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M1 vs. M2 MacBook Air Buyer's Guide: Is It Worth Upgrading? – MacRumors

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Apple’s MacBook Air with the M2 chip comes over a year and a half after its M1-based predecessor. The new device features a complete redesign as well as several important under-the-hood improvements that could make it a major upgrade worth considering for many users, even though it may not be worthwhile for some.


The ‌MacBook Air‌ is often chosen by those who require a portable, more affordable Apple laptop, with the device offering a lightweight design at a price well below the high-end MacBook Pro models. The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ joins the Mac lineup at a $1,199 price point – with the previous M1 model remaining on sale for the same $999 price tag that it debuted with in November 2020.

Whether you are weighing up the upgrade from the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ to the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌, or are in the market for a new ‌MacBook Air‌ and are mulling whether it’s worth saving $200 by buying the ‌M1‌ model, our buyer’s guide helps you to work out which of the two ‌MacBook Air‌ models currently on sale is best for you.

Comparing the M1 and M2 MacBook Air Models

Despite their different designs, there are still a large number of important parallels between the two ‌MacBook Air‌ models:

  • ~13-inch Retina display with P3 wide color and True Tone
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Fanless design with passive cooling
  • Apple silicon chip with 8-core CPU
  • Video encode and decode engines for hardware-accelerated H.264 and HEVC video
  • 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB SSD storage configurations
  • Two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Support for wide stereo sound and Dolby Atmos playback
  • Three-mic array with directional beamforming
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
  • Available in Silver and Space Gray

Beyond their designs, there are crucial differences between the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ and the new, ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌:

Differences


M1 MacBook Air

  • 13.3-inch Retina display (2560 by 1600 pixels)
  • 400 nits brightness
  • Apple ‌M1‌ chip with up to 8-core GPU
  • 68.25GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 8GB and 16GB unified memory configurations
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 49.9-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
  • 30W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Available in Gold

M2 MacBook Air

  • 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display (2560 by 1664 pixels)
  • 500 nits brightness
  • Apple ‌M2‌ chip with up to 10-core GPU
  • ProRes encode and decode engine for hardware-accelerated ProRes and ProRes RAW video
  • 100GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 8GB, 16GB, and 24GB unified memory configurations
  • 1080p ‌FaceTime‌ HD camera
  • Four-speaker sound system
  • 3.5mm headphone jack with advanced support for high-impedance headphones
  • 52.6-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
  • 30W USB-C Power Adapter (with 8-core GPU model) or 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter (with 10-core GPU model)
  • Supports fast charging with 67W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Available in Starlight and Midnight

Design

The most noticeable difference between two ‌MacBook Air‌ models is their design. While the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ mirrors the design of previous models with a tapered, “wedge” design, the ‌M2‌ model takes design cues from the latest 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with a uniform thickness and a flat top with rounded bottom edges.

macbookairthunderboltportsmacbookairthunderboltportsThe tapered design of the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌

It is ultimately a matter of personal preference which design you prefer, but the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ features the exact same design that the device has been sporting since 2018, which itself carried over the tapered style Apple has used since 2010. The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ uses Apple’s latest design language and looks like a much more modern device.

macbook air designmacbook air designThe uniform thickness of the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌

Another design difference worth highlighting is that the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ features a full-height function key row, rather than the ‌M1‌ model’s half-height row, and has a different ‌Touch ID‌ scanner design. The Magic Keyboards are otherwise the same. The full-height function row is unlikely to influence any purchasing decisions, but it is still worth highlighting amid bigger improvements.

macbook air keyboard

macbook air keyboard

Dimensions and Weight

The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ is 0.19 inches (4.8 mm) thinner than the thickest point of the previous model. Both designs have the exact same width, but the ‌M2‌ model is slightly longer. Despite not having a tapered design, the new ‌MacBook Air‌ delivers a 25 percent volume reduction over the previous generation and should feel more slight in the hand.

macbookairclosed 1

macbookairclosed 1
macbook air bodymacbook air body
True to its name, the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ is also 0.1 pounds (45 grams) lighter than the previous model.


