Review of the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air

The 15-inch M2 MacBook Air just converted me – and I’ll never go back.

I’ve been a Windows expert for nearly two decades, but after testing both PCs and MacBooks over the years, it’s clear which is the best – and it’s not something Microsoft puts out.

My first Mac was the 14-inch MacBook Pro. Next to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, it’s one of the most powerful mobile Macs you can get. However, after Apple loaned me the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air last month, it’s clear that I missed the M-series chip party. For those who don’t know, Apple ditched Intel CPUs in 2020 and started equipping its laptops with its new in-house M-series processors – and that goes for MacBooks too on fire since.

After spending weeks with the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air, I’m now confident that my enthusiasm for Macs isn’t just a short-lived love affair. Sayonara, PCs! I’m a Mac fangirl now.

Which 15-inch MacBook Air did I test?

The MacBook Air I have in hand has the following specifications:

This configuration costs $1,899 at Applebut if that’s too expensive, there’s a 512GB model Amazon with a price tag of $1,498.

What do I like about the 15-inch MacBook Air?

Trust me when I say this: Most Windows laptops leave you chained to a power outlet at the end of the day. However, thanks to their energy-efficient M-series chips, MacBooks can last well into the next day without needing to recharge.

The 15-inch MacBook Air is energy efficient AF

I’ll get into the exact runtime we got from the 15-inch MacBook Air later, but similar to my 14-inch MacBook Pro, the Air offers a surprising amount of endurance on a single charge. My workflow consists of Slack, Google Meet, Google Docs, Gmail, using Google Chrome with lots of tabs, Asana, basic photo editing, and heavy file downloads. When I’m free, I shop at Amazon and other popular retailers before turning to YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and Peacock for entertainment.

To my surprise, I charged my 15-inch MacBook Air to 100%, and an hour later it was at 99% – barely a needle moved. This gives you a glimpse into the Air’s incredible energy efficiency.

The extra screen real estate is great

You complained. Apple listened.

15-inch MacBook Air

15-inch MacBook Air
Photo credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Most people love the MacBook Air, but the problem is, if you want more screen real estate – more than the 13-inch displays Apple offers – you’d have to spend more money on a Pro model. And for some, the professional is overwhelmed by what he does every day.

However, this year Apple finally decided to deliver the best of both worlds: a larger display with just enough power for users with a simple workflow. I’ve never been a fan of 13-inch displays – they’re too narrow. Somewhere between 14 inches and 15 inches is the sweet spot that Apple has achieved with the Air’s 15.3-inch panel.

A sweet representation

The MacBook Air features a 15.6-inch LED-backlit display with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,864 pixels – a real feast for the eyes.

When looking at the Argylle Trailer on YouTube, the display is so sharp that I could see the tiny pores on Dua Lipa’s skin as well as the subtle freckles on Bryce Dallas Howard’s neck.

Booming speakers

Next to my 14-inch MacBook Pro, the 15-inch MacBook Air has the best speakers I’ve ever heard. It has a six-speaker sound system and force-cancelling woofers. I started the “Hot Hits USA” playlist on Spotify, which started Tate McRae’s “Greedy.” This tune may be one of the most annoying songs of the year due to its overuse on TikTok, but on the 15-inch MacBook Air, it’s like I heard it for the very first time.

It sounds crisp, clear and warm – even at maximum volume (and it gets pretty loud).

Massive touchpad

The touchpad on the 15-inch MacBook Air is huge. Just like this one line stepbrothersthere is so much space for activities!

15-inch M2 MacBook Air on a bench

15-inch M2 MacBook Air
Photo credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

It takes up almost half of the deck. It responds very quickly and makes my quick hand movements easier. It also offers the perfect balance of resistance and suppleness.

macOS Sonoma is stylish

When I first heard that macOS Sonoma was introducing new lock screen savers, I yawned. Boring! However, when you actually interact with these animated backgrounds, they are admittedly badass.

On macOS Sonoma, you can now choose from a variety of stunning screensavers – from a striking Manhattan cityscape to the rugged cliffs of Iceland – with immersive 3D aerial views.

One of my favourites The special feature of macOS Sonoma is that you can easily share passwords, be it a Netflix account or your Amazon Prime credentials, with a group of trusted people (e.g. your immediate family). This way you don’t have to constantly ask yourself, “What’s the Netflix password again?” text.

