In recent years Apple has done a pretty good job at keeping things exciting for developers and those in search of a new device. That trend continues with WWDC 2023, as not only are we getting new software, but Apple also debuted several new Macs, including the first 15-inch MacBook Air.
MacBook Air 2023: Specs
- Display: 15.3-inch Liquid Retina (2880 x 1864)
- Processor: Apple M2 (8-core CPU w/ 10-core GPU)
- RAM: 8GB / 16GB / 24GB
- Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB
- Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD
- Speakers: Six-speaker Sound System w/ Spatial Audio support
- Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3 / MagSafe 3 / 3.5mm headphone jack
- Battery: Up to 18 hours of video playback or 15 hours of web browsing
- Charging: Fast-charge capable with 70W USB-C Power Adapter
- Height: 0.45-inches
- Width: 13.40-inches
- Depth: 9.35-inches
- Weight: 3.3 pounds
- Colors: Silver / Starlight / Space Gray / Midnight
- Price: Starts at $1299
Apple’s most popular laptop is finally getting the redesign that it sorely needed. Gone is the envelope-style design from the original MacBook Air. Instead, the 2023 version adopts a more squared-off design, falling in line with the 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.
With this redesign, the 2023 MacBook Air features slimmer bezels around all four edges of the display, reaching its largest point in the notch at the top. As is the case with the 2021 MacBook Pro models, the 2023 MacBook Air’s notch houses the new-and-improved 1080p FaceTime HD webcam. Apple seems like it’s going to stick with the notch in its various MacBook models, at least for the foreseeable future.
In addition to the implementation of a Liquid Retina screen, this display reaches 500 nits peak brightness. It also supports the P3 wide color gamut and even has support for Apple’s True Tone technology. Apple’s displays continue to impress on so many different levels, including the fact that the MacBook Air 2023 offers support for 1 billion colors, matching the same levels that we saw with the 2022 MacBook Air.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but Apple is sticking with the standard M2 chip on the 2023 MacBook Air. With the M2, this new chip is up to 1.4x faster than the M1 and up to 15x faster than the last Intel-based MacBook Air. Unlike the 13.3-inch MacBook Air, there’s just a single configuration available, as the 15.3-inch model sports an 8-core CPU, a 10-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine.
One of the benefits of the new M2 chip is its support for even more RAM, as there’s an all-new 24GB configuration available. This is available alongside the traditional 8GB or 16GB options that have been available for years. As for storage, the base configuration comes with 256GB, but this can be configured with up to 2TB. While you can also get a 512GB model as a base, which can also be configured with up to 2TB of storage.
Battery life is one of the keys to success for the MacBook Air, and Apple with its M2 is definitely delivering. The 2023 MacBook Air is rated to last for up to 18 hours of video playback, or 15 hours of web browsing. Fast-charge is on board too, as you’ll be able to go from 0% to 50% in just 30 minutes using Apple’s 70W USB-C Power Adapter. In the box, Apple includes a 35W Dual USB-C Power Adapter, but you can also opt to upgrade to the 70W charger if would prefer to have the fastest charger available for this MacBook Air.
As for port selection, MagSafe is back, courtesy of MagSafe 3 which was introduced in late 2021 with the 14-inch and 16-inch models. This is paired with a 3.5mm headphone jack sporting “advanced support for high-impedance headphones”, along with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports. It’s still a bit surprising to see that Apple didn’t opt to implement Thunderbolt 4 with the new MacBook Air, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, even if you plan on using a Thunderbolt Docking Station.
Apple is doing things differently this year, seemingly following in the same footsteps as the MacBook Pro line. Pricing for the MacBook Air 2023 starts at $1299, an increase of $200 over the 13.3-inch MacBook Air. That will get you the M2 chip with the 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, along with 256GB of storage. If you want to upgrade the storage and start off with the 512GB model, that will set you back $1499.
However, if you happen to just want the cheapest MacBook Air possible, Apple is going to continue selling the 2020 MacBook Air with the M1 chip. Pricing for that version remains $999, still giving Apple a sub-$1000 MacBook in its lineup. The 15.3-inch MacBook Air 2023 is available for pre-order starting today and will be available starting on June 13. And while this will ship with macOS Ventura, you can rest easy knowing that macOS Sonoma will be landing as soon as it’s officially released.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.