M1 MacBook Air

  • Height (at thickest point): 0.63 inches (1.61 cm)
  • Height (at thinnest point): 0.16 inches (0.41 cm)
  • Width: 11.97 inches (30.41 cm)
  • Depth: 8.36 inches (21.24 cm)
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds (1.29 kg)

M2 MacBook Air

  • Height: 0.44 inch (1.13 cm)
  • Width: 11.97 inches (30.41 cm)
  • Depth: 8.46 inches (21.5 cm)
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds (1.24 kg)

While the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ does not deliver a massive change in terms of portability, its reduction in weight and volume are likely to be welcomed by users who often need to carry their device around. The ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ is by no means a large or overly heavy device, but the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ is more likely to fit easily into tight bag compartments and be very slightly less cumbersome. The new design may be more striking and visually appealing, but it is generally not worth buying the latest model purely for better portability.

Color Options

Like many Apple devices, both models are available in Silver and Space Gray. The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ is not available in Gold, but it offers Starlight and Midnight options.

If you have other Apple devices in Starlight and Midnight, such as an iPhone 13, iPad mini or iPad Air, or aluminum Apple Watch Series 7, you may prefer to get the ‌M2‌ model to obtain a matching color. The unique champagne tone of Starlight or the navy-tinted hue of Midnight may also simply be more appealing, but Silver and Space Gray users have no reason to prefer the ‌M2‌ model simply on the basis of color.

Display

Both models feature a high-resolution Retina display with P3 wide color and True Tone, but Apple boasts that the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ features its latest “Liquid Retina display.” This allows it to have slimmer borders, fitting a larger display in a similarly sized device, and the edges of the display curve around the top corners of the lid for a more modern appearance.

m2 macbook air

m2 macbook air
The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌’s display provides an additional 0.3 inches of diagonal space, making slightly more space for on-screen content, and the display can get 25 percent brighter than the ‌M1‌ model, making it better for use outdoors, in direct sunlight, or in bright environments.

The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ features a “notch” to house the ‌FaceTime‌ HD camera that cuts into the top of the display. While the displays feature different resolutions, they have the same 16:10 aspect ratio below the notch, so it should not be an important consideration for most buyers, especially since macOS’s menu bar takes advantage of this additional vertical space on the ‌M2‌ model.

m1 macbook air

m1 macbook air
The ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ still has a more than serviceable LCD Retina display that will meet most customers’ needs. There are few material differences between the displays in terms of specifications that make it worth buying one device over the other or upgrading, but the larger borders around the ‌M1‌ model’s smaller display certainly make it look more dated, which may sway some customers toward the newer model.

M1 vs. M2

One of the most important differences between the current and previous-generation MacBook Airs is their Apple silicon chip. The ‌M1‌ chip, introduced in November 2020, is based on Apple’s A14 Bionic chip. On the other hand, the ‌M2‌ is based on the A15 Bionic chip from the ‌iPhone 13‌.

m2

m2
While both chips feature an eight-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores, the ‌M2‌’s cores offer moderate performance and efficiency improvements and up to two additional GPU cores. Apple says that with the ‌M2‌ chip “intensive workloads like editing complex timelines in Final Cut Pro are nearly 40 percent faster than the previous generation… Applying filters and effects in apps like Adobe Photoshop is up to 20 percent faster than before.”

Like the M1 Pro, the ‌M2‌ features a media engine for hardware-accelerated ProRes and ProRes RAW video encode and decode. On the other hand, the ‌M1‌ chip’s dedicated media engine can only accelerate H.264 and HEVC video. Apple says that this dramatically speeds up video workflows on the latest ‌MacBook Air‌, allowing users to play back up more 4K and 8K streams of video and convert video projects to ProRes considerably faster than before.

For casual users, the ‌M2‌ chip is unlikely to make much difference over the ‌M1‌ chip in day-to-day tasks, with improvements being more noticeable in professional workflows. For more information about the specific differences between the ‌M1‌ and ‌M2‌ chips, see our detailed guide:

Unified Memory

Both the ‌M1‌ and ‌M2‌ are configurable with 8GB or 16GB of unified memory, but the ‌M2‌ offers an additional 24GB top-tier memory option. Multitasking and memory-hungry workflows, such as working with large assets, benefit from the higher memory option as a result.

