There’s a brand new 15-inch MacBook Air arriving in stores next week and it’s definitely a device to watch out for if you crave more screen space. I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on this latest laptop at Apple’s HQ in Cupertino, California and it really does offer everything I want and need in a portable PC.
I’ve long been a convert going supersized with bigger displays improving my productivity on the move but the only way to get that larger experience on a MacBook has been to splash out and opt for a Pro.
As you can read in our MacBook Pro 16-inch review this is one of the best laptops money can buy but at over £2650 it’s very, very expensive. It also offers way more power than I really need for my usual workflow of sending emails, writing copy, editing images and browsing the web. At over 2Kgs, it’s also pretty heavy and you’ll certainly feel it when it’s shoved a in backpack.
That’s why the new, and much cheaper, 15-inch MacBook Air makes so much sense to me as it doesn’t compromise on performance whilst still offering a larger and more expansive panel.
Having had it in my hands, I can also confirm that it feels ludicrously lightweight and it’s also much thinner than its more premium sibling.
Here’s how the two stack up
MacBook Air 15-inch
Weight • 1.51 kg
Thickness • 1.15 cm
MacBook Pro 16-inch
Weight • 2.16Kg
Thickness • 1.68 cm
Pick the Pro and the Air up together and you really notice the difference which could be a big selling point for those who have simply found the 16-inch laptop way too cumbersome.
Then there’s the price as the 15-inch Air starts from just £1,399 which is around half the cost of the Pro – that makes it look like a massive bargain. Plus the colour choice is a bit more exciting with the device shipping in midnight and starlight designs – the Pro just gets Space Gray and Silver.
Of course, there are some things you won’t find on the Air including HDMI and memory card ports, faster M2 Pro/Max processors (the Air gets the standard M2 chip) plus the 18-hour battery life isn’t as long as the 16-inch Pro’s impressive 22 hours.
It also only offers support for one external display – which isn’t as impressive as the maximum of three offered by the Pro – and the Liquid Retina screen isn’t as bright.
There’s no question that the 16-inch laptop from Apple is a superior device that’s built for those needing to edit 4K videos and high-resolution images away from their desk. But it’s a huge amount of money and, for the average consumer, its power probably doesn’t get close to being utilised.
When the Air arrives in stores next week, it will finally bring a larger form factor without the premium price tag and I think it could be a winning formula for Apple.
The smaller 13-inch MacBook Air, which is now £100 cheaper thanks to an Apple price cut, was already a top-rated Mac and the 15-inch version now means you get the same impressive specs but with more screen space to enjoy.
We’ll hopefully bring you a full review of the MacBook Air 15-inch in the coming weeks but our initial impressions are good.