Apple opened orders for the redesigned M2 MacBook Air on 8 July 2022 at 5 AM PDT; the first batch will ship and arrive in stores on 15 July 2022 (for more on what’s new, see “Apple Unveils M2-Powered MacBook Air and Updated 13-Inch MacBook Pro,” 6 June 2022). However, on Apple’s website, ship dates have already slipped to mid-August.
The M2 MacBook Air comes in two base configurations: an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU model with 8 GB of unified memory and 256 GB of storage for $1199 or an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU model with 8 GB of memory and 512 GB of storage for $1499. If you don’t need the M2 MacBook Air’s improvements and want to save some money, you can still purchase the M1 MacBook Air from 2020, which starts at $999 for an 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU model with 8 GB of memory and 256 GB of storage.
As impressive as the M2 MacBook Air sounds, those who plan to perform processor-intensive tasks may want to hold off ordering until early reviews come in. There has been a report of thermal throttling with the updated M2 13-inch MacBook Pro while exporting 8K video, which is among the most processor-intensive tasks to throw at a Mac. Thermal throttling happens when the CPU temperature gets so hot that the CPU intentionally reduces its performance to cool down. The 13-inch MacBook Pro has a built-in fan, so it’s better equipped to combat overheating than the fanless M2 MacBook Air. The relevance of the thermal throttling report is contingent on two key questions. First, would the thermal throttling have applied to any M2 13-inch MacBook Pro, or was it limited to that particular unit? Second, would thermal throttling have come into play with more normal usage patterns for a low-end laptop?