New M3 MacBook Air arrives with faster Wi-Fi and better performance

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited March 12

Four months after Apple debuted the M3 chip, it is now making an appearance in updated 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models.

Side views of MacBook Air showing ports, keyboard, and screen with an abstract blue design.
13-inch and 15-inch M3 MacBook Air



The New MacBook Air lineup doesn't come with a design refresh. However, the internal spec boosts are notable.

A new feature also allows the M3 MacBook Air to use two external displays when the lid is closed in "Clamshell" mode. Previously, it could only drive the internal display and one external display.



Apple has implemented the M3 processor in both the 13-inch and 15-inch models. Furthermore, it's got faster Wi-Fi 6E, all incorporated into the same design.

The 13-inch MacBook Air and 15-inch MacBook Air
The 13-inch MacBook Air and 15-inch MacBook Air



Other specs include a 13.6- or 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display with up to 500 nits of brightness, and support for 1 billion colors. The M3 processors on the 13-inch and 15-inch model have an 8-core CPU, and while the 13-inch has an 8-core GPU to start with, both sizes can also ship with 10-core GPUs.

RAM stays at 8GB with 16GB and 24GB options. Storage starts at 256GB with 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacity upgrades available.

The 13-inch MacBook Air with M3 starts at $1,099 and $999 for education for an 8-core 8-GPU confirguration. The 15inch MacBook Air with M3 starts at $1,299 and $1,199 for education. Both are available in midnight, starlight, silver, and space gray.



The 13-inch MacBook Air with M2, available in midnight, starlight, silver, and space gray, remains in the lineup. It now starts at $999 and $899 for education customers.

Preorders start on Monday. Availability begins on March 8. You can compare prices across Apple resellers in the AppleInsider M3 MacBook Air 13-inch Price Guide and M3 MacBook Air 15-inch Price Guide.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,405member

    RAM stays at 8GB and storage starts at 512GB on entry-level M3 configurations.

    I think this is an error.  The article mention that storage starts at 512GB, but I'm seeing 256GB in the Apple website.   
    edited March 4 Afarstartenthousandthingsbyronlpulseimages
  • Reply 2 of 18
    Can't wait to see Spotify's laptop lineup now that the EU has removed the barriers to competition! /s
    AppleZulubyronlJanNLrob53danoxwilliamlondonappleinsideruserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    I see they now offer a 16GB version among the standard configurations they keep in stock, instead of having to order it. That wasn’t possible when we walked into the store and bought an M2 Air back when it first came out. We got the 8GB (which has been fine for what it is used for), but I remember thinking Apple had left money on the table, as we would have gotten the 16GB if we could have walked out of the store with it right then and there.
    williamlondonCalamanderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 832member
    The King is dead! Long live the King! Lost in the above news is that the venerable wedge-shaped Macbook Air has been dropped from the product line, just a little more than 16 years after Steve pulled it from an envelope. What an unbelievable, precedent-setting run of success that will likely never be equaled. I hope AI will devote an upcoming article to the history of this incredible laptop.  
    MisterKitnubuswilliamlondontenthousandthingsfreeassociate2appleinsideruserAniMillwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    dmskalnmdmskalnm Posts: 10member
    I'm seeing in the app on the headline list that the "MacBook" was updated. It should be changed to "MacBook Air" since these are two different products.
    pulseimageswilliamlondonblastdoorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    nubusnubus Posts: 373member
    A friendly update to a great product. Support for 2 displays is a nice surprise making it a good candidate for business customers. Prices have been reduced in Euro. Interesting that M2 15" has been discontinued keeping that price high. Wouldn't buy with less than 16 GB and memory is still too expensive.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 18
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,101member
    $200 for 8 GB RAM upgrade lol... don't ever change Apple  :D
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondongrandact73
  • Reply 8 of 18
    TRAGTRAG Posts: 53member
    I’m in for a maxed out version. Would have preferred a 12” MacBook in regards to size and weight but it is pretty clear their user feedback it battery & screen size are more important (esp. with phones) than size and weight. I also think they would tell me that’s what my iPad is for so this is the lightest I am gonna get on and order this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    TRAGTRAG Posts: 53member
    dmskalnm said:
    I'm seeing in the app on the headline list that the "MacBook" was updated. It should be changed to "MacBook Air" since these are two different products.

    When I saw that I thought it might be a lightweight MacBook too for a second but alas it wasn’t to be. My comment above is how I think Apple view this now.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    TRAGTRAG Posts: 53member
    nubus said:
    A friendly update to a great product. Support for 2 displays is a nice surprise making it a good candidate for business customers. Prices have been reduced in Euro. Interesting that M2 15" has been discontinued keeping that price high. Wouldn't buy with less than 16 GB and memory is still too expensive.
    Cheaper in GBP too which is nice.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,020member
    tyler82 said:
    $200 for 8 GB RAM upgrade lol... don't ever change Apple  :D
    See you're thinking about it the wrong way, it's not an 8 GB RAM upgrade, it's just simply 16 GB of RAM. So you're paying $200 for 16 GB of RAM, not $200 for an additional 8. This is how the minds at Apple want you to think anyway  :D
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 18
    JinTech said:
    tyler82 said:
    $200 for 8 GB RAM upgrade lol... don't ever change Apple  :D
    See you're thinking about it the wrong way, it's not an 8 GB RAM upgrade, it's just simply 16 GB of RAM. So you're paying $200 for 16 GB of RAM, not $200 for an additional 8. This is how the minds at Apple want you to think anyway  :D
    The way memory is integrated, that’s effectively true. It’s more complicated than just popping a third party DIMM in a slot.

