The 15-inch MacBook Air has the same storage problem as most other Macs

Apple's 15-inch macbook air in four colors
(Image credit: Apple)

The brand-new 15-inch MacBook Air is now here and people are already starting to put the laptop through its paces. And as part of that, we're starting to learn a few new things, including the fact that it suffers from a familiar problem.

Thankfully, that problem will only impact you if you buy the base model with 256GB of storage and even then, it might not be something you ever even notice. But for those that will, it's a problem worth noting.

That problem is of course that the 256GB SSD used in the 15-inch MacBook Air is of the single NAND chip variety, making it slower than other capacities like the upgraded 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB options.

Y tho?

You'd be forgiven for being confused about why storage capacity would impact performance, and you won't be alone.

The gist is simple, though. Every storage capacity except the 256GB model of MacBook Air uses two NAND chips instead of one, making them faster when accessing and moving around large files. It's a problem that we've seen on other Macs including the Mac mini, 13-inch MacBook Air, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Now, YouTuber MaxTech has confirmed that the same issue impacts the 15-inch MacBook Air as well.

Of course, whether most people will ever notice the difference is a matter of debate, but we'd suggest that they won't. And those who would are likely buying Apple's high-end models or speccing these machines with larger amounts of storage. Still, the fact that not all 15-inch MacBook Airs are created equal is something that rubs some people up the wrong way, and understandably so.

All of that being said, the 15-inch MacBook Air is still very likely to be the best Mac for most people, and that stands no matter which storage configuration you happen to choose.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.