f you were born in the ‘80s and went to college in the 2000s, there were three things the word ‘Air’ meant back then – the Air we breathe in, the Nike Air Jordan and of course the MacBook Air. And 15 years later, while all three still stay true, the air we breathe has become toxic in most places, Air Jordans have become a rage, and the MacBook Air has remained on top of the category it created for personal computing – Thin and Light Notebook. But let’s find out what took Apple 15 years to launch a 15” MacBook Air.
Available in 4 Colours – Silver, Starlight, Space Grey, Midnight
Height: 1.15 cm (0.45 inches)
Width: 34.04 cm (13.40 inches)
Depth: 23.76 cm (9.35 inches)
Weight: 1.51 kg
While the iconic wedge design of the MacBook Air (which the late Steve Jobs pulled out of an envelope on stage) was let go of a few years ago. Apple has managed to keep it the best thin and light notebook money can buy even today. That’s not a small feat for a nomenclature or a product that has been selling for 15-odd years since 2008.
In terms of design, the MacBook Air 15” is identical to the current MacBook Air 13” but the first time you pick up the 15” Air, it feels unrealistically light for its size. I guess, that’s why Apple kept the tagline – Impressively big. Impossibly thin. Whatever magic Apple has done to make it so Thin and Light is beyond your brain’s comprehension when you pick it up. It’s either because we are so used to heavy and bulky 15” laptops, especially on the Windows side that it’s hard to fathom the existence of a 15” thin and light notebook.
Also, this Midnight colourway I am using is a head-turner. Even if it is a fingerprint magnet because of its darker metallic shade, I’d still buy this Midnight colour for all my Apple Devices.
My only qualm is that Apple didn’t add any extra port even with a bigger chassis at hand.
15.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display
2880×1864 native resolution at 224 pixels per inch
500 nits brightness
We all know that Apple sources the best set of displays then tweaks them to perfection and sets benchmarks. The Liquid Retina display on MacBook Air is no less as it supports 1 billion colours and has up to 2x the resolution of PC laptops in its segment. Honestly, it is a sight to behold especially when you boot up for the first time and experience the expansive display of real estate at your disposal.
When you open two apps side by side, it’s like using dual monitors for multitasking. That’s how big and crisp this Liquid Retina display is on the MBA 15”.
6-speaker sound system
Apple doesn’t have stickers boasting sound by B&O/Harman etc. on its devices but you know they sound the best in their segment or even above it. MacBook Air 15” comes with a 6-speaker sound system — combining two pairs of force-cancelling woofers with two tweeters for twice the bass depth.
You also get Spatial Audio along with Dolby Atmos, so you can enjoy three-dimensional soundstages for music and movies.
Apple M2 chip
8GB to 24GB unified memory
256GB to 2TB storage
Let’s do some number crunching – 18 hours plus battery life, 12x Faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Air from just a couple of years ago, 1.4x faster than last year’s MacBook Air M1. According to my usage, I have been able to get at least 15 hours a day on one single charge. I do video editing on FCPX, Photo Editing on Lightroom and a lot of content consumption on this massive screen on a daily basis. Now that’s a phenomenal match of Power and Performance thanks to the Apple M2 chip. And all this happens with a fanless SoC powering this big Air.
Prior to this Air 15”, if anyone wanted a display larger than 13” in the Mac ecosystem then the only option was to buy a Pro model which not only cost more but also was thicker and heavier compared to Air. So the 15” Air changes that forever and marks a milestone of 15 years of MacBook Air. It is for everyone who wants a bigger screen without the price, power or ports of the bigger Pros.
I have to admit that I got very nostalgic reviewing this MacBook Air 15”. I started my career as a content creator in 2008 with a MacBook Air when I uploaded my first blog, then it became my machine for video editing in 2012 and I used it till 2015 when I bought the MacBook Pro 15 or rMBP 15” which had MagSafe and all the ports including the Memory Card Reader and HDMI a must-have for content creators back then to transfer data and preview on bigger screens. So it has been like a homecoming for me to get the best of both worlds in one package – a 15” screen and portability of the Air.
So all you new-age content creators, students, teachers and anyone who wants a bigger screen with portability and performance go ahead and get it.
- Nikhil Chawla is an independent tech expert. For more on the latest news from the world of technology, connect with him on Twitter and Instagram @nikhilchawla for some new age content.