A better screen: yes, but…
The main difference between the MacBook Air M1 and the MacBook Air M2, beyond the processor of course, is the screen. We thus go from 13.3 inches to 13.6 inches, the resolution being increased from 2,560 by 1,600 pixels to 2,560 by 1,664 pixels. This is made possible thanks to the notch installed at the top of the slab and which cuts out the camera, but beware: not all software supports it. There is therefore a good chance that even with your MacBook Air M2, you will have to deal with an imposing black bar 64 pixels wide at the top of the screen.
Besides, know that the brightness of the MacBook Air M2 is better compared to that of the MacBook Air M1 with 100 nits more at the counter. You will therefore do better in direct sunlight, so much the better for an ultraportable machine.
Obviously, it is impossible when comparing the two not to notice either that the MacBook Air M1 and the MacBook Air M2 adopt a rather different format. Already with the notch therefore, which according to your tastes offers less or more advantageous comfort. But also with the weight: 1.24kg only on the scales for the new MacBook Air M2, versus 1.29kg for its predecessor the MacBook Air M1.
In terms of dimensions, the differences are notable here too because the MacBook Air M2 abandons the emblematic design of the range which was 0.41 cm thick at its minimum against 1.61 cm at its maximum. This last figure is however revised downwards, and the MacBook M2 offers the same height of 1.13cm everywhere. It’s little, and practical in an already full student bag.
Note also that the overall size of the MacBook Air M2 (width and length) hardly changes, remaining similar to that of an A4 sheet. We thus remain on a mobile machine and which will make the difference, especially if you are used to changing offices regularly. Finally, side colorsthe MacBook Air M2 charger is the same color as the computer, available in Midnight, starlight, Space grey Where Silver. This is not the case on MacBook Air M1, with one color less on the program.
MacBook Air performance: M1 vs. M2
The key difference between MacBook Air M1 and MacBook Air M2 is in their name. It is of course the rise in power of the processor, which is equipped here with a second generation still without fan. On paper, Apple promises computing speed 1.4 times faster on MacBook Air M2 if compared to MacBook Air M1. And for good reason, the M2 chip embeds up to ten cores for its graphics card where the M2 chip is content with only seven cores.
But that’s not all, since another major difference can also be seen on the RAM side. Indeed, the MacBook M2 offers up to 24 GB of RAM where the MacBook Air M1 does not exceed 16 GB. By launching many tasks at the same time, the comparison will be obvious. However, if you are looking for more speed, you can also turn to the MacBook Pro collection released in 2021.
Camera and sound
In 2022, it is important to have a good camera on your computer. Whether for work or chatting with friends, this tool is indispensable. FaceTime also offers free video calls on our two Macs. However, the MacBook Air M1 is limited to a definition 720p where the MacBook Air M2 stands out with its 1080p. Your interlocutor will necessarily see the difference and will surely thank you for it in a professional setting.
We can also compare the audio of the MacBook Air M1 and MacBook Air M2, the functionality Spatial audio with Dynamic Head Tracking only available on the latest model. Be careful though, because this will require a pair of third-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro or AirPods Max. Headphones are not supplied with the MacBook Air M2 and cost at least a hundred euros depending on current offers.
Battery: MacBook Air M2 vs. MacBook Air M1
MacBook Air M1 and MacBook Air M2 charge differently. Indeed, Apple has with the new model confirmed the return of the MagSafe started a few months earlier. For the benefit of the other ports, since now the two USB-C sockets are no longer used for power and can thus remain available.
Apple announces up to six p.m battery life for the MacBook Air M1, with no difference compared to the MacBook Air M2.
Unsurprisingly, the MacBook Air M2 is the most expensive because it’s also the newest: count €1,499 in its basic configuration, with eight-core GPU, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD under the chassis. For comparison, the price difference is still almost 25% with the €1,199 of the MacBook Air M1.
The issue of obsolescence
Arriving earlier on the market, the MacBook Air M1 is however likely to become “obsolete” sooner than the MacBook Air M2. Products qualified in this way are generally no longer entitled to security updates and Apple no longer offers in-store repair in France. With a difference of about a year and a half between the two computers, this is a criterion to take into account. It usually takes five to seven years for the manufacturer to discontinue its products in this way.
MacBook Air M1 vs MacBook Air M2: our opinion
So here we are at the end of this comparison, the opportunity for us to come back to the strengths and drawbacks of each MacBook Air. The MacBook Air M1 is hands down our top pick on a budget because it’s 300 euros cheaper and that it remains of very good quality with the performance of the Apple silicon program. To date, it is also compatible with the same operating system as the MacBook Air M2: macOS Ventura.
We don’t really understand the design change, which makes the Air range lose its beauty even if the MacBook Air M2 remains lightest and thinnest of all Apple laptops. The increase in processor performance is also quite slim, especially compared to other models such as the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips found on the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros.
The MacBook Air M1, however, misses out on a good camera and on the option with 24 GB of RAM, which is clearly not negligible if you run demanding software like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro. If you are graphic designer or editor, it may therefore be necessary to opt more for the MacBook Air M2 or even to consider the case of the MacBook Pro M1 which is certainly no longer available in stores but has the advantage of being cheaper than the next version.