In addition, the ‌M2‌ has a 100GB/s memory bandwidth, compared to 68.25GB/s with the ‌M1‌, meaning that the latest ‌MacBook Air‌ can access more memory faster.

Camera

The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ includes a new 1080p ‌FaceTime‌ HD camera with twice the resolution and low-light performance of the previous generation, according to Apple. This is sure to substantially improve the video calling experience compared to the 720p camera of the ‌M1‌ model.

Speakers

The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ offers a four-speaker sound system integrated between the keyboard and the display, which Apple says “produce improved stereo separation and vocal clarity.” The ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ retains a stereo speaker setup, which is likely to be good enough for most users. Both devices support wide stereo sound and Dolby Atmos playback.

Ports and Charging

The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ ups the device’s audio credentials further with support for high-impedance headphones like the high-end 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, which could be an important upgrade for some audio professionals.

macbook air ports

macbook air ports
More noticeable is the presence of a MagSafe port on the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌, allowing users to connect and release the charging cable from their ‌MacBook Air‌ more easily – especially if the charging cable is accidentally pulled, and see an LED indicator for the device’s charging status.

Both models feature two Thunderbolt ports, so there is no outright difference when it comes to connecting accessories, but it is worth noting that the ‌MagSafe‌ port on the ‌M2‌ model effectively frees up a Thunderbolt port for accessories that would otherwise need to be used for charging.

Though the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ comes with a larger, 52.6-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, both devices have the same 18-hour battery life. When using a 67W USB-C Power Adapter, the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ supports fast charging.

‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ models configured with the 10-core GPU option come with a 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter, rather than the one-port 30W USB-C Power Adapter that comes with the ‌M1‌ model and base ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ model.

Final Thoughts

In some senses, the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ is similar to its predecessor, with the same Magic Keyboard and Force Touch trackpad, two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, a passive cooling system, and 18-hour battery life. The devices have a similar footprint, Retina display around 13 inches in size, up to 2TB of storage, can hardware-accelerate H.264 and HEVC video, and come with a 30W charger as standard.

That being said, there is no doubt that the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ delivers a major redesign. Its uniform thickness, reduced volume and weight, larger display with slimmer borders, and full-height function row are sure to make for a more modern appearance. Yet there are also practical improvements such as the ‌MagSafe‌ port, fast charging, brighter display, 1080p ‌FaceTime‌ HD camera, and four-speaker sound system that meaningfully improve the user experience in many areas.

For these reasons, if choosing between buying the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ or the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌, it is worth spending the additional $200 for the ‌M2‌ model’s new design, better performance, and across-the-board improvements. That being said, if price is an issue, the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ is still a very capable machine with plenty of similarities to the latest model.

Given that it has only been 18 months since Apple launched the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ and the ‌M1‌ chip continues to be offered in the ‌iPad Air‌, iPad Pro, Mac mini, and iMac, the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ will not be worth it for all users coming directly from the previous model. Some ‌MacBook Air‌ customers may wish to wait longer in between upgrades for even bigger changes.

When considering an upgrade from the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ to the ‌M2‌ model, users should weigh up how much they would utilize specific improvements. The ‌M2‌ chip is unlikely to eclipse the ‌M1‌ for everyday users, but for some workflows, it could offer real enhancements. For example, the ‌M2‌’s ProRes encode and decode engine, 100GB/s memory bandwidth, and 24GB memory option may make it a much more powerful device for professionals.

‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ users who need more than 16GB of memory, make lots of video calls, or even those who are prone to accidentally tugging on their charging cable should consider upgrading. The combined advancements of the new design, ‌M2‌ chip, four-speaker system, larger display, and faster charging make switching the ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ for the ‌M2‌ model a more worthwhile action than many other generation-over-generation upgrades.

The ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ may be best suited to those who are first-time ‌MacBook Air‌ buyers or are upgrading from an older machine, rather than 2020’s ‌M1‌ model. Nevertheless, the ‌M2‌ ‌MacBook Air‌ is a significantly more appealing overall package with significant improvements in almost all areas, making it a justifiable upgrade for almost everyone.