    I’m not defending the price differential, mind you. Just pointing out that the process might be more expensive than with a different design philosophy.
    edited March 4 JinTechtenthousandthingsmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Rogue01Rogue01 Posts: 158member
    Hilarious that the 'new' MacBook Air with the same M3 chip as the MacBook Pro now supports two external displays when the lid is closed, but the M3 MacBook Pro can only support one external display.  Meanwhile, all Intel MacBooks can support two external displays with the lid open, for 3 displays.  Way to go Apple.  And still extortion prices for RAM and SSD upgrades.  Maybe Apple is listening to all the complaints to restore a popular feature that they took away when they introduced Apple Silicon.  

    Looks like Apple is going to avoid a big PR blunder with the M3 MacBook Pro and they just announced an upcoming software update that will enable the same dual external display support with the lid closed, as featured in the new M3 Air.  So they basically admitted that dual external display support was disabled.  Now that the M3 Air can do it, they realized they already have an M3 product on the market and they had to fix that one to avoid customer backlash.
    edited March 4 williamlondonappleinsiderusertyler82muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 18
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,020member
    Rogue01 said:
    Hilarious that the 'new' MacBook Air with the same M3 chip as the MacBook Pro now supports two external displays when the lid is closed, but the M3 MacBook Pro can only support one external display.  Meanwhile, all Intel MacBooks can support two external displays with the lid open, for 3 displays.  Way to go Apple.  And still extortion prices for RAM and SSD upgrades.  Maybe Apple is listening to all the complaints to restore a popular feature that they took away when they introduced Apple Silicon.  
    Apparently the Air will be able to do this via software update so I’m sure this will apply to the Pro as well. 
    williamlondonAniMillwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Rogue01Rogue01 Posts: 158member
    JinTech said:
    Rogue01 said:
    Hilarious that the 'new' MacBook Air with the same M3 chip as the MacBook Pro now supports two external displays when the lid is closed, but the M3 MacBook Pro can only support one external display.  Meanwhile, all Intel MacBooks can support two external displays with the lid open, for 3 displays.  Way to go Apple.  And still extortion prices for RAM and SSD upgrades.  Maybe Apple is listening to all the complaints to restore a popular feature that they took away when they introduced Apple Silicon.  
    Apparently the Air will be able to do this via software update so I’m sure this will apply to the Pro as well. 
    Yes, Apple just announced a software update to allow dual external display support with the lid closed on the M3 MacBook Pro...to avoid customer backlash most likely.
    AniMill
  • Reply 16 of 18
    JinTech said:
    Rogue01 said:
    Hilarious that the 'new' MacBook Air with the same M3 chip as the MacBook Pro now supports two external displays when the lid is closed, but the M3 MacBook Pro can only support one external display.  Meanwhile, all Intel MacBooks can support two external displays with the lid open, for 3 displays.  Way to go Apple.  And still extortion prices for RAM and SSD upgrades.  Maybe Apple is listening to all the complaints to restore a popular feature that they took away when they introduced Apple Silicon.  
    Apparently the Air will be able to do this via software update so I’m sure this will apply to the Pro as well. 
    Seems like it should be technically possible for an M2 MacBook Air to get dual display with lid closed via software update too. The M2 minis can do dual displays, both from TB (the M1 mini has to use one HDMI and one TB to connect to two displays, so not likely possible on those).

    Of course, I realize "technically possible" doesn't mean it'll ever happen.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 18
    I see they now offer a 16GB version among the standard configurations they keep in stock, instead of having to order it. That wasn’t possible when we walked into the store and bought an M2 Air back when it first came out. We got the 8GB (which has been fine for what it is used for), but I remember thinking Apple had left money on the table, as we would have gotten the 16GB if we could have walked out of the store with it right then and there.
    Same here. Bought a rose gold M1 with basic config for the GF for the simple reason that online ordering didn't work with her visa card (which works for pretty much anything else... weird). So we were unable to get our hands on a 16GB / 512 option - we just couldn't buy it. All good in the end since she's barely used the laptop at all anyway. But Apple left some cash on the table there for sure. 

    Another mistake Apple made was to discontinue Rose Gold - I know a lot of girls with rose gold laptops and they all absolutely love the color. Starlight is not quite the same, appeal-wise. Also the new MacBook Air is a lot fatter, visually - it pretty much looks like a MBP. I can't understand for the life of me what got into them to make it look like that. We all know the volume is same or less than the M1 wedge shape MBA, so this is all just visuals - but the large feet under the laptop make it appear fat when it's on the table. A strange decision - ultrabooks from Huawei and Samsung look smaller (and may actually be smaller). 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 18
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,836member
    tyler82 said:
    $200 for 8 GB RAM upgrade lol... don't ever change Apple  :D
    Those 8 gig machines are for the EU. :smile: 
    watto_cobra
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