Apple’s upsizing its entry-level lightweight MacBook Air range with a slim and lightweight 15-inch offering, but is it as competitive as the company’s other laptops?
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If you’re a fan of the compact and affordable MacBook Air, but you really appreciate having a large screen, then you’re in for a huge treat with the new MacBook Air 15-inch. Apple has decided to expand its fanless range to include a 15-inch offering that starts at $ The larger laptop space is usually more aligned with creative and pro consumers that need a bit more power, but the Unified Memory, integrated GPU and dedicated Neural Engine of the M2 SoC is actually powerful enough to woo creative customers with less demanding workloads. Read our Apple MacBook Air 15-inch Review.
The 15-inch Macbook Air has a similar style screen to the existing M2 MacBook Air 13 with a slightly larger 2880 x 1864 pixel display offering the same 500 nit brightness and full DCI-P3 colour gamut. This makes it a reasonable screen for professional video editing since it’s capable of projecting a wide colour spectrum with enough accuracy to work feasibly with professional video tasks.
The same could be said about the M2 processor which offers solid performance that outpaces all the 12th and 13th Generation i7 P or U processors that we’ve tested. Sure, it’s still 68-percent behind the current top-of-the-line MacBook Pro 16 offering and even between 20 and 50 percent behind last year’s Intel i7 H-series 12th gen processors or the Apple M1 Pro scores, but it is still powerful enough to allow you to run demanding creative photo and video editing software.
MacOS Ventura 13.4; 15.3-inch IPS display at 2880 x 1864 pixel resolution, 100% DCI-P3, 500 nit, Liquid Retina, True Tone; 8-core Apple M2 CPU; 16Gb Unified Memory; 10-core Apple M2 GPU; 16-core Neural Engine; 1TB PCIe SSD; 66.5Wh battery (15h15min web browsing lifespan); 34 x 23.7 x 1.15cm; 1.51kg.
This combines with Apple’s updated Neural Engine to allow some advanced on-device AI photo editing features like those offered by PhotoMator; where you can use the AI powered tool to edit out backgrounds or change the colour of objects in a few seconds. We suspect that there will be a lot more AI features available in the future as devs continue to find applications for the novel processor, but for now it’s main function is to translate a wide range of software that hasn’t been optimised yet for the M2 chip.
The 10-core GPU is capable of more graphically intensive workloads than Intel’s Iris Xe Graphics and it’s even able to manage entry-level 1080p gaming. You should be able to play any
MacOS compatible title since you’ll get playable 30+ frame rates in titles like Metro: Exodus using 1080p Low settings and closer to 85 fps for more CPU-heavy titles like Total War Saga: Troy using the same settings. This is roughly half the performance of a discrete graphics card like the Nvidia GeForce 3050 Ti and around 50 percent better performance than Intel’s 13th Gen integrated graphics, so it’s capable of heavier graphical workloads than you might expect.
There are a range of budget friendly laptops launching with 16-inch OLED panels, better CPU performance, similar screen specs and larger, faster SSDs that are almost as compact for $K and under, which makes this MacBook Air not as competitive as some previous 13-inch models. GPU performance and battery life are the standout perks on the MacBook Air 15-inch, with the latter offering around 15 hours for usual web-connected office work, which might be worth that price difference for some.
An awesome plus-size MacBook Air with great battery life and graphical performance that has some tough new competition.
Best Apple MacBook Air 15-inch prices ?
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