New MacBook Air Coming Soon: Here's What We Know

In addition to major iPad updates, a new MacBook Air is coming soon. New 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models could be unveiled at an event in March. Here's everything we know so far.

New MacBook Air: what the rumors say

Right now, rumors suggest that the new MacBook Air update will be relatively uninteresting. While an all-new MacBook Air design was introduced in 2022, and a new 15-inch MacBook Air form factor was introduced in 2023, the 2024 refresh is expected to focus on one thing: performance.

The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models coming this year will feature Apple's latest-generation M3 processor. The updates are expected to be revealed in March, along with new updates to the iPad Air and iPad Pro at a potential event. New MacBook Air M3 models are reportedly already in production ahead of this launch.

How much faster will the new MacBook Air be?

The new MacBook Air with the M3 chip should be noticeably faster than the M2-based version. First, the M3 chip is manufactured on a 3nm process rather than the M2 chip's 5nm process.

Apple claims the M3 family of chips has cores up to 30% faster efficiency than the M2 family. and up to 50% faster than M1. The performance cores of M3 chips are up to 15% faster than M2 chips and up to 30% faster than M1 family processors.

Specifically, Apple says for the base model of the M3 chip:

  • The 8-core processor is up to 35% faster than the M1 and 20% faster than the M2.
  • 10-core GPU is up to 65% faster than M1 and up to 20% faster than M2.

These claims are also largely backed up by benchmarks.

The M3 also features so-called dynamic caching, which Apple describes as “the biggest advance in graphics architecture”; ever, along with support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing and hardware-accelerated mesh shading.

What does all this mean in practice? The MacBook Air M3 will be faster, more efficient, and provide a significant boost in graphics performance. While you probably won't notice these improvements every day, they will give you a higher ceiling on those occasions when you really need to maximize productivity.

9to5Mac's Take

One of the things I'm most interested in is what will happen to the entire MacBook Air line when the new M3 model arrives. introduced. Here's what the current MacBook Air lineup looks like:

  • M1 MacBook Air: $999
  • 13-inch M2 MacBook Air: $1,099
  • 15 -inch MacBook Air M2: $1,299

Will the MacBook Air M2 models remain in the lineup and will they receive a price cut? What will happen to the MacBook Air M1? These are the questions I'm looking forward to Apple answering next month.

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