July 21, 2024
M3 MacBook Air Review Roundup [Video]

M3 MacBook Air Review Roundup [Video]

Posted March 7, 2024 at 4:59pm by iClarified
Early reviews of Apple's new M3 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models have been posted ahead of their release tomorrow.

The 2024 MacBook Air is already available to pre-order starting at $1099. You can learn more about its features here:
Apple Announces New 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air With M3 Chip

Here are some of the configurations available to pre-order:

Apple MacBook Air (13.6-inch, M3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) - $1099
Apple MacBook Air (13.6-inch, M3, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - $1299
Apple MacBook Air (13.6-inch, M3, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - $1499

Apple MacBook Air (15.3-inch, M3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) - $1299
Apple MacBook Air (15.3-inch, M3, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - $1499
Apple MacBook Air (15.3-inch, M3, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - $1699

Check out our review roundup below!

Matthew Moniz
Review of the MacBook Air 15 with M3 compared to MacBook Pro 14 with M3!

Ars Technica
For anyone with an aging Intel MacBook Air or 12-inch MacBook, the M3 model is the best one yet, and the improvements to battery life and performance will be immediately noticeable. If your M1 Air is heavily used and starting to show a bit of age, it's easier to justify stepping up to the M3 than it was to the M2. And better multi-monitor support—even though the total number of screens doesn't increase and even though there's no apparent technical reason why the M2 couldn't do the exact same thing—makes it better if you dock your laptop while you're at your desk. Apple's 8GB/256GB base configurations remain stingy, and upgrading either or both of those specs is way more expensive than it ought to be. It's hard to see Apple changing its strategy here any time soon, though, so get used to adding between $200 and $400 to the base price of any Air unless you're a fairly light social-media-and-email kind of computer user. But all in all, this is a pretty solid upgrade. Even if it's not a surprising one.

If you're on an older MacBook Air or even a MacBook Pro, the M3 MacBook Air continues Apple's impressive performance streak, especially if you're in need of a graphics boost.

This is Apple's best Air by far, offering stunningly fast performance and excellent design, all at a decent price. In fact, the only quandary might be whether you need the new M3 Air or could settle for the M2 model, which is $100 (£100 U.K.) cheaper. That's only available in a 13-inch size, please note. The truth is the M2 processor is plenty fast, easily enough to satisfy most users. But M3, for the extra $100, offer something noticeably faster, which will give the laptop a greater lifespan in the long term. This is the perfect everyman, every-person laptop.

When it arrived last year, we declared the 13-inch the best MacBook for most. Since then, it only saw a true challenger in the form of the 15-inch model, which has since become my daily driver. The Airs inherited the throne of true mainstream devices from the standard MacBook, and as they've flourished, Pro models have increasingly shifted to the margin. The only major change here is the upgraded chip, making the 2024 model little more than a refresh. In the world of consumer electronics, that's to be expected. Apple created the best-ever MacBook with the 2023 Air. It was a perfect storm of powerful silicon, great industrial design and lessons learned from recent hardware stumbles. Given all that, it's ultimately for the best that the company stuck to the formula here.

Mark Ellis Reviews
In my M3 MacBook Air review, I reveal who I think this laptop is for and whether it's worth upgrading to from the M1 or M2 MacBook Air. This review is for the 15-inch M3 MacBook Air, but we do dive into that 13-inch version, too!

There aren't any major surprises with the 13-inch and 15-inch M3 MacBook Air, but after years of continual upgrades, that's to be expected. They're great computers with excellent performance, gorgeous screens and incredible battery life. And best of all, their introduction also pushes down the prices of the still-great M2 models, making them an even better deal.

At first glance, it may seem odd that Apple is releasing the upgraded M3 MacBook Air lineup just nine months after the 15-inch M2 version was first unveiled at Apple WWDC in June 2023. But, this is a good thing. For the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models, this is an incremental upgrade that brings them up to date with the new M3 processors that Apple announced last fall and continues them on their trajectory to be more capable and more of the light professional-grade laptops that many people can use to handle all of their work. That keeps mainstream Mac laptops at a more approachable price and allows the MacBook Pro models to fully focus on high-end features that power users and the most demanding professionals need.

Tom's Guide
The fact that it's hard to find something wrong with the MacBook Air 15-inch M3 tells you a lot about Apple's mid-range laptop. You get very strong performance from the M3 chip paired with super long battery life, a great display, and a sturdy, lightweight design. Competing Windows laptops with Intel Core Ultra 7 processors offer a bit more raw processing power, but they're not in the same league as the 15-inch Air when it comes to endurance.
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