Apple has finally updated its best-selling laptop and arguably the best laptop on the market: the MacBook Air. For many, it is a very minor spec bump but there are a few improvements that make it a compelling case especially if you are still on the Intel.

Here’s What Important

Apple, for one, is in a dilemma. They make a very good product. In fact, their product, especially the Macs, are so good there there is not much of a case to upgrade them every other year, or even after 3-4 years. Granted, even in Apple’s own marketing literature, the performance gap between the M2 and M3 is not that much, but there are a few nuggets you should consider.

  • Graphics: The M3 headline feature is the upgraded graphic cores. They are not only faster but they have a few hardware upgrades that are not present in the M2 chip. They are good enough to game (to be enjoyable), so if you play a lot of games in Apple Arcade, the M3 is worth the upgrade.
  • Memory usage: With dynamic caching, the M3 is more efficient at running multiple tasks than the previous generation.
  • Dual monitor support: For the first time, you can use two external displays on the MacBook Air, although with the caveat that the lid must be closed. This is quite a good setup of having a better desk setup and with the option to bring the MacBook Air to go.
  • Better Storage performance: One of the bane of buying the base model that Apple tends to cheap out by putting all the storage in a single chip. This tends to clogged the CPU-Storage pipeline which results in reduced performance. Apple fixed this issue in the M3 MacBook Air by employing dual channels between storage and CPU. This detail is very minor, but it does improve performance especially when you are under a heavy load.

Other than that, the new M3 MacBook Air offers slightly better WiFi and chip performance.

Should You Upgrade?

If you really have to ask, the answer is no. The best time to upgrade is if you are still using Macs that have an Intel chip in it. It has been four years since Apple introduced Apple Silicon with the M1 and you can expect Apple will wean off Intel support by the next WWDC.


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