It’s official! You can pre-order Apple’s all-new MacBook Air M2 this Friday

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It seems that the rumors about the imminent arrival of Apple’s latest MacBook Air were indeed accurate. The completely redesigned, M2-powered MacBook Air goes up for pre-order this Friday, and you’ll be able to get it in your hands in stores on Friday, July 15.

Apple broke the news this morning, confirming specs and pricing for the new model. However, it’s unclear what availability will look like, so be prepared to place your order early if you want to ensure you’re first in line for Apple’s new MacBook.

The new MacBook Air M2 was a surprise at last month’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), where it was unveiled alongside a much more disappointing 13-inch MacBook Pro update.

Although Apple originally announced that its new M2 MacBooks wouldn’t arrive until July, the 13-inch MacBook Pro snuck in a little early, which makes sense because it wasn’t really an upgrade. ; it’s basically the MacBook Pro 2020 M1 with an M2 chip inside.

Most agree that it’s also not the MacBook to buy this season, so it’s probably a good thing that Apple has already eliminated that one. It’s the new MacBook Air M2 that’s getting the most attention as not only has Apple introduced a sleek new design that mirrors the more powerful 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, but it’s also beefed up the specs in exciting ways over the top. beyond just the M2 chip.

What’s new in the MacBook Air M2?

Apple’s latest M2 chip is a pretty solid upgrade on its own, bringing two more GPU cores while delivering faster performance on every CPU and GPU core, more memory bandwidth for an additional performance boost and up to 24 GB of RAM. There’s also a new media engine for hardware-accelerated encoding and decoding of H.264 video formats to ProRes formats.

However, unlike its so-called 13-inch “Pro” counterpart, the new MacBook Air has been completely redesigned. The tapered, wedge-shaped design that’s been a hallmark of the MacBook Air from the start has been ditched in favor of the more modern, square-edged look introduced on last year’s 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro line.

The improvements are more than superficial, however. The screen has grown slightly to 13.6 inches, thanks to the inclusion of the high-end MacBook Pro camera notch at the top of the screen. Apple also refers to this display screen as “Liquid Retina”, although it’s unclear what that means in practical terms, as the specs listed don’t appear to have changed beyond the 64-pixel height increase. to account for the notch.

Plus, the FaceTime camera finally gets a boost to 1080p. There have been many complaints about Apple’s insistence on keeping 720p cameras in its laptops much longer than it should have. It wasn’t until the release of last year’s new high-end MacBook Pro line that we saw the first bump to a 1080p camera, and the good news is that the new MacBook Air brings that improvement. to the masses by placing it on Apple’s most affordable. portable.

The MacBook Air M2 also offers a quad-speaker audio system with Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos support. Of course, you’ll also get Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking when using a compatible set of AirPods. This is something the MacBook Air M1 did not support.

The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro’s MagSafe port has also made it to the MacBook Air. You still get the same two USB-C ports as before, but you won’t need to use either of them for charging, so you effectively get an extra port. The new MacBook Air also supports fast charging to get you from charged to 50% in 30 minutes, though you’ll need Apple’s 67W power adapter (more info on MacBook Air chargers here).

This is also where things get a little complicated. As usual, Apple is selling an entry-level MacBook Air M2 for $1,199 with more limited specs. That includes an M2 with an 8-core GPU, just like the 7-core version of the previous model, but this time Apple is only launching the base 30W single-port USB-C charger.

If you want Apple’s new 35W dual USB-C charger or 67W single-port charger, you’ll have to pay an extra $20.

Alternatively, you can upgrade to the $1,499 MacBook Air, which includes the default 35W charger, which can be replaced with the 67W version at no additional cost. This model also gets you the full M2 with a 10-core GPU and 512GB SSD.

Apple’s new MacBook Air M2 is also included in Apple’s Back to School promotion, so if you’re an eligible student or teacher, you’ll save money with the educational discount and get an Apple gift card. $150 on top of that.

Pre-orders for the new MacBook Air M2 will open Friday, July 8 at 5:00 a.m. PT on Apple’s online store, with prices starting at $1,199 or $1,099 for education buyers. It should start arriving in the hands of customers and retail stores on Friday, July 15.

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