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2024 apple macbook air feature 4

Apple’s M3 MacBook Air Gets a Powerful AI Upgrade, Sharp Pricing

When the world’s most popular laptop (and our favourite MacBook overall) jumps head first into Neural Engines and on-device AI computations it signals a sea-change for consumer laptops.

The new Apple MacBook Air (from AUD$1,799) has been updated with the brand’s M3 chip and it’s 60 per cent faster than M1-equipped models and up to 13 times faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Air from 2020. More importantly, the M3 chip offers a faster and more efficient Neural Engine with 16 cores to enhance productivity in AI tasks.

Real-time speech-to-text, language translation, text predictions, accessibility features, and other tasks like removing video backgrounds in CapCut for green-screen-style social media videos are just some of the areas where this technology will stand out on-device. However, cloud-based solutions such as Microsoft Copilot, Canva, and Adobe Firefly are quicker too.

You’ll also be able to watch movies, download large files from the cloud, and simply browse the internet faster with WiFi 6E now thrown in (providing your router supports this feature, which most don’t).

Those with dual monitor set-ups will appreciate how the new MacBook Air can connect to two monitors simultaneously while the lid is closed.

RELATED: iPhone 15 Release Date, Price, and Features Detailed for Australia.

2024 apple macbook air 3
2024 Apple MacBook Air | Image: Apple

Naturally, You’ll Want to Compare MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

The main difference between the two is the quality of the display and the $600 price difference when cross-shopping 13-inch vs. 14-inch 512GB models. It’s unfair to compare 15-inch Pro to 15-inch Air models as they benefit from the more powerful M3 Pro or M3 Max chip.

In 13.6-inch form, the M3 MacBook Air has a smaller screen than the M3 MacBook Pro which measures 14.2 inches in size, but the displays are also different.

The Liquid Retina XDR display on the MacBook Pro is brighter with up to 1,000 nits sustained full-screen (XDR) and 1,600 nits peak when streaming HDR content vs. the standard 500 nits of peak brightness in the new MacBook Air.

The addition of ProMotion technology in the Pro also means the display is faster with adaptive refresh rates of up to 120Hz.

Portability remains the aim of the game with the MacBook Air and weight is down more than 300 grams in the 13-inch model (1.24 kg (2.7 pounds)) vs. the 14-inch MacBook Pro 1.55 kg (3.4 pounds)). The larger battery in the Pro model is heavy but also lasts longer at up to 22 hours vs. 18 hours in the Air.

We look forward to giving our thoughts on the MacBook Air once we get our hands on a review model in the coming weeks. Still, the 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 (512GB, 10 Core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory) and a starting price of AUD$2,499 is looking like the pick of the bunch.

M3 MacBook Air Pricing and Specs

This upgrade will come with no price increase. The new 13-inch MacBook Air with M3 starts from AUD$1,799 and the larger 15‑inch MacBook Air with M3 starts at AUD$2,199. That compares to the 13-inch MacBook Air with M2 that now starts cheaper at AUD$1,599. Check out the list below for full pricing.

13-inch MacBook Air with M3 pricing:

  • 13-inch MacBook Air with M3 (256GB, 8 Core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory) – from AUD$1,799
  • 13-inch MacBook Air with M3 (512GB, 10 Core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory) – from AUD$2,099
  • 13-inch MacBook Air with M3 (512GB, 10 Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory) – from AUD$2,399

15-inch MacBook Air with M3 pricing:

  • 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 (256GB, 10 Core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory) – from AUD$2,199
  • 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 (512GB, 10 Core GPU, 8GB Unified Memory) – from AUD$2,499
  • 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 (512GB, 10 Core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory) – from AUD$2,799

Both sizes are available to order right now before arriving in Apple Store locations and Apple Authorised Resellers, starting Friday, 8th of March. Choose from four colours: midnight, starlight, silver, and space grey.

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