Apple’s launch of the new Macbook Air was highly anticipated, mainly for two reasons: its long-awaited new design and the introduction of the M2, the next generation of Apple’s M chip. As expected, the reviews for the M2 Macbook Air have been positive, with Macworld’s Petter Ahrnstedt writing “The Macbook Air M2 is an awfully good computer. It’s the perfect computer for basically anyone who doesn’t need to do heavy 3d rendering or compile millions of lines of code”.
But the praise for the Macbook Air has been overshadowed by reports of throttled performance. Article after article warns of “performance loss”, that the speed is throttled and that it “can’t handle the heat”. Video after video shows what is supposed to be wrong. This may lead some to question whether it is worth the money and how Apple really thinks.
Here’s the thing: we’ve been here before. When the new M1 Macbook Air was introduced, in 2020, it made big headlines with its astonishing performance compared to Intel-equipped computers, as well as the downclocking required to avoid overheating during more demanding work. In fact, heat has always been a problem for the Macbook Air even before Apple’s M1.
It’s the same story – just different years. Why is it news again? Why didn’t Apple fix the problem? The answer is simple and lies in the Macbook Air’s intended users.
Use the right tool for the job
Macbook Air has no fans. It’s a passively cooled computer, meaning it doesn’t use any hardware for active cooling. This is intentional and part of the design, so that the Macbook Air can be thinner than the Macbook Pro. If the Macbook Air gets too hot, it will throttle performance to maintain proper operating temperature. Thats how it is.
The Macbook Air is also Apple’s most popular laptop because it’s the company’s most affordable. The price attracts what we call “regular” users, thos