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Wednesday, January 10, 2024

15in MacBook Air assessment: Apple’s finest client laptop computer, simply larger | Apple

Apple’s much-rumoured 15in MacBook Air is right here, marking the agency’s return to this a part of the market and including extra display screen to what’s arguably the most effective client laptop computer accessible.

The 15in MacBook Air begins at £1,399 ($1,299/A$2,199) – £250 greater than the wonderful 13in model, which has been given a £100 value lower since its launch.

The bigger display screen means it competes with the likes of the 15in Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 5 and Dell’s well-liked XPS 15. However in contrast to many bulkier rivals, the MacBook Air retains the entire promoting factors of the unique 13in model, simply larger.

The ports in the side of the Apple 15in MacBook Air.
The brand new Air weighs 1.51kg and is 11.5mm thick, making it some of the compact 15in machines available on the market. It’ll slot in most backpacks, however it’s possible you’ll battle with small briefcase-style laptop computer luggage. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

It has the identical super-thin steel physique, no-fan cooling system for silent operating and the M2 chip. It’s quick and energy environment friendly, lasting as a lot as twice so long as the competitors on battery. However that additionally means it doesn’t have a discrete graphics card or any of the extra highly effective processors which are sometimes fitted to beefy 15in PCs from rivals.

The Air is for customers on the lookout for a bigger display screen however not gaming or workstation efficiency. The show is superb certainly: shiny, crisp, vibrant and with the next decision than most full-HD laptops, although not the costly 4K-screen variations of rivals. At 15.3in on the diagonal, there’s considerably extra space in contrast with 13in laptops to suit multiple window at a time.

Utilizing half the display screen, web sites show at virtually full measurement and paperwork seem at full width, making split-screen working simpler. There’s additionally a good bit extra working area inside picture and video modifying apps in contrast with smaller fashions.

Movies and TV reveals look nice on the display screen too. It’s able to displaying HDR content material, whereas the laptop computer’s six-speaker system sounds much better than you’d anticipate. It’ll simply fill a small room with music and doesn’t sound tinny like most laptops.

The keyboard and trackpad of the Apple 15in MacBook Air.
The keyboard provides a agency however responsive typing expertise and has a Contact ID fingerprint reader within the energy button. The perfect-in-class trackpad is gigantic, however by no means obtained in the best way of typing. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Air runs the identical macOS 13.4 Ventura software program as Apple’s latest Macs, with the Sonoma replace to reach later this 12 months. Ventura runs nicely on the laptop computer and features a assortment of helpful screen-sharing and proximity options for different Apple units, corresponding to utilizing a latest iPad as a second display screen or to management it remotely. You may use an iPhone as a wi-fi webcam, which works rather well however is much less needed as a result of the FaceTime HD digicam is fairly good already.


  • Display: 15.3in LCD (2880×1864; 224 ppi) True Tone

  • Processor: Apple M2 with 10-core GPU

  • RAM: 8, 16 or 24GB

  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB SSD

  • Working system: macOS 13.4 Ventura

  • Digital camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

  • Connectivity: wifi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, 2x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, headphones

  • Dimensions: 237.6 x 340.4 x 11.5mm

  • Weight: 1.51kg

Extraordinarily lengthy battery life

The dual-port USB-C charger and MagSafe cable that comes with the Apple 15in MacBook Air.
It comes with a dual-port 35W USB-C energy adaptor, which absolutely prices the Air in about 2.5 hours and might cost a telephone on the identical time. A 70W or better adaptor can fast-charge the laptop computer. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The 15in Air has the identical choice of ports because the 13in model, together with two Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports, a headphones socket and a separate MagSafe charging connection. It could be been good to have a reminiscence card reader or just a few extra ports, however with in depth enlargement choices by way of the USB-C ports, it really works.

The battery life stays class-leading. It lasts as much as 16 hours for workplace work corresponding to looking and phrase processing between prices relying on utilization. Add extra inventive duties corresponding to a number of hours of picture modifying in Affinity Picture and it’ll nonetheless final a superb 13 hours, so that you received’t want to hold the charger to lectures or work.


The lid of the 14in MacBook Pro next to the 15in MacBook Air.
The 15in MacBook Air (backside) is simply barely wider and taller than the 14in MacBook Professional (high), which is considerably thicker. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The MacBook Air is made with recycled supplies together with aluminium, cobalt, gold, metal, tin, uncommon earth components and plastic. Apple breaks down the pc’s environmental impression in its report.

The pc is typically repairable, and the battery will be changed for £189 by Apple. The corporate provides trade-in and free recycling schemes, together with for non-Apple merchandise.


The 15in MacBook Air begins at £1,399 ($1,299/A$2,199) with 8GB of reminiscence and 256GB of storage.

For comparability, the 13in MacBook Air prices from £1,149, the 14in MacBook Professional from £2,149, the 15in Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 5 begins at £1,299 and the 15in Dell XPS begins at £1,399.


The 15in MacBook Air is a superb addition to Apple’s laptop computer line, marrying the best-in-class 13in mannequin with an even bigger show for individuals who want extra display screen.

It doesn’t essentially change the successful system of the laptop computer, which is an efficient factor. The no-fan design retains issues silent whereas the speedy however environment friendly M2 chip supplies loads of energy and 16-hour battery life. These on the lookout for gaming or workstation-level energy must look elsewhere, nevertheless.

The display screen is likely one of the finest available on the market. The audio system are improbable, the webcam is fairly good and the mics are nice for taking calls. It’s tremendous skinny and nicely constructed, making carrying it about simpler than many rivals with out compromising operate.

The 15in Air isn’t low cost, however it’s additionally not overly costly for a premium laptop computer of this measurement. I’d decide the 13in model for portability, however if you need a top quality client laptop computer with a giant display screen and also you don’t want Home windows, that is it.

Professionals: speedy M2 chip, silent operating, extraordinarily lengthy battery life, nice 15.3in display screen, nice keyboard, huge best-in-class trackpad, MagSafe, nice audio system, good mics and webcam, a lot of recycled supplies, skinny and light-weight for the dimensions, Contact ID.

Cons: premium-priced, solely two USB-C ports with no USB-A or SD card slot, can solely drive one exterior show, no Centre Stage digicam or Face ID.

The Apple 15in MacBook Air closed on a wooden table.
The skinny aluminium physique means the MacBook Air stays pretty compact regardless of the big 15in display screen. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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