MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is a line of laptop computers from Apple Inc. They serve as an ultrathin, lightweight alternative to Apple’s MacBook Pro line. They also cost less: The Air series is designed for typical consumers and students, not professionals.

Currently, the computers come in 13-inch and 15-inch versions. No matter the size, they offer two USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt.

Apple moved the MacBook Air line to Apple silicon in 2020, starting with the M1 processor. The current models run on an M3 chip. Like all MacBooks, they run macOS, Apple’s own operating system.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air on January 15, 2008, pulling it from a standard manila envelope and calling it the “world’s thinnest notebook.”

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on MacBook Air:

Make music like a pro with the best audio interfaces for Mac


Best audio interface for Mac - Universal Audio Universal Audio Apollo Twin X Quad
Our top pick for best audio interface for Mac is Universal Audio's Apollo Twin X Quad.
Photo: Universal Audio

An audio interface serves as a bridge between your Mac and external audio sources like microphones and musical instruments. The hardware is essential for great sound reproduction, whether you’re a professional producer or a beginner. So finding the best audio interface for your Mac can significantly enhance your recording and mixing experience.

In this guide, we’ll explore top audio interfaces available for Mac, including several affordable options. We’ll discuss their features, performance, compatibility and price points to help you make an informed decision.

Big curved Dell 4K display serves MacBook duo [Setups]


Dell 4K curved monitor
This 40-inch Dell 4K curved monitor makes a great external display.

A Dell curved 4K monitor — especially a big 40-incher — can make an excellent external display, if today’s featured MacBook Air and MacBook Pro setup is any indication. The user put the dramatic display together with a 27-inch 4K monitor after trying two other configurations. 

You wish you had this MacBook workstation’s killer keyboard [Setups]


Keychron Q3 Pro mechanical keyboard setup
This setups has two MacBooks, but the external keyboard is a Keychron Q3 Pro custom mechanical keeb.

Today’s featured computer setup runs on two powerful MacBooks, which of course have their own keyboards. But the user doesn’t settle for those, except maybe when he’s away. Instead, he chooses to use a mechanical external keyboard with his dual laptops and dual displays. It’s a Keychron Q3 Pro custom keyboard, and it’s a beauty. 

Macs with AI-focused M4 chip launching this year


Apple M4 (concept) for Mac and iPad
The AI-enhanced Apple M4 is coming to every type of Mac, and sooner than some might think.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Mac users won’t need to wait until 2025 for the Apple M4 processor, according to a reputable Apple tipster. The replacement for the current M3 will emphasize AI — and will start appearing in Macs this autumn.

A previous report said improvements in the upcoming Apple A18 iPhone processor, also launching this fall, will focus on artificial intelligence, too.

Dual-display rig boasts speedy M3 and M2 MacBooks [Setups]


M3 Max MacBook Pro setup
With an M2 MacBook Air and an M3 Max MacBook Pro from work, this setup is highly productive.

Who doesn’t love a good MacBook? Or maybe two MacBooks, like in today’s setup. The guy has his own M2 MacBook Air, a formidable machine. But he’s lucky enough to add to it an absolutely screaming M3 Max MacBook Pro courtesy of his employer. Nice perk, that.

He can also thank work for his second 4K display. But it doesn’t top his own.

15-inch MacBook Air vs. Dell XPS 15: Which laptop should you buy?


Dell XPS 15 vs. 15-inch MacBook Air comparison
It's the battle of the 15-inch laptops.
Photo/Graphics: Dell/Apple/Rajesh

If you are in the market for a slim laptop, there are few options better than the 15-inch MacBook Air. But if you look beyond Apple’s ecosystem, there’s the Dell XPS 15. It packs a slim and lightweight design and offers more value for money than the MacBook. So, which 15-inch laptop wins the MacBook Air vs. Dell XPS 15 smackdown?

Find out in this buying guide, which compares the two laptops on their designs, displays, performance, ports, battery lives and prices.

Microsoft’s new Arm laptops might surpass M3 MacBook Air performance


Apple's M3 chip
Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon X Elite CPU might be faster than Apple's M3 chip.
Photo: Apple

Microsoft’s upcoming “AI PCs” might finally rival the performance of Apple’s latest MacBook Air. The new Arm-based Windows laptops, due for unveiling at a special event on May 20, will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processors.

Reportedly, the new Qualcomm CPU is faster than the M3 MacBook Air in CPU tasks, AI acceleration and app emulation.

Some of the best 2024 Macs are still ahead of us


The Mac in 2024
2024 will bring lots of M3-based Mac desktops, and maybe an M4 MacBook.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

After Apple’s thunderous launch of the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips a few months ago, these chips likely will roll out as spec bumps in the MacStudio, Mac Pro and Mac mini later this year.