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Some Google Pixels received an Android 12 update instead of Android 13 – MobileSyrup

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It wouldn’t be a major Google software release if there wasn’t something that went wrong.

Google started pushing the stable Android 13 update to Pixel devices on August 15th, and already some users have encountered an issue. For some Pixel devices, the latest update is actually to Android 12, not version 13. Several reports have emerged on Twitter and the r/GooglePixel subreddit about users receiving a 2GB Android 12 update on their Pixel phone.

Per Android Police, some brave users took a risk and installed the mystery Android 12 update and claimed it simply re-installed the Android 12 update and seemingly didn’t bump the OS build number.

Other users noted they initially received the Android 13 upgrade but weren’t able to update right away. When they went back to download the new software a few hours later, the Android 12 update had replaced it. Moreover, some users who installed the Android 12 update were able to download the Android 13 update after.

Screenshot credit: u/fooldomus

Android Police notes the issues seems to primarily impact the Pixel 6, Pixel 4a and Pixel 5a (which isn’t available in Canada). Overall, the problem doesn’t seem that widespread, but it still impacted a bunch of Pixel users.

If you’re in the same boat with an Android 12 update on your Pixel, you might be able to trigger the Android 13 update by rebooting the device. If that doesn’t work, you’ll just need to wait for Google to fix the problem on its end unless you’re brave enough to redownload Android 12.

Source: Twitter, Reddit, (2) Via: Android Police

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Why is ArriveCan still mandatory, and what is Ottawa’s plan for the contentious app?

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OTTAWA — The glitch-prone app touted as an efficient border tool early in the pandemic has become a punching bag for critics who question its utility ⁠ — but ArriveCan may be here to stay.

The government insists it’s a useful tool. Critics say it has outlived its use, if it ever had one.

Here’s a quick lowdown on what we currently know about it.

What is ArriveCan?

The app was introduced early in the pandemic and its use has been mandatory at air and land borders since February 2021 with exceptions in cases of accessibility issues or outages.

ArriveCan ostensibly screens incoming travellers for COVID-19 and for the last year tracked their vaccination status. Refusing to use the app to provide required information can result in a fine of up to $5,000 under the Quarantine Act.

Has the app done what it was supposed to do?

A December 2021 report from the federal auditor general said the ArriveCan app improved the quality of information the government collected on travellers. But poor data quality still meant that almost 138,000 COVID-19 test results couldn’t be matched to incoming travellers, and only 25 per cent of travellers told to quarantine in government-authorized hotels were verified to have stayed in them.

Last month, due to a glitch, ArriveCan instructed about 10,200 travellers to quarantine for 14 days when they didn’t have to. Bianca Wylie, a partner at Digital Public, questioned why the app would be automating those decisions in the first place, rather than sticking to the information-collection mandate it was launched with.

Is the app only about COVID-19?

Recent government updates to do with the app have focused on efficiencies rather than on public health measures. At air border crossings, it is now possible, though optional, to use the app to fill out a customs declaration form before arrival at Toronto’s Pearson airport, Vancouver or Montreal.

Last week the government said it planned to expand that optional feature to air arrivals in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec City, Halifax and the Billy Bishop Toronto City airport.

In a statement earlier this month that focused on Canada’s broader air travel fiasco, Transport Canada said those who use the forms cut their time at kiosks down by a third. That’s 40 seconds off the average two-minute visit, which the government estimates could “save hours in wait time” if everyone used it.

Are apps the way of the future for air travel?

Electronic data collection related to COVID-19 has been mandatory at many international borders, and online forms are increasingly being used for non-pandemic reasons. Australia handles its electronic travel authorizations exclusively via app, while an online authorization form will be required to visit the European Union starting next year.

Canadian officials haven’t gone so far as to say that they’re planning something similar. But Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters in June that while ArriveCan was created for COVID-19, “it has technological capacity beyond that to really shrink the amount of time that is required when you’re getting screened at the border.”

