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Apple updates MacBook Air line with M3 chips, phases out M1 model

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — After a lot of buzz about upcoming product refreshes, Apple announced new MacBook Air models carrying the latest M3 chips.

The MacBook Pro had earlier gotten M3 upgrades but fans of the MacBook Air line’s slimline design now get to choose between 13-inch and 15-inch display sizes.

Apple is also offering four different colour options including the popular dark blue that’s almost a black “midnight” shade and the other mainstays — starlight, space grey and silver.

As to performance, Apple says the new Airs are 60 per cent faster than M1 chip laptops and up to 13 times faster than the previous Intel-based MacBook Airs.

Interestingly, Apple is touting the ability to connect up to two external displays no matter which M3 MacBook Air you choose.

It’s interesting to me considering the Air is the more portable of the Mac laptops and it’s the Pro line that’s usually sold as desktop replacements that you can just rig up to various monitors.

As to specs, there’s support for up to 24GB of unified memory and the option between 8-core and 10-core GPUs.

Interestingly the release also mentions that laptops’ ability to run optimised AI models including diffusion models and large language models (LLMs).

Both laptops also support the faster Wi-Fi 6E standard and a decent amount of ports; apart from the MagSafe charging port, you get two Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Also expect Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos support as well as a 1080p FaceTime HD webcam.

Apple also announced the new MacBook Air is the first the company’s made with 50 per cent recycled content, including 100 per cent recycled copper in its main logic board.

You can’t order the new machines as yet but they are available to look at online so you can do some mental price comparisons.

Talking about pricing, the 13-inch M3 models start from RM5,199 while the 15-inch option starts at RM6,199. Education pricing starts from RM4,729 and RM5,729 for the 13 and 15-inch models respectively.

If you’d like to save a little money, there’s the cheaper 13-inch MacBook Air M2 model (no 15-inch option) that starts at RM4,799.

No release date has yet been announced besides “soon” but it’s likely we can expect them some time later this month.

You can have a look online at the new machines at this link.