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M3 MacBook Air: A Lightweight Marvel

October 19, 2023
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The M3 MacBook Air is an incredibly portable marvel that redefines what portability is. This extraordinary item seamlessly combines aesthetics and functionality thanks to its svelte design and low profile.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman stated in July 2023 that Apple might upgrade the 13-inch MacBook Air this autumn. He is now revising his prediction, saying that a new MacBook Air will not be available until the spring or summer of 2024.

We were astonished that Gurman left out the 15-inch MacBook Air, which Apple will release in June 2023, from his initial projection. If the update schedules for the two Macs were different, it would be strange. It now appears that Apple will release the M3 13-inch MacBook Pro at a later time, along with the M3 15-inch MacBook Air.

In the meantime, a new M3 13-inch MacBook Pro, M3 iMac, and M3 Mac mini may be released—possibly as early as November 2023.

Here is all the information you need to know about the upcoming MacBook Air, including the most recent rumors, conjectures based on current knowledge and Apple’s past, and verified information.

M3 MacBook Air: Release date

M3 MacBook Air: Release date

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman stated in July 2023 that Apple was preparing for a second autumn launch, possibly at an event in October that “could feature the first Macs with M3 chips”. As the first devices to receive the M3, he named the 13-inch MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the iMac. The current M2 13-inch MacBook Air went on sale in July 2022; thus, the October M3 upgrade would arrive roughly 15 months after the M2 model.

But in June 2023, Apple unveiled the 15-inch MacBook Air with M2. It would be rare for Apple to update the 15-inch MacBook Air only four months after its original release, which raises the question of why the company chose to unveil the 15-inch model at WWDC rather than waiting for the M3 model to go on sale. Consumers won’t want to pay more money for the less powerful model in order to benefit from the larger screen, so Apple might neglect the 15-inch MacBook Air and time after the 13-inch model is upgraded, update it to M3. The 15-inch MacBook Air would need to receive an update before the M3 Pro, but we don’t believe that’s necessary.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Gurman appears to have changed his mind about this. He stated in his October newsletter that anyone looking for a new MacBook Air will probably have to wait a little longer. I’ve been informed that the 13-inch and 15-inch M3 models have recently finished the engineering verification test stage, which would place them on schedule for release at the earliest in the spring or summer of next year. See: Apple’s M3 Mac roadmap becomes more transparent.

Based on this, we anticipate that the MacBook Air update will take place in the spring or at WWDC in June 2024. Apple will simultaneously update both MacBook Air models.

M3 MacBook Air: Price

M3 MacBook Air: Price

Apple dropped the price of the 13-inch model by $100 when it introduced the M2 15-inch MacBook Air in June. Apple might take advantage of the M3 upgrade to increase the price back to $1,199, but we anticipate it to stay the same, at least in the United States. After raising prices in 2022 in response to exchange rate variations (the business cut the pricing of iPhones to account for currency fluctuations), Apple may lower prices in the UK and other international markets.

The price and features of the M3 13-inch MacBook Air will probably be similar to or identical to those of the current M2 13-inch MacBook Air. Here are the costs and details of the M2 13-inch MacBook Air basic setups for your reference:

  • 13-inch, M2 chip with 8-core CPU, 8GB of memory, 256GB SSD: $1,099/£1,149
  • 13-inch, M2 chip with 8-core CPU/10-core GPU, 8GB of memory, 512GB SSD: $1,399/£1,449
  • 15-inch, M2 chip with 8-core CPU/10-core GPU, 8GB of memory, 512GB SSD: $1,299/£1,399
  • 15-inch, M2 chip with 8-core CPU/10-core GPU, 8GB of memory, 512GB SSD: $1,499/£1,599

We anticipate a return of the U.K. prices to comparable dollar amounts, such as £1,099 and £1,399, for example.

The price of the 13-inch MacBook Air M1 from Apple is the same as when it debuted in October 2020 ($999/£999). It’s probable that when the M3 model launches, Apple will drop the price of the M2 model to $999 while discontinuing the M1 MacBook Air.

When the M3 13-inch MacBook Air goes on sale, it will be marketed through the standard retail channels, including the Apple Store, Amazon, and other well-known merchants. In our article on MacBook Air deals, you may find the cheapest prices for a brand-new MacBook Air.

M3 MacBook Air: Display

M3 MacBook Air: Display

It’s likely that the M3 MacBook Air will have the same display as the M2 variant. A step up from the displays used in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the M1 13-inch MacBook Air, which use 13.3-inch Retina displays with a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels, is the 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display for the 13-inch MacBook Air. It has a maximum brightness of 500 nits, P3 color support, and True Tone. The 13-inch Pro has a display brightness of 500 nits, compared to 400 nits for the M1 Air.

New mini-LEDs, which can be brighter than the ones we already have but, more crucially, use less battery at the existing brightness levels, may herald a change in the near future. According to DigiTimes, they will be available for the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, but it’s possible that Apple will also use them for the upcoming MacBook Air.

The 1080p FaceTime camera notch, which doesn’t obstruct the 16:10 aspect ratio of the screen area below it, will presumably remain on the M3 MacBook Air as well.

One of the Thunderbolt ports on the M3 MacBook Air is used to attach an external monitor. One external display with a resolution of up to 6K at 60 Hz can be driven by the laptop. You can try a solution that uses third-party hardware and software if you need to connect more screens.

M3 MacBook Air: Design

M3 MacBook Air: Design

When it first became available, Apple fully revamped the 13-inch MacBook Air M2.It did away with the tapered shape and adopted a conventional appearance similar to the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

We don’t anticipate Apple making many changes with the M3 upgrade, as this new design has only been implemented in one iteration of the Air. It’s ok though because it’s already one of the thinnest and lightest things you can buy.