Before the pandemic, Canada had already started digitizing its border services with other initiatives, including installing customs kiosks at major airports starting in 2017 and introducing an eDeclaration app in 2018, which still exists, to cut down processing times.

Wylie said people were not using that app at a high volume before the pandemic, because it was voluntary and there were easy alternatives. But she said Ottawa has been using COVID-19 as an opportunity to speed up the transition.

“The federal government has been using a public health crisis to basically train people in a border modernization exercise that they have wanted to do,” Wylie said, adding that modernization initiatives are fine as long as they are voluntary and alternatives are available.

How has the app affected travel across the land border?

About a quarter of people who cross into Canada from the U.S. by car don’t use ArriveCan in advance, according to Pierre St-Jacques, a spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Union.

At the Canada-U. S. land border, a one-time exemption is in place for travellers who “may have been unaware” of the rules, the Canadian Border Services Agency confirmed. Out of five million crossings between May 24 and Aug. 4, the exemption was used 308,800 times, CBSA said in a statement.

But that’s just a temporary fix, St-Jacques said, as officers who already feel spread thin because of staffing shortages find themselves acting as “IT consultants” and troubleshooting travellers’ technical issues rather than doing what they’re trained to do. “If the goal of the app is to make cross-border travel more efficient or more secure, well, it doesn’t work in its current iteration,” he said.

Border town mayors, border-city chambers of commerce and even duty-free stores have complained publicly that they think ArriveCan, along with other pandemic border restrictions, have been a deterrent to American tourists.

Why has ArriveCan become such a hot political topic?

Whether because Canadians are annoyed about the extra hassle, concerned about their privacy, sympathetic to border towns or simply fed up with the federal Liberals, Conservatives have an audience for their calls to eliminate ArriveCan.

Canadian acting darling Simu Liu joined the “scrap the app” bandwagon, challenging his followers to say a single nice thing about it in a tweet Tuesday, then saying immediately: “I failed the challenge.”

Interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen said in a tweet Tuesday that ArriveCan created “unnecessary hurdles” and “only serves to hurt Canada’s economy and tourism industry.”

Some voices have gone a step further in claiming that the app is part of a broader effort to collect personal information and control the public. Conservative leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis called the whole thing a “surveillance experiment.”

The privacy commissioner is also investigating a complaint about the app’s collection and use of personal data.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022.

— With files from Sarah Ritchie

 

Marie-Danielle Smith, The Canadian Press

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Asmongold calls out Blizzard after brief WoW ban: “You obviously f**ked up” – Dexerto

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Asmongold was recently banned from World of Warcraft for a brief period but was quickly allowed back in the game after Blizzard overturned the initial suspension.

In a recent YouTube video, Asmongold described his banning from World of Warcraft as a “glorious day.” During this video, the popular content creator began by recounting the events leading up to the moment he found out he had been banned from playing Blizzard’s hit MMO.

“I go to log on to World of Warcraft and it tells me this: Blizzard account has been suspended.” Jokingly, Asmon then added, “they shut me down, rightfully so.” He then went on to address Blizzard directly and offer up his thanks for what he clearly believed was an error on their behalf.

“I wanna say thank you, Blizzard, this is gonna be great clickbait on YouTube. You obviously f***ed up and didn’t mean to suspend me but that doesn’t mean my editors aren’t gonna farm this out for viewers on YouTube. Thank you, Blizzard.”

He then went on to read out an email from the devs, explaining why he was banned from World of Warcraft for allegedly engaging with real money transactions (RMT). However, Asmon was quick to shut down the idea that he had done any RMT trading in the video, which appeared to be the reasoning for his banning.

Asmon then called out Blizzard for their recent string of banning players for supposedly unsubstantiated reasons or banning players and then quickly overturning the decision. He did this by reading out tweets from other content creators as well as community members who have found themselves in similar situations when playing World of Warcraft.

Following his video, the World of Warcraft community on Reddit have shown their support for the content creator as well as also voicing their disappointment at Blizzard for banning Asmongold and others and then quickly backflipping after realising it was a mistake.

For all the latest on Asmongold, check out Dexerto’s full coverage here.

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