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The larger MacBook Air: 5 things to remember

This is the first time in the history of the MacBook Air. Apple has announced the arrival of a model equipped with a 15” screen, a format previously reserved for MacBook Pros.

Before the release of this model, fans of big screens had to turn to a Pro model, even if it meant being more crowded. Marketed at 1,599 euros, the MacBook Air 15 is thus the most affordable MacBook of this size.

So we traded our MacBook Air 13 (M2) for its 15” equivalent for a few days. Here are the 5 things we take away from this experience.

It’s a big screen, of course.

The same, only bigger. This is how we could summarize our impressions of the 15.3-inch screen of the MacBook Air 15. Apple uses the same type of panel as the 13-inch model, the same thin side edges, and the same notch that hides the same 1080p webcam.

Although the native definition of 2,880 x 864 pixels (1,7109 x 1,107 pixels in displayed definition) is lower than that of a MacBook Pro 14 (thanks to the range effect), the large screen size still leaves some with their eyes full.

Colorimetry, brightness, and contrasts remain just as controlled, so we don’t sulk our pleasure when watching a video or playing a game. The screen of the 13” model is excellent, that of the 15” just as good, but larger.

This space-saving will also delight the most productive, since you can comfortably multitask with, for example, two separate windows. If you feel a little cramped on a 13” board, you can take a deep breath on the 15.3”.

The comfort is such that one even wonders why it took Apple so long to release a MacBook Air of this size.

its largest size

macbook air 15 vs 13 review

And if the explanation came from the much more imposing format of the 15” model? Designed for mobility, the MacBook Air 15 is Air in name and thinness alone. For the rest, logically it takes up little weight and space. Enough to make transporting the beast unpleasant.

What is gained in exhibition comfort is lost in transport comfort. However, the compactness of this machine has always been Apple’s number one argument. Remember Steve Jobs pulling the first MacBook Air out of an envelope?

Accustomed to the MacBook Air 13, we couldn’t fit the MacBook Air 15 in our backpack. Even if it means accepting such bulk, we also would have liked the keyboard to stretch out a bit more at the edges. There we use the same keyboard as the 13” model surrounded by wide borders. Why did not you do it? For a matter of space, Apple has preferred to privilege another aspect of the machine.

Its impressive audio quality

macbook air 15 sound review

That little extra is its sound quality. With the space gained in the chassis, Apple took advantage of it to enlarge its battery (we will return to this) and integrate two additional speakers.

What a good idea! The audio quality of the MacBook Air 15 is impressive. Powerful and balanced, the sound is also clearer with more pronounced bass. The set is close to the audio quality of a MacBook Pro, a benchmark in the field. Multimedia lovers will appreciate it.

Your connection is too light.

macbook air 15 connector test
© Lemon squeezer

The MacBook Air has always suffered from weak connections. Over the years, things didn’t work out. With the arrival of a 15” model, we were hoping to take advantage of an extra port or two, only to use the space savings to ditch a USB-C dongle.

What was our disappointment when we discovered that the MacBook Air 15 has the same connectors as the 13.6” model? Therefore we must content ourselves with a MagSafe port and two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) placed on the left side, as well as a 3.5 mm jack on the right side. And that’s it.

Apple’s silence on this issue leads us to believe that the only explanation for these choices is based on the notion of “available space.” When there is no more space, there is no more space.

Its performance and autonomy.

Stamped with the mention “M2”, the MacBook Air 15 comes with a slightly more muscular chip than the 13-inch model with the base configuration. The M2 chip here has 10 cores (versus 8 for the 13”)a material difference that we challenge you to find in use.

The version with 8 GB of RAM (the one in our test) is suitable for the most common uses. But if you tend to push multitasking or greedy uses a bit, adding 230 euros to the bill to upgrade to 16 GB of RAM will not hurt (count 460 euros for 24 GB of RAM, the maximum available).

We also recommend adding 230 euros to increase the too-tight storage of the standard 256 GB model, so as not to surprise us. We then crossed the bar of 2,000 euros. A good sum worth taking the time to identify your needs before clicking the “Pay” button.

A powerful computer is good but if it is durable it is better. Apple has therefore taken advantage of the space available under the chassis to enlarge the battery, to be able to maintain an autonomy of 18 hours in video playback (on Apple TV +) like the 13” model.

Mission accomplished! If the MacBook Air 15 isn’t the most durable of MacBooks (the Pro 13 is still unbeatable), shows an autonomy of 13h15 in versatile use in our laboratory tests 01Laboratory. It’s barely a minute shorter than the MacBook Air 13, a trifle.

So don’t worry about autonomy. The MacBook Air 15 will easily accompany you through your workday, without having to carry the charger in the bag. A significant luxury for a machine of this size.`

Our take on the MacBook Air 15

Available from June 16, 2023, for 1,599 euros, the MacBook Air 15 was one of the most anticipated models by fans of the Air family. The wait was worth it? Yes, if we exclude the imposing and less mobile format of this unique machine.

Caught between two worlds (the MacBook Air 13 and the MacBook Pro 16), the MacBook Air 15 could have been called MacBook Air Max, with a maxi screen, maxi performance, maxi battery life, and maxi form factor. The price, on the other hand, remains fairly contained given its capabilities and lifespan, as long as you don’t push too hard on RAM and storage options, a bad habit at Apple.

Are we going to change our MacBook Air 13 for the MacBook Air 15? It’s all a matter of taste and usage. If you want a versatile, durable, large-screen machine without extreme performance demands, then the MacBook Air 15 is for you. If mobility is your main criterion, a MacBook Air 13 or even a MacBook Pro 13 is preferable.

MacBook Air 15 (M2)

From €1599

macbook air 15 review

Design and finishes: 9.5/10

Value for money: 9.0/10

We love

  • Bigger screen and still beautiful
  • excellent performance
  • Excellent autonomy
  • Impressive audio quality
  • Prize

we love less

  • Large format less designed for mobility
  • Connection too light
  • RAM prices and storage options

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