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Apple’s new MacBook Air: Is it worth it?

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Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley joins the Live show to review Apple’s latest MacBook Air model.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Let's bring in Dan Howley. And Dan, the question here, as always, any time we get an announcement from Apple, is, is this the time to upgrade?

DAN HOWLEY: Mm-hmm, that's right. So we have the new MacBook Air. It's replacing the old MacBook Air, obviously. This is coming out for preorder tomorrow on Friday. So it's a good time to just kind of go over what it has to offer and whether or not you should do that preorder. And so just to give you an idea, this is a completely redesigned version of the MacBook Air. This has a completely new chassis. It has Apple's latest piece of silicon, the M2 chip, upgrade from the M1 chip. Well, nice little naming convention they got there.

It also has a larger display and a better screen. So it's a liquid retina display. It also has a MagSafe charger, better FaceTime camera at 1080p, and you can get up to 24 gigabytes of RAM and 2 terabytes of storage. So basically, this thing can be a pretty big beast. Now, the tradeoff is it's an extra $200 from the standard MacBook Air. And the MacBook Air is really the go-to. It's the volume seller laptop because of that $999 price tag.

So let's go over what that one has to offer. Yes, it doesn't have the new design. It does have the last generation M1 chip. Still a really beefy processor, right? Beat out Intel's chips at the time. Intel doesn't really release chips as often as Apple might, which is kind of why Apple wanted to move away from it. It does have a slightly, slightly smaller display. The new one has 13.6 inches. This one has 13.3 inches. You can notice it side by side, but in reality, it's not really going to get you much.

It has a 720p FaceTime camera. You're not going to look that good compared to, say, taking a selfie on your iPhone. So hopefully that improves with the new 2022 version. And you do get less RAM. The other thing is, it doesn't have that MagSafe charger. So it's the same thing as this MacBook Pro. If I have my charger plugged in and I take a walk, and my cable's in the way, this whole thing is going on the floor. If I have-- I almost dropped it on the floor.

If I have a MacBook Air with the MagSafe charger, this generation's, it'll just pull out. So it's a big improvement there, just for the convenience factor of having that. I think overall, if you don't have a laptop right now, and you're willing to spend that $1,200-- let's face it, it's $1,199, so it's $1,200-- I would probably go for the new Air. But when you start to really tack on the extra features, the extra RAM, the extra storage, it starts getting pretty pricey.

AKIKO FUJITA: How many people actually need that, though?

BRIAN CHEUNG: And I was going to say, and then when does the gap get close to just want to buy a regular MacBook Pro?

DAN HOWLEY: I think at-- once you start-- yeah, if you're going to go for the base version of the M2 version, you might as well just get the older one, because you're really going to get the same essential performance, more or less. It's not going to, like, blow you out of the water. It's not going to be the difference between the M1 and the Intel chip at the time, right? That was huge. I mean, the battery life on that thing was bonkers. It's not going to be that much different. You're going to get some performance upgrades, sure. But I think for the average person, the $999 is still a great value. Now if you're bougie like me and you need the best thing at the best time--

AKIKO FUJITA: You're a tech reporter.


AKIKO FUJITA: You need to have the best.

BRIAN CHEUNG: You have to be, yeah.

DAN HOWLEY: I'm also just a baby, so I want the top of the line. So I'll spend the extra cash. But I think for most people, $999 is where you go.

AKIKO FUJITA: So, Dan and I were having a conversation about this yesterday. You have a MacBook.

DAN HOWLEY: Mm-hmm, this is the Pro.



AKIKO FUJITA: Right? Your phone?

BRIAN CHEUNG: You got the whole suite.

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, but what do you use? Because I use my iPad way more than I use my laptop.

DAN HOWLEY: I just never use--

BRIAN CHEUNG: I actually use my laptop more.


BRIAN CHEUNG: I'm not huge on the iPad.

DAN HOWLEY: No, same thing. You get a little bit of that.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah, I got to have the tactical keyboard.

AKIKO FUJITA: Oh, I love my iPad.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, I do-- I use the iPad just for streaming. Like, it's streaming Mets games. And then when they start losing, just throw it across the room.

AKIKO FUJITA: Now is the time to talk about the Mets, right now.

BRIAN CHEUNG: That's when he has to refresh.

DAN HOWLEY: Hey, I'm saying, the Mets are going all the way. The Mets are going all the way, all right?

AKIKO FUJITA: OK, all right.

BRIAN CHEUNG: It's looking pretty good.

AKIKO FUJITA: What is it right now? June 16.

DAN HOWLEY: Dodgers aren't going anywhere.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Coming up on the other side of the break, we'll do a final check of the markets on the other side. Thanks so much, Dan.