15″ MacBook Air vs 13″ Air

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15" MacBook Air vs 13" Air


Apple has launched the largest-ever version of its MacBook Air with a 15-inch display. While naturally keeping the super slim design the Air is known for, the new laptop offers a fast and big MacBook at an affordable price. Here are all the details on the 15″ MacBook Air vs 13″ Air.

The 13″ MacBook Air got a big redesign in the summer of 2022 with the M2 chip, a larger 13.6-inch display, flat-edged chassis, new midnight color, upgraded webcam, and much more. But Apple still sells the M1 13″ MacBook Air as a more affordable option.

Now the 15″ MacBook Air has arrived with the great features of its smaller sibling but with a few improvements. Historically, the larger screen sizes have been reserved for the MacBook Pro models usually at $2,000+ prices.

But the 15″ MacBook Air changes all that with a starting price of just $1,299. Below we’ve included both the 13″ M2 and M1 MacBook Air in the charts for

15″ MacBook Air vs 13″ Air

CPU, GPU, RAM, more

15 MacBook Air vs 13 Air

Same as the 13″ MacBook Air, the 15″ model uses the M2 chip which enables up to 24GB RAM, up to 10 GPU cores, and comes with a faster 8-core CPU than the M1.

One difference M2 wise, the 10-core GPU is standard with the 15″ MacBook Air, but is a $100 upgrade with the 13″ MacBook Air.

And the 15″ MacBook Air gets a six-speaker sound system with force-cancelling woofers, while the smaller model has a 4-speaker sound system.

15″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M1 MacBook Air
CPU M2 – 8-core M2 – 8-core M1 – 8-core
Storage Up to 2TB Up to 2TB Up to 2TB
RAM 8, 16, or 24GB 8, 16, or 24GB 8 or 16GB
Graphics 10-core Up to 10-core 7-core
Neural engine 16-core 16-core 16-core
FaceTime camera 1080p 1080p 720p
Speakers Six-speaker system with force-cancelling woofers, wide sound 4-speaker system with wide sound Stereo speakers with wide sound
Mics 3-mic array 3-mic array 3-mic array
Thermal management Fanless Fanless Fanless

Apple says the M2 is up to 18% faster for CPU performance and up to 35% faster for GPU performance than the M1. It has over 20 billion transistors and can handle up to 15.8 trillion operations per second.

And the M2 chip features a media engine that brings support for hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW. It also has a video and ProRes encode and decode engine.

Like the 2022 13″ M2 MacBook Air, the 15″ model has a 1080p webcam. Meanwhile, the 13-inch M1 MacBook Air has the old 720p webcam.

Display

15 MacBook Air vs 13 Air display

The 15″ MacBook Air has the same display design and specs as the 13″ M2 Air like 500 nits brightness, slim bezels, P3 wide color support, 224 PPI, and more on the larger screen.


15″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M1 MacBook Air
Actual screen size 15.3-inch 13.6-inch 13.3-inch
Resolution 2880 x 1864 2560 x 1664 2560 x 1600
Aspect Ratio 16:10 + notch 16:10 + notch 16:10
PPI 224 224 227
Nits (brightness) 500 500 400
Retina display
Liquid Retina Display
ProMotion (up to 120Hz)
True Tone
P3 wide color

The 15″ and 13″ M2 MacBook Air include a notch at the top center of the display for the 1080p FaceTime camera. But unlike the iPhone, the notch doesn’t include Face ID hardware/support.

MacBook Air I/O

15 MacBook Air vs 13 Air I/O

The 15″ MacBook Air comes with the same I/O as the 13″ M2 MacBook Air. No surprise that Apple has kept additions like HDMI, SDXC slot, and support for up to 4 external displays exclusive to the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

A notable limitation for all of the MacBook Air models is only having support for 1 external display up to 6K at 60Hz, even with the new M2 chip. That may be a deal-breaker for some.

