Update: Don’t look now – well, actually, look – because our US editor-in-chief has just tweeted some pictures (opens in new tab) of a rather prominent mark on the chassis of a silver MacBook Air. Is it possible that wear and tear concerns could extend beyond late midnight? We’ll keep an eye on how this develops for sure.
The original story follows below…
The M2 MacBook Air has a new issue, following concerns about its cooling system, with complaints now being aired about a specific color of Apple’s new laptop.
This refers to the Midnight paint job, which appears to be more prone to showing fingerprints and, much more worryingly, scratches.
As signaled by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) and several YouTubers, including Marquis Brownlee (opens in new tab), Technology Zone (opens in new tab) and iCaveDave (opens in new tab)the midnight finish is supposedly easily scratched.
Scratches are mostly being observed on the edges of the USB-C ports and around the perimeter of the trackpad, the latter being a discovery by 9to5Mac itself, and is a little more concerning (see image below).
What’s going on here? This is basically a risk of having an aluminum chassis and something that has been seen previously with MacBooks. However, with a silver or gray MacBook – the most common used and full-bodied color schemes – these nicks and scratches don’t show up visibly.
The problem comes because the new midnight color is obviously a very dark paint job, and so a scratch that exposes the silver from the aluminum below is such a contrast that it’s much more visible.
Analysis: Paint anything but black?
Perhaps this is why MacBooks traditionally cling to silver and gray or similar color schemes in general. Whatever the case in that regard, having chosen to offer a midnight color with the M2 MacBook Air, you would assume that Apple would have thoroughly tested these scratch-related issues and ensured that the finish on top of the aluminum was up to a good wear pattern.
True, the photographic and video evidence of scratches provided online indicates relatively minor flaws, particularly for the ports (minus the trackpad, perhaps). But the problem is that this is after having the shiny new MacBook Air for a very short period of time. What could be the cumulative effect of all those little scratches after months, or even years? We just don’t know.
While the Air benefits from a MagSafe port, which should be less troublesome, in terms of scratches, than USB-C ports for the not-so-firm out there, it can even suffer some chipping in the long run. Additionally, YouTuber iCaveDave anticipates potential issues with the indentation on the front of the trackpad, where you lift the lid to open the laptop, which has a few sharp points on either end – and these can be subject to wear and tear that show the aluminum underneath.
For the moment, this remains more of a case of feedback from reviewers than owners, and we’ll have to see how the situation develops; but from the looks of it, we hope to hear more about it as several YouTubers are already discussing it. Some commentators on 9to5Mac have already flagged problems, including one person who claims his Midnight MacBook Air came ‘pre-scratched’ with a chip in the upper-right corner of the keyboard.
If you’re worried about that, you can always get a case for your MacBook Air M2 – not that there’s any available just yet, and of course that won’t help when it comes to plugging things in and out of the ports or opening the lid, and so on. on.
Through tone guide (opens in new tab)