What Apple isn’t telling you about their new laptop
If you believe the hype, the new 15-inch MacBook Air will sell like hotcakes. People love big screens, and it’s priced to sell.
The 15-inch MacBook Air starts at $1,299, $200 more than the 13-inch MacBook Air. It has a bigger screen, more battery life, better speakers, and a larger touchpad.
However, those are not the only advantages you get when you purchase a 15-inch M2 MacBook Air. In fact, some may argue that the 15-inch version is a better value than the 13-inch version. Here’s why.
The new 15-inch MacBook Air has a number of advantages over the existing 13-inch model. One of those advantages is GPU cores.
The entry-level, 13-inch, M2 MacBook Air comes with eight CPU cores and eight GPU. For an additional $100, you can upgrade the M2 chip to have ten GPU cores, but eight is what you get as standard.
The entry-level, 15-inch, M2 MacBook Air comes with eight CPU cores and ten GPU cores as standard. It sells for $1,299 which is only $100 more than the 13-inch version with the same chip.
Another interesting divergence from the 13-inch MacBook Air can be found in the choice of power adapters.
If you buy a 13-inch M2 MacBook Air, it comes with a 30W USB-C power adapter. However, for an additional $20, you can upgrade to a 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter or select the 70W USB-C Power Adapter for fast charging.
The 15-inch, M2 MacBook Air comes with a 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter as standard, and if you prefer the 70W USB-C Power Adapter, you can choose that instead at no additional cost.
This is not the kind of behaviour we have come to expect from Apple, but it’s a welcome change nonetheless.
There was a lot of speculation about what the pricing of the 15-inch MacBook Air would be, and few predicted that it would be as low as it is.
The price of the entry-level, 15-inch, M2 MacBook Air starts at $1,299 on Apple’s website. However, this popular laptop is already seeing discounts on Amazon, where it can currently be bought for $1,199.
That’s $100 off the retail price, and only $100 more than the entry-level MacBook Air. If you are trying to decide between the 13 and the 15-inch model, that discount makes the 15-inch a lot more compelling.
If you missed the Amazon sale price, consider the Apple Education Store. It also has the 15–inch, M2 MacBook Air for $1,199, and is available to current and newly accepted college students and their parents, as well as faculty, staff, and homeschool teachers of all grade levels.
The Best Value Apple Computer?
So, with all this in mind, does the 15–inch, M2 MacBook Air offer the best value in the current Mac lineup?
I think it’s up there in terms of everything that it offers, but to my eyes, the M2 Mac Mini is the king of the hill. An entry-level M2 Mac Mini with eight CPU cores and ten GPU cores is just $499.
Obviously, a desktop is not nearly as flexible as a laptop, but if you truly want value for money, it’s hard to look past the M2 Mac Mini.