As Apple opened up 2023’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Tim Cook’s team debuted an update to the MacBook Air line of macOS computers. The consumer-focused Air now has the larger display many have hoped for. It’s bigger, faster and fits into the increasingly crowded portfolio of Mac hardware. Is that enough to feel fresh and exciting?
It’s bigger. With a display that goes up to 15.3 inches, Apple has finally delivered a large-screened consumer laptop to macOS users. It’s been a few decades since this was an option on countless Windows laptops. As for any other changes over previous MacBook Air models? Beyond features that are by-products of the larger display (such as more internal volume for a larger battery), there’s no building on the previous M2 MacBook Air.
It’s faster than Apple’s chosen benchmark, the Intel-powered MacBook Air, a machine Apple released more than four years ago. I can’t think of any consumer electronics product slower than the one released four years ago. It allows for a great multiplier on-screen during the keynote, but it’s a sleight-of-hand move that Apple can’t rely on much longer.
It will start at $1,299, and Apple has pushed the 13-inch M2 model down to $1,099 (and the entry-level M1 MacBook Air remains at $999). It might be a laptop from 2020, but it allows Apple to price the rest of its consumer laptops at higher prices while maintaining the “MacBook starts from $999” illusion.
Apple’s faithful have been waiting many years for a larger MacBook Air. Now it’s here, but it feels like an afterthought, a product that Apple decided not to launch in 2022 now being shoe-horned into WWDC 2023 to illustrate that Apple hasn’t forgotten about the MacBook while it focused on its quixotic mixed reality quest.
Now read why now may not be the time to update your MacBook…
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