Is it worth waiting for the MacBook Air M3?

Is it worth waiting for the MacBook Air M3? Image shows the M2 MacBook Air next to the M3 logo, on a purple gradient background.

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As Apple’s flagship lightweight laptop, the MacBook Air has been a popular choice since its initial launch back in 2008. Over the years, it’s become somewhat of a staple among students, professionals, and creatives alike as a more portable alternative to the MacBook Pro. However, with the announcement of the new MacBook Air M3 seemingly imminent, many are wondering if it’s worth holding out for this latest iteration over the current M2 model. So, in this article, we’ll take on the question of whether it’s worth waiting for the MacBook Air M3, or if you should just go ahead and get a good deal on a current MacBook Air.

Why the MacBook Air M3 is worth waiting for

New chips are imminent

One of the main reasons to hold off on buying MacBook Air laptops at this moment in time is the fact that a new chipset is on the horizon. In a matter of months, Apple is expected to launch 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models that feature the new and improved M3 chip that launched last October. Unsurprisingly, the M3 brings a notable performance boost to the table; there’s an overall 20% generation-over-generation improvement with every M-series chip. It looks like the M3 will also have performance cores up to 15% faster than the ‌M2‌, and efficiency cores roughly 30% faster.

While there might not be a huge generational leap aside from the efficiency of the 3nm process over the 5nm silicon of the M2, the M3 chip will have a better all-round performance compared to the M2. This makes it a worthwhile upgrade for those seeking maximum performance. One of the main pull-ins of the MacBook Air M3 is that it balances the power of Apple Silicon with more user-friendly features, including being silent and more portable – with its next iteration, the MacBook Air will become even faster, lighter, and more accessible.

Price drops for the M2 model

Another reason to wait for the MacBook Air M3 to launch is the potential for price drops on the current M2 model. When Apple releases a new product, third-party retailers often reduce the prices of the previous generation. What’s more, it’s possible that Apple might bump the existing M2 model down to the base model spot currently occupied by the M1 Air. This means that you can expect to see some attractive discounts on the M2 MacBook Air once the M3 model is unveiled.

We don’t know the full story yet

As you can probably tell, we don’t have a full picture of the M3 MacBook Air just yet. So, whether you’re thinking of upgrading to the M2 or holding out for its successor, what we can say for sure is that it’s probably a good idea to wait for its release either way. If you do this, you’ll be able to weigh in on the confirmed specs and pricing, and see if any good deals come to the M2 15-inch or 13-inch model from 2022.

When will the MacBook Air M3 be released?

The exact release date of the MacBook Air M3 has not been confirmed, but there are various rumors that can lead us to some estimated guesses as to when it will arrive. Recent speculations from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman are now pointing towards Spring 2024 as a possible release time frame. However, the previous Mac Air’s were launched at the World Wide Developers Conference in 2022, so it could be the case that the M3 model will come at the WWDC 2024 in June.

Apparently, the MacBook Air models could have been launched alongside the M3 MacBook Pro in October, but as the 3nm silicon is also used for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, the iPhone was the priority over the Air this time around. Overall, with little to go off so far, it could just as easily be pushed back from the first half to Q2 of 2024.

Will the MacBook Air M3 be more expensive than the MacBook Air M2?

While pricing details have not been announced, it is unlikely that the M3 model will be significantly more expensive than the current MacBook Air. However, the refinement of the 3nm process could add some costs to the production process, so there could be a small increase, but it’s hoped that the price tag will stay loyal to the $1,000 mark.

Final thoughts

If you’re in the market for a MacBook Air, our take is that to fully benefit from either better performance or a reduced price point, it’s worth waiting for the M3 model to get released. What’s more, you hopefully won’t be waiting too much longer for an announcement from Apple regarding this.

The new M3 chip will provide a significant performance boost, making it a worthwhile upgrade for those seeking maximum power from their portable laptop. Additionally, the potential price drops on the current model make waiting an attractive option for those looking to save money. However, it’s important to consider all of your options and determine what features are most important to you: realistically, you’re potentially already in a good spot to buy one of the current MacBook Airs and not regret it come the launch of the M3 variant.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.