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Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry Review – A very good, but too expensive daily MacBook

The M2 is not as efficient as the M1. After almost two years, the MacBook Air M1 finally gets a successor that is specifically designed for Apple’s own silicon. The new Air with the M2 CPU also comes with a much steeper price, because the entry-level unit with 8 GB RAM and a meager 256 GB SSD starts for $1299. Is the price justified?

The old MacBook Pro 13 with the new Apple M2 chip launched a couple of weeks ago, and now we finally get the completely redesigned MacBook Air M2. The new Air has big shoes to fill, because the previous MacBook Air M1 was one of the best compact laptops of the last two years. Apple wants to continue this success story with a completely redesigned chassis, which was developed for Apple’s own M2 processor. The new display now supports the larger P3 color gamut like the larger MacBook Pro models and the panel is brighter, you get new speakers, there is a 1080p webcam and the popular MagSafe connector has returned. However, the new model has a much higher starting price of $1199 for the base model with just 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD storage.

It seems Apple is not really sure about the pricing, either, and still offers the MacBook Air M1 with the slower 7-core GPU (for now), most likely to offer a product in the $1000 range. We want to find out what the new MacBook Air M2 is like to live with, how the passive cooling solution handles the new M2 chip, and if you really notice the slower 256 GB SSD in your daily routine.

We review the base model of the MacBook Air M2 in the new Midnight color, which we purchased in Apple’s online store (no press unit). If you get all the options (24 GB RAM, 2 TB SSD), the price of the new Air M2 will rise to $2499. We currently also have a MacBook Air M2 with the faster 10-core GPU, 16 GB RAM, and a 1 TB SSD in our editorial office; the corresponding review will be published soon.

Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Processor
Apple M2 8 x 2.4 - 3.5 GHz, 20 W PL2 / Short Burst, 9.5 W PL1 / Sustained
Graphics adapter
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Core: 1398 MHz, 10 W TDP
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR5-6400, onboard
Display
13.60 inch 16:10, 2560 x 1664 pixel 225 PPI, IPS, glossy: yes, 60 Hz
Storage
Apple SSD AP0256Z, 256 GB 
, 216 GB free
Connections
2 USB 4.0 40 Gbps, 2 Thunderbolt, USB-C Power Delivery (PD), 2 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm stereo, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 11.3 x 304.1 x 215 ( = 0.44 x 11.97 x 8.46 in)
Battery
52.6 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Apple macOS 12 Monterey
Camera
Webcam: 1080p
Primary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Quad speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 30W PSU, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.215 kg ( = 42.86 oz / 2.68 pounds), Power Supply: 174 g ( = 6.14 oz / 0.38 pounds)
Price
1499 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Potential Rivals

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
92.3 %
07/2022
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2, M2 8-Core GPU
1.2 kg11.3 mm13.60"2560x1664
91.1 %
12/2020
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1, M1 7-Core GPU
1.3 kg16.1 mm13.30"2560x1600
91.9 %
06/2022
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2, M2 10-Core GPU
1.4 kg15.6 mm13.30"2560x1600
86.9 %
07/2022
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
i7-1260P, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
1.2 kg15.3 mm13.40"3840x2400
90.1 %
07/2022
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
R7 6800U, Radeon 680M
1.1 kg14.9 mm13.30"2880x1800
88.8 %
02/2022
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
i5-11300H, Iris Xe G7 80EUs
1.3 kg16.5 mm13.40"2520x1680
87.8 %
01/2022
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
R7 5800U, Vega 8
1.3 kg14.9 mm13.30"1920x1200

Case - The new MacBook Air M2 is slimmer and bigger

Apple does not use the familiar design of the old MacBook Air with the wedge-shaped base unit anymore and the basic design of the new MacBook Air M2 is no similar to the other MacBook models. The chassis height is identical at the front and the rear, and the new Air is extremely thin at just 11.3 mm. The old Air was thinner at the front, but thicker at the rear. If you have used a MacBook Pro before, you know that the sharp edge of the base unit can quickly leave marks on your wrists, which can be uncomfortable. We thought this might be a problem here as well, but the base unit is fortunately extremely thin and we did not have any issues.

It is very easy to open the lid with one hand thanks to the indentation at the front and the well-adjusted hinges. The device uses the familiar keyboard with standard height function keys and the current Touch-ID fingerprint scanner. Contrary to the current MacBook Pro 14, the space between the individual keys is not black, but still in the chassis color instead. The lid design with the rounded corners is also identical to the MBP 14. All in all, we have to say Apple uses comparatively wide bezels, especially underneath the display and the body-to-screen ratio is “just” 84 % (and we did not subtract the notch).

The thinner design does not affect the stability or the quality impression. Both the base unit as well as the lid are very sturdy and can hardly be dent or twisted at all. We did not manage to provoke picture distortions, either. The hinges are well-adjusted and there is no visible bouncing, but the maximum opening angle is limited to around 130 degrees.

The blue surfaces are prone to fingerprints.
The blue surfaces are prone to fingerprints.

In addition to the familiar colors Silver and Space Gray, Apple also offers the MacBook Air M2 in two new color options Midnight and Starlight. We purchased the Midnight version, which is a dark blue that almost looks black depending on the lighting. The color looks great on pictures and when you open the box, but the surfaces are extremely susceptible to fingerprints and dirt, and it is almost impossible to keep it clean. The USB-C ports quickly reveal some scratches, which are more noticeable compared to the other versions due to the darker color. The new Starlight model (a bright silver with a slight gold hue) is much better in this respect and similar to the familiar colors Silver and Space Gray.

Midnight vs. Starlight
Midnight vs. Starlight

The new MacBook Air M2 is actually slightly deeper than before and also has a slightly larger footprint than the MacBook Air M1 and even the MacBook Pro 13 M2. Thanks to the thin chassis and the rounded corners, however, the new MacBook still leaves a very compact impression.

Asus Zenbook S 13 vs. Apple MacBook Air M2 vs. Dell XPS 13 Plus
Asus Zenbook S 13 vs. Apple MacBook Air M2 vs. Dell XPS 13 Plus

Some of the rivals are superior in this regard, including the new Dell XPS 13 Plus as well as the Asus Zenbook S 13. This might be an important difference if you often work in tight spaces (like trains, planes).

Despite the slightly larger chassis, Apple managed to reduce the weight of the new Air M2 to 1.215 kg, so it is about 60 grams lighter than the predecessor, even though you will hardly notice that. Some of the rivals are heavier, only the Zenbook S 13 is noticeably lighter at ~1.1 kg (or ~1 kg for the non-touch SKU, respectively). The compact 30W power adapter of the MacBook Air M2 tips the scale at 174 grams including the MagSafe cable.

