MacBook Air (2022): Release date, price, and everything you need to know

MacBook Air (2022): Release date, price, and everything you need to know

After more than a year and a half, Apple finally unveiled a successor to the M1-powered MacBook Air at WWDC 2022. Powered by the new M2 chip and featuring a whole new design for the first time in years, the 2022 MacBook Air is looking to be a big upgrade not just for performance, but for the overall experience. That includes things like the display and webcam, too.

The 2022 MacBook Air isn’t available to buy just yet, but if you want to learn everything there is to know about this new lightweight and powerful machine, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything we know about the 2022 MacBook Air.

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MacBook Air (2022): Specs

MacBook Air (2022)
Operating system(s)
  • macOS (Monterey)
Processor
  • Apple M2 8-core CPU (4 performance cores, 4 efficient cores)
Graphics
  • 8-core GPU
  • 10-core GPU
RAM (unified memory)
  • 8GB
  • 16GB
  • 24GB
  • Memory bandwidth up to 100 GB/s
Storage
  • 256GB SSD
  • 512GB SSD
  • 1TB SSD
  • 2TB SSD
Display
  • 13.6-inch Liquid Retina (IPS), 2560 x 1664, 500 nits, P3 Wide color, True Tone
Audio
  • Four-speaker stereo setup, Spatial Sound support with Dolby Atmos
  • Three-microphone array
Camera
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera with advanced image signal processor
Biometric authentication
  • Touch ID in power button
Battery
  • 52.6Whr battery
    • 30W charger or 35W dual-port charger in the box (depending on configuration)
    • 67W fast charging supported (optional upgrade)
Ports
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports
  • MagSafe 3
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5
Colors
  • Silver
  • Space Grey
  • Starlight
  • Midnight
Size (WxDxH)
  • 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 in (304.1 x 215 x 11.3 mm)
Weight
  • 2.7 lbs (1.24 kgs)
Starting price $1,199

At launch, the MacBook Air (2022) will still be running macOS Monterey, but just like most modern Macs, it’ll support the upgrade to macOS Ventura later this year and subsequent updates in the coming years. macOS updates are free and most Macs are supported for at least five years.

When is the release date of the MacBook Air (2022)?

Apple announced the 2022 MacBook Air during its WWDC 2022 keynote on June 6th, but the laptop itself won’t be available for a while. Apple announced it with a vague July time frame, so we’ll have to wait to hear more details about it.

MacBook Air

It’s possible that certain models will be harder to get earlier on. Due to the sheer popularity of the devices and ongoing supply constraints, some products take a while to ship. You should be able to order them either way, but keep in mind you may be waiting a while to get yours.

How much does the MacBook Air (2022) cost?

In something of a surprise twist, Apple isn’t introducing the M2-powered MacBook Air as a full replacement for the M1-based model. This is a new tier of the MacBook Air, and that means it actually starts at a significantly higher price – $1,199 for regular customers, or $1,099 for education. The previous model started at $999, and it’s still available at that price.

Of course, that’s just the starting price, which includes an 8-core GPU, 8GB of unified memory, and a 256GB SSD. From there, you can upgrade the GPU, RAM, and storage, and these configurations are completely independent from one another. If you upgrade everything to the maximum, you’ll be spending $2,499, not including the 67W charger or any bundled software you might want to buy.

MacBook Air 2022in four colors next to its starting price

This new model seems to be a replacement for the M1 MacBook Air with an 8-core GPU. Apple is now only selling the original model with a 7-core GPU, and the 8-core GPU version is gone. That model started at $1,249, though it also included 512GB of SSD storage. This new model starts at $1,199, also with an 8-core GPU, but with 256GB of storage. If you upgrade to 512GB, it costs $1,399, so it’s still a big price increase.

What’s new in the MacBook Air (2022)?

The 2022 model of the MacBook Air is the first major redesign the laptop is receiving in a few years, and it brings a lot of new things to the table. That includes a new chassis, but also a new display, webcam, processor, and even a change to the ports.

Lighter and thinner design (plus new colors)

For the first time since 2018, Apple has redesigned the chassis of the MacBook Air, and now it’s more in line with the 2021 MacBook Pro models. That means you no longer get the wedge-shaped design that’s thicker on one end and thicker on the other. Now, it’s a flat unibody design with an even thickness across the whole chassis. It’s just 11.3mm thin, which makes it one of the thinnest laptops around, especially for a device made out of aluminum. It’s slightly lighter than the previous generation, too, weighing 2.7lbs instead of 2.8lbs.

