The MacBook Air gets an M3 upgrade

From The Verge: Apple has taken the wraps off a pair of new M3-equipped MacBook Air models. The 13- and 15-inch laptops are “up to 60 percent faster” than the M1 MacBook Air, according to Apple, and sport up to 18 hours of battery life. You can preorder both devices starting today, and they start shipping on Friday, March 8th.

The 13-inch MacBook Air will cost $1,099, while the 15-inch model will cost $1,299. Both devices come with a Liquid Retina display and up to 500 nits of brightness, along with support for up to two external displays when the laptops are closed. They also include an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E, which adds support for the 6GHz band and faster download speeds. The M3 MacBook Air models come with MagSafe charging and two Thunderbolt ports as well. The 13-inch M2 version of the laptop will stick around at a lower price of $999.

With the M3 chip, the laptops offer an upgraded 16-core Neural Engine that Apple says can “run optimized AI models” as well as a built-in GPU that allows for mesh shading and ray tracing. The new MacBooks feature a 1080p FaceTime camera, three microphones, and support for spatial audio and Dolby Atmos. Both devices are less than half an inch thick.

The base-level 13-inch MacBooks will ship with a 30W USB-C power adapter, while most upgraded versions come with either a 35W dual-port charger or 70W adapter. For $20, you can upgrade the 256GB storage version to a 35W dual-port adapter or 70W adapter. (The 2022 13-inch had a 67W charger option — in our experience, upgrading to a more powerful option was worth it.)

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