Size Comparison

304.1 mm / 12 inch 212.4 mm / 8.36 inch 16.1 mm / 0.634 inch 1.3 kg2.8 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch 212.4 mm / 8.36 inch 15.6 mm / 0.614 inch 1.4 kg3.02 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch 215 mm / 8.46 inch 11.3 mm / 0.4449 inch 1.2 kg2.68 lbs299 mm / 11.8 inch 210 mm / 8.27 inch 14.9 mm / 0.587 inch 1.3 kg2.79 lbs297.2 mm / 11.7 inch 218.4 mm / 8.6 inch 16.5 mm / 0.65 inch 1.3 kg2.91 lbs296.7 mm / 11.7 inch 210.5 mm / 8.29 inch 14.9 mm / 0.587 inch 1.1 kg2.41 lbs295.3 mm / 11.6 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 15.3 mm / 0.602 inch 1.2 kg2.74 lbs

Connectivity - MagSafe is back, but Wi-Fi still limited to 80 MHz

Thunderbolt controller
Thunderbolt controller

The MacBook Air M2 is equipped with a MagSafe connector at the left side, which can be used to charge the device (charging via USB-C is also still possible). Otherwise, however, not much has changed compared to the old MacBook Air M1, because the new M2 chip is still limited to Thunderbolt 3 and you can only attach one external screen (up to 6K @60 Hz). One USB-C port on each side would also be more convenient.

The MagSafe connector is back.
The MagSafe connector is back.
The Air M2 worked fine with a 4K screen via USB-C.
The Air M2 worked fine with a 4K screen via USB-C.
Left side: MagSafe, 2x USB-C 4.0 (Thunderbolt 3, 40 Gbps, Power Delivery, DisplayPort-Alt mode)
Left side: MagSafe, 2x USB-C 4.0 (Thunderbolt 3, 40 Gbps, Power Delivery, DisplayPort-Alt mode)
Right side: 3.5 mm stereo jack
Right side: 3.5 mm stereo jack

Communication

Just like the old MacBook Air M1, the new M2 SoC is once again limited to Wi-Fi (802.11ax) at 80 MHz. There is no support for faster 160 MHz networks or Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth is also limited to the old 5.0 standard. Considering the high price, it is annoying that you do not get the latest standards.

The transfer rates are still good considering the 80 MHz limitation and we can also see an improvement with our new reference router from Asus (AXE1100), because the results are steady between 850-950 Mbps, sop the new Air M2 is a bit faster than the MacBook Pro 13 M2 and the old MacBook Air M1. Some of the Windows rivals on the other hand reach more than 1.5 Gbps.

Networking
iperf3 transmit AX12
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1317 (1123min - 1404max) MBit/s ∼100%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (180 - 1614, n=84, last 2 years)
1023 MBit/s ∼78%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
909 (814min - 1010max) MBit/s ∼69%
Average 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  (405 - 1750, n=103)
787 MBit/s ∼60%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple AirPort Extreme M1
552 (257min - 620max) MBit/s ∼42%
iperf3 receive AX12
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1258 (1143min - 1362max) MBit/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1248 (680min - 1346max) MBit/s ∼99%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (182 - 1690, n=84, last 2 years)
1136 MBit/s ∼90%
Average 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  (284 - 1414, n=103)
765 MBit/s ∼61%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple AirPort Extreme M1
672 (614min - 682max) MBit/s ∼53%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211
1558 (1401min, 1409.7P1 - 1609max) MBit/s ∼100% +80%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
MediaTek Wi-Fi 6E MT7922 160MHz Wireless LAN Card
1492 (1365min - 1583max) MBit/s ∼96% +72%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (343 - 1559, n=7, last 2 years)
1167 MBit/s ∼75% +35%
Average 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  (305 - 1499, n=33)
884 MBit/s ∼57% +2%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
865 (856min, 856.29P1 - 874max) MBit/s ∼56%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
797 (751min - 821max) MBit/s ∼51% -8%
iperf3 receive AXE11000
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211
1662 (1600min - 1681max) MBit/s ∼100% +76%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
MediaTek Wi-Fi 6E MT7922 160MHz Wireless LAN Card
1553 (1443min - 1620max) MBit/s ∼93% +64%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (353 - 1715, n=7, last 2 years)
1245 MBit/s ∼75% +32%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
945 (924min, 924.87P1 - 968max) MBit/s ∼57%
Average 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  (234 - 1688, n=33)
850 MBit/s ∼51% -10%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
828 (753min - 878max) MBit/s ∼50% -12%
050100150200250300350400450500550600650700750800850900950Tooltip
; iperf3 transmit AXE11000: Ø865 (856-874)
; iperf3 receive AXE11000: Ø945 (924-968)

Webcam

The webcam situation is similar to the larger MacBook Pro 14 and Apple equips the new Air M2 with a 1080p sensor. The results are actually okay in combination with the image processing of the M2, but considering the size of the notch, we are pretty sure a larger sensor from the iPad (with Center Stage support) would have fitted as well.

ColorChecker
3.7 ∆E
5.2 ∆E
4.4 ∆E
4.9 ∆E
4.1 ∆E
1.8 ∆E
9.9 ∆E
5.6 ∆E
7.7 ∆E
3.8 ∆E
4.7 ∆E
5.1 ∆E
2.9 ∆E
9 ∆E
11.3 ∆E
5.7 ∆E
6.8 ∆E
5.9 ∆E
10.2 ∆E
3.9 ∆E
7.3 ∆E
8.1 ∆E
2.9 ∆E
6.3 ∆E
ColorChecker Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry: 5.88 ∆E min: 1.75 - max: 11.28 ∆E

Maintenance

Clamps and metal brackets secure the bottom panel.
Clamps and metal brackets secure the bottom panel.

It is tricky to remove the bottom panel. You need a corresponding Pentalobe screw driver (P5) and a we would recommend a suction cup. There are clamps at the front and the sides, which have to be loosened, as well as four additional mountings. After the removal of the screws, we recommend to place the suction cup underneath the trackpad area and then pull quite heavily to loosen the clamps. After that, you can slide the panel towards the front and remove it.

There is not really a good reason to do this, though. There is nothing you co since there is no fan you could clean and all the components are glued or soldered onto the logic board.

Inside bottom panel
Inside bottom panel
Internal layout
Internal layout

Input Devices - Apple uses familiar Magic Keyboard

We can keep it short for the keyboard and the trackpad since there is not much to talk about. Apple now uses the standard height function keys we already know from the larger MacBook Pro models, including the current Touch-ID design of the power button. The keyboard itself offers a precise typing experience, but the key travel is still very shallow. You will get used to it though and the typing experience is good considering the slim base unit. Compared to the MacBook Air M1, the new keyboard leaves a slightly firmer and more precise impression, but the differences are not big. The background illumination is still excellent and the fine regulation via sensor is still unrivaled.