  • Dimensions of the 15-inch MacBook AIr M2: 13.40 x 9.35 x 0.45 in (34.04 x 23.76 x 1.15 cm), 2.8 pounds (1.51 kg); weight
  • 2.7 pounds (1.24kg), 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 in (30.41 x 21.5 x 1.13 cm), 13-inch MacBook Ai M2
  • 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.16-0.63in (30.41 x 21.24 x 0.41-1.61cm), 2.8 pounds (1.29kg), 13-inch MacBook Air M1

M3 MacBook Air: Specs

M3 MacBook Air: Specs

According to development logs for the M3 series that Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman discovered in August 2023, the M3 will have 8 CPU cores (4 performance and 4 efficiency) and 10 GPU cores.

The M1 and M2 both feature eight CPU cores, and the M2 starts out with eight GPU cores but can be configured to have ten, so it appears like the M3 will do the same.

The M3 chip is rumoured to be produced utilizing a new 3nm technology, despite the fact that it may seem similar to its predecessor. Compared to the improved 5nm technology employed with the M2, this permits the use of more transistors. This might enable the M3 to perform faster than the typical 20 percent bump we see with new processor generations. Study up on the M3.

The M1 and M2 both came with 8GB of unified memory out of the gate, and the M3 will likely follow suit. The M2 may be configured with up to 24GB of memory, and the M3 can support up to 32 GB. With 36GB and 48GB showing up in testing, Gurman speculates that Apple may be modifying the unified memory options. 48GB would be a novel arrangement, exclusive to the M3 Pro and Max, but it might indicate that the M3 will come with 36GB.

There are no internal fans in the MacBook Air, and we don’t anticipate that to change. The M2 Air’s fanless design might make it sluggish when the CPU or GPU is under load, but the M3’s improved efficiency might aid with high-end performance.

Two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C connections, a MagSafe 3 power adapter connector (the laptop may also be charged by Thunderbolt), and a headphone jack are all features of the MacBook Air. If Apple does add additional connectors, it will probably only be a USB-C port.

The most recent Air has wireless Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. It’s likely that Apple will add Wi-Fi 6E to the upcoming MacBook Air in addition to the Mac mini and MacBook Pro.

M3 MacBook Air: Colours

M3 MacBook Air: Colours

Similar to the M2 model, Apple is most likely going to offer the M3 MacBook Air in the same four hues: Midnight, Silver, Space Grey, and Starlight. Years ago, there were speculations that Apple was going to release a colorful MacBook Air to match the iMac’s bright exterior, but that hasn’t happened.

M3 MacBook Air: Battery and charging

The lithium-polymer battery in the M2 13-inch MacBook Air has a capacity of 52.6 watt-hours; however, the battery in the M3 versions will likely be the same size at 66.5 watt-hours.

The M3 may have a longer battery life than the M2, however, due to its potential for greater energy efficiency. The M3 Air’s battery life may exceed Apple’s current estimates of “up to 18 hours of Apple TV app movie playback” and “up to 15 hours of wireless web.”

We anticipate the same possibilities for charging as the current Air. A normal 30W USB-C power adapter is included with the $1,099 or £1,149 M2 13-inch MacBook Air. A 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter for charging two devices simultaneously is included in the $1,399/£1,449 model. With each model, a USB-C to MagSafe 3 power cable is provided. Fast charging is also supported for the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models with a 70W USB-C Power Adapter or another option from our list of the top MacBook Air chargers.

Conclusion

The M3 MacBook Air is a lightweight device that redefines portability with its sleek design and thin profile. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported in July 2023 that Apple could release an update to the 13-inch MacBook Air this fall but now suggests waiting until spring or summer of 2024 for a new MacBook Air. The 15-inch MacBook Air, which Apple introduced in June 2023, may be holding back the M3 version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro to launch later, alongside the M3 15-inch MacBook Air.

The M3 MacBook Air’s price and specifications are expected to follow those of the current M2 13-inch MacBook Air or be close. The M3 13-inch MacBook Air will likely use the same display as those on the M2 model, using a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display with a 2,560-by-1,664 pixel resolution, a maximum brightness of 500 nits, P3 color support, and True Tone. Changes could be in the form of new mini-LEDs that can be brighter than the current ones, but more importantly, use less battery at the current brightness levels.

One of the Thunderbolt ports on the M3 MacBook Air is used to attach an external monitor. The laptop can drive one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60 Hz. If you need to connect more displays, you can try a workaround that involves third-party hardware and software.

In August 2023, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman spotted developer logs with core configurations for the M3 MacBook Air, which could be used to create a new M3 MacBook Air. The M3 MacBook Air is expected to be available through the usual retail outlets once it goes on sale, such as the Apple Store, Amazon, and other popular retailers.

FAQS

Is the MacBook Air lightweight?

With its 11.5mm thickness, the new MacBook Air is the world’s thinnest 15-inch laptop. It is highly portable due to its small weight of 3.3 pounds.

Is the MacBook Air M1 lightweight?

Review of the MacBook Air M1, a portable computer that is excellent for students

Is the MacBook Air M2 lightweight?

The most recent MacBook Air still maintains a clean, lightweight design despite having a somewhat larger screen. It is marketed as the slimmest PC in its class because of its 11.5 mm thin thickness. Apple MacBook Air M2, 15 inches.

Is the MacBook Air M2 heavy?

Apple combines a more potent M2 CPU with a far more streamlined design in the new MacBook Air M2 (starting at $1,199; tested at $1,899). This 2.7-pound laptop makes me think of the classic original Air that Steve Jobs famously pulled out of a manilla envelope all those years ago when I was using and carrying it around.