An M3 MacBook Air 15-inch could already be underway

Macbook air 15 at WWDC 2023
(Image credit: Apple)

The MacBook Air 15-inch isn’t even out yet, but an upgraded version has already been tipped for 2024. 

According to reliable Apple tipster and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, a version of the larger MacBook Air will be released next year with the rumoured Apple M3 chip

Gurman believes the M3 chip will have a similar number of CPU and GPU cores as the current M2 chip, but is expected to use TSMC's 3-nanometer process node to deliver more transistors on a slice of silicon and thus more performance and efficiency. 

Aside from this, Gurman gave no hint at any other potential changes for a next-generation MacBook Air. Given the design used by the MacBook Air M2 is still rather fresh, we’d not expect Apple to change up the aesthetic of the Air line anytime soon; it would be good if the display notch was reduced in size, though. 

WWDC 2023 came and went with no mention of new Apple Silicon chips, with the Vision Pro AR and VR headset stealing the show. We had expected to see some hints as to what’s next for Apple’s in-house designed chips. But all we got was a supercharged version of the M2 chip in the form of the M2 Ultra that’ll feature in the new Mac Studio and Mac Pro

The standard M2 chip in the current MacBook Air models is by no means slow, kicking out a lot of performance while being very kind in battery life; I was surprised to find that my MacBook Air M2 could even run Total War: Warhammer 3

But the evolution of Apple’s chips is inevitable, so we’d expect to see the M3 chip arrive at some point; when that will be is unclear, as the chip could be introduced this fall, maybe alongside a powered-up iPad Pro, or arrive springtime next year. 

Should you wait for an M3 MacBook Air? 

My quick answer to that is no. I’ve been using the MacBook Air M2 for nearly a year, — I'm currently writing this article on it — and I’ve never once been frustrated by the performance on offer. The battery life is also very impressive, and I feel my MacBook Air lasts far longer than any Windows 11 laptop I’ve used. 

Furthermore, we've been very impressed by the new Air, as you can see in our MacBook Air 15-inch review; a bigger display to an already excellent laptop was always going to be a winning combination. 

For most computing tasks, the MacBook Air M2 is more than enough. Sure a few extra ports would be nice, especially an SD card reader. But otherwise, the current Air modeals are some of the best laptops you can get today. 

If you need more power, then waiting for an M3 Air could be moot, as the MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch both got upgraded chips this year and offer a huge amount of performance for tasks like video rendering and graphic design on the move. 

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.