Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Apple’s thin 15 inch MBA brings more screen, sound to the Air

Apple looks set to revive the 15 inch laptop in its range, as the thin MacBook Air gains a thin and sizeable sibling.

When it comes to picking a laptop, you have choices. There’s a choice between Mac and PC, and the abundance of choice in each of those categories.

For the latter, numerous manufacturers, sizes, and spec sheets litter the market, while the former sees a few very specific units.

Only Apple makes an Apple, and if you’re buying a Mac laptop, you really have a choice between the 13 inch MacBook Air, 13 inch MacBook Pro, 14 inch MacBook Pro, and 16 inch MacBook Pro, too.

But what if you want the 13 inch Air made to be a little bit bigger?

Apple now has a 15 inch MacBook Air

If you count yourself in that category, a new model looks set to arrive this month specifically focused on that, as Apple makes a bigger Air, which is basically the same except bigger.

A year on from when Apple launched the 13 inch M2 Air, we’re set to see a 15 inch variation, which as you can probably guess is named the 15 inch MacBook Air.

Design-wise, it’s roughly the same thing, save for a few changes, as the 13.6 inch mostly-full screen display with the shelf for the FaceTime HD camera becomes a 15.3 inch display with the same shelf for the camera, complete with support for a billion colours and a resolution of 2880×1864, slightly more spacious than the 2560×1665 of the 13 inch model.

Most of the hardware is the same, though, offering the still capable Apple M2 chip with an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine, and a choice of either 8GB, 16GB, or 24GB RAM.

In fact, almost everything is the same: you can get the same maximum 18 hour battery life, the same FaceTime HD 1080p camera, the same backlit Magic Keyboard, the same Touch ID fingerprint sensor, same support for Bluetooth and WiFi, and even the same ports: two Type C Thunderbolt USB ports with the same MagSafe docking connector on the side.

About the only difference in the 15 inch MacBook Air is that screen, the size of the unit, and the speaker system, which jumps from four speakers to six, much like the 16 inch MacBook Pro.

It is, of course, a little bit bigger, necessary to accommodate that 15.3 inch screen, and it’s a little thicker and heavier, too. At 11.5mm thick, it’s 0.2mm thicker than the 13 inch, while being a good 270 grams heavier, too (1.51kg in the 15 inch, 1.24kg in the 13 inch), and still made from aluminium.

And it’s a little more expensive, too, but not by much.

Australian availability and pricing

The bigger screen and more speakers of the 15 inch MacBook Air with M2 will sees a starting price of $2199 in Australia, while students and others in education can buy it for $200 less, coming in from $1999, and in the same colours as the 13 inch: midnight (blue), starlight (gold-ish), silver, and space grey.

Last year’s 13 inch M2 Air is still part of the lineup, now $100 less at $1799 ($1649 for students and education), while the older but still great 13 inch M1 MacBook Air is priced at $1499 ($1349 education).

Availability for that new model is expected from next week, with June 13 the on-shelf date, while the price change for the 13 inch M1 Air goes into effect now.

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