Apple’s M2 MacBook Air: ZDNET Product of the 12 months


Apple CEO Tom Cook dinner exhibits off the M2 MacBook Air at WWDC 2022.


When the M2 MacBook Air first launched in July 2022, there have been two predominant storylines: It surprisingly value $200 greater than its M1 predecessor and the brand new midnight black end was a fingerprint magnet. However these two factors missed a much bigger story. 

After utilizing the M2 MacBook Air day by day for over two months, I can affirm that the midnight black end is certainly a fingerprint magnet — though the fingerprints simply wipe away. I am additionally blissful to claim that the additional $200 is nicely definitely worth the efficiency enhance, for many who want it. The M2 MacBook Air additionally features a host of different refinements that mix to make this one of the spectacular laptops ever made. 

Additionally: ZDNET editors liked these tech merchandise and devices in 2022

Since ZDNET’s viewers is primarily professionals, expertise lovers, and innovation lovers, we now have no hesitation in naming the M2 MacBook Air our Product of the 12 months for 2022. 


MagSafe made its return to the MacBook Air lineup and now consists of cables that match the colour of the laptop computer.

Getty/MacLife Journal

Why it is the highest product of 2022

One of many different widespread criticisms of this product when it was first launched was that it is now a little bit of a tweener within the Mac product line — with the very-capable M1 MacBook Air nonetheless on sale and now serving because the entry-level, under-$1,000 Mac laptop computer and the strong MacBook Professional line being the go-to possibility for professionals and creators who want extra oomph. 

However, an extended have a look at the M2 MacBook Air allowed me to throw plenty of power-hungry duties at it and watch for it to buckle. I transferred monstrously giant recordsdata, constructed multimedia-intense PowerPoints, rendered and compressed video recordsdata, and loaded up my three favourite Adobe Inventive Cloud apps — Premiere Professional, Photoshop, and Lightroom.

I used to be very shocked to search out that the machine by no means blinked. 

My work laptop computer is a 16-inch MacBook Professional (2021) working the M1 Professional chip. That machine is an absolute beast that delivers jaw-dropping desktop-class efficiency. In testing the M2 MacBook Air, what shocked me was how shut it got here to matching my MacBook Professional for many duties.


The ‘starlight’ model of the M2 MacBook Air.


My conclusion: The M2 MacBook Air can now deal with about 75% of what you used to wish a MacBook Professional to do.

That may doubtlessly prevent $500-$1,000. The M2 MacBook Air I examined included the 10-core GPU and 16 GB of RAM and retails for $1,700. However, a comparable MacBook Professional goes to run you at the least $2,000-$2,500.

The opposite issue with the M2 MacBook Air is that it is rather a lot simpler in your again. My 16-inch MacBook Professional weighs 4.7 kilos and is 14 inches lengthy and 9.77 inches huge. It significantly weighs down a bag. The M2 MacBook Air weighs 2.7 kilos and is 11.97 inches by 8.46 inches. It is a featherweight by comparability.

Professionals and creatives who’re doing complicated video and picture modifying, animation, illustrations, and rendering large recordsdata will nonetheless need the total energy of a MacBook Professional to deal with these duties, after all. And the largest factor I miss when utilizing the M2 MacBook Air is my MacBook Professional’s spacious and fluid 16.2-inch XDR show. 

However lots of people are going to be shocked at how a lot the M2 MacBook Air can do and the way nicely it might do it.

Past its uncooked energy, the M2 MacBook Air can be the primary redesign of the MacBook Air product line in over a decade and Apple has delivered a {hardware} design that impresses with each its type and performance. The upgrades embrace:

  • A lot-improved webcam, now at 1080p
  • Thinner bezels across the display screen and extra usable area
  • A 13.6-inch show that is 20% brighter
  • Full-sized Contact ID fingerprint scanner
  • Full-sized perform keys
  • Louder, clearer audio system
  • MagSafe energy connector with coloured cables to match the laptop computer

Whereas no Apple product ever actually flies beneath the radar, the accomplishments of the M2 MacBook Air have been underappreciated throughout 2022. So we’re blissful to shine the highlight on it as the very best product of the yr.

You may watch our quick video summing why the M2 MacBook Air is ZDNET’s 2022 Product of the 12 months as a YouTube Brief (embedded under), Instagram Reel, or on TikTok.

Honorable mentions

Insta360 Hyperlink— The pandemic made us all recognize the worth of an excellent webcam and Insta360 hit it out of the park with its Hyperlink webcam that provides 4K, auto-tracking, AI smarts, and whiteboard and deskview modes.

Google Pixel 7 — Whereas the Pixel 7 Professional is Google’s flagship smartphone, the Pixel 7 presents practically all of the high-end options (besides the 120Hz display screen, large battery, and telephoto digital camera) and it usually sells at a avenue worth of $500, making it arguably the very best telephone for the cash available on the market.

Apple Watch Extremely — One of many greatest surprises of the yr was the prowess of Apple’s first high-end sports activities watch, which options premium supplies that take beating, enhanced GPS monitoring, prolonged battery life, and even underwater performance.

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