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MacBook Air 13 and 15 inch Buyer's Guide

By Hartley Charlton

After Apple's latest update that added the M3 chip, the MacBook Air is still available in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes. 15-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ offers almost all the same hardware with a significantly larger display, but there are still some key differences to consider when purchasing one of the machines.


13- and 15-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ The models are virtually identical in terms of feature set and design, with both featuring high-resolution Liquid Retina displays, Touch ID, dual Thunderbolt ports, and more. Both machines can be equipped with the same amount of memory and storage, and both are available in the same color options. This simplifies your purchasing decision down to a few important aspects.

Key differences

13-inch ‌MacBook Air&zwnj ; 15-inch ‌MacBook Air‌
13.6-inch Liquid Retina display 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display
M2 or M3 chip M3 chip
Runs with 8-core graphics processor 10-core GPU
Four-speaker audio system Six-speaker audio system with force-cancelling woofers
Built-in 52.6 Wh Li-Po battery Built-in 66.5 Wh Li-Po battery
USB 30W-C Power Adapter (8-Core GPU) or 35W Compact Dual-Port Power Adapter 35W Compact Dual-Port Power Adapter
From 999 USD From $1,299

It is important to note that although the 15-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ has a 13.9 Wh larger battery than the 13-inch model, both machines have the same battery life of 18 hours. This is likely due to the increased power consumption of the large display.

If you plan to make heavy use of your laptop's built-in speakers, the 15-inch model is a good reason to upgrade to the larger model, which offers two additional speakers inside a larger chassis. The smaller ‌MacBook Air‌ It also lacks the forced-compensation woofers found in the 15-inch model, meaning its sound isn't as good.

Since size is the main difference between the two ‌MacBook Air&zwnj ; models, potential customers may want to inquire about the specific dimensions and weight of the machines. The 15-inch model adds 0.6 lb (0.27 kg) and may be more difficult to fit into a bag or backpack due to its larger size.

Dimensions

13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ 15-inch ‌MacBook Air‌
Height 0.44 inches (1.13 cm) 0.45 inches (1.15 cm)
Width 11.97 inches (30.41 cm) 13.40 inches (34.04 cm)
Depth 8.46 inches (21.5 cm) 9.35 inches (23.76 cm)
Weight 2 .7 lb (1.24 kg) 3.3 lb (1.51 kg)

Although 13 -inch ‌MacBook Air‌ with the M3 chip starts at $1,099, making it $200 cheaper than the 15-inch model if you opt for the 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ with a 10-core GPU, that price difference drops to $100. If you add a compact 35W dual-port power adapter, the difference drops to just $80. With that in mind, most users considering the M3 should go for the 15-inch model as it offers much more screen real estate and better speakers.

You should only buy the 13-inch M3 ‌ MacBook Air‌ if you specifically need a lighter, more portable device and are concerned about carrying around a device as large as the 15-inch model. Likewise, the 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ This is the best buy if you value value and don't need anything more than an 8-core GPU and a 30W USB-C power adapter. The $1,099 13-inch model is still slightly more affordable than the 15-inch MacBook Air, with virtually no compromises in terms of features.

  • M2 vs. MacBook Air M3 Buyer's Guide: All the Differences Comparison

13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ also available with ‌M2‌ chip for $999. This is ‌MacBook Air‌ Apple introduced it in mid-2022 and is now an entry-level model. If affordability is your main concern, this 13-inch model is a better choice, costing $300 less than the 15-inch M3.

Related review: MacBook Air Buyer's Guide: 13-inch MacBook Air (Buy Now ), 15-inch MacBook Air (Buy Now)Related Forum: MacBook Air134 comments

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