Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2, 2023) Review
It’s thin and light. However, MacBook Air has the advantage of being large and powerful.
Apple offers a wide and powerful collection of Mac computers. However, the highlight of the lineup was its MacBook Air range. It was first introduced with a rather iconic look by Steve Jobs when he took it out of an envelope made of manila in 2008. The MacBook Air has grown to be one of Apple’s most sought-after Mac products, not just due to its slim and compact design but also because it’s often been the entry-level laptop within the company’s laptop lineup for many years. It’s also been the perfect laptop for those who don’t require an extremely powerful or costly working machine.
In the year 2020, Apple introduced the first MacBook Air featuring its M1 SoC in the year 2020 and followed it up in 2022 with an updated version equipped with an M2 processor. In both instances, it was noted that Apple’s MacBook Air remained around the 13-inch screen size, except that the 2022 model incorporated design changes that helped it to be more like Apple’s more pricey MacBook Pro devices.
Jump forward to 2023, and we’ve got the new Apple MacBook Air 15, which was introduced at WWDC 2023. The number is a clue; it’s the largest MacBook Air yet with a 15.3-inch screen, but it retains its slim and lightweight design and the identical battery life that the Air series is recognized for. The MacBook Air is powered by the Apple M2 CPU, priced at around Rs. 1,34,900 in India. The laptop might not be exactly like the MacBook Air, but it promises a large screen and decent performance. This is my opinion on the latest Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2 2023).
Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2, 2023) Review: Price in India and variations
The Apple MacBook Air 15 starts at around Rs. 1,34,900 in India, which includes the processor M2 (8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU), 8GB of uni-directional memory, and an additional 256GB of SSD storage. Customers can select between a USB Type-C dual 35W power adapter or a 70W power adapter with one USB Type-C port for no additional cost. The color options are Midnight, Starlight, Space Grey, and Silver.
The unit that was sent to us by Apple was in the Midnight color, which has 16GB of uni-core memory and 500GB of SSD storage, and a 35W dual USB Type C power adapter priced at Rs. 1,74,900 in India. You can select as much as 24GB uni-directional memory and two TB SSD storage. This top-of-the-line configuration is priced at the price of Rs. 2,54,900. Be aware that both memory and storage cannot be easily upgraded, so select the model you think will meet your needs in the future.
Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2, 2023) Review: design
With the launch of an M2-powered 13-inch MacBook Air in 2022, the range was positioned in an entirely different direction in terms of design that was more in line with the latest-generation MacBook Pro laptops. The result is a more rounded appearance, with a more slab-like design, not those sharp lines and soft curves of earlier MacBook Air laptops. The larger dimensions of the 15-inch MacBook Air ensure that it appears more like its predecessor, the MacBook Pro than before; it is perfectly positioned between the 14-inch and 16-inch models of Pro. Pro range.
However, the slimness that has been an essential characteristic of MacBook Air’s Air collection has been maintained with the new 15-inch MacBook Air; the laptop is noticeably thinner and lighter than the Pro models, as well as boasts a thickness that is claimed to be 11.5mm. The MacBook Air 15 is estimated to be about 90g lighter than the 14-inch MacBook Pro (2023), even though it is bigger.
Apple claims that it is the world’s slimmest 15-inch laptop. , despite the undisputed thinness and lighter weight, the huge screen can make the laptop somewhat awkward for one-handed use. Although I’ve carried my previous MacBook Air (2017) around with one hand, holding the corner of the laptop with the lid open, it isn’t simple to perform when using MacBook Air 15. MacBook Air 15.
The screen’s borders are thin, like the other models in the current MacBook range, as the display’s notch appears and allows room for the 1080p camera. While the screen has been around for some time and isn’t a new feature, it takes time to adjust to when you upgrade to an earlier MacBook or other laptop with a notch-free display. MacOS is optimized to ensure that the notch doesn’t interfere with the functioning of anything and with apps that operate completely beneath the notch.
The Midnight color variant is the darkest of the four color choices, and it’s important to note that this is a layer of paint applied over the natural hue of aluminum, which means that even frequent use can eventually lead to some discoloration, especially on the edge. The finish also prominently displays any fingerprints or dust marks anywhere on its surface, and I always kept a tiny cloth on my desk to clean it (sometimes at least twice per day).
