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Apple releases new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 chip, dual external display support and faster Wi-Fi

Apple today announced the new generation M3 MacBook Air line in 13- and 15-inch sizes. The new models are available to order today and will begin shipping March 8.

The new laptops feature an M3 chip with faster CPU and GPU performance, an updated Neural Engine, and nearly 2x faster Wi-Fi. . The chip now also supports connecting up to two external displays simultaneously, finally making up for one of the few feature degradations in the move from Intel to Apple Silicon … something like that.

There is a small error in the title for the ability to connect two displays simultaneously … It only works when the laptop lid is closed. This means you can now use a desktop MacBook Air with two external displays, but the laptop must remain in clamshell mode. When the lid is open, the Air's screen is on, and you can only have one active external display, just like the previous M1 and M2 models.

This is an improvement for the Apple Silicon era of the MacBook Air, but it's still inferior to what was previously possible on the Intel Air. (On the Intel Air, you can connect two external displays, and also actively use the laptop's own screen.)

In terms of specifications, the MacBook Air M3 has a faster 8-core processor. CPU coupled with 10-core GPU. Apple also calls the new Air “the world's best consumer laptop for artificial intelligence.” thanks to the inclusion of a faster 16-core Neural Engine. The Wi-Fi radios have been upgraded to support Wi-Fi 6E, delivering maximum theoretical download speeds that are twice as fast as the previous generation.

The overall design of the MacBook Air M3 is the same as the M2: a thin-bezel screen, a cutout for the camera, and a body with flat edges. This is a major spec upgrade for both the 13-inch and 15-inch sizes.

The 13-inch and 15-inch screens are available in Midnight, Starlight, Space Gray and silver. The Midnight color theme features an anodized seal to reduce visible fingerprints, which was previously introduced on the MacBook Pro M3 last fall.

Starting today, you can order the new laptops from Apple's online store. The 13-inch MacBook Air with M3 starts at $1,099 or $999 for education. The 15-inch model starts at $1,299 or $1,199 for education. These are the same prices as the previous M2 line.

The 13-inch MacBook Air M2 continues to sell at a new lower price of $999 after the discontinuation of the M1 model.

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