Apple announces new M3 MacBook Air laptops

Apple has announced the imminent launch of the new Apple 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air laptops. The new laptops are powered by Apple’s powerful M3 chip.

M3 chip

The M3 is the third generation of Apple silicon system on a chip and the first featuring 3-nanometer technology. Apple silicon combines the CPU, GPU, memory and more on a single chip which means that the system can run faster while requiring much less power. In the new MacBook Air, the M3 features an 8-core CPU, up to a 10-core GPU and support for up to 24GB of unified memory. All this power means that the laptops are ideal for video and photo editing. In addition, the next-generation GPU supports hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing.


Apple says that video editing in Final Cut on the new MacBook Air is up to 60 percent faster than the model with the M1 chip. Compared to the fastest Intel-based MacBook Air, the M3-powered laptop is up to 13 times faster.  In addition, enhancing an image with AI using Photomator’s Super Resolution feature is up to 40 percent faster than the 13-inch model with the M1 chip. For customers who haven’t upgraded to a Mac with Apple silicon, the new MacBook Air is up to 15x faster. Working with spreadsheets and even gaming performance is also boosted with the M3 laptops.

Liquid Retina display

The M3-powered MacBook Air is available with either a 3.6- or 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display with up to 500 nits of brightness. The screens also feature support for one billion colors, and up to 2x the resolution of comparable PC laptops. In addition, the MacBook Air with M3 now supports up to two external displays when the laptop lid is closed. Despite all this power, Apple says that the battery will last for up to 18 hours, so you can work all day without needing a power outlet.

Image courtesy: Apple


The new MacBook Air laptops have a durable 100% recycled aluminum enclosure and are available in four different colors. Apple also says that overall, the MacBook Air with M3 is made with 50 percent recycled materials. The laptops are super thin and lightweight. The 13-inch model is 0.44 inches (1.13 cm) thick and weighs 2.7 pounds (1.24 kg) while the 15-inch model comes in at 0.45 inches (1.15 cm) and 3.3 pounds (1.51 kg).

Other features

The new MacBook Air laptops feature a 1080p FaceTime HD camera. The built-in speakers also support Spatial Audio along with Dolby Atmos for an immersive sound system. You also get a headphone jack and two Thunderbolt ports so you can connect high-speed accessories. Apple says that MacBook Air’s Wi‑Fi 6E has up to 2x faster throughput compared to Wi‑Fi 6. The laptops run Apple’s macOS Sonoma and come with apps such as FaceTime, Freeform, iMovie, GarageBand and Photos.

What we think

Apple’s M-series of Apple silicon chips have always been great for video. The M3 chips take this to the next level with hardware acceleration for H.264, HEVC, ProRes and ProRes RAW. They also feature video encode and decode engines. Combined with the gorgeous Liquid Retina display, the new MacBook Air models are ideal for video editing on the go. However, with dual monitor support, they also offer a great option for working in the office as well. If you are looking for a new laptop for video and photo work, the new M3 MacBook Air laptops are a very tempting prospect.

Pricing and availability

The 13- and 15-inch M3 MacBook Air laptops are available to preorder and will be released on March 8th. The 13-inch model retails at $1,099, and the 15-inch option costs from $1,299.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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