The trackpad also works just as great as before and the integration into the OS is perfect. It is still the best trackpad in the mobile segment.

Input Devices
Input Devices
Keyboard illumination
Keyboard illumination

Display - The Air with P3 and a notch

The new MacBook Air M2 now features a central display notch, which accommodates sensors as well as the webcam and that we already know from the larger MacBook Pro models. The area next to the notch is used for the macOS menu bar and the additional vertical pixels (64) are added to the regular 16:10 panel, so you get slightly more screen space compared to the MacBook Air M1. You can also select that the menu bar is hidden when you use apps in full-screen mode, so you basically only see the 16:10 screen. There can still be occasional compatibility issues, but it works well in general and you get used to the notch.

Besides the slightly higher resolution of 2560 x 1664 pixels, Apple also bumped other specs of the liquid retina panel (IPS). The brightness climbs to 500 nits like on the MBP 13 and the panel now supports the wider P3 color gamut. We can confirm the higher brightness, but the black value (0.38) is comparatively high, so the contrast ratio is "only" 1400:1.

The subjective picture quality is very good, even though modern OLED screens and also the Mini-LED panels of the larger MacBook Pro models offer even crisper images. However, the new MacBook Air M2 shows no sign of PWM flickering in return, which will definitely be an advantage for some users. High-re Windows laptops still suffer from occasional scaling issues, which is absolutely no problem with for macOS. Features like the precisely working automatic brightness control or True Tone are very convenient. The response times are decent for an IPS screen and the viewing angle stability is very good as well. There is only minor backlight bleeding on a dark picture at the highest brightness, which does not really matter.

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Only minor backlight bleeding
Only minor backlight bleeding
Viewing angle stability
Viewing angle stability
458
cd/m²
463
cd/m²
457
cd/m²
507
cd/m²
526
cd/m²
493
cd/m²
488
cd/m²
502
cd/m²
480
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 526 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 486 cd/m² Minimum: 2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 520 cd/m²
Contrast: 1384:1 (Black: 0.38 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.3 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.3, calibrated: 0.7
ΔE Greyscale 2 | 0.64-98 Ø5.6
87.6% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
99.9% sRGB (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
98.4% Display P3 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
Gamma: 2.25
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
IPS, 2560x1664, 13.60
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
IPS, 2560x1600, 13.30
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
IPS, 2560x1600, 13.30
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
LQ134R1, IPS, 3840x2400, 13.40
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
SDC4172, OLED, 2880x1800, 13.30
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
TL134GDXP02-0, LTPS, 2520x1680, 13.40
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
M133NW4JR0, IPS, 1920x1200, 13.30
Display
-1%
0%
-12%
4%
-22%
-18%
Display P3 Coverage
98.4
98.6
0%
98.8
0%
76.5
-22%
99.8
1%
65.2
-34%
67.5
-31%
sRGB Coverage
99.9
100
0%
100
0%
100
0%
100
0%
92
-8%
97.1
-3%
AdobeRGB 1998 Coverage
87.6
85.9
-2%
87.9
0%
76
-13%
97.8
12%
67.5
-23%
68.8
-21%
Response Times
1%
-20%
-3%
94%
-14%
-47%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
32.9 ?(17.8, 15.1)
31 ?(14, 17)
6%
42 ?(19.9, 22.1)
-28%
38.9 ?(21.4, 17.5)
-18%
2.1 ?(1.1, 1)
94%
44.8 ?(22, 22.8)
-36%
53.2 ?(25.6, 27.6)
-62%
Response Time Black / White *
24.9 ?(10.4, 14.5)
26.1 ?(14.9, 11.2)
-5%
27.8 ?(14.1, 13.7)
-12%
21.9 ?(11.9, 10)
12%
1.68 ?(0.86, 0.82)
93%
22.8 ?(10.4, 12.4)
8%
32.8 ?(16.4, 16.4)
-32%
PWM Frequency
118000 ?(49, 155)
117780 ?(56)
240.4 ?(53)
9804 ?(20, 47)
Screen
-5%
11%
-36%
108%
-25%
-7%
Brightness middle
526
417
-21%
514
-2%
494
-6%
336
-36%
468
-11%
379
-28%
Brightness
486
395
-19%
497
2%
474
-2%
338
-30%
450
-7%
356
-27%
Brightness Distribution
87
91
5%
93
7%
89
2%
99
14%
92
6%
88
1%
Black Level *
0.38
0.39
-3%
0.31
18%
0.28
26%
0.02
95%
0.23
39%
0.23
39%
Contrast
1384
1069
-23%
1658
20%
1764
27%
16800
1114%
2035
47%
1648
19%
Colorchecker dE 2000 *
1.3
1.12
14%
1.1
15%
3.1
-138%
1.8
-38%
2
-54%
1.6
-23%
Colorchecker dE 2000 max. *
2.7
2.71
-0%
2.3
15%
4.2
-56%
3.8
-41%
5.5
-104%
2.7
-0%
Colorchecker dE 2000 calibrated *
0.7
0.77
-10%
0.6
14%
1.5
-114%
1.8
-157%
1.5
-114%
1
-43%
Greyscale dE 2000 *
2
1.7
15%
1.8
10%
3.2
-60%
0.9
55%
2.6
-30%
2
-0%
Gamma
2.25 98%
2207 0%
2.23 99%
2.41 91%
2.22 99%
2.17 101%
2.25 98%
CCT
6858 95%
6870 95%
6764 96%
6189 105%
6580 99%
6511 100%
6835 95%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-2% / -3%
-3% / 4%
-17% / -26%
69% / 84%
-20% / -23%
-24% / -15%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN Grayscale (reference color space P3)
CalMAN Grayscale (reference color space P3)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (reference color space P3)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (reference color space P3)
CalMAN ColorChecker (reference color space P3)
CalMAN ColorChecker (reference color space P3)
CalMAN Grayscale calibrated (reference color space P3)
CalMAN Grayscale calibrated (reference color space P3)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps calibrated (reference color space P3)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps calibrated (reference color space P3)
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated (reference color space P3)
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated (reference color space P3)

The display calibration is already pretty good out of the box and the color deviations compared to the P3 reference color space are already within the desired range (smaller 3), but our measurements with the professional CalMAN software (X-Rite i1 Pro 2) still reveal a slight color cast towards blue/green in combination with a slightly cool color temperature. You will probably not notice that, especially if you use True Tone.

Our own calibration (profile can be downloaded for free in the box above) can improve the performance even further and also removes the color cast. The P3 color gamut is almost covered completely.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. P3
vs. P3
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24.9 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 10.4 ms rise
↘ 14.5 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.4 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 47 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (23.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
32.9 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.8 ms rise
↘ 15.1 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.25 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 31 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (36.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 19984 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.

