New MacBook Air Launching on Friday With These 5 New Features

Apple this week updated the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air with several new features and changes. The laptops can be ordered now, with in-store availability and deliveries to customers set to begin on Friday, March 8.

Apple MacBook Air 2 up hero 240304 feature
Below, we outline key new features added to the MacBook Air, including the M3 chip, Wi-Fi 6E, expanded external display support, and more.

M3 Chip

Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air are now available with Apple's latest M3 chip for faster performance and improved power efficiency.

As expected, an early benchmark result has revealed that the M3 chip is up to 20% faster than the M2 chip in the previous MacBook Air models in terms of CPU performance. These results are consistent with the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 chip.

With the M3 chip, the MacBook Air has also gained hardware-accelerated ray tracing for improved graphics rendering in games, along with AV1 video decoding.

Two External Displays

While previous MacBook Air models with Apple silicon officially support only one external display, the new models support two external displays. However, a second display can only be used when the MacBook Air's lid is closed.

When the lid is open, the new models support one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz. When the lid is closed, a second display with up to 5K resolution at 60Hz can be connected, according to Apple's tech specs.

Even more displays can be connected to the MacBook Air with the use of DisplayLink adapters.

Wi-Fi 6E

The new MacBook Airs support Wi-Fi 6E for "up to twice as fast" wireless download speeds compared to the previous models with Wi-Fi 6, according to Apple.

Wi-Fi 6E extends the capabilities of Wi-Fi 6 to the 6 GHz band, enabling faster wireless speeds and reduced signal interference with a compatible device and router. The entire current-generation Mac lineup now supports Wi-Fi 6E.

Microphone Upgrades

Apple says the microphones in the new MacBook Air models offer "enhanced voice clarity in audio and video calls" compared to the previous models. The microphones also gained support for "Voice Isolation" and "Wide Spectrum" modes.

Fingerprint Seal for Midnight Color

Just like the Space Black MacBook Pro, the Midnight MacBook Air now features an "anodization seal to reduce fingerprints," according to Apple.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Related Forum: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

t0rqx Avatar
6 weeks ago
Again the anodisation seal is only applied on top instead of the full enclosure. Saving on those pennies. Quality they say. So with M4 the bottom will be sealed as well? M5 the inside?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spamabyss Avatar
6 weeks ago

Microphone Upgrades

Apple says the microphones in the new MacBook Air models offer "enhanced voice clarity in audio and video calls" compared to the previous models. The microphones also gained support for "Voice Isolation" and "Wide Spectrum" modes ('https://www.macrumors.com/how-to/block-background-noise-facetime-mac/').
It says so on the comparison side of Apple but it doesn't really make sense as my M1 MacBook Air already supports "Voice Isolation" and "Wide Spectrum" modes so I wonder whether they just missed to include it on the M2 side of the table or whether there's actually been any changes to the microphones...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ElectricPotato Avatar
6 weeks ago
Mini M3 next, please. No ceremony required.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coffeemilktea Avatar
6 weeks ago

the M3 chip is up to 20% faster than the M2 chip in the previous MacBook Air models in terms of CPU performance
I can't wait to see how much faster this laptop will be at all the things I use my laptop for. Browsing MacRumors' comment sections and making goofy tweets will be so snappy now. :cool:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacUser1985 Avatar
6 weeks ago
Upgrading my wife's computer from a MBP 2012! There might be a slight difference in speed...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Total Respray Avatar
6 weeks ago
And one downgrade - no ‘wide stereo sound’ like the M2 versions (and M3 Pro) have.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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