Finally, I love that you can now use gestures, including the thumbs-up sign and the rock-on hand sign, to display fun animations on the screen while using FaceTime and other video conferencing apps like Zoom.

What’s “eh” on the 15-inch MacBook Air?

Sometimes I come across aspects of a laptop that I neither love nor hate – I don’t care. On the 15-inch MacBook Air, the indentation in the display isn’t visually appealing, but I don’t get excited about it either.

This notch is not it

Many MacBook users, just like iPhone owners, will tell you that they don’t notice the notch.

M2 MacBook Air 15 inch on a bench

M2 MacBook Air 15 inch
Photo credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

I can say the same about myself – um, well, Sometimes. Every now and then I take the time to admire the MacBook Air’s display and my eye catches the notch and I think, “Man, what an eyesore.” And then I just go about my day and forget about it.

It’s not very airy

The MacBook Air is known for being slim and light – hence the word “Air” in its name. However, if you’re looking for one of the lightest, thinnest laptops on the market, I wouldn’t put the MacBook Air in that category. It’s not heavy by any means, but it’s not light enough to carry in one hand without getting tired in a matter of seconds.

For example, my LG SuperSlim, a 15.6-inch Windows laptop, weighs just 2.18 pounds and is just 0.43 inches thick. The MacBook Air weighs 3.3 pounds and is 0.45 inches slim.

Apple has reportedly come to terms with the M2 chip

According to rumors, the 15-inch MacBook Air should be packed the next generation M3 chipHowever, Apple has reportedly abandoned this plan. The M2 is “as old as last year”, but that’s not a big problem as it squeezes out enough power for its target audience, which is users with everyday workflows.

What I don’t like about the 15-inch MacBook Air

If you’re prone to OCD like me, the 15-inch MacBook Air may drive you crazy for a reason.

The case collects too many fingerprints

The MacBook Air has excellent build quality. Its recycled aluminum casing is cool to the touch – and it’s strong, durable and robust.

M2 MacBook Air 15 inch on a bench

M2 MacBook Air 15 inch lid
Photo credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

My test sample is the Midnight variant, a rich, inky blue color. However, the case attracts fingerprints and grease like a moth to a flame. Therefore, make sure you have a microfiber cloth within reach at all times.

Stingy with ports

You won’t find any traditional ports on the MacBook Air, meaning you’ll have to rely on a dongle for peripherals that require USB Type-A and HDMI. However, onboard you’ll find MagSafe 3 (for charging your MacBook Air), two Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

15-inch MacBook Air Geekbench

On the Geekbench 6 benchmark, which tests processor performance, the M2 chip in the 15-inch MacBook Air delivered a multi-core score of 10,146. This is damn good. For context, we recently reviewed the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2a laptop that costs $1,400 more and achieved a less impressive score of 9,613.

If you need a laptop that can handle more demanding tasks (like 3D modeling), consider getting one of the Pro models. The 15-inch MacBook Air has no fans. So if you load it too hard, the performance will be throttled.

Battery life of the 15-inch MacBook Air

We executed that PCMark 10 Modern Office battery life test on the 15-inch MacBook Air. This test doesn’t run natively on macOS, so we used Parallels to start – a software that allows you to run other operating systems such as Windows.

Keep in mind that Parallels is a power-hungry virtual machine, and yet the 15-inch MacBook Air blew us away with incredible runtime 19 hours and 4 minutes.

15-inch MacBook Air webcam

The MacBook Air’s 1080p webcam is nothing special.

15-inch MacBook Air webcam selfie

15-inch MacBook Air webcam
Photo credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Like countless other laptop webcams on the market, the MacBook Air’s shooter is pretty dull. Color reproduction is decent, but lacks clarity and has too much noise for my taste.

Final thoughts

The 15-inch MacBook Air is energy efficient Animal. I got tired of seeing the “battery low” error message on my Windows laptops, so I switched to macOS. After spending a month with the 15-inch MacBook Air, I would recommend it in a heartbeat. It has the endurance of the Energizer Bunny, a stylish display, a sturdy body and more than enough power for the average user.

It is official. After spending some time with the 15-inch MacBook Air and using the 14-inch MacBook Pro as my daily driver, my Windows days are behind me.

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