Apple's long-rumored 15-inch MacBook Air is finally a reality. As expected, the new laptop is extremely similar to the redesigned 13-inch version that Apple announced at WWDC one year ago — just a bit bigger. This marks the first time Apple has released a laptop with a screen this size that wasn't part of its "pro" lineup of devices, whether we're talking about the MacBook Pro or its predecessor, the PowerBook.
As expected, the 15-inch MacBook Air is using the same M2 chip as the smaller model, a processor that was also unveiled about a year ago. Despite its age, we don't have any immediate misgivings about the choice, given how well it performs on the 13-inch MacBook Air.
Design-wise, it’s unsurprisingly similar to all the other laptops Apple has released recently, with a squared-off design rather than the old wedge that the Air was previously known for. It also has the same controversial notch in the display for the 1080p webcam.
Apple hasn't said exactly what the resolution of the 15-inch MacBook Air display is yet. But we know the screen is a 15.3-inch "liquid Retina display" that maxes out at 500 nits of brightness. This means it doesn't have the “ProMotion” adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz; this one tops out at 60Hz. It’s also a standard LCD, not the “XDR” extreme dynamic range display found in the Pro. None of these changes are terribly surprising, as Apple needed to cut costs and differentiate the Pro lineup from the Air.
Apple says that the MacBook Air delivers 18-hour battery life and is only about 3.3 pounds in weight and 11.5mm thick. Like the 13-inch model, it doesn't have a fan. It also has the same slightly sad amount of ports: Two Thunderbolt 4 ports, plus a headphone jack and MagSafe charging port.
The 15-inch Air will ship in the same four colors (or shades of gray, depending on who you’re asking) as the smaller laptop: Midnight, Space Gray, Starlight and Silver. The laptop starts at $1,299 and will be up for pre-order today. It’ll be available in stores starting next week. We're still waiting to see how much RAM and storage the different Air models come with and will update this post when we have more details.
At the same time, Apple cut the price on the two existing 13-inch MacBook Air models. The M2 MacBook Air now costs $1,099 instead of $1,199, while the M1 model starts at $999.
Rumors about this device picked up last year — just after WWDC 2022, Bloomberg reported that a 15-inch Air was in the works for 2023. And then just a few months ago, developer logs were shared with the publication that showed Apple was testing a new device for compatibility with third-party App Store apps. The device in question had specs similar to the 13-inch Air, but was identified in these developer logs as a "Mac 15,3."
While the rumors of a 15-inch MacBook Air have been a lot more concrete in the last year, they've existed for almost as long as the MacBook Air lineup itself. For a fun trip down memory lane, check out this sketchy rumor report from way back in 2009.
Follow all of the news from Apple's WWDC 2023 right here.