MacBook Air with M3 chip is expected in the first half of 2024

According to current rumors, we can expect a new MacBook Air with M3 chip later this year. Unfortunately, the MacBook Air will contain little innovation and will mainly be a specification upgrade.

In the summer of 2022, the 13.6-inch MacBook Air was provided with a brand new design, and a larger version with a 15.3-inch display appeared a year later. It is expected that Apple will provide both MacBooks with a new processor this year.

Extra powerful thanks to M3 chip

Last fall, Apple unveiled the M3 chip for Mac and it is expected that the new generation of MacBook Air will also use it. Like the A17 Pro for iPhone 15 Pro (Max), the M3 chip is designed using a 3nm manufacturing process. This is an advanced manufacturing technology used to make semiconductor chips. A 3nm process means that the transistor gate is only 3 nanometers wide, this article explains what is so special about it.

M3 chip

The GPU is faster, more efficient and uses the new Dynamic Caching technology. In addition, thanks to this GPU, new features such as ray tracing and mesh shading with hardware acceleration are possible for rendering on Mac for the first time. The rendering speed is now up to 2.5 times faster than with the M1 chips. This is especially a big plus when gaming on a Mac.

The CPU’s performance cores and efficiency cores are 30 percent and 50 percent faster than the M1, respectively, and the Neural Engine is 60 percent faster than the M1 line. Furthermore, there is a new media engine that supports AV1 decoding, so that images from streaming services are displayed more efficiently and in higher quality.

M3 processor specifications

Thanks to the M3 chip, the MacBook Air has great computing power and can complete tasks in no time. Below are the specifications of the processor:

  • 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
  • up to 10-core GPU (standard for 15.6-inch MacBook Air)
  • Up to 24 GB memory (standard 8 GB)
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • Ray tracing with hardware acceleration
  • 100 GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Media engine: H.264, HEVC, ProRes and ProRes RAW with hardware acceleration
  • ProRes encoding and decoding engine
  • choice of up to 2 TB of storage

Other innovations

In addition to an improved processor, hardly any other innovations are expected. Perhaps Apple will adjust the screen so that it has a standard brightness of 600 nits instead of 500.

Furthermore, Apple may replace the internal ‘standard’ microphones with three studio-quality beamforming microphones with high signal-to-noise ratio. Finally, WiFi 6E could be added, now this is WiFi 6.

Color 15 inch MacBook Air

The design of the 15.3-inch and 13.6-inch MacBook Air may remain unchanged. The color choices will probably not be adjusted either. The space black therefore remains exclusive to the MacBook Pro with M3 Pro or M3 Max chip.

Availability of MacBook Air with M3 chip

The new MacBook Air with M3 chip is expected in the first half of 2024. Apple can then unveil the Air in the spring during an Apple Event, via a press release or during WWDC 2024. The current generation MacBook Air has a starting price of € 1299 for the 13-inch model and € 1599 for the 15-inch Mac. These prices are expected to remain the same.

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