Apple rolls out 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 chip

Mike Powers

What just happened? Apple has announced new versions of its 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air powered by the company’s own M3 silicon. According to the Cupertino-based company, it’s up to 60 percent faster than the model with the M1 and up to 13 times faster than an Intel-based MacBook Air.

M3 additionally features a faster and more efficient 16-core Neural Engine that, when paired with accelerators in the GPU and GPU, can boost on-device machine learning.

Apple said the faster hardware directly translates to noticeable improvements in real-world scenarios. In Photoshop, for example, users can expect up to a 40 percent performance boost when using the Super Resolution enhancement feature. Final Cut Pro is up to 60 percent faster on the 13-incher with the M3 versus the M1, and working on spreadsheets in Excel is said to be up to 35 percent faster.

The new MacBook Airs also feature Wi-Fi 6E, which Apple says can deliver downloads up to twice as fast as the previous generation, along with MagSafe charging and dual Thunderbolt ports, plus a 3.5mm audio jack. What’s more, Apple’s latest now supports up to two external displays when the laptop lid is closed for enhanced multitasking.

Apple rolls out 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 chip

Apple’s new MacBook Air is rated for up to 18 hours of movie playback or up to 15 hours of wireless web usage. Machines are offered in four colors including silver, starlight, space gray, and midnight, the latter of which utilizes a new anodization technique to reduce fingerprints.

The MacBook Air is available to order from today starting at $1,099 for the 13-inch model with an eight-core GPU, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. The entry-level 15-inch variant starts at $1,299 and includes a 10-core GPU, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD. Pricing jumps to $1,499 for a fully-equipped 13-inch model with 10-core GPU, 16 GB of memory, and 512 GB of local storage, or $1,699 for the larger 15-inch version. Look for it to launch on March 8.

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