Apple traditionally uses glossy panels with a low degree of reflection, so it works well outdoors as long as you can avoid direct reflections from light sources. The increased maximum brightness of the new MacBook Air M2 obviously helps as well.

In the sun
In the sun

Performance - Apple M2 and slow SSD

The MacBook Air is available with two different versions of the new Apple M2 chip. You always get a CPU with 8 cores (4x performance, 4x efficiency), but there are GPUs with 8 cores and 10 cores (+ $100). The base model for $1199 only gets 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD, and Apple charges $200 each for upgrades to 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD. The new model is now available with up to 24 GB RAM and 2 TB SSD storage.

Overview
Overview
Device information
Device information

Processor - Apple M2

Apple M2 overview (Picture: Apple)
Apple M2 overview (Picture: Apple)

The basic processor architecture of the Apple M2 did not change compared to the old M1 and you still get a total of 8 cores distributed in two clusters (performance and efficiency cluster with 4 cores each). Apple did increase the maximum clock, which can be up to 400 MHz higher. However, this requires additional power and we will look at the efficiency below, but the single core consumption is increased from ~3.7 to ~5.3W and multi-core consumption from ~15 to ~20 Watts.

Cinebench R15 Multi loop

01002003004005006007008009001000110012001300140015001600170018001900Tooltip
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry Apple M2: Ø955 (863.48-1215.33)
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry Apple M1; Rosetta 2: Ø843 (817.01-1020.12)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2 Apple M2: Ø1229 (1226.62-1232.55)
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K Intel Core i7-1260P; Ultra-Performance: Ø1512 (1481.98-1677.36)
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K Intel Core i7-1260P; Optimized: Ø1066 (983.94-1625.95)
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED AMD Ryzen 7 6800U: Ø1607 (1576.98-1742.1)
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H Intel Core i5-11300H; Standard: Ø922 (913.26-969.84)
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H Intel Core i5-11300H; Performance: Ø958 (953.54-961.86)
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE AMD Ryzen 7 5800U; max. Performance: Ø1583 (1402.03-1924.93)
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE AMD Ryzen 7 5800U: Ø1501 (1244.94-1690.47)

Cinebench R15 is not running natively on the MacBook Air M2, but our loop shows that the new Air can maintain the maximum performance a bit longer than the predecessor. The two devices are getting closer over the course of the test though and the difference is not that big after a few minutes. All in all, you have to expect a performance drop of around 30 % in multi-core scenarios, but the single-core performance is completely stable.

We focus on native benchmarks like Cinebench R23 and Geekbench 5 for performance comparisons. The single-core performance is 7 % better and the multi-core performance ~18 %. Thanks to the higher clock, the single-core results are even slightly better compared to the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in the larger MacBook Pro models.

The CPU performance does not change on battery power and more benchmarks are listed in our tech section.

CPU Performance Rating: Percent
Cinebench R23: Multi Core | Single Core
Cinebench R20: CPU (Multi Core) | CPU (Single Core)
Cinebench R15: CPU Multi 64Bit | CPU Single 64Bit
Blender: v2.79 BMW27 CPU
Geekbench 5.4: Multi-Core | Single-Core
CPU Performance Rating
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P
87.1 pt ∼87%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro
84.4 pt ∼84%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
82.8 pt ∼83%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry -3!
Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
82.6 pt ∼83%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
75 pt ∼75%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
69.6 pt ∼70%
Average Apple M2
 
67.1 pt ∼67%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
64.3 pt ∼64%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
60.7 pt ∼61%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
58 pt ∼58%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H
56.9 pt ∼57%
Cinebench R23 / Multi Core
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro
12370 Points ∼100% +43%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
10468 Points ∼85% +21%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P
9743 Points ∼79% +12%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
9581 Points ∼77% +11%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
8745 Points ∼71% +1%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
8667 Points ∼70%
Average Apple M2
  (8517 - 8745, n=3)
8643 Points ∼70% 0%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
8068 Points ∼65% -7%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
7409 (6401.39min - 7409.31max) Points ∼60% -15%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (965 - 12181, n=88, last 2 years)
6253 Points ∼51% -28%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H
5186 Points ∼42% -40%
Cinebench R23 / Single Core
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P
1678 Points ∼100% +6%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
1585 Points ∼94%
Average Apple M2
  (1580 - 1585, n=3)
1582 Points ∼94% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
1581 Points ∼94% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro
1534 Points ∼91% -3%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
1531 Points ∼91% -3%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1496 Points ∼89% -6%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
1488 Points ∼89% -6%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
1430 Points ∼85% -10%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (409 - 1796, n=86, last 2 years)
1354 Points ∼81% -15%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H
1218 Points ∼73% -23%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Multi Core)
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
4060 Points ∼100% +82%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P
3909 Points ∼96% +75%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
2995 Points ∼74% +34%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro
2721 Points ∼67% +22%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
2349 Points ∼58% +5%
Average Apple M2
  (2231 - 2349, n=2)
2290 Points ∼56% +3%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (376 - 4704, n=103, last 2 years)
2252 Points ∼55% +1%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
2231 Points ∼55%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H
1982 Points ∼49% -11%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 (Rosetta)
1863 Points ∼46% -16%
Cinebench R20 / CPU (Single Core)
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P
648 Points ∼100% +200%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
564 Points ∼87% +161%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
560 Points ∼86% +159%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (157 - 690, n=104, last 2 years)
497 Points ∼77% +130%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H
431 Points ∼67% +100%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 (Rosetta)
401 Points ∼62% +86%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro
393 Points ∼61% +82%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
381 Points ∼59% +76%
Average Apple M2
  (216 - 381, n=2)
299 Points ∼46% +38%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
216 Points ∼33%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U (max. Performance)
1925 Points ∼100% +58%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
1691 Points ∼88% +39%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
1742 Points ∼90% +43%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro
1690 (1675min - 1690max) Points ∼88% +39%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P (Ultra-Performance)
1677 (1481.98min - 1677.36max) Points ∼87% +38%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P (Optimized)
1626 (983.94min - 1625.95max) Points ∼84% +34%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 8-Core (Rosetta 2)
1320 (1307min - 1320max) Points ∼69% +9%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
1229 (1226.62min, 1226.74P1 - 1232.55max) Points ∼64% +1%
Average Apple M2
  (1212 - 1229, n=3)
1219 Points ∼63% 0%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
1215 (863min - 1215max) Points ∼63%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 (Rosetta 2)
1020 (817min - 1020max) Points ∼53% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (223 - 2041, n=111, last 2 years)
1020 Points ∼53% -16%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H (Standard)
970 (913.26min - 969.84max) Points ∼50% -20%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H (Performance)
961 Points ∼50% -21%
Cinebench R15 / CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P
240 Points ∼100% +8%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
237 Points ∼99% +7%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
229 Points ∼95% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
223 Points ∼93% 0%
Average Apple M2
  (222 - 223, n=3)
223 Points ∼93% 0%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
222 Points ∼93%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 8-Core (Rosetta 2)
210 Points ∼88% -5%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro
209 Points ∼87% -6%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 (Rosetta 2)
208 Points ∼87% -6%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H
208 Points ∼87% -6%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (70.1 - 256, n=103, last 2 years)
195.4 Points ∼81% -12%
Blender / v2.79 BMW27 CPU
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
713 Seconds * ∼100%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
710 Seconds * ∼100% -0%
Average Apple M2
  (595 - 713, n=3)
642 Seconds * ∼90% +10%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (253 - 2650, n=102, last 2 years)
635 Seconds * ∼89% +11%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
595 Seconds * ∼83% +17%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H
509 Seconds * ∼71% +29%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
391 Seconds * ∼55% +45%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P
319 Seconds * ∼45% +55%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
310 Seconds * ∼43% +57%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro (Blender 3.0 Beta M1)
183.3 Seconds * ∼26% +74%
Geekbench 5.4 / Multi-Core
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro
12499 Points ∼100% +40%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
9942 Points ∼80% +11%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P
9817 Points ∼79% +10%
Average Apple M2
  (8951 - 8991, n=3)
8968 Points ∼72% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
8962 Points ∼72% 0%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
8951 Points ∼72%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
7613 Points ∼61% -15%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
7578 Points ∼61% -15%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
6995 Points ∼56% -22%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1024 - 9817, n=101, last 2 years)
5457 Points ∼44% -39%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H
5402 Points ∼43% -40%
Geekbench 5.4 / Single-Core
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2
1937 Points ∼100% +1%
Average Apple M2
  (1914 - 1937, n=3)
1925 Points ∼99% +1%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2
1914 Points ∼99%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
1769 Points ∼91% -8%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro
1768 Points ∼91% -8%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1
1727 Points ∼89% -10%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Core i7-1260P
1723 Points ∼89% -10%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
1514 Points ∼78% -21%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
1436 Points ∼74% -25%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Core i5-11300H
1430 Points ∼74% -25%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (293 - 1937, n=100, last 2 years)
1356 Points ∼70% -29%

