The Apple MacBook Air has enjoyed its time in the sun for the past few years, but while its M1 model truly deserves to be one of the best laptops you can buy right now, that doesn't mean it's without flaws. . In fact, I'm a little irritated that one of its biggest issues has yet to be addressed in its recently announced model update.
The M2 SoC (System-on-a-chip) was finally revealed at WWDC on June 6, along with the announcement that an updated model of the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro would be the first two Apple products. to show up new silicone. . Both laptops have been highly anticipated, especially with all the talk surrounding the possibility of a retro-inspired comeback for the series that would feature a choice of colorful chassis options.
Sadly, that hasn't been revealed (but don't ignore it for now), so while I can joke about being too bitter about not being able to buy a shiny new M2-powered MacBook Air in orange or green (or purple if you're our IT editor John Loeffler), there's a real reason I'm still reluctant to start saving the money I find stashed in my couch.
While the most rugged 14-inch MacBook Pro models with an M1 Max can support up to three external displays at up to 6K resolution and one additional external display at up to 4K resolution at 60Hz, devices using the base version of the M1 chip only support a single display with a resolution of up to 6K@60Hz.
It's something that has yet to be scaled up despite all the M2 chip's supposed performance improvements over its predecessor, and frankly, it's not enough to meet my productivity demands.
you keep me here apple
MacBook Air powered by M2 hands-on at WWDC. (Image credit: Future)
I'll admit I'm a screen enthusiast - the more screens I can have in my setup, the more productive I'll be, and while the number will vary for each person, I like to use my two 27” monitors along with the smaller integrated screen. from whatever laptop you've plugged them into to use them as a trio.
Limiting the MacBook Air to a single external display is an odd move and I don't imagine Apple has done to intentionally hamper the device, but it still looks like the fruit-themed tech giant might have developed a way to extend it natively.
Instead, if you're set on buying a MacBook Air M1 and running two displays on it, you'll need to purchase a third-party Thunderbolt hub or dock, and even then you'll need to download the correct drivers to make your laptop recognize the additional displays. It can be frustrating to set up, especially if you're not very tech-savvy and using multiple monitors and cheap MacBooks is far from uncommon in office environments.
Was it really that hard to make the MacBook Air M2 support dual external displays? Not everyone will need something as powerful as a 6K monitor and would rather be better off with 1080p or 1440p resolutions, especially since the Air is Apple's cheapest laptop offering (well, budget for Apple) and tends to be popular with students. and young professionals who may not have the funds to buy larger, higher-end screens.
Apple claimed during its June 6 keynote that the MacBook Air is the best-selling laptop in the world, and its placement on our own list of the best laptops certainly supports that claim, but I can't dwell on just one. use an extra. computer. display. My overall productivity would plummet, and I feel like I'm not alone in saying this was a particular disappointment when reviewing the device's specs.
Hopefully, this is something that can be fixed at a later date, even if it forces Apple to release a specialized docking station that will almost certainly come at a famous price. For now, I'm hoping we'll have a variety of rainbow color options for the next 16-inch MacBook Pro update, so I can enjoy a candy orange laptop next to my living room wall.