Along with the two USB4/Thunderbolt 3 ports, the new 15″ MacBook Air has a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

 15″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M1 MacBook Air
Magic Keyboard
Touch ID
USB-C 4/Thunderbolt ports 2 2 2
Headphone jack
HDMI
SDXC card reader
MagSafe charging
Bluetooth 5.3 5.3 5.0
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 (802.11.ax) Wi-Fi 6 (802.11.ax) Wi-Fi 6 (802.11.ax)
External display support 1 external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz 1 external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz 1 external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz

Size, weight, and finish

15 MacBook Air vs 13 Air weight finishes

While of course, the 15″ MacBook Air is heavier than the 13″ Air, Apple says it’s the thinnest 15″ laptop in the world and tips the scales at just 3.3 pounds – only 0.6 pounds heavier than the 13″ MacBook Air.

At 11.5 mm (0.45 inch), the 15″ MacBook Air is barely thicker than the 13″ model which comes in at 11.3 mm (0.44 inch).

15″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M1 MacBook Air
Weight 3.3 pounds (1.29 kg) 2.7 pounds (1.24 kg) 2.8 lbs. (1.29 kg)
Thickness 0.45 in. (1.15 cm) 0.44 in. (1.13 cm) 0.16-0.63 in. (0.41-1.61 cm)
Width 13.40 in. (34.04 cm) 11.97 in. (30.41 cm) 11.97 in. (30.41 cm)
Depth 9.35 in. (23.76 cm) 8.46 in. (21.5 cm) 8.36 in. (21.24 cm)
Display size 15.3 in. 13.6 in. 13.3 in.
Finishes Silver, space gray, starlight, midnight Silver, space gray, starlight, midnight Silver, space gray, gold

15″ MacBook Air vs 13″ battery life

Interestingly, while Apple’s 16″ MacBook Pro has a longer battery life than the 14″ model, the 15″ MacBook Air comes with the same battery life rating as the 13″ sibling.

In any case, the battery life is still strong with up to 18 hours of use for the 15″ MacBook Air.

15″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M2 MacBook Air 13″ M1 MacBook Air
Wireless web battery 15 hours 15 hours 15 hours
Video playback 18 hours 18 hours 18 hours
Included power adapter 35W or 70W USB-C + MagSafe 30W, 35W, or 70W USB-C + MagSafe 30W USB-C
Battery capacity 66.5Wh 52.6Wh 49.9Wh
Fast charging

Apple says when using the 70W power adapter, the M2 15″ and 13″ MacBook Air can fast charge to give up to 50% battery in just 30 minutes.

Pricing

With a starting price of $1,299, the 15″ MacBook Air comes in at $1,200 less than the 16-inch MacBook Pro which starts at $2,499.

Along with the launch of the 15″ MacBook Air, Apple has dropped the price of the 13″ Air to $1,099, and the M1 MacBook Air stays at $999 (hardly any reason to go for the M1 Air at this point).

Standard models for the MacBook Air are 256GB SSD/8GB RAM and 512GB SSD/8GB RAM configurations. Models with 16 or 24GB RAM and storage up to 2TB for the MacBook Air are custom orders.

15″ MacBook Air vs 13″ Air wrap-up

It’s great to see Apple expand one of its most popular Macs with the larger screen size. With the M2 chip, the MacBook Air is capable enough for a majority of users and paired with the new 15″ display, this means customers don’t have to step all the way up to an overpowered MacBook Pro to get a larger than 13″ MacBook.

That’s a big deal when it comes to price as the 15″ MacBook Air is roughly half the cost of the 16″ MacBook Pro – $1,299 vs $2,499. Plus students, teachers, and staff get discounted pricing that will make the new Air a popular choice for education.

If you know you want a MacBook and thin, light, and affordable are important aspects, now just need to decide what size to get 😁. With the 13″ M2 Air being upgradeable to the 10-core GPU, the main difference other than the screen sizes and larger form factor is the 15″ Air has the upgraded 6-speaker sound system while the 13″ has the 4-speaker system.

You can get the 15″ MacBook Air now from Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, and more.

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