The new MacBook Air M2 pictured above is a bit of a beast – but there's an even bigger Air on the horizon. Well, that's according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who says that Apple is planning to release a 15-inch MacBook Air in early 2023.
Now, if Gurman is correct then that would make it the biggest MacBook Air that Apple has ever made, and not far off the size of the current 16-inch MacBook Pro. Given that it'll also have next year's M-series Apple Silicon, that sounds incredibly exciting: it'll outperform my current Mac, which is seriously speedy.
I can definitely imagine trading in my M1 MacBook Pro for a 15-inch Air if the price is right: more screen space is always welcome, and while I'd like to upgrade from my current 13-inch display I can't justify the expense of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. But not everybody wants a bigger display, so Apple is making a Mac for them too.
Small is the new big
One of Apple's most-loved laptop designs is one of its smallest: the 12-inch form factor that debuted in the PowerBook G4 way back in 2003, and which was briefly resurrected for the 12-inch MacBook in 2015. That was discontinued in favour of Retina displays in 2019.
The difference between the current 13.3" MacBook Air and a 12-inch MacBook may not sound like much, but it means less bulk, less weight and even better portability – and that's important for business travellers as well as for anyone who has to lug their laptop from place to place all day. It's also a lot easier to use when you're flying in the cheap seats. So I think a smaller and hopefully cheaper MacBook would be a big hit, even if it sticks with this year's silicon to keep the price down.
This is a really fun time to be an Apple watcher. Now that Apple Silicon is well established Apple is starting to experiment again, so for example we're also hearing about a 14-inch iPad Pro that'll look like a dinner table compared to the current 11- and 12-inch models. And an extra pair of MacBooks would fit nicely into Apple's long-standing product strategy of having good, better and best models in each category: instead of the current choice between M1 and M2 Airs, in 2023 you might be able to choose between a 12-inch M2 and 13.3-inch and 15-inch M3s.