MacBook Air overhead view in Midnight

The new design also brings with it some new color options. The classic Silver and Space Grey options are still here, of course, but the Gold colorway has made way for Starlight – a new, softer shade of gold that looks a bit more elegant (in our opinion, at least). But the big new addition is the new Midnight model, a nearly black colorway with a subtle hint of blue, much darker than the existing Space Grey option. If you’ve wanted a truly dark MacBook Air, it’s finally here.

The return of MagSafe

That’s right – with the new design, Apple has also brought MagSafe back to the MacBook Air, this time featuring the latest MagSafe 3 port. Of course, that means you get additional peace of mind in case you trip over the charging cable, since it easily disconnects from the laptop.

MagSafe plugged into a Midnight colored MacBook Air 2022

But another big change that comes with MagSafe 3 is the support for fast charging. While it’s not included by default, you can get the new MacBook Air with a 67W power adapter, which can bring your laptop from 0% to 50% in roughly 30 minutes, giving you enough power to work for a few hours.

A new display and webcam

The 2022 MacBook Air is also the first time ever that Apple is changing the size of the display on the MacBook Air. Instead of a 13.3-inch panel, it now comes with a slightly larger 13.6-inch display. The increase in size is all thanks to the additional vertical space because the screen now pushes closer to the top edge of the frame. The horizontal resolution is the same, but the vertical resolution is higher to fill the additional space.

One notable upgrade for the display is the brightness, which now goes up to 500 nits like the 13-inch MacBook Pro, up from the 400 nits of previous models. This should help with outdoor visibility. But there is also one big downside – the display now has a notch in the middle to accommodate the webcam. This is a trend Apple started with the 2021 MacBook Pro models, and Apple is sticking to it.

MacBook Air front view in Starlight

In return for the unsightly notch, though, we finally get an upgraded webcam, which now comes in 1080p resolution. To be fair, the MacBook Air had one of the best 720p webcams on a laptop, but the upgrade to 1080p is certainly welcome. Plus, it’s still using an advanced ISP in the Apple M2 chip to improve video quality even further, so you should look great during video calls.

The Apple M2 chip

Of course, we can’t talk changes without bringing up the all-new Apple M2 chip. The Apple M1 was first introduced in October 2020, and Apple has been introducing new versions of it since then, like the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and most recently, M1 Ultra inside the Mac Studio. This is the first time Apple is introducing a true successor to the Apple M1, and it brings some big improvements over the previous model, making one of the best laptops around even better.

It still features an 8-core CPU, with four performance cores and four efficient cores, but now with 20 billion transistors – a 25% increase over the M1 – promising up to 18% more CPU performance compared to the previous model. The increase in the transistor count also delivers improvements elsewhere, like the memory bandwidth. Apple claims the M2 has 100GB/s of memory bandwidth, a 50% increase over the M1. Not only that, the chip can be configured with 24GB of unified memory, which is also 50% more than what was available on the M1.

Graph showing an 18% advantage in CPU performnace in the Apple M2 compared to the M1

There are also big improvements on the GPU side, though, and in fact, they might be even more significant. The Apple M2 comes with up to 10 GPU cores, instead of the 8 included in the M1. Apple claims the M2 can offer up to 35% more GPU performance at max power compared to the M1, or up to 25% more performance at the same power level. Comparing the MacBook Air specific

Finally, the new chip also comes with a faster Neural Engine for AI tasks. The new Neural Engine can perform up to 15.8 trillion operations per second – a 40% increase over the M1. Plus, it has a higher-bandwidth video decoder supporting 8K HEVC and H.264 video, plus the ability to play back multiple streams of 4K or 8K ProRes video.

Of course, to leverage the power of that processor, you’ll want to use apps that are optimized for Apple Silicon, since emulation will make things run a bit slower.

Where can I buy the MacBook Air (2022)?

As we mentioned above, the 2022 model of the MacBook Air isn’t yet available to purchase, but you can expect to find it at most retailers, plus Apple’s online store. Right now, the Apple online store is the only place that has a proper listing for the, but you can’t order it yet. However, you can check pricing for all the configurations if you want to prepare for how much you might have to spend. You can also check out the MacBook Air at Best Buy, and presumably you’ll be able to buy it once Apple announces a proper release date. In the meantime, you can also check out the best Macs available right now.

    The 2022 MacBook Air is powered by the new Apple M2 chip, plus it has a new taller display and an all-new design.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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