Incredibly, the pixels on the MacBook Air 15 are surprisingly high. The pixel density of the MacBook Air 15 is identical to the one of the smaller 13.6-inch M2 models, both having a pixel count of 224 ppi or so. The laptop’s 15-inch size has an image resolution of 2880×1864 pixels and an optimum brightness rating of 500 nits. It means you’ll get a vastly bigger screen with no drawbacks in clarity and clarity.
In other respects, it’s a 15-inch screen that Air appears very similar to the more affordable 13-inch version, except for the absence of the MacBook Air branding and the screen’s tall size, allowing plenty of space for the trackpad and keyboard. It has a six-speaker audio system (up from four on MacBook Air’s 13-inch version). MacBook Air), positioned close to the hinge. It also has a minimal base with just four screws visible and a fanless design allowing for quiet operation even when under heavy loads.
Similar to MacBook Air 13 inches, the 15-inch version is also available. MacBook Air, the 15-inch model, comes with a MagSafe charging port, two Thunderbolt and USB 4 ports on the left, and the 3.5mm socket for headphone connections on the right. The ports have a maximum bandwidth of 40Gbps. They additionally allow DisplayPort and charging, so you can also connect a USB Type-C charging cable. It could be helpful to charge your devices on occasion. Still, you’ll have to choose to use MagSafe’s MagSafe charging cable, which ensures that both Thunderbolt and USB ports open to accommodate other requirements for connectivity.
The power button doubles as a Touch ID sensor, which can be used to authenticate your identity swiftly and give access to the device without inputting your password. However, you’ll need to use your password whenever you start up after closing down or restarting your laptop. Another thing to note is that Apple’s MacBook Air 15 boots up without pressing the power button after you close the lid, which means it’s unnecessary to press the button as often.
Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2, 2023) Review: specifications and software
While Apple launched the M2 SoC in 2022, it is still relevant and efficient even today, specifically for its first line of products. Apple has repeatedly said its M2 SoC is significantly above its earlier Intel-based laptops. It’s said to be sufficient for the everyday needs of most users, which includes having capabilities that can be used for heavy-processing tasks like editing videos.
Similar to the 2022 MacBook Air, the 15-inch version comes with Apple M2 as well. Apple M2 with the same specifications and similar hardware as well as software support. It has an 8-core processor, 10-core GPU, and 100GB/s memory bandwidth with support for 24GB uni-directional memory and up to 2TB in storage. Other useful features include support for Wi-Fi 6 as well as Bluetooth 5.3. The battery is slightly bigger than the 13-inch MacBook Air but is believed to be sufficient to provide the same battery life and power the larger display.
In terms of software, it is worth noting that the MacBook Air 15 ships with macOS Ventura, with the device running version 13.4.1 for the majority of this review. The most important characteristics of Ventura include improved messaging and the Stage Manager, Continuity Camera to use an iPhone for a camera to your MacBook, and a better design and experience than earlier macOS versions. Ventura will be receiving the upgrade for macOS Sonoma in due course.
Apple MacBook Air 15 (M2, 2023) Review: performance and battery life
I’ve used my MacBook Air (2017) as my main driver for several years. Although it’s still in good condition, it’s certainly not as powerful as it was when it was brand-new and unable to meet the current needs. That’s why I looked forward to changing to my MacBook Air 15 as my main workstation for a couple of weeks to conduct this review.
My job doesn’t usually require the use of a powerful computer; most of my daily work involves surfing the Internet (albeit using several tabs and browsers open at the same time), writing thousands of words per day, and using several additional apps (such like Slack or Telegram) when needed.
At times, I’ll need to edit photos, record voice overs, or join VoIP calls; each of these tasks is something that the MacBook Air 15 is stated to be more than enough to take on. If your work is more intense and requires occasional video or data processing editing, the laptop will be able to take on the demands. Although 8GB of uni-memory could suffice for most tasks, you might need to upgrade to 24GB or 16GB of memory to keep your laptop up-to-date.
