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Apple Finally Intros a 15-Inch MacBook Air

by Stewart Wolpin on June 06, 2023

Young people overwhelmingly own Apple iPhones. According to Statistica, 58% of 18- to 34-year-olds own iPhones, and, according to Piper Sandler, a whopping 87% of GenZers own iPhones. But if anyone in these age groups wanted to buy a reasonably priced 15-inch laptop, they were limited only to Windows portable computers – until now.

Apple has finally unveiled a 15-inch MacBook Air. Weighing 3.3 pounds with a starting price of $1,299, or $100 less for students, the new Air is around the same weight and price as its top-of-the-line 15-inch Windows PC competitors.

Apple 15-inch Macbook -- from the left in space gray, silver, midnight, and starlight.

Equipped with Apple’s latest M2 processor, which Apple claims is two times faster than an Intel i7 PC, the new Air boasts a 15.3-inch 2880 x 1864-pixel Retina display, a slightly larger and higher resolution screen than that of the similarly-priced Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 ($1,299, on sale for $999). For high-res video calls, Air is packed with a 1080p FaceTime camera versus the Surface’s 720p webcam. Size-wise, the Air measures 13.4 x 9.35 x .45 inches, around the same footprint as the latest Surface, but at just 11.5mm, it’s 3mm thinner. Apple also offers 18-hour battery life with the Air, the same as the Surface, although your real-life usage will obviously vary. For multimedia, the Air includes six speakers and three microphones.

Just like its 13-inch sibling, the 15-inch Air sports two USB-C/USB 4 Thunderbolt ports and a MagSafe charging port on the left side, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the right. As with all MacBook Airs, Apple doesn’t include a legacy UBC-A port, so you’ll need an adapter or dock for older connected gear. Air is available with 8, 16, or 24GB of unified application memory (RAM) and a choice of 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage memory (ROM). Unfortunately, Apple has stuck with Wi-Fi 6 for wireless connectivity instead of the slightly more advanced Wi-Fi 6E (although to take advantage of 6E, you’ll need a 6E-compatible router. You can find our recommendations for a 6E router here.).

Best of all for iPhone owners, the Mac/iOS ecosystem integration enables much smoother interaction with the Air for moving content and communications back and forth. Of course, there’s AirDrop and Universal Clipboard that lets you copy something on your phone and then paste it into a document on your Air.

Perhaps the best news is for those who would be happy with a 13.6-inch laptop, the price on the smaller M2 MacBook Air drops $100 to a starting price of $1,099 (and $999 for students).

[Image credit: Apple]

Stewart Wolpin has been writing about consumer electronics for more than 35 years, including news, reviews, analysis and history, and has attended and covered nearly 50 Consumer Electronic Shows and around a dozen IFA shows in Berlin. For the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), he is an elector for and writes the official biographies of the annual CT Hall of Fame inductees, and is the keeper of the industry’s official history.


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