New M2 Chip Makes Macs Harder to Resist

Tech Check: two M2-powered laptops, a tiny new desktop workstation, and a monitor that reaches new heights.

If you have some spare cash to spend on tech this month, you could get yourself the brand new gold-plated Sony Walkman for $3700. (Yes, you read those words right, and no, it’s not 1989.)

Or, you could use that money on something useful instead. Here are a few better options.

M2? Don’t Mind If I Do

The new Apple M2 SoC. (Source: Apple.)

The new Apple M2 SoC. (Source: Apple.)

At its annual worldwide developer conference (WWDC) this month, Apple announced the successor to the M1 system-on-chip (SoC), its first foray into custom silicon for its Mac product line. The aptly named M2 chip consists of 20 billion transistors, 25 percent more than the M1.

Compared to the original, the M2 has an 18 percent faster CPU, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine, according to Apple.

Apple is debuting the M2 in two laptops: a refresh of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and a redesign of the MacBook Air. While the 13-inch MacBook Pro seems destined for obscurity (despite the new internals, its dated design lags behind the modern Mac aesthetic), the MacBook Air appears better than ever. It’s got a larger 13.6-inch display and weighs an impressive 2.7 pounds. So confident is Apple in the thermal performance of the M2 chip that the new Air does not even include a fan.

The new M2-powered MacBook Air. (Source: Apple.)

The new M2-powered MacBook Air. (Source: Apple.)

Macs have never been too popular among engineers, but rave reviews of the M1 caused some of us to reconsider the stigma. Whether you adore or abhor Apple, you must admit that their SoCs are intriguing.

The M2-powered MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro will be available in July starting at $1,199 and $1,299, respectively.

A Gallon of Workstation

Sometimes you need to think small to think big. That’s what Lenovo has done with its newest ThinkStation, a desktop workstation with a “never-before-seen form factor,” according to Lenovo.

The ThinkStation P360 Ultra is a compact computer in a 3.9-liter chassis, not even big enough to hold a gallon of milk. The P360 Ultra is less than half the size of Lenovo’s previous small form factor (SFF) workstation, the 8.2-liter ThinkStation P350 SFF.

The new Lenovo ThinkStation P360 Ultra listening to Radiohead, probably. (Source: Lenovo.)

The new Lenovo ThinkStation P360 Ultra listening to Radiohead, probably. (Source: Lenovo.)

The tiny new workstation packs a big punch, offering 12th-Gen Intel Core processors, from i3 to i9 and 35W to 125W, maxing out with 16 cores and a 5.2GHz clock. The ThinkStation P360 Ultra can be configured with desktop graphics up to the NVIDIA RTX A2000 or, in an interesting crossover, with mobile graphics up to the NVIDIA RTX A5000. Lenovo says it worked closely with NVIDIA to develop a custom board to house and cool the mobile RTX A5000.

The ThinkStation P360 Ultra also boasts an “industry-first” design that places the motherboard in the middle of the tiny chassis, with processors on one side, storage on the other, and memory on both (it can be configured with up to 128GB DDR5 4000MHz memory via 4 SODIMM slots and 8TB of PCIe Gen 4 storage via two M.2 slots). Each side benefits from dedicated airflow for thermal dissipation.

The double-sided motherboard of the ThinkStation P360 Ultra slides out from the chassis for easy access. (Source: Lenovo.)

The double-sided motherboard of the ThinkStation P360 Ultra slides out from the chassis for easy access. (Source: Lenovo.)

The ThinkStation P360 Ultra will be available this month from a starting price of $1,299.

It’s Hip to Be Square-ish

LG has announced the availability of its unique DualUp Monitor, a 28-inch display that stacks two standard 16:9 screens on top of one another to create a freakishly tall 16:18 screen.

While other extra-large monitors extend sideways, some even curving in towards the user, the DualUp Monitor stretches skyward. For smaller desks, it’s a space-efficient way to add an extra screen.

The LG DualUp Monitor. (Source: LG.)

The LG DualUp Monitor. (Source: LG.)

Despite its fresh form factor, the specs of the LG DualUp Monitor leave something to be desired. The display offers a respectable 2560×2880 resolution—christened Square Double Quad HD by LG—but its typical brightness is a somewhat dim 300 nits (the new M2 MacBook Air, in contrast, claims 500 nits of brightness). The monitor supports up to 98 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut with LG’s Nano IPS display technology. The screen’s refresh rate is 60Hz.

LG first showcased the DualUp at CES 2022 earlier this year, where it took home a CES Innovation Honoree Award. (Don’t be too impressed; it was one of 545 winners.) LG has now released the DualUp for purchase, and like the monitor itself, the price is a bit high: $699.

Written by

Michael Alba

Michael is a senior editor at He covers computer hardware, design software, electronics, and more. Michael holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta.