Apple is reportedly working on a new, larger model after releasing a redesigned MacBook Air with a 13.6-inch display and M2 processor in the summer of 2022. According to multiple reports, Apple is working on a 15-inch Air for the first time, which could be released in 2023. This is a project with a long history: According to court documents obtained by Apple and Epic, Steve Jobs discussed a 15-inch MacBook Air as early as 2007, prior to the release of the 13-inch MacBook Air in 2008.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote in the January 2023 Power On newsletter that the 15-inch MacBook Air will be a “major saving grace for the Mac lineup” in 2023. The larger MacBook Air isn’t the first time we’ve heard about it: Gurman and others have been leaking information about the unreleased Mac laptop for quite some time.
According to Gurman, the new MacBook Air could be released in spring 2023. This could imply a March or April launch Apple frequently holds a Spring Event: such as the one for the 24-inch iMac in 2021 but a WWDC 2023 launch is more likely.
Alternatively, Apple may wish to reserve its spring event time slot for the launch of the VR headset, which is rumoured to be almost ready for launch, in which case the new Macs could be announced without an event, with Apple instead issuing press releases to announce the new products, as it did with the iPads in 2022. We could see new Macs much sooner if Apple wasn’t limited to launching them at a spring event.
The first challenge when looking at that lineup is determining where the new 15-inch MacBook would fit. Introducing a 15-inch MacBook as a replacement for the 13-inch MacBook Pro makes a lot of sense, assuming it’s a MacBook Air without a fan. If that’s the case, we’d expect pricing to be slightly higher than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro, so: $1,399/£1,449 or $1,599/£1,649.
Design and Display
When Apple first introduced the MacBook Air in 2008, it was just available in a 13-inch model, though an 11-inch model was added in 2010 before being phased out in 2015. So offering two sizes of the MacBook Air would be nothing out of the ordinary. It will also not be the first time Apple sells a 15-inch laptop. In 2001, Apple released the popular 15-inch PowerBook, and in 2006, the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Apple continued to sell a 15-inch MacBook Pro model until it was replaced by the 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019.
The previous 15-inch MacBook Pro model had a 15.4-inch screen and measurements of 13.75 inches (34.93 cm) x 9.48 inches (24.07 cm) x 0.61 inch (1.55 cm). A newer model, like the M2 MacBook Air, would have smaller bezels, allowing for a larger screen. The M2 MacBook Air, for example, has a slightly larger 13.6-inch display than the 13.3-inch displays in the MacBook Pro and M1 MacBook Air, but the dimensions are nearly identical.
Apple, on the other hand, could go even smaller. Analyst Ross Young, who correctly predicted the M2 Air’s 13.6-inch display, predicted that the screen on this new model would be 15.2 inches in March 2022. That would be about a quarter-inch smaller than the 15-inch MacBook Pro and also much smaller in stature, measuring roughly 12.5 inches x 8.75 inches. Along with thinner bezels, the new 15-inch display will most likely have a notch and a profile of less than half an inch.
Apple Could GOo Smaller
Apple, on the other hand, could go even smaller. Analyst Ross Young, who correctly predicted the M2 Air’s 13.6-inch display, predicted that the screen on this new model would be 15.2 inches in March 2022. That would be about a quarter-inch smaller than that of the 15-inch MacBook Pro and much smaller in stature, measuring roughly 12.5 inches x 8.75 inches. Along with thinner bezels, the new 15-inch display will most likely have a notch and a profile of less than half an inch.
While rumours circulated that the MacBook Air would receive a mini-LED display in 2022, Apple chose to use a similar LCD panel for the redesigned laptop. So it appears that ProMotion mini-LED technology will be reserved for higher-end MacBook Pro models, implying that the new 15-inch MacBook Air will not include either feature. Furthermore, according to analyst Ross Young, Apple may be planning an OLED upgrade in 2024, so don’t expect this technology until next year.
We don’t know much about the specifications of this new laptop, but Kuo speculated in June that Apple may offer two CPU options: an M2 like in the new MacBook Air and an M2 Pro. The M1 Pro is currently available only in 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, but there are strong rumours that an M2 Pro Mac mini will be released this fall.
If Kuo is correct, it’s difficult to imagine the new laptop being marketed as a MacBook Air. A M2 Pro-equipped Air would need at least one fan for cooling, as with higher-end Pros, or significant changes to the Air’s thermal design, which would most likely result in a thicker case.
Battery and Extra Features
An earlier Kuo tweet suggested that Kuo’s tweet referred to an earlier March tweet in which he predicted the laptop will likely launch early in 2023 and it may keep the same 30W power adapter and suggested that “It might not be called MacBook Air”.
In other words, we anticipate that this new model will be similar to the 13-inch Air. The entry-level model will most likely have 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, with 512GB, 1TB, 16GB, and 24GB options available. It will also most likely have a MagSafe charging port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a 1080p FaceTime camera. Finally, the new Air is expected to come with Apple’s new dual-port 35W adapter.