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MacBook Air (15-inch) vs MacBook Air (13-inch): Which mannequin must you purchase?


Getty/Bloomberg and Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple has introduced the most recent Mac to affix its laptop computer vary at its WWDC developer convention: the 15-inch MacBook Air

Additionally: All of the Mac information from WWDC 2023: Mac Professional, Mac Studio, and M2 Extremely

The MacBook Air is extra petite and fewer highly effective than its greater sibling, the MacBook Professional. However simply because the MacBook Air is small doesn’t suggest it isn’t mighty. And this yr’s MacBook Air is bigger and beefed up when in comparison with its 2022 predecessor — which ended up taking the highest spot for ZDNET’s Product of the 12 months. 

There are just a few vital variations between final yr’s Air and this yr’s, so let’s break them down.

MacBook Air (13-inch, 2022)

MacBook Air (15-inch, 2023)


13.6-inch (2560 x1664) Liquid Retina show, 500 nits brightness

15.3-inch (2880 x 1864) Liquid Retina show, 500 nits brightness


Apple M2 chip, 8-core CPU, as much as 10-core GPU

Apple M2 chip, 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU

Battery and Energy

30W, as much as 18 hours of battery life

30W, as much as 18 hours of battery life


MagSafe Three charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2 Thunderbolt ports/ USB four ports

MagSafe Three charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2 Thunderbolt ports/USB four ports


8GB unified reminiscence, configurable as much as 24GB

8GB unified reminiscence, configurable as much as 24GB


256GB SSD or 512GB SSD, configurable as much as 2TB

256GB SSD or 512GB SSD, configurable as much as 2TB


4-speaker sound system, Spatial Audio assist, three-mic array

Six-speaker sound system, Spatial Audio assist, three-mic array


11.97in x .44in x 8.46in, 2.7 lbs

13.4in x .45in x 9.35in, 3.Three lbs


Begins at $1,099, as much as $1,399

Begins at $1,299, as much as $1,499

You can purchase the 13-inch MacBook Air if…

1. Desire a extra reasonably priced possibility

The bottom mannequin of the 13-inch MacBook Air is now $200 cheaper than the 15-inch MacBook Air, whereas nonetheless providing a lot of the identical features and capabilities. Each laptops run on Apple’s M2 chip and have nearly equivalent specs. For those who’ve been eyeing the 13-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip, and do not thoughts the smaller dimension, now could also be one of the best time to drag the set off.

Evaluation: Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Sleeker, sooner

The 13-inch Air presents simply as fascinating specs, akin to MagSafe charging, seamless connectivity to different Apple units, and Spatial Audio assist. Simply keep away from buying this laptop computer within the coloration Midnight. You will by no means rid it of fingerprint residue, belief me.

2. You need essentially the most transportable MacBook

The MacBook Air is a superb possibility for college students and customers who’re all the time on the go. The 13-inch Air, at 2.7 kilos, is thinner, lighter, and smaller than the 15-inch Air (3.Three lbs), making it completely sized to slot in a backpack that is full of textbooks and binders.

3. Do not require as a lot computing energy

The 15-inch MacBook Air, on paper, presents better GPU efficiency than the 13-inch Air, however in the event you do not closely sport or run video-editing software program, we have discovered the latter to be greater than competent. For streaming YouTube, casually browsing the online, making FaceTime calls, and answering emails, the 13-inch Air is greater than sufficient.

You can purchase the 15-inch MacBook Air in the event you…

MacBook Air 15-inch at WWDC

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

1. Want a significant (and bigger) improve to your laptop computer

For those who at the moment personal a Macbook Air (or Professional) that is a number of years outdated, then the 15-inch Air could also be well worth the leap. That is very true in the event you’re keen to spend an additional $200 for a bigger display and higher audio system.

Additionally: Apple simply introduced a ton of software program options at WWDC. Here is every little thing new

With enhanced graphics and higher interoperability along with your different Apple units, a MacBook Air that runs Apple’s M2 chip presents a streamlined and extremely built-in expertise inside your private Apple ecosystem.

2. Worth a big display that is surprisingly transportable

If the 13-inch Air is a tad too small, the additional two inches on the 2023 MacBook ought to make a distinction for you. The 15-inch MacBook Air presents a bigger show however stays true to the Air’s modern and light-weight design, giving a surprisingly light-weight impression for the scale. 

Additionally: The best way to preorder Apple’s new MacBook Air, Mac Studio, and Mac Professional

And in the event you often end up needing more room for looking, tab administration, or consuming content material, then the 15-inch show presents a better viewing expertise and listening expertise (due to the six audio system as a substitute of 4).

It is also essential to notice that whereas this yr’s MacBook Air has a bigger show, elevated pixel decision, and slightly extra computing energy, Apple has nonetheless omitted an inside fan as a way to preserve the shape issue skinny and light-weight. We’ll should see the way it fares with controlling its temperature within the full evaluation.

Alternate options to think about



Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2020)

Whereas older, the M1-equipped MacBook Air remains to be a formidable pick-up in the event you’re eyeing an ultraportable that may run on a regular basis duties.

View at Amazon

The MacBook Pro on top of a table.


Apple MacBook Professional (14-inch, 2023)

An Apple laptop computer that is higher suited to skilled duties like video modifying, 3D rendering, and different graphics-intensive purposes.

View at Amazon



LG Gram (16-inch, 2022)

Maybe the closest different to the 15-inch MacBook Air, the 16-inch LG Gram is one other big-screen laptop computer that weighs lighter than it appears.

View at Amazon

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