An M4 MacBook Pro remains a possibility for this fall. (I suspect M4 will be the first “must-have” Mac upgrade for anyone still on an M1-series chip.)

Save up to $400 on M2 MacBook Air models


M2 MacBook Air deals
Now's the time to upgrade to a laptop from 2022.
Photo: Apple

Sure, it’s nice to get the latest MacBook model when you can, but not everyone needs a mega-powerful M3 chip. And that’s especially true when you can save hundreds on laptops with a merely super-powerful M2 chip. Best Buy is offering M2 MacBook Air models for up to $400 off as well as other deals.

But if you want to spend even less — or if you really want an M3 MacBook — we’ve included a selection of deals below. There are sweet deals on refurbished M1 and M2 MacBook Air models as well as $200 off a selection of M3 MacBook Pro models.

This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items.

Shop big bargains on Mac, MacBook and iPad while they last


Mac and iPad deals include M1 Ultra Mac Studio
An M1 Ultra Mac Studio is one of the great deals you can score with Woot.
Photo: Apple

You may not want to spend top dollar on a new Mac or iPad, but how about bargain-basement deals on older Apple gear? That’s what Amazon bargain site Woot! asks with its latest sale on 40 items.

As the site says: “Apple iMacs, MacBooks, and iPads: Whether you need a big-screen powerhouse, a portable productivity partner, or a tablet to rule them all, we’ve got the iDevices you crave.”

You’ve got a little over a week to shop a wide range of Apple computers, some rather old (and really cheap) and some not so long in the tooth. The sale ends at 10 p.m. Pacific on April 6. See some highlights below.

And if you’re in the market for new Apple accessories, Woot! also offers $3 off with promo code APPLEBITE (although that sale ends March 31.)

Act fast to save $50 on 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 chip


2024 MacBook Air
Save $50 on various configurations of 15-inch MacBook Air, or $100 on some 13-inch models.
Photo: Apple

Within weeks of going on sale, Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Air is available with a sweet $50 discount. The deal knocks the price of the entry-level configuration down to $1,249.

You can score a similar $50 discount on the 15-inch Air with M3 chip in 512GB and 16GB configurations. And, if you don’t need that massive 15-inch screen, you can get the 13-inch MacBook Air at an even bigger discount.

Why you shouldn’t use M3 MacBook Air in clamshell mode


2024 MacBook Air M3 with dual-monitor support
In clamshell mode, 2024 MacBook Air can connect to a pair of external displays.
Photo: Apple

The recently launched MacBook Air with the Apple M3 processor performance slows down significantly if pushed too hard when in clamshell mode (with the lid closed). Thermal throttling is the culprit.

That said, the problem mostly shows up when using Apple’s consumer-grade notebook for tasks it’s not designed to handle.

Entry-level M3 MacBook Air uses significantly faster SSD


The new MacBook Air with M3
Base M3 MacBook Airs ship with faster storage than their predecessors.
Photo: Apple

Apple fixed the slow storage speed that plagued M2 Macs on the M3 MacBook Air. Early testing indicates the entry-level M3 MacBook Air delivers significantly faster read/write speeds than its predecessor.

The slow SSD transfer speed only affected entry-level M2 Macs due to them using a single-chip NAND.

M3 MacBook Air benchmarks sound amazing, but what’s next? [The CultCast]


M3 MacBook Air promo image with The CultCast logo (episode 637).
These new MacBook Airs sound like absolute screamers.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Surprise! Apple drops new MacBook Airs with M3 chips inside. The new laptops’ specs and first benchmarks make the performance boost sound quite impressive indeed. But what should we expect next for the MacBook, and when should we expect it?

Join us for a titillating conversation about the current state (and future) of Apple’s laptops.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Apple launched the M3 MacBook Airs with amazing specs, but nothing but a press release. Sounds like it’s about to do the same with new iPads. There’s a lot to look forward to if you’re a fan of Apple tablets.
  • An inside look at the canceled Apple car project offers fascinating details about crazy prototypes, dashed dreams and crushing indecision.
  • How cool would a MacBook with a folding 20-inch screen be?
  • The European Union demands a cool 1.8 billion euros from Apple over its dealings with Spotify. Sounds like a shakedown!
  • iOS 17.4 brings some useful new features to your iPhone, and Griffin tells us all about the best ones.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

2024 MacBook Air review roundup: Serious performance boost


2024 MacBook Air M3 in use
One reviewer says the 2024 MacBook Air offers, "excellent performance, gorgeous screens and incredible battery life."
Photo: Apple

The highlight of the 2024 MacBook Air is the Apple M3 processor, and the first round of reviews show a 25% increase over the earlier M2-based models.

