If, for some reason, you’ve modified an Advent calendar to count down the days until WWDC in the hopes of seeing a bigger, more powerful MacBook Air, then I have good and bad news.
The good news is that a 15in member of Apple’s impossibly thin MacBook Air range is in the works, according to various sources. The bad news is that it’s not going to be packing a new generation of Apple chips to power it, according to Bloomberg’s Apple specialist, Mark Gurman.
The site has seen internal Apple test logs that show a device “likely to be the 15in MacBook Air” being put through its paces. And it’s powered by “processors on par with the current M2 chip.”
These contain eight processing cores (split equally between performance and efficiency) and ten graphics cores, just like the one found in current MacBook Airs. The computer also has 8GB RAM listed — the same amount you get on the cheapest M2 MacBook Air (though you can upgrade these to 16- or 24GB for NZ$350 or NZ$700 respectively).
To be clear, the M2 is no slouch, but with the chip being announced at last year’s WWDC, the hope was the M3 would appear at this year’s festivities in June, powering the new MacBook Air.
It doesn’t sound like that will be the case, and you’ll have to wait a bit longer for the M3 to arrive. Gurman says he expects it to follow later in the year in 13in versions of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, as well as a refresh of the 24in iMac.
“Higher-end versions of the M3 chip” are expected to follow for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro “in the first half of 2024,” he adds — presumably in the form of Pro, Max and Ultra chips as Apple does love a superlative, bless it.
It’s not all bad news about the upcoming MacBook Air though. It will, Gurman says, have a higher resolution display. While the current 13in model has a 2,560 x 1,664 screen, the upcoming 15in version ups this to 3,024 x 1,964. That’s the same resolution as the 14in MacBook Pro, albeit spread out over more screen.
Although WWDC seems like a sensible bet for this new-look MacBook Air, display analyst Ross Young thinks Apple could go as early as this month. “We don’t know the precise launch timing, but would assume late April/early May,” he wrote on his paywalled Twitter account.
Why would Apple go ahead of WWDC? Maybe to avoid upstaging its first mixed-reality headset. Apple sees it as the future, after all, and it wouldn’t look good if it were upstaged by a slightly bigger laptop with a year-old processor.