M3 MacBook Air review round-up: Stellar performance, dual monitor support and 18 hours of battery life

Apple’s unexpected announcement of the M3 MacBook Air has caused a stir in the tech community. With reviewers praising its performance and portability, let’s delve into what makes this iteration stand out and whether it’s the right choice for you.

M3 MacBook Air

M3 MacBook Air reviews are out!


The cornerstone of the 2024 MacBook Air lies in its groundbreaking M3 processor. Early reviews from respected tech publications have praised the M3 chip’s prowess, showcasing significant performance boosts over its predecessors. With benchmarks revealing up to a 25% increase in multi-core performance compared to the M2 models, the M3 MacBook Air sets a new standard for efficiency and power in the consumer laptop market. From CNET’s review:

We’ve only had the new Airs for a few days, but we were able to run our benchmark tests and the performance essentially matches that of the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro we tested late last year. The M3 Air is generally faster than the M2 Air, but again, it’s the graphics performance that really shines. And my work laptop, a 2019 Intel-based MacBook Pro, was no match for the M3.

For good measure, we also tested a new Lenovo Slim 7, which is a 14-inch OLED laptop with an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor, integrated Arc graphics, 32GB of memory and a 1TB SSD for around $1,000. Its performance pretty much matches the M3’s except for, again, graphics, where the Lenovo was competitive with… the M1 MacBook Air from 2020, so Intel clearly still has some work to catch up there.

M3 chip


While the internal upgrades steal the spotlight, Apple stays true to its design philosophy with the MacBook Air’s sleek and minimalist aesthetics. As noted by The Verge, the exterior remains largely unchanged from previous models, maintaining the signature wedgeless design and lightweight construction. This familiar elegance ensures that users enjoy the same premium feel and portability that the MacBook Air is renowned for.

The chassis of the 13-inch and 15-inch Air M3s are the same as their M2 predecessors: same wedgeless design, same dimensions and weight, same colorway options — same everything. If the two were side by side, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell which ones have an M2 chip and which ones have an M3.

Dual external displays

Tech Crunch’s review highlights the support for dual external displays, a feature previously reserved for MacBook Pro models.

The iPad may have eaten into Mac’s market share among more casual users, but as the laptop line has gotten more powerful, it’s supplanted the need for a devoted desktop for many. There’s great versatility in a device you can travel the world with, take home and dock into a pair of external monitors. In the case of the Studio Display, the process is as simple as connecting to the Thunderbolt port and closing the laptop hood. Not much configuration is needed beyond that, and suddenly you’ve got a ton of screen real estate and an array of freed up ports on the backs of the monitors.

MacBook Air dual displays

User experience

Engadget notes that while the speed improvements are significant, users upgrading from recent MacBook Air models may not notice a substantial difference in day-to-day usage. However, for consumers seeking a reliable and efficient laptop for everyday tasks, the M3 MacBook Air delivers unparalleled performance and battery life.

Last year, Apple finally gave its fanatics a big-screen ultraportable notebook with the 15-inch MacBook Air. This week, we’ve got the same two computers with slightly faster chips. They didn’t even get a real launch event from Apple, just a sleepy Monday morning press release. They look the same and are a bit faster than before — what else is there to say?

Now, I’m not saying these aren’t great computers. It’s just that we’ve been a bit spoiled by Apple’s laptops over the last few years. The M3 MacBook Air marks the inevitable innovation plateau for the company, following the monumental rise of its mobile chips and a complete refresh of its laptops and desktops. It’s like hitting cruising altitude after the excitement of takeoff — things are stable and comfortable for Apple and consumers alike.


Initial reviews are in, and the M3 MacBook Air solidifies its place as a frontrunner in the consumer laptop market. Combining cutting-edge performance with the classic design and some exciting new features, reviewers overwhelmingly recommend the M3 MacBook Air for most users. Whether you’re a casual user, creative professional, or student, the M3 MacBook Air strikes the perfect balance between power and portability to meet your needs.

However, if you already own the M2 MacBook Air, you likely don’t need to upgrade, as the performance gains might be subtle for everyday tasks.

Check out some video reviews below:

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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