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Preorders for Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air opened this morning on schedule, and not surprisingly, the affordable new MacBook has proven to be so popular that shipping dates for most configurations have already slipped into August.
Preorders went online at 5 a.m. PT this morning, and it took only a few minutes for the initial stock to sell out.
By 5:05, the one-week shipping estimate that would have had a new MacBook Air in your hands by next Friday had moved to as late as July 25.
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While the entry-level $1,199 MacBook Air hasn’t slipped back too far — you can probably still get your hands on one and have it arrive between July 18–25, the higher-end $1,499 configuration has proven to be much more popular. As of this writing, shipping times are moving well into August.
However, the good news is that those dates are the same even if you choose a configure-to-order (CTO) option, such as upgrading the memory to 16GB or 24GB or putting in a larger SSD.
If you’re in a hurry to get your hands on Apple’s new MacBook Air, you can likely still do better if you’re not fussy about color choices. The Midnight $1,499 MacBook Air appears to be the most popular over at Apple.com; however, the Space Grey version is still estimated to arrive on July 15.
Oddly, Starlight and Silver land in the middle, with shipping dates of July 18–25 and July 25–August 1, respectively.
Things are more balanced with the $1,199 base model, with all four colors showing arrival dates between July 18 and July 25.
All those dates will likely change as preorders continue throughout the day. However, if you live near an Apple Store or other Apple retailer, you can probably still get your hands on any of the standard new MacBook Air configurations simply by showing up in person next Friday.
If you want to upgrade the memory or SSD, you’ll still need to go through Apple’s online store and wait until at least early August for delivery.
No matter how far back the ship dates get pushed, Apple always sets aside stock for walk-in customers at its retail stores and provides stock to other big-box retailers like Best Buy. Unlike the iPhone launch days of old, there aren’t likely to be any huge lineups at Apple Stores next Friday, so picking one up in person isn’t likely to be a problem.
Meanwhile, there are no shortages of Apple’s 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro, which can be ordered online and delivered in as little as two hours if you live in a major urban area or by Monday to just about anywhere else in the United States.
That’s not surprising since Apple’s M2 MacBook Pro is an odd duck that’s really hard to recommend to most folks. It barely deserves the name “Pro” anymore, and, other than the new M2 chip, it features specs identical to its 2020 M1 predecessor.
By contrast, the M2 MacBook Air features an all-new design, a slightly larger screen, a 1080p FaceTime camera, and the MagSafe connector that Apple introduced with the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro lineup last fall.
The base model is $100 less than the entry-level MacBook Pro, although you’d need to step up to the $1,499 model to get comparable specs, as the M2 chip on the most affordable MacBook Air has two fewer GPU cores.
Still, with so many improvements on the new MacBook Air, the only reason to opt for the M2 MacBook Pro is if you love the Touch Bar or really need the sustained performance provided by the built-in fan. For everyone else, the M2 MacBook Air is the better deal, and based on the demand and stock levels we’re seeing, most consumers get that.