Otherwise, Apple didn’t tinker with the design of previous versions of its 13- and 15-inch consumer-oriented notebook.

MacBooks make up whopping 90% of Mac sales


Best-selling Macs - MacBook-Pro-M3-trio
MacBook Pro models account for a bit more than half of Mac sales.
Photo: Apple

MacBook Pro and MacBook Air combine to account for a staggering 90% of Apple’s Mac sales. That’s according to a new report Wednesday about best-selling Macs from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).

The laptops’ dominant popularity over desktop Macs has long been evident. But the new report showing 2023 data really puts an exclamation point on it.

M2 vs. M3 MacBook Air: Which laptop is right for you?


M2 vs. M3 MacBook Air comparison
Aside from a faster M3 processor, what upgrades did Apple add to the 2024 MacBook Air lineup?
Photo/Graphics: Apple/Rajesh

The 2024 MacBook Air lineup looks a lot like the previous models. However, the M3 chip inside gives the laptops a performance boost, and the new laptops come with several additional upgrades. But in an M2 vs. M3 MacBook Air showdown, what are the differences? And is the new model worth paying more?

Find out in our M2 vs. M3 MacBook Air comparison.

Early benchmarks show M3 chip gives MacBook Air hefty performance boost


M3 chip gives 2024 MacBook Air hefty performance boost
Dropping the M3 into the 2024 MacBook Air significantly pumps up the performance.
Photo: Apple

The Apple M3 processor in the 2024 MacBook Air brings a 25% increase to the upgraded notebook’s performance, according to early benchmark results. And the increase over the M1-based version is even more spectacular.

The M3 is Apple’s latest processor family, and it’s made using a cutting-edge 3nm production process.

No Apple March event for new iPad and MacBook [Update]


Get ready for new MacBook and iPad models at Apple March 2024 event
No March Apple event in the pipeline for new iPads and Macs?
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is preparing to launch new M3 iPads and MacBooks this month. But don’t expect an Apple March event for their unveiling. Instead, the company reportedly will announce the devices through a “series of online videos and marketing campaigns.”

Update: This is now confirmed, as Apple unveiled the M3-powered MacBook Air on Monday via a press release.

New M3 MacBook Air gets big specs boost with same awesome battery life


The new MacBook Air with M3
Looks familiar, but there’s a lot of new specs inside.
Photo: Apple

The 2024 MacBook Air lineup launched Monday by Apple runs on the company’s M3 chip, bringing a significant performance boost to the laptop. It also benefits from Wi-Fi that’s up to twice as fast. Plus, the new MacBook Air can support two external displays. This all comes in the same thin design, with the same two display sizes and four colors.

Apple’s press release says that “with a faster and more efficient Neural Engine in M3, MacBook Air continues to be the world’s best consumer laptop for AI.”

The M3 MacBook Air starts at the same $1,099 price as the outgoing M2 model, which remains on sale starting at $999. You can order the new MacBook Air now from the Apple Online Store and it will be available this Friday.

Take up to $400 off MacBooks while you can


save $400 on MacBooks at Best Buy
These MacBook deals at Best Buy range from $150 to $400 off.
Photo: Best Buy

Looks like the end of February is a great time to score an incredible deal on MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. And that’s because Best Buy offers save $400 on MacBooks. Various models on sale include a powerhouse 15-inch MacBook Air at a record low price.

So if you’re ready to save, check out select sale items below.

Act fast to chop $200 off M2 MacBook Air 


M2 MacBook Air
$200 off is nothing to sneeze at.
Photo: Apple

There’s no time like the present to jump on a great deal on a very cool laptop computer — $200 off an M2 MacBook Air. You can get that price on a midnight- or spay gray-colored model at B&H Photo.

Right now you can get the highly rated laptop — 4.9 out of 5 stars at B&H — for just $1,149, down from $1,349. That’s a great deal on a bantamweight machine that packs a powerful punch, thanks to Apple silicon.

Find the best laser printer for your Mac


Best laser printer for Mac
For most cases, laser printers outshine inkjet printers. Here's how to find the best laser printer for Mac.
Photo: Cult of Mac

What is the best laser printer for Mac users? When choosing between laser or inkjet, we recommend laser. Laser printers used to be prohibitively expensive, but prices have come down, and you’ll have fewer headaches. Inkjet printers are better for photos but are a pain to own. Replacement ink costs a fortune, the heads clog, and they dry out if the printer isn’t in regular use.

Laser printers, on the other hand, can sit idle for weeks without problems. They cost more up front, but are often cheaper to own in the long-run.

In this guide, we’ll explore which brand of printer works best with Mac and top laser printers that are fully compatible with macOS, whether you need a printer for your personal use, a home office or a small business.