I don’t want to downplay the performance and capabilities of the new Apple MacBook Air with M3 at all, other than to say when compared to it’s siblings it’s an incremental improvement at best – but for those of you still rocking a wedge shaped MacBook Air – especially if it has “Intel Inside” – you’ve got a wild ride ahead of you.

Available in both 13 and 15 inch sizes, and in four colours (Silver, Starlight, Space Grey and Midnight – the dark blue I’m testing) – this really is the sweet spot in the Apple laptop lineup for the majority.

$200 more than the older generation with M2, at $1,799 it kinda feels like Apple’s prices are creeping back up, whereas with the Wedged M1 Air we seemingly got to a really cracking price point for a while – but starting at $1,599 for the M2 version isn’t a terrible thing for sure.

So let’s first look at what’s new, or more specifically what’s different between the MacBook Air with M2 and Macbook Air with M3

Macbook Air 13 inch with M2 compared to MacBook Air 13 inch with M3

Spot the difference – you can’t – they are identical pysically
  • $200 – The M2 model is $1,599 the latest with M3 is $1,799
  • The silicon:) Apple’s M2 chip vs Apple’s M3
  • For gamers and graphics pros, the M3 Macbook Air has Hardware-accellerated ray tracing
  • M3 Macbook Air can decode AV1
  • Apple’s M2 MacBook air lists “Wide Stereo Sound” as a feature, but both have Support for Spacial Audio via Dolby Atmos
  • Video Calls and Meetings are better on the M3 MacBook Air with “Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum microphone modes
    Enhanced voice clarity in audio and video calls”
  • WiFi is improved with the M3 packing WiFi 6E if you’ve got a compatible router.
  • The latest MacBook Air with M3 is capable of outputting to two external displays, while the laptop is closed

How can we test it?

It’s not a massive change – let’s be honest.

And while Apple will tell you the M3 is so much more than the M2 – will you notice it?

Well, I think editing video is a great example of improvements in processing and graphics power.

I compared the M2 and M3 MacBook Airs (along with the MacBook Pro and Mac Studio) performing the same video export task. Of course, the MacBook Pro and Studio were far better, almost half the time to render and export (geez the MacBook Pro impressed me by going head to head with the Mac Studio).

While the M3 was about a minute faster than the Macbook Air with M2 on a 1.5 hour 4K video export using Davinci Resolve.

Doing a similar task in iMovie and the result was the same – a neck and neck race, but the M3 wins it. But not by lengths.

Should you buy the MacBook Air with M3?

I have had this laptop for just days, and I’ve really only put it through it’s paces today. However, another week or three using it won’t change too much about this review.

The MacBook Air with M3 is an outstanding and powerful laptop, with battery life almost all other brands – 18 hours on one charge? That’s remarkable, and you realise it too – battery anxiety just isn’t a thing.

The battery life Apple has been able to achieve on their laptops, including this new MacBook Air with M3 do make them the perfect choice for students – no question.

If you have an M2 don’t be ridiculous and consider an upgrade. But if you are one of those people with a sleek, wedge shaped Apple MacBook Air (RIP wedged Air), then this is the perfect upgrade.