15-inch MacBook Air hands-on: Just what some folks were asking for

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A front view of the 15-inch MacBook Pro, showing how thick it is
Enlarge / It’s just about the same thickness as the 13-inch model.

Samuel Axon

CUPERTINO, Calif.—People have been asking for a 15-inch MacBook Air for about as long as the Air has existed.

The Air was originally conceived as a laptop that was all about extreme portability. But over time it became the default MacBook for most people—and plenty of users don’t need the performance of a MacBook Pro but might like a little more desktop space or a bigger screen on which to watch streaming TV.

Apple has targeted those people here. I spent a few minutes handling and using the 15-inch MacBook Air and—surprise! It’s just like the most recent 13-inch Air but wider and taller.

The new laptop has a screen resolution (2,880×1,864 pixels) that’s lower than the 14-inch MacBook Pro, though it’s a bit higher than the 13-inch Air, so it’s not Apple’s sharpest display—but it’s sharp enough for most people.

When I picked the machine up, it felt quite light. You don’t expect a 15-inch laptop to weigh this little.

If you’ve used the 13-inch Air, you know what to expect. There’s the giant trackpad, the Magic Keyboard, Touch ID on said keyboard, two Thunderbolt ports, a headphone jack, and MagSafe charging. It’s all stuff we talked about in our 13-inch MacBook Air review last year.

I loved the look of the midnight finish (that’s the color in the pictures), but it was a hilariously aggressive fingerprint magnet. Apple’s devices have a reputation for that to begin with, but this thing attracted more highly visible fingerprints than any other Apple product I’ve used. For that reason, I’d personally pick one of the other finishes. It’s too bad, though, because untarnished, it looks lovely.

Apple MacBook Air 15-inch

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The 15-inch Air was just as thin as its 13-inch cousin (which Apple still sells, of course). Honestly, it seems almost unnecessary for a product to be this thin, but it’s hard to complain about something so light you’d barely notice it in your bag at the airport.

I wasn’t able to run any performance tests, but the new Air has the same M2 chip we saw in the smaller Air, and I was told that nothing notable has changed in terms of thermals, so performance should be the same.

We’ve written that the 13-inch Air is the best Mac laptop for most users, since most don’t need what the Pro has to offer. I think that statement still stands, but for those who want to sacrifice just a little bit of practicality for much more luxurious screen real estate, this is likely to be a welcome addition to Apple’s lineup.

Look for our full review in the coming days.

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