Rejoice- a new MacBook Air was announced at WWDC 2023 on June 5, with a bigger display but with everything else unchanged compared to its 13-inch little sister model.
A bigger, lightweight machine could well be the best MacBook Apple has ever made, combining the potent portable processing power of M2 Apple silicon with a larger display and commensurate battery life improvements.
However, one major new feature we were expecting appears to be off the table. The M3 chip, which would have been a surprise given it was thought to be several months away, could have been a major boon to the laptop's power, but this wasn't meant to be.
15-inch MacBook Air: The headlines
- What is it? A larger 15-inch version of Apple's thinnest and lightest MacBook
- When was it announced? WWDC 2023
- Price? $1299
Is there a new MacBook Air coming out in 2023?
Yes. Announced at WWDC 2023 for $1299, the only difference compared to the 13-inch model is its bigger display.
15-inch MacBook Air (2023): Design
Apple actually rolled out a stunning new MacBook Air design just last year. As you can read in our 13-inch MacBook Air review, Apple added a notch, some hot new colors, and a brand new squarer chassis design.
Don't expect this 15-inch model to be a major design overhaul - it's the same as before, just bigger.
It makes sense that Apple would upgrade the size of the display without making too many other major changes.
15-inch MacBook Air (2023): Processor
While Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the new 15-inch MacBook Air will come with two CPU options — M2 and M2 Pro, it just comes in one - the M2 chip.
A 15-inch MacBook Air with an M2 chip could well be the best Mac for a whole host of professionals — even without that Pro tag.
Previous reports had suggested the M3 processor was set to debut in the new MacBook Air, however, most recently Bloomberg's top insider Mark Gurman says the M3 is not on the cards, which will be disappointing for some.
Is there a big difference between M1 MacBook Air and M2 model?
The M2 processor is roughly 20 percent faster than M1, and is also more efficient, so battery life is improved. The M2 also has a different, more updated design, as well as more ports thanks to its MagSafe charging.
15-inch MacBook Air (2023): Display
The new MacBook Air for 2023 features a 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone.
More recently, Young confirmed directly to iMore that 120Hz is not on the cards for the new MacBook Air, which turned out to be true. Adding 120Hz and a ProMotion display to any MacBook is a costly venture.
Not only would a display upgrade like that massively increase the price of the MacBook Air, but it would also really impact battery life, which is really a key selling point of the MacBook Air. The 120Hz display is definitely a "Pro" feature of the MacBook lineup, and keeping it out of the MacBook Air also gives users a reason to upgrade and spend more money to get it.
15-inch MacBook Air (2023) price: How much will the 2023 MacBook Air cost?
We don't have any clear price rumors for the new MacBook Air, but you can guarantee it will cost more than the 13-inch model, which now starts at $1,099, $100 less than before.
At $1299, it's at a fantastic price for the power and new size this model brings, without shelling out extra for a MacBook Pro with ProMotion.
15-inch MacBook Air (2023): Release date
With the 15-inch MacBook Air having been unveiled at WWDC 2023, Apple confirmed that it's available to pre-order now, with a release date of June 13.
15-inch MacBook Air (2023): Battery life
With the increase in chassis size with that bigger screen, we can expect to see a pretty substantial increase in battery life with the new 15-inch MacBook Air.
The current model already has some good battery life, with 18 hours of Apple TV movie playback, or 15 hours of web surfing. Expect the new model to exceed that by some margin, with more space on board for a bigger battery.
15-inch MacBook Air (2023): Ports and expansion
The 15-inch MacBook Air is exactly the same as what the 13-inch MacBook Air brought, with MagSafe 3 charging and two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports.
15-inch MacBook Air (2023): Memory
The current MacBook Air offers 8GB of unified memory, configurable to either 16GB or 24GB, and the same applies to the 15-inch model.
8GB of RAM remains the absolute bare minimum that Apple needs to offer with the MacBook, and is probably about right for most people in the market for a MacBook Air.
The 15-inch MacBook Air could be one of the most exciting laptops Apple has ever released, combining a larger form factor with the Air's beloved portability and battery life that would benefit even more from a larger chassis.
While some might prefer a 15-inch MacBook with a bit more "oomph", a 15-inch MacBook Air where the only difference over the 13-inch model is the size makes the most sense, in the same way that Apple offers the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, as well as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9