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Apple announces new M2 chipset, massively updated MacBook Air and M2 13″ MacBook Pro

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Today, at WWDC 2022, Apple unveiled its latest hardware and software products. Headlining the hardware side of the equation is Apple’s new M2 chipset, which will power two new laptop models: an updated MacBook Air and an updated 13” MacBook Pro.

M2

Apple’s new M2 chipset is built using second-generation 5nm technology. It features over 20B transistors, can support up to 24GB of unified memory, offers 50% more memory bandwidth (100GB/s) and offers 18% better performance over Apple’s M1 chipset. The M2 can now also be configured with up to 10 GPU cores, giving it up to 35% better graphics performance over the M1.

The M2 also has ProRes hardware encode/decode, something previously limited to Apple’s M1 Pro, Max and Ultra models. Apple says this should speed up ProRes video performance by up to 2-3x.

MacBook Air

That’s the new MacBook Air, not a ‘>’ symbol.

The new MacBook Air is entirely redesigned on the outside, adopting a similar aesthetic as Apple’s latest MacBook Pro computers, just in an even smaller form factor. Gone are the days of the sloped design, with a more squared-off shape that measures just 11.3mm thick with a 20% reduction in volume compared to the previous design.

The display is a new 13.6” Liquid Retina Display with the same notch found in Apple’s MacBook Pro computers. It offers up to 500-nits of brightness and supports 1B colors. Inside the notch is a 1080p FaceTime camera and hidden between the keyboard and display is a three-microphone array and four-speaker array for your audio needs.

The computer features Apple’s new MagSafe technology and features three ports: two Thunderbolt 4 ports and one 3.5mm audio port. For the first time in Apple’s MacBook Air lineup, this model now supports fast charging up to 67W, which Apple claims will charge the computer 50% in 30 minutes with a compatible charging block.

The new MacBook Air starts at $1,199, a $200 increase over the $999 entry-level price of the previous model. It will be available in July 2022.

13” MacBook Pro

Although not as significant of an update, Apple has also updated its 13” MacBook Pro with the new M2 chip. This M2 update brings a new 8-core CPU and 10-Core GPU option, as well as the ability to configure it with up to 24GB of unified memory (previous M1 mode3ls were limited to 16GB).

The new 13” MacBook Pro model will start at $1,299 and will be available in July.


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