MacBook Air M3, a Guide to Apple’s Latest Innovation

Laptops News
Avator By Jonathan Owen
Marketing Manager
Published 22nd March 2024
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MacBook Air M3

Apple has refreshed its popular MacBook Air lineup for 2024, offering new M3 chip-powered models in both 13-inch and 15-inch sizes. While the overall design remains largely unchanged from the previous M2 generation, the M3 silicon provides a significant performance boost that further cements the Air’s position as one of the best consumer laptops on the market.

Design and Build

Aesthetically, the 2024 MacBook Air maintains the iconic aluminium unibody construction that has become a hallmark of Apple’s laptop offerings. The M3 models are available in four finishes: space grey, silver, starlight, and midnight. The latter colour option, with its anodised surface, aims to reduce visible fingerprint smudges — a common complaint with previous iterations.

Despite their familiar appearance, the new Airs have subtly evolved, shedding the previous wedge-shaped profile for a uniform thickness of just 11.5mm across the entire chassis. This streamlined design aligns the Air more closely with the MacBook Pro lineup, blurring the lines between Apple’s consumer and professional portable offerings.

In terms of portability, the 13-inch Air weighs just 1.24kg, while the larger 15-inch model comes in at 1.51kg. Both machines feel remarkably sturdy yet remain highly portable, ideal for users on the go.

Display and Audio

The Liquid Retina displays on the new MacBook Airs continue to impress, offering vibrant colours, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles. The 13-inch model features a 2560 x 1600 resolution panel, while the 15-inch variant boasts an even sharper 2880 x 1800 display.

Apple has also enhanced the audio capabilities of the larger Air, equipping it with a six-speaker sound system that delivers noticeably fuller and richer bass response compared to the four-speaker array found in the 13-inch model.

M3 Performance and Capabilities

At the heart of the 2024 MacBook Air beats Apple’s latest M3 system-on-a-chip (SoC), which promises significant performance gains over its M2 predecessor. Utilising a more advanced 5nm process and an 8-core CPU design, the M3 delivers up to 20% faster CPU performance and up to 35% better graphics performance compared to the M2.

The M3 chip also introduces hardware-accelerated ray tracing support, allowing for more realistic and immersive graphics in compatible applications and games. Additionally, the new AV1 decode engine promises improved video streaming efficiency, reducing bandwidth demands.

Another notable upgrade is the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, offering faster wireless speeds and improved network reliability.

In terms of real-world performance, the M3 MacBook Air handles everyday tasks such as web browsing, document editing, and media consumption with ease. It can also tackle more demanding workloads like photo and video editing, as well as light gaming, thanks to its powerful integrated graphics.

Connectivity and I/O

While the overall port selection remains unchanged from the previous generation, the 2024 MacBook Air now supports dual external display output, even with the lid closed. This feature, previously limited to the MacBook Pro lineup, allows users to create a more expansive workspace by connecting two external monitors to their Air.

In terms of physical ports, the Air retains two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports for charging, data transfer, and connecting peripherals. Some users may lament the lack of additional port options, particularly on the right side of the chassis, which could lead to cable clutter in certain setups.

MacBook Air M3 models

MacBook Air M3 models

Battery Life and Charging

Apple’s Silicon chips have consistently delivered impressive battery life, and the M3 MacBook Air is no exception. The company rates the 13-inch model for up to 18 hours of video playback on a single charge, while the larger 15-inch variant promises up to 15 hours of battery life.

In real-world use, the 2024 MacBook Air easily lasts through a full workday and then some, making it an ideal companion for mobile professionals and students alike. When it’s time to recharge, the included 67W USB-C power adapter can quickly replenish the battery.

macOS and Software Integration

Running the latest version of macOS, the 2024 MacBook Air seamlessly integrates with other Apple devices and services, providing a cohesive and user-friendly experience. Features like Continuity, which allows seamless handoff of tasks between devices, and Universal Control, enabling the use of a single keyboard and mouse across Macs and iPads, further enhance productivity.

Apple has also emphasised the M3’s prowess in AI workloads, touting the MacBook Air as “the world’s best consumer laptop for AI” thanks to its powerful neural engine. While the practical applications of this capability may not be immediately apparent to all users, it underscores Apple’s commitment to incorporating AI and machine learning capabilities into its products.

Pricing and Configurations

The 2024 MacBook Air lineup starts at £1,049 for the 13-inch model with an M3 chip, 8GB of unified memory, and a 256GB SSD. The 15-inch variant kicks off at £1,249 with the same base configuration.

Customers can opt for higher-end configurations, including up to 24GB of unified memory and up to 2TB of SSD storage, though these upgrades can significantly increase the price. For most users, the base or mid-tier models should provide ample performance and storage capacity.


With its powerful M3 chip, sleek design, and impressive battery life, the 2024 MacBook Air solidifies its position as a compelling choice for consumers seeking a highly capable yet portable laptop. While the design evolution is iterative, the performance improvements and new capabilities make the M3 Air a tempting upgrade, especially for those still using older Intel-based models.

For professionals with more demanding workloads, the MacBook Pro lineup may still be the better option, offering even more processing power and dedicated graphics capabilities. However, for most daily computing tasks, media consumption, and light creative work, the 2024 MacBook Air strikes an excellent balance between performance, portability, and value.

As Apple continues to refine its Silicon strategy, the MacBook Air remains a shining example of the company’s commitment to delivering innovative and user-friendly computing experiences. Whether you’re a student, a mobile professional, or simply seeking a reliable and powerful laptop for everyday use, the 2024 MacBook Air is well worth considering.

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