15-inch MacBook Air with M3 review – this thin and light laptop punches above its weight

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Apple’s new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 is arguably the best laptop you can buy right now in terms of performance, quality and value. Despite its small size and thin design, the new MacBook Air with M3 is a powerhouse that should never be underestimated.

The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air with the M3 chip is an impressive update for the extremely popular laptop and would be a welcome improvement for customers looking to upgrade.

Like the iPhone, each improvement to the MacBook Air is incremental and probably wouldn’t appeal to a customer who purchased the laptop in the last year or two.

The iPhone 15 released last year will probably win more customers who have much older devices rather than someone who purchased the iPhone 14.

It’s the same thing for the new MacBook Air with M3.

Yes, there are significant improvements even from the M1 version and slight improvements from M2 (which is still on sale at a reduced price) but the release cycle will make this model appeal to customers who have had their laptop for more than a couple of years.

We were offered the 15-inch MacBook Air for this review but of course the smaller 13-inch is identical in terms of power, quality and performance.

It’s good Apple gives you the choice with the 15-inch MacBook Air the more recent addition to the line-up.

Both models have the stunning Liquid Retina display with up to 500nits of brightness and support for up to a billion colours

On the performance side then new M3 MacBook Air laptops offer a noticeable improvement from the M1 and a slight improvement over the M2.

Apple says the M3 is 60 per cent faster than the M1 MacBook Air and 13x faster than the Intel-based models released a few years ago.

The new models offer impressive performance improvements to help improve your workflow and power through those intensive tasks that need to be completed wherever you happen to be.

The appeal of the M3 chip also means using high end applications on the move or in the studio, the factory or the office and having that power at your disposal.

An engineer, for example, can’t always be stuck behind a big workstation looking at a 3D design.

That’s the type of power the MacBook Air with M3 is now capable of.

It can bring your work where you need it most or where you would prefer to complete it rather than being tied down in one place.

One of the most impressive improvements is the ability for the MacBook Air with M3 to now support up to two external displays when the laptops lid is closed.

This is ideal for anyone who needs to multitask across various apps and documents – you can now really spread out your work.

And because you can now have the lid of the laptop closed, it really saves on your desktop space. But some may argue having the lid open would technically offer a third display.

The M3 has a powerful 8-core CPU, up to 10-core GPU and can support up to 24GB of unified memory. Unified memory is the new name Apple uses for RAM.

Here are the improvement the M3 offers:

– Game titles like No Man’s Sky run up to 60 per cent faster than the 13-inch MacBook Air with the M1 chip.

– Enhancing an image with AI using Photomator’s Super Resolution feature is up to 40 per cent faster than the 13-inch model with the M1 chip, and up to 15x faster for customers who haven’t upgraded to a Mac with Apple silicon.

– Working in Excel spreadsheets is up to 35 per cent faster than the 13-inch model with the M1 chip, and up to 3x faster for customers who haven’t upgraded to a Mac with Apple silicon.

– Video editing in Final Cut Pro is up to 60 per cent faster than the 13-inch model with the M1 chip, and up to 13x faster for customers who haven’t upgraded to a Mac with Apple silicon.

– Compared to a PC laptop with an Intel Core i7 processor, MacBook Air delivers up to 2x faster performance, up to 50 per cent faster web browsing, and up to 40 per cent longer battery life.

And when it comes to AI, the M3 Apple silicon is more than up to the task thanks to its more efficient 16-core Neural Engine along with accelerators in the CPU and GPU to boost the machine learning on device.

This means customers will see impressive AI performance to improve your productivity add enhance your creativity but to also to do things like real time speech to text and translations.

The MacBook Air is not only for productivity but also for communication and has an excellent 1080p FaceTime HD camera as well as a three-mic array and enhanced voice clarity for superior audio for your video calls.

We used the FaceTime camera whenever we are away for our live tech segments on Sky News.

And when it’s time to enjoy some entertainment, the MacBook Air offers spatial audio along with Dolby Atmos so you can really enjoy music and movies like never before.

Another impressive feature of the MacBook Air with M3 is the amazing 18-hour battery life which means it will run all day and night if it has to.

The 13-inch MacBook Air with M3 starts at $1,799 and the 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 starts at $2,199.

Both are available in four colours: midnight, starlight, silver and space grey.

Customers can still purchase the 13-inch MacBook Air with M2 starting at $1,599.

VERDICT

Apple’s new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 is arguably the best laptop you can buy right now in terms of performance, quality and value. Despite its small size and thin design, the new MacBook Air with M3 is a powerhouse that should never be underestimated.

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