Apple MacBook Air 15in

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It’s easy to dismiss the 15in MacBook Air as a blown-up version of the M2-powered 13in MacBook Air released last year . Indeed, that’s mostly what it is. Yet, the 15in MacBook Air also gives Mac fans a fresh, tempting portable computing option.

8-core Apple M2 chip with 10-core GPU16GB unified memory
512GB M.2 PCI-E Gen 4 SSD15.3in non-touch IPS display, 2,880 x 1,864 resolution
Wi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5
2 x USB-C 4 ports with Thunderbolt 4 supportMagSafe 3 charging port
3.5mm headphone jack1080p FaceTime HD webcam
67Wh batterymacOS Ventura
340 x 238 x 11.5mm (WDH)1.5kg
1yr RTB warranty

One immediately interesting thing about the new Air is its price. Starting at $1,599 inc VAT, it’s only $150 more than the 13in model – a modest premium for a much bigger screen. As usual, the entry-level spec has a lowly 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and there’s no scope for post-purchase upgrades. Consider doubling the memory at least, as this is a laptop made for multitasking.

Apple MacBook Air 15in
Apple MacBook Air 15in

Tested was a 16GB model with a 512GB SSD, which ups the price to $1,999; a maxed-out system with 24GB of RAM and 2TB of storage costs $2,899.

Aside from the size of the 15in Air, the design is almost identical to that of the 13in model. It comes in the same Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and Space Grey color schemes, and has the same flat-edged chassis design. It remains impressively thin, measuring 11.5mm thick, and while not extremely lightweight at 1.5kg, it still justifies the “Air” branding. When placed in a backpack, it’s easy to forget it’s there, unlike my bulky 16in MacBook Pro.

There is no problem carrying the 15in MacBook Air with one hand, thanks to its beautifully balanced weight distribution. Opening the lid with a single hand is easy, and the machined aluminum chassis makes everything feel sturdy and durable. The lid doesn’t wobble when moving the laptop, and there is never any hinge creak.

One design quibble is the minimal set of ports. While the MagSafe power socket is always welcome, other than that, there are only two Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports on the left and a wired headphone socket on the right. Considering the amount of space around the sides, it’s a shame that Apple didn’t include at least one extra USB port. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be a significant issue for the target audience, and the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3 provides high-speed wireless connectivity.

The keyboard on the 15in MacBook Air is the same size as the one on the 13in model, but the bigger chassis provides more space around it to rest your hands. It makes working on a laptop feel less cramped, and the keys themselves are gloriously responsive. The snap and impeccably tuned travel distance of the keys are enjoyable, neither too short nor too long.

The touchpad is larger than the one on the 13in MacBook Air, and this too is a positive change. Swipes, pinches, and other gestures feel freer and easier thanks to the additional space. Despite its size, there is no accidental grazing of the touchpad when typing.

The main selling point of the MacBook Air is undoubtedly its large screen, and it’s a pleasure to use. The ample size and sharp resolution of 2,880 x 1,864 make it ideal for tasks like working on extensive spreadsheets, editing photos, and multitasking with multiple windows.

However, it’s not just about size; the screen also offers impressive richness and brightness. With a maximum brightness measurement of 480cd/m2, it still manages to dazzle. The color performance is also strong, enhancing the visual experience.


The colorimeter measurements reveal that the 15in MacBook Air has 111% coverage of the sRGB color spectrum and 79% coverage of the wider DCI-P3 gamut, which is identical to the 13in MacBook Air M2. While an AMOLED panel would have been even more impressive, the screen is an excellent choice for everyday use. Games and videos also look great, with every detail in the trailer for Hidden Strike, from dilapidated buildings to rusty vehicles and dusty roads, clearly visible.

For video professionals in need of a big-screen mobile workstation with wider color coverage, considering the extra investment in the 16in MacBook Pro, which offers 99% DCI-P3 coverage , is recommended. Alternatively, if not tied to Apple’s platform, the Dell XPS 15 features a splendid OLED screen with a superb 138% DCI-P3 coverage.

Surprisingly, the 15in MacBook Air brings an invisible hardware upgrade in the form of its new six-speaker sound system, surpassing the old four-speaker array of the 13in model. When listening to Dream Theater’s “Alien” at full volume, the clarity and balance of the song are greatly impressive, with each sonic element coming through perfectly. While the bass may not be as powerful as on the MacBook Pro, it is a significant improvement over previous MacBook Air models.

The 1080p webcam on the 15in MacBook Air may not be the best seen, but it is more than sufficient for video calls and even selfies. Even in low-light conditions, it captures plenty of detail and produces images with good tonal balance.

Power boost

The 15in MacBook Air features the same eight-core CPU and ten-core GPU configuration as the 13in M2 model, accompanied by a matching passive cooling system. As expected, performance in the Geekbench 5 benchmark was practically identical to its smaller counterpart, with a single-core score of 1,908 and a multicore score of 8,932. This level of power is more than sufficient for handling the tasks of typical users. During testing, the laptop remained cool even with over 20 browser tabs open and streaming a YouTube video.

Interestingly, the larger chassis of the 15in MacBook Air seems to allow for slightly improved cooling. In Handbrake, a 6.5GB 4K video was transcoded to 1080p in just 7 minutes and 36 seconds, which was 18 seconds faster than the 13in Air. Similarly, the PugetBench Photoshop test was completed in 5 minutes and 4 seconds on the 15in MacBook Air, compared to 5 minutes and 36 seconds on the 13in model.

The Blackmagic speed test was conducted to measure the performance of the 15in MacBook Air’s SSD, resulting in a read speed of 2,793MB/sec and a write speed of 3,145MB/sec. These speeds are impressive, particularly the write performance, which exceeds the 2,210MB/sec of the 13in Air. It’s worth noting that the tested 512GB model benefits from dual-channel storage, while the base 256GB model utilizes a single NAND chipset, potentially impacting speeds.

In terms of gaming, it is well-known that the Mac platform has fewer game developers compared to Windows. However, games optimized for Apple silicon run exceptionally well on the 15in MacBook Air. For example, Resident Evil Village achieved high 50s frame rates with MetalFX disabled and a solid 60fps with the option turned on, matching the native refresh rate of the MacBook Air’s display.

Games that do not utilize MetalFX may not perform as well. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, for instance, reached only 26fps at 1,920 x 1,200 resolution and an even worse 12fps at the panel’s native resolution. Civilization VI achieved 43fps and 29fps at those respective resolutions.

A 15in laptop may not be the ideal choice for everyone. The smaller, lighter, and more affordable 13in MacBook Air is a more practical and versatile mobile companion for most people. On the other hand, video professionals would find the 14in or 16in MacBook Pro models to be a more suitable option, offering superior color coverage and faster M2 Pro or Max processors.

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