Buying Guide MacBook Air M2 vs. M3: All the differences

With the announcement of new MacBook Air models equipped with Apple’s latest silicon chip, the company has adjusted the lineup and pricing structure of this popular line of laptops. Now, consumers are faced with the choice between the 2022 MacBook Air M2 model and its 2024 M3 successor, as well as a large-screen variant of the 2024 model. This guide compares these options to help you make an informed decision.

The MacBook Air M3 models are distinguished by offering a new GPU architecture and support for more demanding tasks, while the M2 remains an attractive option due to its reasonable price and proven performance.

Key differences between the M2 and M3 Chips of the MacBook Air

The main attraction of the MacBook Air 2024 models is the M3 chip. This new processor surpasses the M2 in terms of performance, offering significant improvements in single-core and multi-core tasks, as well as graphics performance. The M3 chip introduces an entirely new GPU architecture, including advanced features such as Dynamic Caching and support for AV1 video decoding, improving power efficiency and graphics performance for demanding tasks.

Other notable differences

Beyond the chips, there are several minor differences between the two generations of MacBook Air that are worth considering:

The MacBook Air M2 is available only in a 13.6-inch display configuration, while the M3 offers 13.6-inch and 15.3-inch options. The M3 model supports up to two external displays when the lid is closed, compared to a single external display supported by the M2. M3 models also feature voice clarity improvements for audio and video calls, support for Wi-Fi 6E, and an anodization seal to reduce fingerprints on the Midnight finish. The introduction of larger display options and connectivity improvements with the M3 models expands the possibilities for MacBook Air users, marking a natural evolution for the line.

Final considerations

Overall, the MacBook Air M3 is a minor upgrade over its predecessor, focusing primarily on improved performance rather than new capabilities. Its target audience is those who have an older model of MacBook Air or do not currently own one.

For most users, the M3 model is probably not worth purchasing over the M2, unless they can take advantage of the specific advantages of the M3 chip and require maximum performance from its highly portable form. However, if future endurance is an important priority because you tend to keep your computer for many years, the newer model could justify the additional expense.

Choosing between the MacBook Air M2 and M3 depends on your specific performance, budget, and future usage needs. While the M3 offers significant improvements, the M2 remains a solid and now more affordable option for those looking for an entry-level entry to Apple’s MacBook Air line.

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