* ... smaller is better

We also want to have a look at the efficiency of the new Apple M2 and compare it with the M1. We ran Cinebench R23 Single & Multi on both machines and logged the package power, which allows us to compare the efficiency. The numbers clearly show that the performance increase is based on higher consumption figures (+42 % @single-core, ~41 %@multi-core), which means the efficiency is significantly worse compared to the M1 SoC. However, even the M2 is still clearly ahead of Intel and AMD in terms of single-core efficiency. The multi-core advantage over Intel’s Alder Lake chips is also still impressive, but AMD is not that far off with the new Ryzen 7 6800U.

Package Power Cinebench R23 Multi

05101520Tooltip
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z: Ø21.2 (20.586-21.892)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2 M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z: Ø20.2 (19.771-20.587)
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q: Ø13.2 (10.435-15.548)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB) M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256: Ø15 (14.567-15.459)
Power Consumption / Cinebench R23 Single Package Power Efficiency
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
407 Points per Watt ∼100% +37%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
403 Points per Watt ∼99% +36%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
298 Points per Watt ∼73% 0%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
297 Points per Watt ∼73%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, M1 Pro 8-Core, Apple SSD AP0512
219 Points per Watt ∼54% -26%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, M1 Pro, Apple SSD AP1024R
219 Points per Watt ∼54% -26%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
78.3 Points per Watt ∼19% -74%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro 14IAP G7
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1240P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
64 Points per Watt ∼16% -78%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 2022 i7-1260P
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
61.8 Points per Watt ∼15% -79%
Power Consumption / Cinebench R23 Multi Package Power Efficiency
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
561 Points per Watt ∼100% +37%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
521 Points per Watt ∼93% +27%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
433 Points per Watt ∼77% +6%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
409 Points per Watt ∼73%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, M1 Pro, Apple SSD AP1024R
399 Points per Watt ∼71% -2%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, M1 Pro 8-Core, Apple SSD AP0512
383 Points per Watt ∼68% -6%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
374 Points per Watt ∼67% -9%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 2022 i7-1260P
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
244 Points per Watt ∼43% -40%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro 14IAP G7
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1240P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
197.6 Points per Watt ∼35% -52%
Power Consumption / Cinebench R23 Single Package Power
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 2022 i7-1260P
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
29 Watt * ∼100% -443%
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro 14IAP G7
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1240P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
26 Watt * ∼90% -387%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
19 Watt * ∼66% -256%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, M1 Pro 8-Core, Apple SSD AP0512
7 Watt * ∼24% -31%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, M1 Pro, Apple SSD AP1024R
7 Watt * ∼24% -31%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
5.34 (5.015min, 5.07638P1 - 5.962max) Watt * ∼18%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
5.31 (4.821min, 4.85076P1 - 5.943max) Watt * ∼18% +1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
3.75 (3.575min, 3.58115P1 - 4.763max) Watt * ∼13% +30%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
3.68 (3.133min, 3.17243P0.1, 3.50554P1 - 5.517max) Watt * ∼13% +31%
Power Consumption / Cinebench R23 Multi Package Power
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro 14IAP G7
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-1240P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL2512HCJQ
57 Watt * ∼100% -169%
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 2022 i7-1260P
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
44 Watt * ∼77% -108%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, M1 Pro, Apple SSD AP1024R
31 Watt * ∼54% -46%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
28 Watt * ∼49% -32%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, M1 Pro 8-Core, Apple SSD AP0512
25 Watt * ∼44% -18%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
21.2 (20.586min, 20.6038P1 - 21.892max) Watt * ∼37%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
20.2 (19.771min, 19.7734P1 - 20.587max) Watt * ∼35% +5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
M1 8-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256
15 (14.567min, 14.5839P1 - 15.459max) Watt * ∼26% +29%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
13.2 (10.435min, 10.497P1 - 15.548max) Watt * ∼23% +38%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

Both the MacBook Pro 13 M2 and the new MacBook Air M2 are extremely responsive and fast devices. The operating system runs extremely smooth, there are no stutters and the MacBook wakes up instantly from standby. Native apps for Apple silicon launch very quickly, including complex apps like Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve. The performance is also very good in synthetic benchmarks like CrossMark and browser tests.

