Hands-On With the New 15-Inch MacBook Air
It's been just over a week since Apple introduced a whole line of new Macs at WWDC, including a new 15-inch MacBook Air. We picked up Apple's latest notebook and thought we'd check it out for MacRumors readers who are curious whether it's worth picking up over the 13-inch version of a MacBook Pro.
Apple hasn't offered the MacBook Air in two sizes since the 11-inch MacBook Air was discontinued in 2016. The 13-inch MacBook Air was the sole model until the June introduction of the larger 15-inch option, but with this change, the MacBook Air line is more on par with the MacBook Pro line as there are two sizes for customers to choose from.
Design wise, the 15-inch MacBook Air looks identical to the 13.6-inch MacBook Air that was released last year, with the exception of the larger display and larger chassis size. The 2022 design works well on a 15-inch machine, and the 15-inch MacBook Air is sleek, thin, and pleasant to use.
The 15-inch model features a 2888 x 1864 resolution with 224 pixels per inch, which is the same pixels per inch you get with the 13-inch MacBook Air. It's also 500 nits brightness and doesn't have the ProMotion technology that Apple continues to reserve for the MacBook Pro line.
In addition to using the same design as the 13.6-inch MacBook Air, the 15-inch model also has the same chip inside. It's equipped with the M2 chip that Apple introduced last year, so it's already just a bit outdated. The M2 chip is speedy enough with an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, and 8GB memory for the base model, but we may see notable gains with the future M3 chip, for those who want to wait for newer chip technology.
A bigger body allows for a bigger battery in the 15-inch MacBook Air, but unfortunately battery life is still at 18 hours because of the power usage of the larger display.
For those who don't need the power of a MacBook Pro but appreciate a larger screen size, the 15-inch MacBook Air is the perfect machine. It's cheaper than a MacBook Pro at a $1,299 starting price, and a solid alternative to the 13-inch model.
If you have any kind of recent MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, it's probably not worth updating at this point, but if you have an older Intel Mac or need to get a new notebook, the 15-inch MacBook Air is worth considering if larger display size is a feature you're looking for.