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Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022)

Apple MacBook Air 13″ (2022) Laptop test

139
laptop

We put the Apple MacBook Air 13″ (2022) through our rigorous DXOMARK Laptop test suite to measure its performance both at sound, camera and display.

In this review, we will break down how it fared in a variety of tests and several common use cases.

Overview

Key specifications include (as given by the manufacturer):

  • Physical specs : 30.41 x 21.5 x 1.13 cm
  • Display : 13.6”, 2560×1664, 500nits, True Tone, P3
  • Audio : Quad speaker, Dolby Atmos, 3-microphone array with beamforming
  • Webcam : FaceTime HD 1080p

Scoring

Use-case and feature subscores included in the calculations of the global score

Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022) Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022)
139
laptop
121
Camera
140
Display
140
Audio
BEST 144

Video Call

121

135

122

139

140

144

BEST 149

Music & Video

140

147

140

152

Pros

  • In video call, camera providing a high level of details, a pleasing color rendering, good dynamic range, and accurate target exposure on faces
  • In video call, in capture, good tonal balance, sharp dynamics and good voice loudness
  • Excellent playback of voices with warm, realistic and intelligible voices
  • Very good HDR rendering with wide gamut, satisfying EOTF and good handling of the limited brightness range
  • Reflectance is well handled overall
  • Excellent dynamics with sharp, precise impacts and strong punch in music & video audio
  • Good audio spatial rendering with wide stereo and good distance rendition

Cons

  • Visible artifacts like ringing, quantization and fringing in most tested conditions
  • Background noises insufficiently attenuated
  • Duplex handling issues with gating

 

With a great performance in both video call and multimedia use cases, the Macbook Air took the second spot on the list of devices tested to date — just below the Macbook Pro and ahead of all Windows laptops.

Test summary

About DXOMARK Laptop tests: For scoring and analysis in our laptop reviews, DXOMARK engineers perform a variety of objective tests and undertake more than 20 hours of perceptual evaluations under controlled lab conditions and real-life scenarios.
(For more details about the  Laptop protocol, click here.)
The following section gathers key elements of our exhaustive tests and analyses performed in DXOMARK laboratories. Detailed performance evaluations under the form of reports are available upon request. Do not hesitate to contact us.

Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022) overall & use-cases scores

Video Call

137

Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022)

144

Apple MacBook Pro 14" (2023)
About DXOMARK Laptop tests

DXOMARK's Video call use case is a score that evaluates how a device handles video calls and videoconferencing in multiple conditions. This score focuses on the camera performance and the capture and playback rendering of voices. Read more about how we test the use cases of Video call score here.

The MacBook Air’s camera produced a nice level of details in all situations, along with pleasing color rendering, good dynamic range in well-lit scenes, and well-handled target exposure on faces. Still, some artifacts such as ringing, quantization, and fringing were visible in most tested conditions. Its audio setup had satisfactory tonal balance and intelligibility for voices, albeit a bit thin-sounding in capture. Background noises were not well attenuated and directivity was not optimal for this use case. For playback, despite a slight lack of low-end, voices sounded clear and natural. The device’s handling of complex duplex situations was not perfect, however, as some gating occurred that impaired voice intelligibility.

Camera

121

Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022)

135

Apple MacBook Pro 14" (2023)

The following chart presents the camera subscores for the video call use case:

Camera scores comparison
Camera texture acutance on Deadleaves with illuminance levels
This graph shows the evolution of texture acutance with the level of lux measured on a Deadleaves chart.

The following graphs show the objective measurements performed in our camera labs:

Camera visual noise evolution with illuminance levels
This graph shows the evolution of spatial visual noise with the level of lux. Spatial visual noise is measured on the visual noise chart in the video noise setup. DXOMARK visual noise measurement is derived from ISO15739 standard.
Target exposure on face with illuminance levels
These measurements take place on a setup combining realistic mannequins and a backlit panel simulating high dynamic range conditions. This graph shows the evolution of lightness measured on the forehead of the realistic mannequin with the level of lux, for multiple lighting conditions. The lightness is measured in L*. Delta EV specifies the difference of luminance in stops between the face and the light panel simulating HDR conditions.
Target exposure on face with illuminance levels in HDR conditions
These measurements take place on a setup combining realistic mannequins and a backlit panel simulating high dynamic range conditions. This graph shows the evolution of lightness measured on the forehead of the realistic mannequin with the level of lux, for multiple lighting conditions. The lightness is measured in L*. Delta EV specifies the difference of luminance in stops between the face and the light panel simulating HDR conditions.
Target exposure on face with illuminance levels in HDR conditions
These measurements take place on a setup combining realistic mannequins and a backlit panel simulating high dynamic range conditions. This graph shows the evolution of lightness measured on the forehead of the realistic mannequin with the level of lux, for multiple lighting conditions. The lightness is measured in L*. Delta EV specifies the difference of luminance in stops between the face and the light panel simulating HDR conditions.