We once again included the PugetBench results (Photoshop and Premiere Pro) for the sake of completeness, but the benchmarks are only compatible with the Intel versions of the apps and are therefore not representative for the performance. The Intel versions are also noticeably more sluggish than their native counterparts.

The base model of the Air M2 uses the same Media Engine, so even editing of high-resolution videos including parallel editing of multiple 4K ProRes streams is supported. You will eventually notice a performance drop when you export large files, but the performance is completely sufficient for occasional projects (vacation videos, for example).

CrossMark: Overall | Productivity | Creativity | Responsiveness
Blackmagic RAW Speed Test: 12:1 8K Metal | 12:1 8K CPU
Photoshop PugetBench: Filter Score | General Score | GPU Score | Overall Score
Premiere Pro PugetBench: GPU | Live Playback | Export | Overall Score
Jetstream 2: Total Score
WebXPRT 3: ---
WebXPRT 4: Overall Score
Speedometer 2.0: Result
CrossMark / Overall
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
1667 Points ∼100% +11%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
1507 Points ∼90% 0%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
1501 Points ∼90%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
1501 Points ∼90% 0%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
1481 Points ∼89% -1%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
1355 Points ∼81% -10%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-11300H, Phison Electronics PS5012
1352 Points ∼81% -10%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (926 - 1667, n=28, last 2 years)
1339 Points ∼80% -11%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
Vega 8, R7 5800U, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-512G
1335 Points ∼80% -11%
CrossMark / Productivity
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
1575 Points ∼100% +15%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
1476 Points ∼94% +8%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-11300H, Phison Electronics PS5012
1424 Points ∼90% +4%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
1382 Points ∼88% +1%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
1371 Points ∼87%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
1371 Points ∼87% 0%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
Vega 8, R7 5800U, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-512G
1355 Points ∼86% -1%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (962 - 1657, n=28, last 2 years)
1341 Points ∼85% -2%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
1274 Points ∼81% -7%
CrossMark / Creativity
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
1861 Points ∼100% +1%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
1848 Points ∼99%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
1848 Points ∼99% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
1841 Points ∼99% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
1593 Points ∼86% -14%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
1554 Points ∼84% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (957 - 1861, n=28, last 2 years)
1411 Points ∼76% -24%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
Vega 8, R7 5800U, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-512G
1395 Points ∼75% -25%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-11300H, Phison Electronics PS5012
1261 Points ∼68% -32%
CrossMark / Responsiveness
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-11300H, Phison Electronics PS5012
1425 Points ∼100% +35%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
1418 Points ∼100% +34%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
1293 Points ∼91% +23%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (746 - 1593, n=28, last 2 years)
1159 Points ∼81% +10%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
Vega 8, R7 5800U, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-512G
1118 Points ∼78% +6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
1069 Points ∼75% +1%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
1055 Points ∼74%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
1055 Points ∼74% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
1004 Points ∼70% -5%
Blackmagic RAW Speed Test / 12:1 8K Metal
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
85 fps ∼100% +13%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
75 fps ∼88%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
75 fps ∼88% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (55 - 85, n=4, last 2 years)
73.8 fps ∼87% -2%
Blackmagic RAW Speed Test / 12:1 8K CPU
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
24 fps ∼100% 0%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
24 fps ∼100%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
24 fps ∼100% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (17 - 24, n=4, last 2 years)
22.3 fps ∼93% -7%
Photoshop PugetBench / Filter Score
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
81.9 Points ∼100% +20%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (42.7 - 86.9, n=5, last 2 years)
68.1 Points ∼83% 0%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
68 Points ∼83%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
68 Points ∼83% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
61 Points ∼74% -10%
Photoshop PugetBench / General Score
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
79.3 Points ∼100% +29%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
61.6 Points ∼78%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
61.6 Points ∼78% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32.1 - 79.3, n=5, last 2 years)
60.5 Points ∼76% -2%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
51 Points ∼64% -17%
Photoshop PugetBench / GPU Score
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
83.8 Points ∼100% +19%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
70.2 Points ∼84%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
70.2 Points ∼84% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (34.2 - 83.8, n=5, last 2 years)
66.1 Points ∼79% -6%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
60.6 Points ∼72% -14%
Photoshop PugetBench / Overall Score
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
806 Points ∼100% +24%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
648 Points ∼80%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
648 Points ∼80% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (374 - 828, n=5, last 2 years)
643 Points ∼80% -1%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
560 Points ∼69% -14%
Premiere Pro PugetBench / GPU
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
26.2 Points ∼100% +18%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
22.2 Points ∼85%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
22.2 Points ∼85% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (4.2 - 26.2, n=5, last 2 years)
18.2 Points ∼69% -18%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
14.3 Points ∼55% -36%
Premiere Pro PugetBench / Live Playback
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
81.8 Points ∼100% +110%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (14.7 - 81.8, n=5, last 2 years)
50.8 Points ∼62% +30%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
39 Points ∼48%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
39 Points ∼48% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
38.8 Points ∼47% -1%
Premiere Pro PugetBench / Export
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
48 Points ∼100% +16%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
41.5 Points ∼86%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
41.5 Points ∼86% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (16.4 - 48, n=5, last 2 years)
35.4 Points ∼74% -15%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
25.8 Points ∼54% -38%
Premiere Pro PugetBench / Overall Score
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
537 Points ∼100% +60%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (156 - 537, n=5, last 2 years)
370 Points ∼69% +10%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
335 Points ∼62%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
335 Points ∼62% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
323 Points ∼60% -4%
Jetstream 2 / Total Score
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
239.8 Points ∼100% +6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
227.4 Points ∼95% +1%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
226 Points ∼94% 0%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
225.9 Points ∼94%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
211 Points ∼88% -7%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
Vega 8, R7 5800U, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-512G
199.8 Points ∼83% -12%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
191.3 Points ∼80% -15%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
178.7 Points ∼75% -21%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-11300H, Phison Electronics PS5012
183.8 Points ∼77% -19%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (50 - 250, n=43, last 2 years)
173.5 Points ∼72% -23%
WebXPRT 3 /
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
379 Points ∼100% +1%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
377 Points ∼99%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
377 Points ∼99% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
304 Points ∼80% -19%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
281 Points ∼74% -25%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
288 Points ∼76% -24%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
270 Points ∼71% -28%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
Vega 8, R7 5800U, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-512G
249 Points ∼66% -34%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (80.1 - 379, n=99, last 2 years)
234 Points ∼62% -38%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-11300H, Phison Electronics PS5012
233 Points ∼61% -38%
WebXPRT 4 / Overall Score
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
248 Points ∼100% +10%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
226 Points ∼91%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
226 Points ∼91% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (186.4 - 248, n=5, last 2 years)
215 Points ∼87% -5%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
189 Points ∼76% -16%
Speedometer 2.0 / Result
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
M2 10-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP1024Z
406.6 runs/min ∼100% +5%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
M2 8-Core GPU, M2, Apple SSD AP0256Z
386 runs/min ∼95%
Average Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
386 runs/min ∼95% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
265 runs/min ∼65% -31%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
M1 7-Core GPU, M1, Apple SSD AP0256Q
213 runs/min ∼52% -45%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Iris Xe G7 96EUs, i7-1260P, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
204 runs/min ∼50% -47%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (42.9 - 407, n=26, last 2 years)
201 runs/min ∼49% -48%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
Vega 8, R7 5800U, WDC PC SN530 SDBPNPZ-512G
192.9 runs/min ∼47% -50%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Iris Xe G7 80EUs, i5-11300H, Phison Electronics PS5012
190 runs/min ∼47% -51%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
Radeon 680M, R7 6800U, Samsung PM9A1 MZVL21T0HCLR
176 runs/min ∼43% -54%

