The MacBook Air with M3 chip is here and it’s fast

Earlier this week, Apple announced updates to two of its most popular laptops, and what Apple claims to be the world’s most popular laptop  — the MacBook Air 13” and 15”. The design and chassis for the machines are largely unchanged from last year’s MacBook Airs, but these new ones are fitted with the M3 chip that’s a lot faster than previous models, and more powerful too.

Above: Our first look at the Macbook air 13” in midnight. it’s a deep navy shade with a shimmery sheen.

The previous midnight shade was known to be a fingerprint magnet, but this new finish minimises this. The new M3 version has what Apple calls a “breakthrough anodisation seal” to reduce fingerprints, and it’s a similar coating to the one used for the M3 MacBook Pro. With the unit we have for review, the Midnight finish stays quite fingerprint-free with our handling, but that won’t be the case if you have greasy fingers.

Above: shade comparison between The Macbook Pro 14” in space black (top) and the new m3 macbook air 13” in midnight (bottom).

MacBook Air with M3 is about 60% faster than MacBook Air with M1, and 13% faster than any MacBook Air running an Intel system. The start-up and setup of the device is swift, but of course new computers are always speedy because they aren’t bloated with software. It’s when you start to install and use your needed work apps (eg. Adobe suite) — that’s where the power and speed kick in. Furthermore, as a consumer laptop, AI performance also benefits from the M3 chip; for example, generating backgrounds, expanding images, or enhancing photos in Adobe Photoshop.

Above: the magic keyboard comes with a full-height function row with touch id.

Another useful upgrade includes being able to support up to two external displays — and with the lid closed, and this is super useful for those who dock in and out at the office.

Both the 13” and 15” MacBook Airs have a Liquid Retina display that goes up to 500 nits of brightness, and we’re partial towards the 13” for its more compact and portable size.

Above: the macbook air 13” (top) is just 21.5cm in depth. in comparison, The macbook air 15” version is 23.76cm in depth, while the macbook pro 14” (bottom) is 22.12cm in depth.

Above: in the box, the usb-c to magsafe 3 cable in a matching midnight shade, and a 35w dual usb-c port power adapter.

The MacBook Air 13” is probably the ideal personal or student laptop. If your needs include Word documents and Excel sheets, this device is a powerhouse. If you’re in the Creative field of work and need to render large files in Adobe Photoshop or any of the other apps in the Adobe Suite, you’ll get by your work pretty smoothly. This won’t be as powerful as the MacBook Pro (it’s called Pro for a reason), but unless you’re dealing with massive 3D files or video editing software, the M3 MacBook Air will be worth your money and upgrade.

Customers can order the new MacBook Air with M3 starting Wednesday, March 6, 9am SGT, on and in the Apple Store app.
The 13-inch MacBook Air with M3 starts at $1,599 and $1,449 for education, and the 15‑inch MacBook Air with M3 starts at $1,899 and $1,749 for education. Both are available in midnight, starlight, silver, and space grey.
The 13-inch MacBook Air with M2, available in midnight, starlight, silver, and space grey, now starts at $1,399 and $1,259 for education.