M2 MacBook Air from Apple costs $ 200 more than the M1 model, according to The Register

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While we have no doubt Apple fanatics will be reaching for their credit cards, it’s worth taking a step back and considering what you’re actually getting for that extra $200: 0.3 more inches of screen real estate, a 1080p FaceTime camera (up from the previous 720p unit), and spatial audio. Oh, and it’s a bit lighter – 1.24kg instead of 1.29kg. The memory can go up to 24GB rather than 16GB, but since there is no upgrade path after purchase, it’s pretty meaningless (and at a significant outlay per 8GB, rather expensive too).

COMMENT Orders for Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air are already being accepted, but does M1 plus 1 really equal $200? The company’s revamped MacBook Air is now available, equipped with Apple’s most recent and greatest processor and a significant price premium over the M1 model, following much excitement but virtually little innovation during the company’s WWDC presentation in June. The M1 Model costs $999 (£999 at the UK store) and comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. The new M2 Model, which comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, is now available for $1,199 (an absurd £1,249 for UK customers).

Highlights

  • There’s no doubt that Apple’s M2 is an impressive bit of silicon, but does it really merit such a leap in price from the previous generation? On a device like the MacBook Air, not really. Unless you simply must have slimmer bezels and would like a notch at the top of your screen, the M1 model looks the better bet (particularly since the RAM can be doubled before a user reaches the lofty peaks of M2 pricing).

  • So after fripperies such as a breathed-over case, decent sized Touch ID button, and MagSafe connector (although Apple has tossed regulators a bone with USB-C charging), what is that hefty premium getting you? Apple reckons the M2 chip will make it all worthwhile. We sat through Apple’s product launch disguised as a dev event so you don’t have to. And goodness, Apple does like a statistic or two: “40 percent faster” in Final Cut Pro, “20 percent faster” when applying filters and effects in PhotoShop. All for a mere extra $200. Battery life at 18 hours is unchanged.

By keeping the M1 version ticking over just a little longer, Apple still has a MacBook available for a gnat’s whisker less than $1,000. By doing so, however, it invites a potentially unflattering comparison between the two. And we’re not sure the improvements justify the handing over of so much extra cash. ®

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