Apple's MacBook Air M2 may not have completely reshaped the PC landscape like the M1 laptop did, but it's arguably the best version of the notebook to date. It earned a score of 96 from us and it would make a solid daily driver for anyone, from college students to working professionals. One of the few downsides is that the M2 laptop is more expensive than its predecessor, but now you can grab one for $100 less than usual from Amazon. The online retailer has the 256GB MacBook Air M2 in starlight for $1,099, which is the best price we've seen since launch.
The latest MacBook Air actually has a slightly different design than previous models. Apple moved away from the wedge shape and made the new laptop uniformly thin, making looking more like the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. Apple managed to increase the side of the Liquid Retina screen to 13.6 inches by shrinking the surrounding bezels, and while that's only a third of an inch bigger than previous displays, it has a more expansive feel. It also has the relatively new top notch that holds the machine's webcam. On top of that, you're getting improved speakers and a handy MagSafe power adapter in the Air M2's new design. Overall, it feels just updated enough to make a difference in daily use, but not so much that it will feel foreign to Apple diehards.
As for performance, the MacBook Air M2 handled everything we threw at it. The M2 chipset builds upon the stunningly fast foundation that the M1 processor provided last year, so you can expect a roughly 18 percent performance increase. If you spring for the faster GPU version, you'll get a 35 percent faster graphics than in the M1 model.
We found the M2 to be just as fast as the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2, so if you've been looking for a powerful new laptop but would like to keep things as thin and light as possible, you won't be sacrificing much by opting for the Air M2 over the Pro. The Air M2's battery life is even pretty close to that of the 13-inch Pro — the Air lasted about 16.5 hours in our testing, while the Pro lasted just over 17 hours.