A new working MacBook Air M2 chip is demonstrated during Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, June 6, 2022.
Peter DaSilva | Reuters
apple He has five MacBooks to choose from, which can be a bit daunting if you’re in the market for a new laptop as back-to-school season approaches. There’s the new MacBook Air, for example, but Apple also sells the older 2020 MacBook Air. Then there are three different MacBook Pro computers to choose from.
Your choice will depend on the purpose for which you are using the laptop and your budget. Here’s what you need to know about every MacBook available and how to choose the best one for you.
Apple MacBook Air
The 2020 MacBook Air is the cheapest MacBook Apple sells. It runs on the M1 chip and costs $999. But it’s still a great computer. It’s powerful enough to handle the things most people need but is slower for tasks like video editing.
The 2020 MacBook Air has a battery life similar to 18 hours as the 2022 MacBook Air.
You’re missing out on some features in this year’s upgrade, which we’ll talk about next. But this should be your goal if you “just need a computer”.
This is the best MacBook for most people.
Apple’s newest $1,199 MacBook Air uses the latest M2 chip, gets a complete redesign and is thinner than ever.
The latest MacBook Air has MagSafe charging. This is a small magnetic charging cable that pops on the side and comes out easily. So, if you trip over the wire, your entire MacBook won’t fall off your desk. You can also charge your laptop using one of two Thunderbolt USB C ports. You can charge it up to 50% faster in 30 minutes if you buy a 67W Apple charger for $59.
This MacBook is the most portable model, weighing just 2.7 pounds. The 2020 Air weighs 2.8 lbs. The display screen is slightly larger at 13.6 inches. But, the latest MacBook Air has a fan, so it might not be as quiet as the previous model if you’ve already started editing or uploading video.
The sound quality also got an upgrade. The M2 MacBook Air has two additional speakers, with a total of four speakers, which makes movies and music sound more full. The slightly larger is 13.6 inches and its webcam has been upgraded from 720p to 1080p HD.
If you spend an extra $200 on the latest MacBook Air, you’ll get faster charging, a better webcam, better speakers, and newer design. This model also has more than enough processing speed for the average user.
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with M2
The new MacBook Pro is a bit confusing. It’s a step ahead of the MacBook Air. But it does have the latest M2 processor and it’s not quite as powerful as the older M1 Pro or M1 Max processors found in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.
The 2022 Edition runs on an M2 chip, has a 20-hour battery and is the only MacBook with a Touch Bar, the little bar above the keyboard that you can use to scroll through photos, skip media, pause/play and more. The Pro also has better speakers and a higher display than you’ll find in a MacBook Air.
The MagSafe Charging uses like the 2022 MacBook Air, but it has a feature called Active Cooling that uses a pair of fans, actively drawing in cool air and releasing hot air, which is an improvement on air. This helps in handling heavy tasks like more advanced video editing.
The Pro is slightly heavier at 3 pounds and its screen is slightly smaller at 13.3 inches. In general, if you use a high-powered function such as video editing or photo editing, the processor and graphics performance are significantly different in the 2022 MacBook Pro.
Apple MacBook Pro
Get it if you need the most power possible in your MacBook.
Apple launched the $1,999, 14-inch, and $2,499 MacBook Pro models last year, and it’s finally bringing back features like an SD card reader, a full HDMI port for adding another screen, and more.
They have the best screens available in a MacBook, with high refresh rates so everything looks smooth when scrolling through a website, for example. It supports up to two additional screens instead of just one like the MacBook Airs. More importantly, it can be configured with the M1 Pro or M1 Max chipset, which are more powerful than the M2 chip in other Apple computers. At least until we hear about the plans for the Apple M2 Pro or Max.
So, if you’re into intense video editing, or you love high-end screens and plenty of ports, this is for you. Just expect to pay more.
“Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst.”