Apple announced its redesigned MacBook Air 2022 at WWDC 2022, but an even bigger update may be coming with a rumored 15-inch MacBook Air. While we likely won't see it this year, the number of credible sources claiming knowledge of the first MacBook Air to break out of the 13-inch form factor suggests that it's real and we're eager to see what Apple can do with that extra space.
Here's a look at everything we know so far about Apple's plans for the MacBook Air 15-inch.
MacBook Air 15-inch release date and pricing
Both Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg have pegged the MacBook Air 15-inch for a spring 2023 launch. Outside of Tim Cook and Craig Federighi there's hardly a pair of Apple sources you would trust more than Kuo and Mark Gurman, the latter being the reporter behind the Bloomberg article. While Gurman specified a spring launch, Kuo said second quarter of 2023, which could mean a June announcement or launch as we saw with the M2 MacBook Air and Pro at WWDC this year.
Unfortunately we don't have any compelling rumors regarding the pricing, so we can only speculate based on the existing lineup. The MacBook Air 2022 starts at $1,199, while the MacBook Pro 2022 is $1,299 and up. With the 14-inch MacBook Pro at $1,999, we can narrow the MacBook Air 15-inch price to somewhere between $1,399 and $1,599 and I would lean towards the lower end of that estimate.
MacBook Air 15-inch design
I can just picture the meeting happening in a conference room 23 stories below Apple Park. An engineer setting the MacBook Air 2022 with M2 on the table and then gesturing grandly at it and saying, "Like this, but bigger!" Ok, that's probably not actually how it went, but that is the basic gist of the rumors so far.
The MacBook Air 15-inch should feature a 15.2-inch display (the MacBook Air 2022 is 13.6-inches) and otherwise mirror the design language of its smaller sibling. This includes the newer squared-off chassis, the dramatically reduced bezels, MagSafe charging, a 1080p webcam and upgraded speakers.
So what is holding this back from being a MacBook Pro? Rumors suggest it will stick to the same two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports as the smaller Air, no HDMI or SD card slot to help keep the weight down. It will also no doubt lack fans, although with its larger size it will have thermal advantages and a larger battery, so performance should overtake the MacBook Air 2022.
MacBook Air 15-inch performance
Per the latest rumors from Ming-Chi Kuo the 15-inch MacBook Air could feature the M2 as a base option and potentially have an M2 Pro option available as well. This would be a break from the MacBook Air 2022, which is limited to an M2 processor. Assuming the larger MacBook Air is still fanless, a defining characteristic of the modern MacBook Air, this would again point to an improved thermal design that could handle the more powerful processor. Naturally,e none of this is certain, Apple has yet to announce an M2 Pro, which would presumably debut in a refresh to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.
While we may have just slightly less than a year to go before this super-sized MacBook Air 15-inch makes its appearance, Apple has had little luck keeping its secrets in recent years, so we expect more rumors and leaks to land in the coming months.
A larger MacBook Air would be an intriguing option as a college laptop for those that want the larger display of the MacBook Pro 14 or 16, but don't need all that processing power and are happy to save a few hundred dollars. It patches a hole in Apple's excellent current MacBook lineup and follows a similar pattern to the rumored updates to the iPhone 14 Max, bringing a more affordable large screen option to market.