Apple refreshes MacBook Air with M3 Chipset

The MacBook Air just got a refresh this morning with the new M3 chipset that was announced last fall. It is now available in 13- and 15-inch sizes, and come with improved external display support too.

Apple is once again comparing the M3 chipset to the M1, saying that it is about 61% faster. For those questioning that comparison, it does make sense. The M2 MacBook Air 15 came out less than a year ago, so those with that computer are most likely not looking to upgrade to the M3. However those with the M1 MacBook Air with the old design, might be. It’s also about 13x faster than the latest Intel-based MacBook Air.

As expected, the MacBook Air, in both sizes retains the 18 hours of battery life. Making it one of the longest-lasting laptops on the market today. It still has a stunning Liquid Retina display and a few new capabilities. One of those is support for two external displays. On the M1 and M2 base models, there was only support for a single display. So it’s really nice to see the M3 finally offering support for multiple displays. WiFi 6E is also on board here, providing up to 2x faster WiFi speeds.

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Preorders for the MacBook Air with M3 start today

Apple has already started pre-orders for the M3-based MacBook Air, and the laptops will start arriving to customers this Friday, March 8. The colors are the same as before – Midnight, Starlight, Space Gray, and Silver. And starts at $1,099 for the 13-inch, $1,299 for the 15-inch.

Apple is keeping around the M2 version of the 13-inch MacBook Air (interestingly enough, not the 15-inch model), and it is now down to just $999. That should mean that the M1 version is officially gone.

The base specs for the 13-inch does include an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 8GB unified memory and 256GB of SSD storage. At the same time, the 15-inch model starts with a 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8GB of unified memory and 256GB of SSD storage. You can upgrade to either 16GB or 24GB of unified memory for $200 or $400 more. I’d definitely recommend to get more memory than you need, since this memory is shared among the CPU and GPU. Additionally, you can upgrade to as much as 2TB of storage for $800.

A pretty boring refresh, to be quite honest, but one that needed to happen. Apple, nor any other company, is going to do a complete refresh of the design of a laptop every year. Especially when most users are keeping their laptops for 5-10 years at a time, for those with an Intel-based MacBook, this is definitely a good time to upgrade. Those with an M1 or M2, it might not be worth it for you, yet.