Storage Devices

AmorphousDiskMark
AmorphousDiskMark

Both base models the MacBook Pro 13 M2 and the MacBook Air M2 are shipped with a 256 GB SSD with just one NAND chip, so the transfer rates are much lower compared to the models with 512 GB SSDs (two NAND chips) or even the base model of the old MacBook Air M1. However, we do not know whether Apple switched the Air M1 to the slower drives as well. 

The transfer rates are basically still fine for your daily stuff and you will probably not even notice any limitations, but the M2 chip with shared memory puts data on the SSD (swap memory) when the memory is full, which will then result in lower performance. During our review, we only really noticed it during the Adobe Premiere Pro PugetBench test, where the video export took much longer compared to the MacBook Air M2 with the 1 TB SSD. It really depends on how you are planning to use the Air M2. If you run multiple apps or numerous browser tabs at the same time (especially with third-party browsers like Chrome), there will most likely be noticeable performance drops. You should also use native apps if possible, since emulated apps via Rosetta 2 will also require more memory. If you want a device for the next couple of years, we would definitely recommend the upgrade to 512 GB, which costs $200.

Drive Performance Rating - Percent
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple SSD AP0512
100 pt ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple SSD AP1024Z
59.9 pt ∼60%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple SSD AP0512
57.5 pt ∼58%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple SSD AP0256Q
52.5 pt ∼53%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
51.9 pt ∼52%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple SSD AP0256
50.3 pt ∼50%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple SSD AP0256Z
32.1 pt ∼32%
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test
5GB Read
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple SSD AP0512
5448 MB/s ∼100% +269%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple SSD AP1024Z
2819.3 MB/s ∼52% +91%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple SSD AP0256
2798 MB/s ∼51% +90%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple SSD AP0256Q
2756 MB/s ∼51% +87%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple SSD AP0512
2728 MB/s ∼50% +85%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1476 - 2819, n=6, last 2 years)
2562 MB/s ∼47% +74%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple SSD AP0256Z
1475.8 MB/s ∼27%
5GB Write
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple SSD AP0512
4463 MB/s ∼100% +170%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple SSD AP1024Z
3036.1 MB/s ∼68% +84%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple SSD AP0512
2895 MB/s ∼65% +75%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1653 - 3036, n=6, last 2 years)
2538 MB/s ∼57% +54%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple SSD AP0256Q
2431 MB/s ∼54% +47%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple SSD AP0256
2194 MB/s ∼49% +33%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple SSD AP0256Z
1652.8 MB/s ∼37%

GPU Performance

Our base model of the MacBook Air M2 is equipped with the slower 8-core GPU with a maximum core clock of 1398 MHz. The maximum power consumption in our tests was ~10W and therefore comparable to the old 8-core M1 GPU. Apple still managed to improve the GPU performance and we see an advantage of ~15 % over the 8-core M1 GPU and ~25 % over the base 7-core M1 GPU in synthetic benchmarks. The 10-core M2 GPU on the other hand is about 20 % faster, while the 14-core M1 Pro GPU is significantly more powerful.

So what does that all mean for you standard daily apps? The 8-core M2 GPU is more than capable enough for all your daily stuff and the upgrade to 10 GPU cores is not really necessary. Except for the number of GPU cores, there is no difference anyway, and the supposedly faster GPU does not even have a huge advantage under sustained workloads, where both models lose performance. The faster 10-core GPU even loses more performance faster (22 %), while the base model “only” loses 14 %. The advantage of the 10-core GPU comes down to just 9 % after our 20-minute stress test, so we do not recommend the GPU upgrade.

The graphics performance is not reduced on battery power. Please see our tech section for more GPU benchmarks.

