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 It's equipped with the M2 chip that Apple introduced last year, so it's already just a bit outdated.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.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Related Forum: MacBook Air

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Top Rated Comments

nikhsub1 Avatar
14 months ago

Can I ask a favor macrumors. Literally THE thing that differentiates this computer from others and the reason that you buy it is the screen size. So can we get some comparisons of the 15" Macbook Air SCREEN next to other laptops doing things that actually take advantage of a large screen (ie showing a single small window in the center of the screen or a screen saver is not helpful). I'd love to see a comparison of the 15", 14" and 13" viewing 2 documents by side for example. I think a lot of people are wondering if the screen size of the 15" is significant enough to warrant either A) spending more money over the 13" MBA, or B) giving up the better specs and ports of the 14" MBP.

Just a suggestion for the full video review.
So I have both the 15" and the 13" - I just took a picture of both, with the same firewall interface setup that I manage. The layout is supposed to be 4 modules across. The 13" can't do it and it truncates the interface, which is useable but annoying. The 15" displays it exactly as it should be.



Attachment Image
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
14 months ago
Enjoy your new computer MBair 15" buyers. It looks like a great Mac!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Orange Bat Avatar
14 months ago
Am I the only person who doesn’t like the Midnight color? I bought the boring ol’ Space Gray.

After playing with it for a couple of hours, I really, really like this form factor, especially over the wedge, which I’ve never liked. So far I think it’s a very nice machine. In my brief time with it I checked out a couple of big projects I’m working on and the are running just as good as on my desktop. So far, so good.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Longplays Avatar
14 months ago
Cue in the comments of wanting a 11" & 12" MBA... in 3... 2... 1....
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jwt0001 Avatar
14 months ago
I am noticing that the Midnight version does not seem to be as prone to fingerprints as the 13" version. Of course, this may be my imagination, but I have been using it all afternoon and don't notice any.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saturn1217 Avatar
14 months ago
Can I ask a favor macrumors. Literally THE thing that differentiates this computer from others and the reason that you buy it is the screen size. So can we get some comparisons of the 15" Macbook Air SCREEN next to other laptops doing things that actually take advantage of a large screen (ie showing a single small window in the center of the screen or a screen saver is not helpful). I'd love to see a comparison of the 15", 14" and 13" viewing 2 documents by side for example. I think a lot of people are wondering if the screen size of the 15" is significant enough to warrant either A) spending more money over the 13" MBA, or B) giving up the better specs and ports of the 14" MBP.

Just a suggestion for the full video review.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)