Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2024) Review: Price, Specs, Rating, Availability


it’s safe to say the 13-inch MacBook Air may have reached its peak in design. Apple’s overhaul of its lightweight laptop in 2022 left little to be desired. It packed modern features (like MagSafe charging and a 1080p webcam) and a sleek chassis (allowing it to fit right in with the high-end Pro lineup) that was well worth the price increase. It makes sense for Apple to continue to recycle the same external build. But that also means it now comes down to pushing what’s under the hood.

In this case, Apple upgraded the 13-inch MacBook Air with an M3 chip. Announced back in October, it’s the latest entry-level chipsets in Apple’s most recent batch of M-series processors.

Photograph: Brenda Stolyar

The company did throw in a couple of additional new features, including support for two external displays and Wi-Fi 6E for double the Wi-Fi speeds. Aside from that, however, all else remains the same as in the previous version—including battery life, which Apple claims is up to 18 hours.

With such iterative enhancements, the price is the same as its predecessor. The base model starts at $1,099 while the maxed-out model will cost $2,299. And Apple is continuing to sell the M2-powered MacBook Air for $999, which is still a very capable machine.

Regardless of the chipset you pick, both models remain lightweight and ideal for getting work done on the go. But with the inclusion of the M3, this new version is now the most powerful MacBook Air you can buy.

Tried and True

If you’re not familiar with the redesign on the last-generation 13-inch MacBook Air (7/10, WIRED Recommends), then you’re likely not privy to the same features on the current version either. It has a square chassis instead of a wedge design, a bigger and brighter 13.6-inch LCD panel (with a 60-Hz refresh rate), and a 1080p webcam tucked into the notch on top of the screen. It also retains the same weight, coming in at 2.7 pounds, and packs a four-speaker sound system plus a three-mic array.

Photograph: Brenda Stolyar

Photograph: Brenda Stolyar

The port selection is identical, too—you’ll get a MagSafe charging port, two USB 4/Thunderbolt ports, and a 3.5-mm headphone jack. Typically, the limited ports wouldn’t bother me, since I only use the MacBook for writing, sending emails, making video calls, and streaming content. But it’s noticeable when connecting it to two external monitors (more on that later) because you’re left with zero ports. I would’ve liked to see at least one extra USB-C port to account for the new ability to connect to an extra monitor.

It comes in the same colors, too: Starlight, Midnight, Space Gray, and Silver. Apple sent me the Midnight version. It’s the only color that comes with an anodization seal—a special treatment that’s supposed to reduce fingerprint smudges.

Photograph: Brenda Stolyar



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