The New M3 MacBook Airs Finally Have the One Feature Everyone Wanted

Apple heard your requests.

Apple 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 chip

Who says Apple doesn’t listen to customer feedback? Apple today announced new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air laptops with M3 chips, first launched in the 13-inch MacBook Pro last fall. We’ll get to all the details in a second, but the highlight is that the new MacBook Airs can output to two external monitors instead of one.

Apple previously limited the non-Pro and Max versions of its silicon to outputting video to a single external monitor over Thunderbolt USB-C. Reviewers and consumers complained about it for two generations of Apple silicon laptops (M1 and M2) and Apple has finally “fixed” it on the M3 MacBook Airs. The only catch is that the laptops can only output to two monitors when they're closed, meaning you can choose two external displays or the MacBook Air plus one additional monitor.

Apple’s new M3-powered MacBook Airs support two external displays when the laptop is closed.


13- and 15-Inch M3 MacBook Air Specs

Aside from the dual monitor support, the headlining feature on the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Airs is the M3 chip. Apple touts the laptops with “up to 60 percent faster” performance compared to MacBook Airs with an M1 chip. It’s a big leap when you compare the chipset to a four-year-old one. The performance boost between MacBook Airs with last-gen M2 chips is less: around 18 percent faster single-core CPU performance and 20 percent faster multi-core performance. Apple’s comparison is not totally unfair: a laptop usually lasts around 4-5 years and most people are not replacing theirs every time there’s a new model. Naturally, typical apps will all work faster, but don’t forget that real 3D games will play better thanks to the M3 chip’s hardware-accelerated ray tracing and dynamic caching capabilities. Battery life is the same “up to 18 hours” as the M2 MacBook Airs.

The M3 MacBook Airs also have “up to 2x faster Wi-Fi” thanks to Wi-Fi 6E. Other than these improvements, the laptops are pretty much identical to the M2 models. The Liquid Retina displays have the same resolution; they have the same number of Thunderbolt ports (two); same spatial audio speakers; same MagSafe magnetic charging; same keyboard and trackpad; same 1080p webcam. All of this is to say that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Expect the MacBook Air design to stick around for many years to come.


In terms of tech specs, the M3 MacBook Air starts with the same base configurations: 8GB of unified memory paired with 256GB of SSD storage. You can spec up the M3 chip, memory, and SSD, but each upgrade will add to the price.

The M3 MacBook Airs even come in the same four colors, silver, space gray, starlight, and midnight, which is the black/blue colorway that’s not as dark as the space black M3 Pro/Max MacBook Pros.

If you’re reading all this and thinking it’s a spec bump or mild update, it sort of is. Apple released the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air in 2022 and added the 15-inch model last summer. With the exception of a future nip and tuck here or there, these designs are here to stay for a while. You should look elsewhere if you want a laptop with a transparent display, 2-in-1 swivel screen and E Ink tablet design, or a chassis with hot-swappable components.

M3 MacBook Air Price and Release Date

The new 13-inch M3 MacBook Air starts at the same $1,099. That gets you an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 8GB of unified memory, and 256GB of SSD storage. Spec up to $1,299, and you’ll get an upgraded 10-core GPU and 512GB of SSD. Doubling the memory to 16GB gets you the 10-core GPU and 512GB of SSD, and pushes the price up to $1,499.

The 15-inch MacBook Air starts at $1,299 and comes with an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8GB of unified memory, and 256GB of SSD. $1,499 gets you the same configuration, but doubles the SSD to 512GB. And doubling the unified memory to 16GB on the $1,499 model adds another $200, totaling $1,699.

As always, there are more configurations, but these are the non-custom order models.

All models of the M3 MacBook Airs are available to order today, and shipping starts on March 8.

M1 MacBook Air Discontinued

After four years, the faithful M1 MacBook Air is officially discontinued.


With today’s new MacBook Airs comes the discontinuation of the M1 MacBook Air. The laptop was released in 2020 as the first laptop with Apple silicon and even though it had an “old” design that was introduced with the 2018 Retina display MacBook Airs, it set the bar high for laptop performance and battery life.

Reviewers like myself were almost in disbelief that Apple was able to achieve performance that blew past Intel-powered MacBooks and Windows laptops, as well as battery life that left the competition in the dust. Here’s what I wrote in my M1 MacBook Air review at the time:

If generation one of the M1 is this spectacular, just imagine what’s possible when the M2, M3, M4 (and beyond) Macs arrive. Laptops will never be the same again. Unless PC makers have something up their sleeve with ARM, they should all be very terrified because Apple just leaped over them in enormous ways overnight.

Re-reading my review, it’s clear the M1 MacBook Air became the cornerstone of Apple’s successful transition away from Intel processors. The laptop had kicked around for a few years, well past its prime, but its $749–799 price seen online was often more than attractive enough for many people to overlook its dated design.

$100 Price Drop for M2 MacBook 13- and 15-Inch MacBook Airs

Replacing the M1 chip at the $999 price is the M2 MacBook Air. A dollar short of $1,000 gets you an M2 chip with an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 8GB of unified memory, and 256GB of SSD storage. Unfortunately, Apple is no longer selling any 15-inch M2 MacBook Airs with reduced pricing. You can probably still find them at third-party retailers while supplies last.

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