Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Apple A-Z » Mac

New MacBook Air

New MacBook Air
 

The new MacBook Air lineup runs an M3 processor with 13-inch and 15-inch size options. This March 2024 update pushed the wedge-shaped M1 model out of the lineup, replacing it with the base M2 model. These ultra thin and light laptops are Apple's best sellers.

● M3 models released in 2024
● Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
● Improved GPUs
● Supports two external displays when in clamshell
● Wedge-shaped M1 models no longer sold new
● Prices for M3 models start at $1,099

Page last updated:


Get Apple News Directly in Your Inbox


Apple is always working to improve its existing product lineups, so rumors about the next release are nearly continuously leaking out from the secretive company. But rumors come in cycles, and that cycle has ended for now with the new MacBook Air updates released in 2024.

Now that the M1 MacBook Air has been removed from the lineup, the remaining models share a similar design language that likely won't change much for some time. Apple is likely to release new MacBook Air models regularly to keep them on the current M-series chipset, but few other changes are expected.

The M2 generation introduced a new design that removed the taper, but maintained a thinness that was thinner than the thickest point of the previous model. The 13-inch MacBook Air is 0.44 inches thick and weighs 2.7 pounds while the 15-inch MacBook Air is 0.45 inches thick and weighs 3.3 pounds.

The M3 generation updated both MacBook Air sizes at the same time, which meant a short life cycle for the 15-inch model with M2. Not much was changed beyond the chipset and the capabilities it introduced.

Two MacBook Air models with blue wallpaper, they are open with on inverted below the one on top. New MacBook Air with M3

New MacBook Air models have Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. The external design is identical.

The M3 brings additional computational features like a faster GPU with hardware accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading. Performing graphics intensive tasks can be as much as 60% faster when compared to M1.

The single monitor limitation has been upgraded, but with a caveat. Two external monitors can be used with the M3 MacBook Air, but only in clamshell mode.

Of course, those still on Intel machines may find plenty of utility in a not so new MacBook Air with M1. Now that the device has been bumped from the lineup, it is available at a steep discount.

Previous MacBook Air rumors

Everything below this point has been preserved for reference. It was written after the 13-inch MacBook Air was released with M2, but before the 15-inch model was released in 2023.

The information is outdated, but can be used to learn about what was rumored and compare it to what actually shipped.


The M2 MacBook Air wasn't the colorful redesign initially expected, but MagSafe charging and a notched display were added to the model. The information below shows what was rumored for the updated M2 model, which could still arrive in the future 15-inch model now being leaked.

Rumors suggest the larger model could be revealed during WWDC 2023.

A 15-inch MacBook Air running an M2 processor would likely be a larger version of the 13.6-inch model with few other changes. However, Apple could introduce more colors or other features for more differentiation.

Design

Rumors surrounding the new MacBook Air indicated it would take on many of the same design elements as the 24-inch iMac. However, it ended up looking closer to the redesigned 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

A new color like purple could be introduced with the 15-inch MacBook Air A new color like purple could be introduced with the 15-inch MacBook Air

The tapered case was traded for one with a uniform thickness throughout. It is thinner overall than the previous design but thicker than the thinnest point. It is just thick enough to accommodate the USB-C ports.

Apple was expected to use the same color range as the iMac but only announced four options. It isn't clear why Apple chose several vibrant colors for the iMac and settled with four muted colors for the MacBook Air.

Rumors had suggested the bezels around the new MacBook Air display would be off-white. Instead, they are black, like the MacBook Pro.

Display

The M1 MacBook Air has a 13.3-inch display, which was pushed up to 13.6 inches in the M2 model. If rumors are correct, the display will increase to 15.5 inches in a larger model.

The increase to a 15-inch display likely won't herald other new features The increase to a 15-inch display likely won't herald other new features

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expected the display to remain 13.3 inches and possibly use a mini-LED backlight. The technology is relatively new at Apple and is used in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 2021 MacBook Pros. While it wasn't included in the 2022 model, mini-LED could still arrive in the 15-inch MacBook Air.

Using mini-LED instead of LED backlights enables more uniform lighting thanks to more dimming zones and light sources. It isn't quite as efficient as OLED, but it is much better than LED.

While mini-LED backlighting could trickle down from high-end devices, ProMotion will not. This feature allows a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz for smooth animations and scrolling but likely is too expensive to make the cut for Apple's budget laptop.

Rumors surrounding the display size haven't changed much. An update in December 2022 suggested that the new MacBook Air would have a 15.5-inch display instead of a 15.2-inch one.

A rumor shared in February points to an April 2023 release date, suggesting mass production has already begun.

Processor

The second generation of Apple Silicon has arrived with M2. This processor series will likely occupy Apple's Mac lineup in a few years of updates, so it will probably be used in a 2023 15-inch model.

Apple is expected to use the M2 in the 15-inch MacBook Air Apple is expected to use the M2 in the 15-inch MacBook Air

The M2 is up to 18% faster than the M1 and has the Media Engine for improved video editing. It does not increase Thunderbolt capabilities, so the one-monitor limit still remains.

Since the MacBook Air is a consumer-grade device, it is unlikely that Apple would include an M2 Pro in the 15-inch model. There also may be a limitation in what processor is used since the MacBook Air is meant to be fanless.

One incredibly sketchy rumor suggested that Apple would release an updated 13-inch model and 15-inch model in late 2023 with an M3 processor. It doesn't seem likely that Apple would update the MacBook Air so quickly, and the M2 generation hasn't been fully released either.

An April rumor from Ming-Chi Kuo paints a clearer picture, with the 15-inch MacBook Air launching in 2023 with M2 processors. It would offer two versions of the base M2, likely one with binned cores, for a lower price.

Ports and Webcam

The new MacBook Air ports include two Thunderbolt ports, a MagSafe connector, and a headphone jack. These will likely be the same ports used in the larger 15-inch model.

The new MacBook Air uses MagSafe The new MacBook Air uses MagSafe

The two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports support transfer speeds up to 40Gbps and can fast charge the MacBook Air. The headphone jack supports high-impedance headphones.

The webcam is upgraded to 1080p with a crisp image thanks to the M2 image signal processor. Apple did not include Center Stage, but did introduce a feature in macOS Ventura that connects the iPhone camera to the Mac as a webcam.

New MacBook Air Price and Release Date

Apple kept the M1 MacBook Air around at $999 to ensure its best-selling MacBook didn't get priced out of the education market. The 13.6-inch M2 model starts at $1,199 with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage.

Apple could introduce more colors in a new MacBook Air update Apple could introduce more colors in a new MacBook Air update

Customers can configure it up to 2TB of storage and 24GB of RAM for a maxed-out price of $2,499. While this price is above an entry 16-inch MacBook Pro, it provides much more storage and RAM than that base pro machine.

The rumored 15-inch MacBook Air would be priced marginally higher than the existing model. Even though the base price could be as high as $1,399, it will be positioned as a fan-less MacBook with a large display which isn't available in any other model.