15-inch MacBook Air review – power when you need it and style and size all the time

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  • Design

The new 15-inch MacBook Air is an ideal laptop for customers who want the power when they need it but also the ability to enjoy their content in high quality. This is one of the best all-round laptops you can buy.

The new 15-inch MacBook Air with M2 chip offers the best of both worlds – a large screen to give you more room to move with your work and entertainment while maintaining its slim and light design.

On sale from today, the 15-inch MacBook Air with M2 is available in four finishes – Midnight, Starlight, Space Grey and Silver. Pricing starts at $2,199.

Tech Guide has been using the Starlight 15-inch MacBook Air for a few days for this review.

On the design side, the new 15-inch MacBook Air is identical to the 13-inch model and is made from 100 per cent recycled aluminium.

And having a unibody design also means the laptop is built tough despite its thin design.

It’s just 11.5mm thick and weighs 1.51kg. it also happens to now be the world’s thinnest 15-inch laptop.

There is a MagSafe charging port on the left edge beside two Thunderbolt ports which can connect external drives and monitors.

On the right edge is a headphone jack to connect headphones and/or microphones.

There is a full size keyboard and a generously sized trackpad which makes it easy for gesture control and navigating the system.

The keyboard also includes a Touch ID fingerprint reader which enables users to make secure purchases and download as well as making it easy to unlock the MacBook Air.

The 15-inch Liquid Retina Display can display more than a billion colours and is bright and sharp.

It offers a larger canvas to run multiple applications at the same time or to focus in on one on a grander scale.

The 15-inch MacBook Air is powered by Apple’s own M2 silicon which is 1.4x faster than M1 and 12x faster than the Intel-based MacBook Air.

This gives the laptop the power to be used for higher end applications like photo and video editing.

We used the 15-inch MacBook Air to edit a video using Final Cut Pro and it was fast and smooth.

Even using Photoshop for editing large photo files is easily handled.

And if you want to play games, the M2 chip aboard the 15-inch MacBook Air can also provide a fast and stable platform.

Now to be clear, the MacBook Air is aimed at the average user who has the occasional need to use processor intensive applications.

If using these high-end applications is the main part of your workflow, then the MacBook Air might not be the best solution.

The M2 on the 15-inch MacBook Air will work hard for you but there are thermal limits so when things start to heat up, the processor will pull back.

The larger 15-inch model will have better thermal capacity because it has a larger chassis but it still has the same fanless design as the 13-inch to maintain its thin and light design.

For 90 per cent of customers, the 15-inch MacBook Air is the ideal solution that can do everything you need to do.

For creative professionals, the MacBook Pro is probably a better fit.

On the audio side there are six speakers with the audio driven toward the screen and reflected directly to the user with spatial audio quality to make your movies and music even more enjoyable.

And for your FaceTime calls and video meetings the camera is 1080p full HD so you’ll look sharp and clear.

The 15-inch MacBook Air can be specced up to 24GB of Unified Memory and up to 2TB of storage.

We would have liked to have seen a memory card slot to make it easier to transfer photos and video from a camera. To do this you need to buy an external hub.

Another great benefit of the M2 chip apart from performance is efficiency.

When the software and hardware are working together as they do on an Apple product that efficiency translates into lower power usage and longer battery life.

Apple says the battery will run for up to 18 hours and in our usage we’ve easily gone close to two full workdays before connecting the MagSafe charging cable.

15-inch MacBook Air compared to the 13-inch MacBook Air

The 15-inch MacBook Air is available now and is priced from $2,199. The 13-inch MacBook Air also still available and is now priced from $1,799.

VERDICT

The new 15-inch MacBook Air is an ideal laptop for customers who want the power when they need it but also the ability to enjoy their content in high quality. This is one of the best all-round laptops you can buy.

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