Monday, June 5, 2023

MacBook Air 15-inch 2023

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

With an expansive 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display, the incredible performance of M2, up to 18 hours of battery life, and a silent, fanless design, the new MacBook Air brings power and portability — all in the world’s thinnest 15-inch laptop. With an all-new six-speaker sound system, the 15-inch MacBook Air delivers immersive Spatial Audio, along with a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, MagSafe charging, and the power and ease of macOS Ventura for an unrivaled experience.


The 15-inch MacBook Air with M2, available in midnight, starlight, silver, and space gray, starts at $1,299 (U.S.) and $1,199 (U.S.) for education.

The display is 2,880×1,864, which is up from 2,560×1,664 for the 13-inch MacBook Air, but down from 3,024×1,964 for the 14-inch MacBook Pro. On the one hand, this seems disappointing in that, as with the 14-inch iBook, it seems to be more about making things look larger, rather than showing more. However, now that we have Retina displays, you will in practice be able to choose a larger scaled resolution with the 15-inch MacBook Air than the 14-inch MacBook Pro and still be able to read it, even though it may not look as sharp.


Update (2023-06-13): Joe Rossignol:

Ahead of time, the first reviews of the laptop have been shared by select media outlets and YouTube channels, offering a closer look at new features.

Jason Snell:

Until now, if you wanted to buy a Mac laptop with a screen larger than 14 inches, the starting price was $2499 (for the 16-inch MacBook Pro). Now it’s almost half that price because the 15-inch Air starts at $1299. Of course, if you buy an Air you lose a lot of the high-end features of the MacBook Pro: more ports, a spectacular screen, and a more powerful processor. But if all you care about is the size of the display and perhaps weight—at 3.3 pounds, the Air is 70 percent of the weight of the MacBook Pro—you can save $1200. That’s a spectacular change in the economics of buying a Mac laptop.


To counteract the extra power draw of the bigger screen, Apple has increased the size of the Air’s battery, but all that does is make the battery life of the two models identical. There’s also a bit extra space in the 15-inch model’s case for a more expansive speaker system. (When I compared it to the 13-inch model, I noticed some differences, but they were extremely subtle.)

Update (2023-06-15): Joe Rossignol:

Apple’s VP of hardware engineering Kate Bergeron and marketing employee Laura Metz recently spoke with Tom’s Guide’s Mark Spoonauer about the design of the new 15-inch MacBook Air, including its larger display and two additional speakers.

Juli Clover:

We picked up Apple’s latest notebook and thought we’d check it out for MacRumors readers who are curious whether it’s worth picking up over the 13-inch version of a MacBook Pro.

Joe Rossignol:

As expected, the 15-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of storage is equipped with a single NAND chip, according to YouTube channel Max Tech. This will result in the 256GB model having slower SSD read and write speeds compared to 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB models that have multiple NAND chips for faster speeds, but real-world results will vary.

Update (2023-07-27): Joe Rossignol:

Initial customer demand for the new 15-inch MacBook Air has been “weaker than expected,” according to a DigiTimes report citing sources within Apple’s supply chain. The report claims that 15-inch MacBook Air shipment volume in July has been 50% less than originally estimated amid a broader downturn in the notebook market.

I expected this model to be a big hit. But there definitely seems to be a general downturn, and these sort of reports don’t always end up being what they seem.

Update (2023-08-15): Quinn Nelson:

I’ve been using the 15” MacBook Air as my every-day laptop for over a month and I think this is the closest Apple has ever gotten to the perfect laptop[…]

He finds that it throttles less than the 13-inch.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

"Liquid Retina" sounds tempting but I'll believe it when I see some measurements and comparisons.

I was hoping for a 15-inch MacBook Air a few years ago but found the display to be lacking (viewing angle, brightness, colour gamut) compared to the Pro. Never again! Waiting for January 2024.

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