Wild Life Extreme Stress test (MBA M2 8C-GPU)
Wild Life Extreme Stress test (MBA M2 8C-GPU)
Wild Life Extreme Stress test (MBA M2 10C-GPU)
Wild Life Extreme Stress test (MBA M2 10C-GPU)
3DMark
Wild Life Extreme Unlimited
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro
10352 Points ∼100% +82%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
9267 Points ∼90% +63%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2 10-Core GPU, Apple M2
6823 Points ∼66% +20%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Apple M2
5689 Points ∼55%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
5689 Points ∼55% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
4997 Points ∼48% -12%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
4515 Points ∼44% -21%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1260P
4081 Points ∼39% -28%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1726 - 6824, n=13, last 2 years)
3931 Points ∼38% -31%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Radeon 680M, AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
3793 Points ∼37% -33%
Wild Life Extreme
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro
10351 Points ∼100% +82%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
9089 Points ∼88% +60%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2 10-Core GPU, Apple M2
6728 Points ∼65% +19%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Apple M2
5673 Points ∼55%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
5673 Points ∼55% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
4950 Points ∼48% -13%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1816 - 9727, n=12, last 2 years)
4552 Points ∼44% -20%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
4487 Points ∼43% -21%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1260P
4057 Points ∼39% -28%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Radeon 680M, AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
3827 Points ∼37% -33%
Wild Life Unlimited Score
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2 10-Core GPU, Apple M2
24875 Points ∼100% +18%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Apple M2
21009 Points ∼84%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
21009 Points ∼84% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
17731 Points ∼71% -16%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
17731 Points ∼71% -16%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
16159 Points ∼65% -23%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (5964 - 24885, n=10, last 2 years)
15831 Points ∼64% -25%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Radeon 680M, AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
14403 Points ∼58% -31%
GFXBench
3840x2160 4K Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Average of class Subnotebook
  (39.8 - 48.6, n=2, last 2 years)
44.2 fps ∼100% +11%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Apple M2
39.8 fps ∼90%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
39.8 fps ∼90% 0%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro
166 fps ∼100% +82%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
147 fps ∼89% +62%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2 10-Core GPU, Apple M2
109.8 fps ∼66% +21%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Apple M2
91 fps ∼55%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
91 fps ∼55% 0%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
81.2 fps ∼49% -11%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
78.2 fps ∼47% -14%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
72.4 fps ∼44% -20%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (10 - 110, n=13, last 2 years)
61.4 fps ∼37% -33%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Radeon 680M, AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
47.8 fps ∼29% -47%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro
436 fps ∼100% +77%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
394 fps ∼90% +60%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2 10-Core GPU, Apple M2
295 fps ∼68% +19%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Apple M2
247 fps ∼57%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
247 fps ∼57% 0%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
214.4 fps ∼49% -13%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
207 fps ∼47% -16%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
192 fps ∼44% -22%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (27 - 296, n=13, last 2 years)
162.9 fps ∼37% -34%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Radeon 680M, AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
120 fps ∼28% -51%
1920x1080 Car Chase Offscreen
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro
345 fps ∼100% +73%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
316 fps ∼92% +58%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2 10-Core GPU, Apple M2
229.9 fps ∼67% +15%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Apple M2
199.9 fps ∼58%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
199.9 fps ∼58% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
197 fps ∼57% -1%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
176.6 fps ∼51% -12%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
162 fps ∼47% -19%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (24 - 230, n=9, last 2 years)
157.6 fps ∼46% -21%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Radeon 680M, AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
109.3 fps ∼32% -45%
Geekbench 5.4
Metal Score
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro
42115 Points ∼100% +61%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
37319 Points ∼89% +43%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2 10-Core GPU, Apple M2
30166 Points ∼72% +16%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Apple M2
26079 Points ∼62%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
26079 Points ∼62% 0%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (19064 - 30269, n=6, last 2 years)
24657 Points ∼59% -5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
21951 Points ∼52% -16%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
20411 Points ∼48% -22%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
19064 Points ∼45% -27%
OpenCL Score
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2021 M1 Pro
Apple M1 Pro 16-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro
37867 Points ∼100% +60%
Apple MacBook Pro 14 2021 M1 Pro Entry
Apple M1 Pro 14-Core GPU, Apple M1 Pro 8-Core
35173 Points ∼93% +49%
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
AMD Radeon 680M, AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
31996 Points ∼84% +35%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2 10-Core GPU, Apple M2
27602 Points ∼73% +17%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2 8-Core GPU, Apple M2
23633 Points ∼62%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
23633 Points ∼62% 0%
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 4K
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs, Intel Core i7-1260P
20364 Points ∼54% -14%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
19078 Points ∼50% -19%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1 8-Core GPU, Apple M1
18352 Points ∼48% -22%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1594 - 64697, n=102, last 2 years)
17245 Points ∼46% -27%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1 7-Core GPU, Apple M1
17029 Points ∼45% -28%
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s G3 20YA0005GE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000), AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
15477 Points ∼41% -35%
Huawei MateBook 13s i5 11300H
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs, Intel Core i5-11300H
15303 Points ∼40% -35%

Gaming Performance

It is not easy to evaluate the gaming performance of MacBooks. There are some native games (like World of Warcraft), but even then it is a problem to record the fps numbers reliably. There are also emulated titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider or Borderlands 3, and you can even use software like CrossOver to play Windows titles like The Witcher 3, but there can always be issues like graphic problems. The best way to play on you Mac is Apple’s Arcade collection or a streaming service.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 High Preset AA:SM
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2, Apple M2 10-Core GPU
36 fps ∼100% +50%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
25 fps ∼69% +4%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (16 - 36, n=9, last 2 years)
24.3 fps ∼68% +1%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
24 fps ∼67%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
24 fps ∼67% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
23 fps ∼64% -4%
1920x1080 Medium Preset
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2, Apple M2 10-Core GPU
39 fps ∼100% +39%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
28 fps ∼72%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
28 fps ∼72% 0%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
27 fps ∼69% -4%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
25 fps ∼64% -11%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (10.7 - 39, n=17, last 2 years)
23.1 fps ∼59% -17%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1, Apple M1 7-Core GPU
22 (16min) fps ∼56% -21%
Total War: Three Kingdoms
1920x1080 High (incl textures)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2, Apple M2 10-Core GPU
29 fps ∼100% +61%
Apple MacBook Air Late 2020 (M1, 8 Core GPU, 8 GB RAM)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
25.5 fps ∼88% +42%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (17.4 - 36, n=9, last 2 years)
24 fps ∼83% +33%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Late 2020 M1 Entry (8 / 256 GB)
Apple M1, Apple M1 8-Core GPU
20.6 fps ∼71% +14%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
18 fps ∼62%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
18 fps ∼62% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry
Apple M1, Apple M1 7-Core GPU
17.4 (15min) fps ∼60% -3%
1920x1080 Ultra (incl textures)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 M2
Apple M2, Apple M2 10-Core GPU
21 fps ∼100% +50%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (13 - 21, n=5, last 2 years)
16.5 fps ∼79% +18%
Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry
Apple M2, Apple M2 8-Core GPU
14 fps ∼67%
Average Apple M2 8-Core GPU
 
14 fps ∼67% 0%
low med. high ultra
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 62 28 24 20
Total War: Three Kingdoms (2019) 77 39 18 14
Borderlands 3 (2019) 43 29.7 16.6 13.4

Emissions - Silent Operation

System Noise

The new MacBook Air M2 once again uses a passive cooling solution, so there is no annoying fan noise. We did not notice any electronic sounds during our review period, either.

Temperature

Apple manages the surface temperatures very well, despite the passive cooling unit. You can usually only notice lukewarm surfaces during everyday tasks, and even the maximum temperature under load did not exceed 45 °C, which is comparable to the old model. The chip itself, however, gets quite toasty at 108 °C in multi-core load scenarios.

Max. Load
 42.6 °C
109 F
44.5 °C
112 F
38.3 °C
101 F
 
 39.3 °C
103 F
40.6 °C
105 F
35.7 °C
96 F
 
 33.4 °C
92 F
29.9 °C
86 F
32.1 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 44.5 °C = 112 F
Average: 37.4 °C = 99 F
40.4 °C
105 F
44.4 °C
112 F
42.3 °C
108 F
37.7 °C
100 F
41.6 °C
107 F
39.2 °C
103 F
33.5 °C
92 F
34.2 °C
94 F
34 °C
93 F
Maximum: 44.4 °C = 112 F
Average: 38.6 °C = 101 F
Power Supply (max.)  47.1 °C = 117 F | Room Temperature 21 °C = 70 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.4 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 44.5 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.4 to 58.4 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 44.4 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 39.5 °C / 103 F
(+) In idle usage, the average te