Audio

140

Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022)

144

Apple MacBook Pro 14" (2023)

The following chart presents the capture subscores for the video call use case:

Audio capture scores comparison

The following graphs show the frequency response, distortion and directivity in capture, recorded in our semi-anechoic room:

Audio capture frequency response
A 1/12 octave frequency response graph, which measures the volume of each frequency captured by the laptop when recording an objective test signal at 1 meter in an anechoic environment.
Audio capture Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise
This graph shows the Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise over the hearable frequency range. It represents the distortion and noise of the device capturing our test signal.
Audio capture directivity
Directivity graph of the laptop microphone(s) when capturing test signals using the camera app. It represents the acoustic energy (in dB) over the angle of incidence of the sound source (normalized to the angle 0°, in front of the device).

Music & Video

140

Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022)

149

Apple MacBook Pro 14" (2023)
About DXOMARK Laptop tests

DXOMARK's Video and Music use case score evaluates the capability of a device to reproduce multimedia usages such as videos, movies and music playback in indoor conditions. This score focuses on the display performance and audio-playback rendering. Read more about how we test this use case here.

Though more limited than the Macbook Pro, the Air display handled reflectance well, and showed a wide gamut and satisfying EOTF. Its overall display rendering is warm overall compared to all tested Windows laptops. Its SDR rendering was not perfect though, with warm tones overall and unnatural EOTF. Even though bass lacked some strength, audio rendering for multimedia was good overall, with a satisfying tonal balance overall, sharp attack, and punch. The device provided wide audio, correct distance, and very easily localizable sound sources. It handled artifacts well, too, aside from some slight pumping at loud volumes.

Display

140

Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022)

147

Apple MacBook Pro 14" (2023)

The following chart presents the display subscores for the multimedia use case:

Display scores comparison

The following graphs show the objective measurements performed in our display lab:

Display gamut coverage for video contents
Laptop
Video gamut SDR
Laptop
Video gamut HDR
The primary colors are measured both in HDR10 and SDR. The extracted color gamut shows the extent of the color area that the device can render. To respect the artistic intent, the measured gamut should match the master color space of each video.
Display reflectance measurement (SCI)
Measurements above show the reflection of the device within the visible spectrum range (400 nm to 700 nm). It includes both diffuse and specular reflection.
Display reflectance profile
Display brightness uniformity
0.053
cd/m²
0.052
cd/m²
0.051
cd/m²
0.054
cd/m²
0.054
cd/m²
0.05
cd/m²
0.054
cd/m²
0.055
cd/m²
0.05
cd/m²
Laptop Distribution of brightness (min)
396.6
cd/m²
390.3
cd/m²
392.6
cd/m²
390
cd/m²
403.4
cd/m²
391
cd/m²
377
cd/m²
399.8
cd/m²
376.5
cd/m²
Laptop Distribution of brightness (max)
This illustration shows the brightness measured on nine zones of the display for minimum brightness (left) and maximum brightness (right) for SDR content.
Display SDR EOTF measurement
This graph represents the rendering of contrast (gray levels) for SDR video content, measured in the dark. We expect to be close to the 2.2 or 2.4 gamma references.
Display peak brightness for video contents

Display white point
Laptop
This graph represents the color temperature of white content, compared with the reference (Daylight illuminant D65) measured in the dark on video at minimum and maximum brightness.

Audio

140

Apple MacBook Air 13" (2022)

152

Apple MacBook Pro 14" (2023)

The following chart presents the playback for the multimedia use case:

Audio playback scores comparison

The following graphs show the frequency response, distortion and directivity in multimedia playback, recorded in our semi-anechoic room:

Audio playback frequency response
A 1/12 octave frequency response graph, which measures the volume of each frequency emitted by the smartphone when playing a pure-sine wave in an anechoic environment.
Audio playback Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise

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