Connectivity options are limited, with only two Thunderbolt and USB Type-C ports on the market. Therefore, you’ll need adapters suitable for various applications (such as connecting to an LCD or projector) or a good multi-port adapter, which can even connect more traditional USB Type-A devices such as thumb drives and hard drives.
I’ve generally switched to a cloud-based work environment; therefore, the limitations in connectivity that MacBook Air 15 MacBook Air 15 had didn’t hinder my work. The laptop kept a reliable wireless connection when my other devices had trouble, allowing me to work smoothly even when I wasn’t close to the Wi-Fi router, which is a huge improvement over the previous MacBook Air functioning in the same environment.
The keyboard, which was bigger and better distributed than the 13-inch laptops, was pleasant to use, and the bigger trackpad I could navigate and scroll. Its display is bright and crisp thanks to the adjustable brightness; however, there were some instances where it did not set the brightness to the right level, and I needed to raise it manually.
The six speakers system was great for watching videos and was loud when it was required to be. It also sounds very sharp and clear in VoIP conversations. The camera was adequate to meet most laptop requirements, including video calls. However, the ‘continuity camera feature of macOS Ventura can enhance your experience when you own a compatible iPhone to pair it with.
While the MacBook Air 15, the MacBook Air 15, and the 13-inch model with the M2 chip are supposed to be the same for performance and speed, we found some variations in the benchmark scores. The 15-inch MacBook scored higher on all tests, probably because the model I reviewed had 16GB of uni-core memory compared to the 8GB memory in the 13-inch version we tested in 2022.
In more rigorous tests like converting a five-minute ProRes4K (422 HQ) footage shot on the iPhone 13 Pro to 4K (H.264) and full-HD (H.264), there were no differences between the two models.
The casual games of Apple Arcade ran without any issues using the MacBook Air 15. MacBook Air 15. Also, the Steam version of the city-building survival game Frostpunk ran perfectly. The MacBook Air isn’t the ideal gaming laptop; however, it will not be a problem for those who just want to relax now and then and play a few games.
The battery in MacBook Air 15 MacBook Air 15 is only marginally bigger than the 13-inch model; however, the difference is ensuring that the bigger screen is powered and that the battery’s overall duration is the same as the one on the smaller model. It was possible to complete the entire day of work for nine hours on one charge, with just a little left, but I discovered that this depends on the temperatures to a certain degree.
My usual workflow allowed me to work all day in an air-conditioned office, whereas the number of hours I worked fell significantly in an unconditioned home. When the monsoon brought down city temperatures in Mumbai, the battery’s life was improved slightly. I can be sure that a MacBook Air 15 can run for seven or more hours on one charge. However, gaming and frequent listening to the speaker may alter these numbers quite an amount.
The battery used for standby is not a lot and not noticeable when moving from the end of the working day until the start of the following day’s work. Charging using the 35W adapter is fairly rapid, moving between 10 percent and 35 percent within a quarter of an hour and 64 percent in one hour using the MagSafe cable. It could slow down when you have a second cable connected to the adapter and a different device charging. You can also use the 70W single port charging adapter to ensure more rapid charges for the MacBook Air 15.
When I first got to test the MacBook Air 15 at WWDC 2023 I was puzzled about where the laptop fit. The Air range has always been small, comfortable, and easy to slide into any handbag or backpack. So, the laptop with a 15.3-inch screen doesn’t meet the criteria.
The problem is that Apple’s MacBook lineup lacks an affordable big-screen model. The only option available is the sixteen-inch MacBook Pro, which costs around Rs. 2,49,900 and upwards. There is not enough power for normal use cases and workflows. The MacBook Air 15 manages to make up for that gap very well, striking the perfect proportions between its size capacities, features, and cost. The position of this laptop begins to make more sense when you don’t view it as an Air but instead as the incredibly large-screen MacBook for the everyday user.
Though it felt heavy to carry around with the lid closed, its slimness and light weight will make it easier to carry in many situations. My usual workflow doesn’t need an enormous screen. However, I appreciated having one specifically for the improved viewing experience it provided when using browsers for the web. People who have to perform tasks like editing or sorting images using spreadsheets and presentations or sorting through a lot of data or text will surely appreciate the huge screen. Additionally, the M2 SoC has enough power to tackle the most common tasks.