It’s looking likely that we’ll see the M2 chipset make it to the bigger MacBook Air at WWDC 2023, which leaves a giant void for the new 3nm beast of a processor. Well, to help with that, we’ve followed the breadcrumb trail of all the rumors and leaks, so we can provide some clarity on when to expect the MacBook Air to get its huge M3 revamp.
M3 MacBook Air release date
The big question marks over the M3 MacBook Air at the moment are: When will it launch and how much will it cost?
I would put good money on seeing an event after the inevitable iPhone 15 keynote — with a launch window a few weeks after that.
M3 MacBook Air price
As for price, the current MacBook Air starts at $1,199, and it would be a huge surprise to see this cost climb any higher for the 13-inch model.
M3 MacBook Air design
Nothing substantial has been leaked or rumored yet about the design of the M3 MacBook Air. But given this ultraportable received a facelift with its most recent M2 iteration, I would be shocked to see the design change.
Apple has a habit of sticking religiously to certain aesthetics for a couple of generations at least, and I think the company has struck gold with this ultra-slim, utilitarian look. The uniform thickness and motif that is heavily inspired by the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros is simply divine — like finding the best place for pizza without even looking for it (it’s Best Pizza in Williamsburg, fight me).
Every part of the laptop feels intentional and ready for you to get stuff done at your productivity peak. I hope the M3 Air keeps this style going.
M3 MacBook Air performance
We know the new MacBook Air will sport the M3 chip — built using a 3nm process. Translation: vastly more transistors can be stuffed onto the same small silicon, which means more power. When you take into account that the M2 was built on a 5nm process, that means a 40% increase.
How can we be so sure? Well Apple has snapped up 100% of the chip maker TSMC’s initial stock. That has left the likes of Intel out in the cold, and you can expect to see them pop up in the iPhone 15 Pro and M3 MacBooks.
TSMC itself claims that this 3nm process is capable of offering a 15% speed improvement and up to 30% power reduction. Translation: expect things to get faster and that battery life to go a whole lot longer.
While we don’t have any specifics on the standard M3, the M3 Pro you’ll see in the next generation MacBook Pros has been spotted in the wild with two extra CPU cores and six additional GPU cores.
it wouldn’t be as big of an increase for the regular chipset in my opinion, I believe this means you can expect to see at least a couple extra cores in the MacBook Air.
A lot of people are looking forward to seeing the 15-inch MacBook Air at WWDC, but we’re looking a little further ahead to what will be the true generational leap. This 3nm process chipset is positioned to bring big gains to performance and power efficiency to the Air. We can’t wait to see what Apple’s been cooking up.
We’re already astounded on a regular basis by what Apple Silicon is capable of, so the purported gains coming from this miniaturization looks like it’s set to breeze past what is currently available from Intel and AMD. Time will tell on that, though, as if the rumors are true, we’re going to be waiting a while before we see this new processor.
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Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.