After much wait, Apple unveiled the next-gen M-series chipset – the M2 and put it inside the MacBook Air with a new chassis and display. The M2 powered MacBook Air comes with a ‘pro’ design, better internals, and many more improvements over its predecessor. But, Apple did not kill the two-year-old M1 powered MacBook Air; instead, it is keeping it around, and the new MacBook Air comes with a bit higher price tag. So, the question here is which one should you choose – the older MacBook Air with the M1 chip or the new M2 powered MacBook Air with new quirks but at an increased price? Well, let us compare them to find out which is the best for you.
MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1: Price
The MacBook Air M2 comes in two storage options – 8-core GPU and 10-core GPU. The base variant of M2 powered MacBook Air with an 8-core GPU has 256GB of storage and 8GB RAM, which costs Rs 1,19,900. Meanwhile, the 10-core GPU version still offers 8GB RAM but bumps up the storage to 512GB and costs Rs 1,49,900. Whereas the top-end variant with everything maxed out will cost you Rs 2,49,900.
The M1 powered MacBook Air in the US is still on sale at the same $999 price tag as earlier. However, in India, Apple increased the price of the MacBook Air M1 after the launch of the newer M2 model. So, the MacBook Air M1 now starts at Rs 99,900 with 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage.
So let us find out if you should pay that extra money Apple is asking for the MacBook Air M2 or save some with the purchase of the older M1 MacBook Air.
MacBook Air M1 vs MacBook Air M2: Design
The first thing you would see is that the M2 powered MacBook Air looks strikingly different from its predecessor. The wedge is gone and now has a squarish design like the recent 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Apple claims that the new MacBook Air has a 20 per cent smaller footprint than the MacBook Air from 2020. It is slimmer than before at 11.3mm thickness and a tad lighter at 1.24kgs. So, in a nutshell, it doesn’t look anything like some of the older MacBook Air you would have seen. And it now even comes in a dark blue shade dubbed Moonlight. So, if you want a good looking premium laptop, the new one might be a better choice if the price difference is okay for you.
MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1: Display
First, the notch is here and seems like it is here to stay, at least on MacBooks. But, the display on the MacBook Air M2 is now better than before. It is a tad larger 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display with a resolution of 2560×1664 pixels. And the brightness now matches up to the MacBook Pro 13 at 500 nits. There is more screen estate to look at as the bezels have been cramped up.
Meanwhile, the M1 powered MacBook Air does not have a bad display. The M1 model has a 13.3-inch Retina display which is not as bright as the new one. It has a peak brightness of 400 nits.
MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1: Performance
It all comes down to the performance. The newly introduced M2 chip is not a huge upgrade over the M2, but it does bring a 10-core GPU, and the standard variant has an 8-core GPU while the M1 has a 7-core GPU. Further, M2 supports up to 24GB of LPDDR5 unified memory. And there is a ProRes video engine, 1,00GB/s of memory bandwidth and support for external monitors up to 6K resolution.
So, if you look at it, the M2 is turning out to be a great option for those who are into video editing. Even Apple says that the MacBook Air M2 offers 1.2x better graphics performance than M1 powered MacBook Air. Meanwhile, compared to the Intel Core i5 model, the M2 one offers a 15 times better performance.
So, if you already have a MacBook Air M1, then the new one might not be a tempting choice. But if you are still stuck with an Intel model, then the M2 powered MacBook Air is the best choice for you to get the most out of your money.
Also, the webcam on the MacBook Air M2 is now updated to a 1080P camera. And it has a quad-speaker setup and beamforming microphone.
MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1: Battery
There is no substantial difference between the two in terms of battery life, both claims to last up to 18 hours on a single charge. But unlike the MacBook Air M1, the M2 powered MacBook Air supports up to 67W charging. With the base variant, you will still get a 30W charging adapter; however, you can also choose a 35W adapter or a 67W adapter, but they cost extra.
MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1: Ports
The MacBook Air M2 comes with the MagSafe charging point and two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports. The M1 model also has two Thunderbolt ports, but it misses out on the MagSafe port, which means you get one less port available if you are charging your MacBook.
MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1: Which one is the best for you
It is all about your personal preference. If you want a new sleek laptop that looks the same as the Pro models and has improved performance with some nice graphics prowess, you should go ahead with the MacBook Air M2. But if you don’t have that much budget, then MacBook Air M1 is still a great choice with great performance, battery life and a good display.