with a tiny charging brick that includes not one but two USB-C ports—one for the MacBook Air, and one for whatever other device you want to charge, like an iPhone or AirPods.

  • This is Apple’s new charger for the MacBook Air. From this angle, it doesn’t look too different…

    Samuel Axon

  • Here’s the bottom, with the Apple branding and a collapsed plug.

    Samuel Axon

  • The plug extends, of course.

    Samuel Axon

  • There seem to be holding indentations on the sides.

    Samuel Axon

  • The MagSafe cord is very similar to the one you get with a new MacBook Pro. The color matches whatever MacBook Air you order.

    Samuel Axon

  • For scale, here are the brick and cable next to the laptop.

    Samuel Axon

Apple plans to ship the MacBook Air next month, so we’ll go into much more detail—including M2 testing—when we review it. But the first impressions are solid: It’s a thinner, lighter, slightly more colorful cousin to the MacBook Pro. That’s probably just what MacBook Air users want—the extra performance over the M1 is just gravy for most of the intended audience.

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