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Apple’s M2 MacBook Air costs less than $1,000 for the first time

Apple’s M2 MacBook Air costs less than $1,000 for the first time

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Today’s roundup also includes deals on Kinesis split ergonomic keyboards at Drop and a fun way to improve the audio and comfort of your Quest 2 headset.

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The 2022 MacBook Air laptop with the M2 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage is now $999 at Amazon (in the starlight color, which will arrive after Christmas) and B&H Photo. This is the first time that its starting price has sunk below the $1,000 mark, which is $50 less than it usually costs on a deal. Compared to the 2020 version that impressed us with its smooth performance and long battery life, this newer laptop has those qualities and an assortment of other selling points. Its design is thinner and lighter and its 13.6-inch screen is bigger and sharper, housing a much-improved webcam in its center notch. Like the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, it uses the convenient MagSafe magnetic charging port.

This laptop is great in many ways; however, my colleague Dan Seifert noted in his review that this entry model with 256GB of storage is slower to transfer files than the 512GB version (not to mention slower than the last-gen M1 models at file transfer). An Apple spokesperson claimed that it performs better than last-gen models with its M2 processor in “real world activities,” despite the storage in this 256GB model being slower in our testing.

$999

The redesigned MacBook Air is a thin, lightweight device powered by Apple’s latest chip. The M2 model also touts a 1080p webcam and a better display than its predecessor, while retaining features like long battery life and MagSafe charging.

If you’ve been looking for a split keyboard that can provide some ergonomic benefits, Drop has discounted several models and accessories from Kinesis, which makes good gear that several Verge staffers can vouch for. The sale will end early Thursday morning (December 15th).

The star of the sale is the Freestyle Edge split keyboard with Cherry MX mechanical switches, customizable RGB lighting, and macro key settings. Normally $219, the Cherry MX Blue model costs $150 instead of $219. The Cherry MX Brown and Red models cost $175, while the Cherry MX Speed option is $185. I currently own this model, and it’s great for typing and gaming alike. It comes with wrist rests, but if you want to angle the halves for greater comfort, you’ll need this V3 Pro kit that costs $20 at Drop.

$150

The Freestyle Edge RGB is Kinesis’ split keyboard that’s made for gaming. It uses Cherry MX mechanical switches, each of which are backlit with customizable RGB lighting. The two modules can be separated up to 20 inches to make room for your HOTAS setup, microphone, or other peripherals, like a Stream Deck.

For something quieter and smaller, the Freestyle Pro Quiet is $125 instead of $179. It has fewer keys than the Edge and has Cherry MX Quiet Red keys. If you get this one and want some wrist support and the ability to angle the keyboard halves for more comfort, you’ll need the VIP3 Pro kit that contains them, which costs $50 at Drop (usually $53).

You can read more about why the Freestyle Pro landed a spot in my colleague Jon Porter’s roundup of the best mechanical keyboards.

$125

The Kinesis Freestyle Pro Quiet is a great split keyboard option, which allows you to keep your arms in a more neutral position while typing. It’s not hot-swappable, but it has an easier to learn layout and more affordable price than other ergonomic options.

There’s a fun way to improve the audio quality and the comfort of your Meta Quest 2 VR headset. The HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap is a key ingredient in this workaround, and it’s $59.99, which is $20 off its normal price at Amazon. You’ll need that and one of these $14.59 Frankenquest 2 adapters to let the strap — made for an HTC Vive headset, if you didn’t guess from the name — attach to your Quest 2. Then, it’s as simple as plugging it into your headset’s 3.5mm headphone jack.

This is just one of the ways you can do more with your Quest 2 headset. In this YouTube video, I have several other suggestions (some free, some paid) to extract more enjoyment from it.

$60

Originally made for the HTC Vive VR headset, it can be fitted to a Meta Quest 2 with a third-party accessory to bring better sound quality and improved comfort.

There’s no shortage of good deals happening today

  • If you’re looking for your next TV, TCL’s 65-inch 6-series 4K TV with Mini LED backlighting is a great candidate. It rated well in Chris Welch’s review, and it’s selling for just $699.99 at Best Buy, which is a bargain. The Mini LED backlighting gives it a brighter and far more contrast-rich picture than your average LCD screen, and it’s ready to show your games at 4K running at up to 120 frames per second with its HDMI 2.1 ports. This model runs on the Google TV interface, giving you access to movie and TV show streaming services as well as many other apps on the Play Store.
  • The Holiday Encore gaming bundle at Humble Bundle containing several 2K Games titles is a great deal. For a minimum of $16, you can get a collection containing Borderlands 3 Super Deluxe edition, XCOM: Ultimate Collection (with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2, and XCOM: Chimera Squad), Civilization VI, BioShock: The Collection (including BioShock and its two sequels), and a lot more. Your purchase supports Covenant House, an organization that provides housing and support to youth facing homelessness. This deal will end this afternoon.
  • In case you’ve still been striking out on buying a PS5, Best Buy has the God of War Ragnarök bundle available for in-store purchase. The $559.99 bundle contains a digital code for the game along with the disc-based console and a DualSense controller.