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

Apple brings the M3 to 13 and 15 inch MacBook Air

Apple’s lightweight laptop range is getting an update, whether you want the regular or larger-sized model, while the entry-level option is now faster, too.

The start of the year has seen laptop updates aplenty announced by the likes of Intel and the companies using its tech, and even a few from AMD, so it makes sense for Apple to get in on top of things, as well.

It’s been almost two years since the 13 inch M2 MacBook Air was released and a little under a year since the 15 inch model of the same popped out, but this month, Apple has updates for both.

The design won’t change, but the specs will, as the excellent and capable chip that is the M2 makes way for the chip announced near the end of last year, the Apple M3, with that version landing in both variations of the MacBook Air.

It’s the same chip that Apple upgraded the iMac with last year, and it sees performance increases on the M1 MacBook Air that started the Apple Silicon journey nearly four years ago, which is also being removed from the line-up.

Previously the entry-level MacBook Air, the M1 Air is no longer available in Apple’s line-up, replaced by the 13 inch M2 MacBook Air, which gets a $1599 starting price in Australia, keeping the softened edges in its design, as well as the MagSafe charge port and two Type C Thunderbolt/USB ports.

The latest models, the M3 MacBook Air variations, will keep that design, but upgrade the innards, sporting a faster CPU and GPU, improving performance just about everywhere, whether you’re using it for productivity or games. Apple is also talking up improvements to the Neural Cores, which still features 16 of them, handy in this world of AI PCs we’re beginning to see.

Apple Silicon has supported AI through Neural Cores since the M1 first appeared, but these are getting faster, supporting a variety of features in apps on macOS, including quickly editing photos, checking maths formulas and problems, and running models for AI-specific apps.

Both variations of the M3 MacBook Air will also get support for WiFi 6E, an upgrade to the line-up this year, while also supporting two external displays when the laptop lid is closed.

Simply put, you should be able to use a Thunderbolt dock or even plug in two displays to the two Thunderbolt connections, and the M3 MacBook Air models will talk to both when the laptop lid is closed.

Everything else previously found on the Air is still here, including the aluminium casing, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, support for Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio, a choice of either a 13.6 or 15.3 inch Liquid Retina LCD screen, Bluetooth, FaceTime HD camera, two Thunderbolt/USB-C ports, and one MagSafe charging port, plus a massive battery life, measuring up to 18 hours depending on the model.

Release is practically imminent, so if you’re thinking of upgrading or buying a laptop, you might want to wait a week for that, with the 13 inch MacBook Air M3 arriving in Australia on Friday, March 8 from $1799, while the 15 inch M3 Air will start at $2199 locally.

The M2 Air’s position as the entry-level MacBook Air is available now, priced from $1599.

Read next