The MacBook Air in the Midnight color is a fingerprint magnet and scratches too easily

Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air in that gorgeous Midnight color is a fingerprint magnet and scratches too easily, some folks have complained on social media.

YouTuber Marques Brownlee is in his studio, holding Apple's MacBook Air laptop in the Midnight color and inspecting the nicks around USB-C ports
The fingerprintiest Apple laptop ever | Image: Marques Brownlee / YouTube
  • If there’s one thing early adopters have noticed about Apple’s new M2-powered MacBook Air, it’s that its surface finish attracts fingerprints just like that.
  • As if that wasn’t enough, some people are complaining that the Midnight finish, in particular, is prone to cosmetic damage in form of scratches, dings and scuffs.
  • It’s unclear if the scratching thing is a widespread problem but Apple has a history of producing shiny objects of lust that get scuffed easily.

Is that a scratch on your MacBook Air?

The vast majority of reports describe dings and scuffs around the edges of USB-C ports. Some people also reported scratches on the cover. These nicks are mostly permanent so if you prefer to keep your gear in pristine condition, you’re probably better off picking another color option. The new MacBook Air comes in standard Silver and Space Gray, as well as two new colorways, dubbed Starlight and Midnight. Each color option comes with its own matching MagSafe charging cable.

Based on reports on social media, only the Midnight color seems to attract fingerprints and scratches too easily, for now. YouTuber Marques Brownlee called the notebook in his review a fingerprint magnet. He says the fingerprints become visible “the instant you start using” the laptop, adding that “it’s impossible to keep clean.” Read: How to clean your AirPods ear tips and charging case

And this is his comment on the scratching:

The normal wear and tear on the trackpad area seems fine. But what we saw on the review unit that I had a couple weeks ago—the first impressions unit—was around those ports, the USB-C port and MagSafe ports. If you miss plugging it in enough times, you’re gonna scratch the paint and it’ll be most noticeable on this dark laptop because it has silver underneath.

Apple would probably say that that’s normal.

Remember ScuffGate?

None of this is new. You still remember that super shiny, super scratch-prone iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black. And back in the iPhone 5 days, small nicks, scratches and scuffs were a fact of life. Early buyers of the iPhone 5 complained about nicks along the chamfered edges of their phones during normal usage. Some folks even found scratches on their device right out of the box. The media dubbed the issue ScuffGate. After sitting on the problem and doing nothing about it for a while, one of Apple’s executives eventually admitted that ScuffGate was real, saying that any aluminum product “may scratch or chip with use,” exposing its natural silver color.

“That is normal,” they added. Of course, that is not normal, not by a long shot. It’s fair to say that ScuffGate was one of the purest forms of Apple’s famous denials. But this is 2022, not 2012, and products that scratch too easily are now frowned upon.

That’s not the only issue with the new Air. It also suffers from slower flash storage on the base 256 GB model (which also affects the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro).