This was not my first time reviewing an Apple product and I’ve picked up a few tips along the way. But after spending $700 for what could be my dream laptop, I thought it would be easy enough to get some good info about this machine. If you know how to do that, we can all relax. That said, despite its name ( MacBook air ) I have decided the best option is one that I will use as of now. That is why I want to share with you my thoughts on the new version of the computer. It is the more portable model it is called the MacBook Air M2.
So I ordered two different models. The 14 inch model with 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD I had heard were great but they were sold out months ago so I had to wait a bit longer before getting one. Or the 16 inch model that has 16GB RAM and 1TB storage that came in my bag a little later. Unfortunately they both came with memory cards the older model has only 4GB but the newer model has 8GB RAM and 64GB storage. So let’s take a look at the specs.
The larger model costs $1,299 which is around $100 more than the smaller one (which has a much lesser screen) and the faster chip. I like the 16 inch one because it is also pretty small and light while being able to easily fit into any pocket. Now let’s talk about the price range of the two models. You can buy the laptop or you can go get MacBook’s online (I didn’t spend much money in doing that so let’s keep this part as private). Of course if you want to save some money then I had a hard time finding a laptop for sale that is slightly less than $900 / $1,000 but you can definitely find one for sale if you look for “MacBook Pro 16 inch” as that is what I chose.
So that brings us to the point of this review. For those who don’t like having bigger screens I think it makes more sense to work with the 32 inch model like me. Not too big but still large enough screen. While the higher-end 16 inch model has a better screen with no problem fitting in your lap. The most important part of the 17 inch model is the keyboard which I feel comes under the same discussion as the size.
I’d like a brief description of how each one looks. Well let’s start with the 16 inch model. I’ve been using the latest generation Microsoft Surface Pro X and a MacBook here and there to check if things are still fast. My test unit used a very powerful Intel Core i7 and it really made a difference. Yes, it doesn’t look too bad but that is because it is extremely loud and it takes quite a long period of time to wake up from sleep (it does sound kind of quiet).
The 16 inch model had decent battery life (with a charger). Just like the thinner model you get a USB 3 ports which is nice. I had a 15 inch model with a 1Ghz GPU, a 6 speed SD card slot, four ports for docking, and a single monitor. As for the rest, it just looks like this setup but it isn’t any different from other modern laptops.
The thin 16 inch model works fine but does run hot on me. My wife thinks so too. She hates cold hard cashmere on her thighs and this one kept looking weird. It is not terrible but I have noticed that it seems almost worse when she tries to play a video game on it. To sum up, I loved the 16 inch model for just being larger and lighter but this extra weight got in the way of actually working it and playing games. Definitely not a deal breaker. On the upside it gets more space for a webcam but it might be worth investing for a second laptop if you wanted more room for everything else. One thing that wasn’t mentioned was power.
I tried some of the old versions earlier and it was fairly good. This is a better machine for gaming but nothing like a PC/laptop combo. Maybe it’s a matter of preference. Like I mentioned, I was getting another computer to take over but it is not an expensive or complicated system. In fact, I would say I’m pretty lucky. There’s a lot more freedom on a machine that cost just over $500. You get to choose from 10 or 20 or 40 or 50 or 80 or 120 or even 160 or 175 models. On top of that you can configure with just a mouse and keyboard. They even come with full HD displays which is nice. It is a beast of a machine. However, it does run slow until after a few years and since we are talking specifically about the 16 inch model, I did not want to put that into the picture. It is a machine for people who need performance. An hour of gaming and maybe an hour of watching YouTube? Don’t bother, it will do you big fat goose bump. Also, I am a fan of having something where I can switch between devices, but that’s the whole reason I want to pay these kinds of prices. It’s easier to upgrade and change models on when you already have the necessary parts. All of this is not cheap of course but I didn’t see many alternatives.
In terms of the design MacBook Air comes in various colors and looks similar to the last iteration, albeit in a matte finish. In fact while the black looks great, I found myself sticking with the black. Another benefit is that the black is a solid color which helps with fingerprint detection and also gives it a nice shine to it. Even though the back panel looks strange, it is smooth and I liked the color. The screen also looks good with a resolution of 1920 x 800 and 1600 nits so if that is what you want you should probably be okay with what it has to offer.
In general the laptop runs well on my system. I am running Ubuntu 19.04 and I think that will work well for anyone else. The only problem I have is not installing open source software such as Linux. So far, so good.
So, what has changed and how did I personally feel about the performance? I did not try anything other than open source programs. No games. Nothing like Steam, it sucks. What’s more interesting was that it is an i7 and it is very consistent with that. I felt it could possibly hold up against an AMD/Radeon processor but then again it wasn’t very bright and I am not sure that matters, all I know is it isn’t terribly high. Since this machine is basically built to perform in the cloud I wouldn’t say that I have to worry. Since this machine has a GTX 1660 Ti or RDNA 2 graphics and 2GB of video memory it is certainly capable of handling it. The CPU is fast enough (I guess it should) for basic web browsing but I thought it was nice to play actual AAA titles. After a while it wasn’t enough and I thought there must be something wrong with my install (not that it looked weird to me.) So after downloading and pushing through the drivers it became clear that it wasn’t broken (even though it does crash occasionally…but you know what?) but it needed some sort of update. Which I got. Since it was a brand new OS it takes several hours to be up to date. So I left it and moved on to the 16 inch model that has a 1080p display and a 4GB Ram and 128 GB storage…and for that model I am extremely happy. I think I may end up upgrading it if and when I need to.
But why the whole story about the hardware? Let’s talk about the motherboard first. First of all the BMA2580 is a superfast motherboard, which is also great for overclocking. Plus the PCI Express 4.0 socket and the HDMI 2.0 interface make it a suitable board for streaming media and video conferencing solutions. At the moment, it does not support Gigabit Ethernet speeds, however I believe this upgrade will address that one.
I got the cheapest GIGABYTE version and that should be enough for everyone. Then I think you have to decide what kind of chips you want as I did not get to choose. So if the 16inch model has 4GB plus it will cost $1,299 whereas the lower model has 8GB of RAM and 1TB storage and it will cost $1,099. Those two would be the most affordable options considering how much bigger their screens will be. Then you need a decision on the motherboard, which depends upon the amount of memory you want. According to the manufacturers I saw the MSI 2560M, the EVGA 2480, or the HP matrix. Whatever suits you. I went for the EVGA as it offers all the features of a desktop. I think this is the right choice for someone who wants to build desktop PCs. Also, they can also provide a warranty. Lastly, and if you prefer it, all three options offer PCIe 3.0 slots and an HDMI port that allows you to use Blu-Ray Discs and flash discs. That is a handy feature and something I haven’t seen on many machines.
I was happy with my purchase. The machine itself is cool, the display is fantastic, and the OS is stable. I think the performance wasn’t my biggest concern but as I said it is mostly good and I can probably handle