Astounding news! Apple has just unveiled their latest M3 MacBook Air models.

13 and 15-inch MacBook Airs can be pre-ordered today

Source: Apple

In an unexpected yet anticipated move, Apple has unveiled two new MacBook Air models, both powered by the advanced M3 chips that were introduced last year.

The M3 chips, which made their debut alongside the MacBook Pros, have now found their way into the more budget-friendly MacBook Air, which was conspicuously missing from the initial launch. The surprise unveiling on Monday revealed the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 15-inch MacBook Air, both available for pre-order and equipped with the M3 chip. The 13-inch model starts at $1,099 / £1,099, while the 15-inch model begins at $1,299 / £1,299. Both models will hit the stores on Friday, March 8.

However, the introduction of the new models also marks the end of the line for a few others. The original M1 MacBook Air, a long-standing top contender on our best laptops list, is no longer available for purchase from Apple. Despite its continued excellence and affordability, it has been replaced by the MacBook Air 13-inch with the M2 chip, now retailing for $999 / £999, making it the most affordable MacBook model and an even better value.

While the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air will continue to be available, it appears that the 15-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip has been discontinued. Given that it was only launched mid-last year, this is a surprisingly short lifespan for a laptop. Additionally, although Apple has not made any official announcements, it seems that the 13-inch MacBook Pro may also be on its way out. This model, the only one still equipped with a Touch Bar, has not received an M3 update or a redesign, making it increasingly feel like an outlier in the MacBook lineup.

As for performance, Apple claims that the new M3 MacBook Air is up to 60% faster than the M1 MacBook Air and 13 times faster than the Intel-based MacBook Air. Given that the latter was released four years ago, the significant performance gap is not entirely surprising. The M3 chip, which we’ve seen in action in last year’s MacBook Pro 14-inch, promises impressive performance in the more affordable, lighter, and thinner MacBook Air.

Apple also claims that games like No Man’s Sky will run up to 60% faster on the M3 than on the M1. While the M1 MacBook Air was never a gaming device, the prospect of a MacBook Air capable of delivering a decent gaming experience in 2024 is exciting. Video editing in Final Cut Pro is also said to be up to 60% faster. Given how well the M1 MacBook Air performed in video editing, this is an exciting development.

Furthermore, Apple states that the MacBook Air M3 is twice as fast as a Windows-based laptop with an Intel Core i7 processor, offering up to 50% faster web browsing performance and up to 40% longer battery life. These claims will undoubtedly be put to the test in our upcoming reviews of both models.

In terms of design, it appears that the only changes to the new MacBook Airs are internal. They are more powerful and can now support up to two external displays, but there are no design updates. Therefore, we expect the new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models to look identical to the M2 models. Given that the last redesign was a significant overhaul and it’s only been just over a year since it was introduced, we’re more than happy to see two new MacBook Airs that retain the same design, especially if Apple’s claims of a significant performance boost hold true.

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