Apple’s M2 MacBook Air is receiving rave reviews from press and early adopters. Criticism of the base model is a common thread, though. Consensus is that customers should not buy the base model M2 MacBook Air. I think this advice is wrong.
MacBook Air base model review
I’ve used the base model M1 MacBook Air for work since it came out in 2020. Now I’m on the base model M2 MacBook Air. This is my short review:
- SSD: I can’t tell that the base model storage is slower
- Performance: I can’t tell if the M2 chip throttles
- Speed: I can’t tell if the M2 chip is faster
All three of these can be demonstrated in benchmark tests and certain real world use cases, but they’re imperceptible to me.
Logically, a drop in read and write speed from the M1 256GB model to the M2 256GB model is fair criticism. Apple went from two 128GB NAND sticks to one 256GB NAND stick and raised the price by $200. That’s a step backward! But the price is higher for other reasons, and I don’t constantly read and write enough large files to notice the change.
If you didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t know.
What I do notice is the more modern display, new design, and sleek midnight finish, and they’re awesome. I’m still searching for an app to benchmark the cool factor.
Performance throttling is also not on my radar. I do love that the computer runs silent without melting my legs though.
I use the MacBook Air professionally for Safari, Mail, Messages, Pixelmator Pro, Twitter, Reeder, WebEx, Slack, and Zoom – no video editing, no app development. Then there’s my personal use: accessing iCloud Drive, streaming Apple Music and podcasts, managing iCloud Photos, and streaming movies.
The base M2 MacBook Air is right for me, and it’s right for a lot of people. Find the M1 MacBook Air design dated? Too cheap to spring for upgrades you don’t think you’ll need? Me too!
Obviously don’t force yourself into a computer without enough storage or memory than you already know you’ll need, but don’t overvalue abstract benchmarks that may not affect you either.
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