Saturday, April 1, 2023

Why the 15-inch Macbook Air could be a masterstroke from Apple

A few days ago, Mark Gurman, from Bloomberg, revealed the upcoming release of two new MacBook Air models. On the one hand, the renewal of the 13-inch version with M2 that the company announced last year. For another, a new variant with a 15-inch screen and that, as recently revealed 9to5Mac, it could arrive with the M3 chip. If it materializes, it will be the first time that we see this screen size in the Air range, since, until now, 15 inches have been exclusive to the Pro model. And this, analyzing it coldly, is a master move by Apple.

The MacBook Air are, without a doubt, the most recommended equipment in the entire Apple catalog. Although they are not as advanced as the Pro, they offer a great balance in terms of price and features. They are also light, powerful and have a large battery, which makes them very valid models for students or those users who are looking for a laptop to work anywhere. However, This range of products has always had a drawback: its only size version.

Apple has spent years betting on a single 13-inch MacBook Air. It is a size that many praise, as it makes the laptop more compact, lighter and, therefore, more transportable. However, there is a percentage of people for whom this option is simply not ideal. Customers who work with apps that require large screens, or simply people who want to have a larger panel –a common preference, for example, from certain ages–.

Such buyers, let’s remember, have only one alternative in the Apple catalog: the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The price difference compared to the MacBook Air, however, is abysmal: 1,530 euros more.

A MacBook Air just as slim and powerful, but with a bigger screen and more battery life

MacBook Air M2 on a table

With the supposed 15-inch MacBook Air, however, Apple could capture that percentage of users who are looking for a computer with macOS and a large screen, but who do not want to spend 3,000 euros on a computer. But the 15-inch MacBook Air’s masterpiece would go further. This team would have every chance of becoming one of the most recommended on the market for many other reasons.

If the rumors coming from 9to5Mac are true, the 15-inch MacBook Air could arrive with the M3 chip. This, in principle, would be the first of the brand manufactured in 3 nanometers and, therefore, would bring with it a notable leap in performance and energy efficiency compared to the M2.

The larger dimensions of the 15-inch MacBook Air would also allow for the inclusion of a larger battery. That, added to that extra efficiency of the M2 processor, could translate into a notable leap in terms of autonomy. In fact, if we take a look at Apple’s catalog, we can see that the current 16-inch MacBook Pro offers up to 4 hours more battery life compared to the 14-inch version. All this, despite the fact that both include the same processor and practically the same specifications. Therefore, the logical thing to do would be to expect an evolution also in the supposed 15″ MacBook Air.

Said Mac, furthermore, would retain the same look as the 13-inch version. That is to say, it would be the same —or practically the same— as thin as the most compact version. Therefore, even if it has a larger surface area, it would still be an ideal option for those who are looking for a portable computer but without giving up power, autonomy and attractive aesthetics.

It all depends on the price

MacBook Air 15 inchMacBook Air 15 inch

There is, yes, a key factor for the 15-inch MacBook Air to become Apple’s master move: its price.

The MacBook Air with M2 and a size of 13 inches, remember, is available for 1,519 euros. If macroeconomic conditions do not change, the M3 model that the company announces soon should cost the same. Therefore, considering how Apple scales its prices, it would be logical to expect the 15-inch version to cost around 150 or 200 euros more. We would speak, in this case, of a team of about 1650 or 1750 euros.

However, for the rise to stay in that range, Apple would have to do without a strategy that we do see in the current MacBook Prowhere they take advantage of the inch jump to necessarily increase the team’s performance.

The most basic version of the 14-inch MBP sells for 2,449 euros and incorporates an M2 Pro with a 10-core CPU and a 16-core GPU. colors. Meanwhile, the most basic version of the 16-inch MBP sells for 3,049 euros and also includes an M2 Pro. However, in this case, we are talking about a version with a 12-core CPU and a 19-core GPU. processor is forced. That is to say: you don’t sell a 16-inch MBP with the M2 Pro’s 10 CPU cores and 16 GPU cores. Because of this, the difference between the cheapest MBP 14 and the cheapest MBP 16 amounts to 600 euros.

If we match benefits, the difference associated only with the battery and the screen is 230 euros. A number close to that we expect to see between the 13″ and 15″ MacBook Air.

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