Apple is refreshing its MacBook Air family with two new laptops that look… virtually identical to their predecessors. But under the hood the new MacBook Air 13 and MacBook Air 15 pack a few significant upgrades that should bring a big boost in CPU, graphics, and wireless performance.

The new MacBook Air 13 is up for pre-order today for $1099 and up, while the new MacBook Air 15 starts at $1299. Both of these thin, light, and fanless laptops should be available starting March 8, 2024.

Both laptops are powered by Apple M3 processors, but it’s worth keeping in mind that Apple offers several versions of this chip. The entry-level MacBook Air 13 has a version with 8 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores, while all other models have 10-core graphics.

Apple says the M3 processor makes the 2024 MacBook Air up to 60 percent faster than the 2020 model with an M1 chip, and up to 13 times faster than older models with Intel processors. The company doesn’t give a direct comparison with the 2022 MacBook Air 13 with an M2 chip or 2023 MacBook Air 15 with M2, presumably because most people with those models probably aren’t looking to upgrade just yet. But the company noted when it launched the MacBook Air 13 with M2 that it brought up to an 18 percent boost in CPU performance and 35 percent faster graphics.

Another change this year? The new MacBook Air models support WiFi 6E, for wireless connections that are up two twice as fast as the previous-gen models.

Also worth keeping in mind? Whether you opt for a model with a 13.6 inch or 15.3 inch display, the starting price gets you just 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage. You’ll have to pay $200 more to double the storage to 512GB and another $200 on top of that to double the memory to 16GB.

So if you’re one of the many people who would never buy a laptop in 2024 with less than 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, the real starting prices for the MacBook Air 13 and 15 are $1499 and $1699, respectively.

If you want to max out the specs, the laptops can support up to 24GB of memory and 2TB of storage. But that’ll drive prices up even further.

The MacBook Air 13 and 15 laptops are available in midnight, starlight, space gray, and silver colors and all models have aluminum unibody designs. They both feature Apple’s Liquid Retina high-res displays with support for a billion colors and up to 500 nits brightness.

Other features include two Thunderbolt ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, a 1080p FaceTime HD webcam, and a MagSafe charger.

Apple is also lowering the price for the previous-gen MacBook Air 13 with an M2 processor: it now starts at $999 (or $1199 for models with 16GB of RAM).

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  1. “Also worth keeping in mind? Whether you opt for a model with a 13.6 inch or 15.3 inch display, the starting price gets you just 8GB of memory and 512GB of storage. You’ll have to pay $200 more to double the storage to 512GB and another $200 on top of that to double the memory to 16GB.”

    I think that the first 512 was supposed to say 256.

    However. Now would probably be a great time to get an M2 Mac…

    1. Here in Spain the prices seems to be “from” €1299 for the M3 and “from” €1199 for the M2. With that small difference, I don’t really see any point of getting the M2 over the M3, unless they pack in more storage and RAM in the M2 for the starting price, which I doubt. So I retract my statement that now is a good time to get an M2.

      Then again, most people buying a Mac isn’t counting the pennies, it will always be an expensive computer.

      Perhaps the M1 is on a discount in some stores now though, for those of us who are counting pennies. I’ve seen them for about €849 fairly recently.