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.
Air Beats Pro
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.)