Apple Launches New MacBook Air with M3 Chip, Support for 2 External Displays

Mar 4, 2024 - 2 Comments

M3 MacBook Air

Apple has released fresh updates to the MacBook Air lineup of computers, bringing the powerful M3 chip to the popular Mac laptop, along with some other nice new features.

According to Apple’s press release announcing the products, the new M3 MacBook Air is up to 60% faster than the M1 model, and up to a whopping 13x faster than Intel MacBook Air models, making this a fantastic upgrade for Mac users venturing into the world of Apple Silicon hardware. You’ll also see up to 2x faster wi-fi speeds, thanks to Wi-Fi 6E support.

The improvements in speed do not limit battery life however, and you’ll continue to get up to 18 hours of battery life when using the M3 laptops, according to Apple.

Perhaps the biggest change is that all M3 MacBook Air models now support using up to two external displays, when the Mac laptop lid is closed and running in clamshell mode. Previous M2 and M3 Air models were only able to run one external display. This is a substantial improvement for users who work best with multiple external displays.

MacBook Air with M3 chip running dual displays

Additionally, for fans of the midnight blue color on the MacBook Air, Apple has adjusted the coating of the blue color to apparently attract fewer fingerprints.

Both the M3 MacBook Air 13″ and M3 MacBook Air 15″ models now have 512GB of default storage space (up from 256GB default in prior models), and can be configured to have up to 24 GB of RAM, and 2 TB of SSD storage.

Pricing starts at $1099 for the 13″ MacBook Air, and $1299 for the 15″ MacBook Air, for 8GB RAM / 512GB SSD models. You can order the new MacBook Air models right away.

The M2 MacBook Air 13″ model continues to be offered in 8GB/256GB configuration for $999 (Unsolicited shopping tip: you can routinely get discounts on Apple products, including MacBook Air, through retailers like Amazon, and some people will qualify for discounts directly from Apple using their educational discount or military discount programs).


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in News


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  1. John says:

    How much more performance can you get from a passively cooled thin notebook? The MacBook Air use case doesn’t really support heavy work tasks for any length of time. Can’t imagine the M3 will be any less of issue for thermal throttling under long heavy loads. My M2 MacBook Air is plenty fast, never had one moment that I wished I had even a little more performance.

    • Gabe says:

      I wonder the same!

      I have an M2 MacBook Air and it’s my favorite Mac I have owned in a long time, but I do wish it:

      – Included a fan (current Air temp is reported as 102ºC, my Air is always warm from load, and it overheats rapidly if exposed to sunlight, even through a window!)
      – Supported two displays, with the screen open (3 displays is even better!)
      – Supported 36 GB-48 GB RAM (I have 24 GB and routinely have comparable swap size, Macs need a lot of RAM)

      Given how my M2 Air is often hot to the touch and how it can’t seem to cool itself easily, I question what the performance of an M3 will be when in clamshell mode driving two external displays. Passive cooling works for iPhone and iPad, but I don’t think it makes sense on a Mac. Fan noise has never bothered me on any modern Mac.

      Some say “oh well you’re a pro user so get a MacBook Pro instead of an Air”, but that is not possible for me due to the PWM of OLED displays causing severe eyestrain and motion sickness, which is the same reason I have to avoid all OLED iPhone and iPad models. The LCD screen on the Air is the only eye-friendly display that Apple uses, and I fear when they stop using LCD panels because they don’t seem to care that roughly 10-20% of people get extreme eye fatigue and other issues from PWM.

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