New MacBook Air M3 models announced — 13-inch and 15-inch models land simultaneously, up to 60% faster than M1

MacBook Air M3
(Image credit: Apple)

The new MacBook Air M3 range is finally here, as Apple reveals its slim and light MacBook with the latest M3 processor on board — boasting up to 60% faster speeds than the M1 models that kicked off Apple's own silicon revolution.

The new M3 MacBook Air is available to preorder now and will be released on Friday, March 8, so you don't have long to wait before you can get your hands on one. The new MacBook Air starts at $1,199 for the 15-inch, and $1099 for the 13-inch model.

New MacBook Air is here

M3 Macbook Air

(Image credit: Apple)

While the design remains unchanged from the M2 editions, some headline figures in the press release might catch your eye. One of the biggest is gaming performance, with Apple boasting that the M3 MacBook Air models will run games titles like No Man's Sky up to 60% faster than the MacBook Air with M1.

It looks like there's some good news around creative tasks as well. Apple says that the M3 chip is 40% faster than the M1 version, and up to 15% faster for those still running Intel when using the Photomator's Super Resolution Feature to edit photos with AI.

The new MacBook Air M3 compares well against an Intel i7 too, according to Apple. There's 2x the performance on offer, as well as 50 percent speedier web browsing, and a massive 40 percent longer battery life over Intel-powered machines.

They'll both have stunning Liquid Retina displays, although there's still no ProMotion as found with the MacBook Pros. The rest of the spec sheet reads similarly to the older M2 MacBook Air models — a 1080p FaceTime camera, TouchID in the keyboard, MagSafe charging, two Thunderbolt ports and that lovely svelte aluminum design. Battery life also remains unchanged — up to 18 hours. The M3 seems to be bringing performance gains rather than efficiency boosts.

M3 MacBook Air

(Image credit: Apple)

AI features heavily through the announcement too, with Apple calling the new MacBook Air "The World's Best Consumer Laptop for AI", citing the M3 platform as a great base for on-device large language models. This is looking to be Apple's year for AI, so it's no surprise it's focussing on it with its upcoming products.

The two sizes will come in the same colors as the older model — Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and Space grey. The 15-inch MacBook Air with M2 will no longer be available for purchase, but you will be able to nab an M2 13-inch model at the reduced price of $999.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.