MANILA, Philippines – While Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference often puts the spotlight on software such as iOS and MacOS, it does surprise us from time to time with announcements of shiny, new hardware. That’s what happened in this year’s event, with the introduction of a new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, both powered by the successor to the mighty M1 chip, the also freshly announced M2.
Here’s a rundown of the performance improvements and new features that the new laptops, and new Apple silicon bring:
MacBook Air (2022)
- Slightly larger 13.6-inch display compared to previous generation’s 13.3-inch screen
- The screen is claimed to be 25% brighter than the previous generation, and has a wider color gamut
- Flat unibody design replaces tapered look of previous generation
- Apple’s quick-release charging connector, MagSafe, returns to the Air series, after being replaced by USB-C charging in the 2017 MacBook Air
- The FaceTime camera has been upgraded to 1080p from 720p in the previous generation
- A four-speaker sound system replaces the stereo setup in the previous generation
- Same battery life of 18-hour video playback as the previous generation
- Gains fast-charging capability (a claimed 0 to 50% in 30 minutes) with optional 67W USB-C power adapter.
MacBook Pro 13-inch (2022)
- The first MacBook Pro to use the M2 chip
- Joins the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M1 Max and M1 Pro chips, introduced in October 2021
- Compared to M1, M2’s CPU is 18% faster; GPU is 35% more powerful; and neural engine is 40% faster
- Claimed to be 40% faster for intensive multimedia workloads such as editing complex timelines in video editing suite Final Cut Pro compared to M1
- 20% faster when applying filters and effects in apps like Adobe Photoshop compared to M1
- In the new MacBook Pro, the M2 is said to be 40% faster at running graphics-intensive games like Baldur’s Gate 3 than the previous generation M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro.
- The M2 has a memory bandwidth of 100GB/s, while the M1’s is estimated at about 66GB/s. A bigger bandwidth allows for more data to be transported at a given time, allowing the chip to handle heavier workloads
- Apple claims that the M2 can provide nearly twice the performance at the same power level compared to a similar 10-core PC laptop chip
- The new image signal processor (ISP) is said to deliver better image noise reduction, beneficial for apps such as FaceTime