Apple MacBook Air M3: The Storage Game Explained

Apple MacBook Air M3: The Storage Game Explained

Apple MacBook Air M3 with TSMC’s new 3-nm SoC, extended battery life, improved performance, and a lot has been announced just now with 13-inch and 15-inch variants. Here’s an overview of the 2024 MacBook Air M3.

Per Bob Borchers, “8 GB (RAM) on an M3 is probably analogous to 16 GB on other systems.”

In this article
Storage Game | Design and Build | Display and Screen | Hardware and Software | Performance | Battery | Miscellaneous | Color Options | Release Date and Price

Apple’s Storage Game

Here’s the thing, even though both the M2 and M3 MacBook Air are the same in a lot of ways, the internal storages of these laptops have some interesting facts. You see, the M3 MacBook Air outperforms the M2 MacBook Air when it comes to the read and write speed of their SSDs.

Model / PerformanceRead ScoreWrite Score
M3 MacBook Air2,1092,885
M2 MacBook Air1,5851,578
M1 MacBook Air2,2212,910
Tested on the 256-GB MacBook Air models with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, SSD: MB/s, Higher is better.

Let’s talk about the rocket science. For a 256-GB model, the M2 MacBook Air uses a single 256-GB SSD stick in a single storage slot. The M3 MacBook Air has 2 different storage slots, each holding a 128-GB SSD stick to offer 256 GB (dual-channel) storage in total. This is why the performance kicks in even though 2 128-GB SSD sticks cost Apple more than a single 256-GB SSD stick. Thus, the M3 MacBook Air’s SSD is 33% and 82% faster with read and write speeds compared to the M2 model respectively.

Surprisingly, the M1 MacBook Air still performs just as well as the M3 MacBook Air.

Design and Build

You see, MacBook Air M3 has adopted a similar look to the 14-inch MacBook Pro. The design and build are very durable and futuristic to look at. Both the 2024 MacBook Air M3 models are less than half an inch thicker compared to their predecessors.

Display and Screen

For the 13-inch 2024 Air M3, the screen is a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display (2560 x 1664p, 500 nits max brightness, P3 color gamut, and True Tone). The 15-inch 2024 Air M3 variant features a 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display (2880 x 1864p, 500 nits max brightness, P3 color gamut, and True Tone). The MacBook Air M3 series has the same notch as its predecessor. There is a 1080p FaceTime camera on the notch and 3 microphones on the top bezel.

Hardware and Software

The 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air 2024 models are rocking the Apple M3 SoC under the hood with an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU. All the Air M3 2024 models have a 16-core Neural Engine. These laptops are “up to 60 percent faster” than the MacBook Air M1. Storage options range between 256 GB and 2 TB SSD. Several RAM options are there starting from 8 GB to 24 GB. Speaking of having 8 GB RAM in a laptop in 2024, Apple’s VP of Worldwide Product Marketing, Bob Borchers, stated, “8 GB (RAM) on an M3 is probably analogous to 16 GB on other systems.”


Even though the 2024 MacBook Air models look pretty much similar to their predecessors, here are the performance upgrades you are going to experience. The Apple M3 SoC is 1.6x faster than the Apple M1 SoC, as well as the GPU is up to 5.8x faster. Apple M3 SoC offers “optimized AI models” as well as mesh shading and ray tracing. Thus, graphics-intensive tasks will take less time to complete, as well as overall productivity will be enhanced.

Model / PerformanceMulti-core CPU ScoreGPU Score
M3 MacBook Air11,99540,980
M2 MacBook Air9,96239,945
Tested with Geekbench 6, Higher is better.

Speaking of productivity, the MacBook Air M2 supports only 1 external display. With MacBook Air M3, you can connect up to 2 external displays keeping the laptop’s lid closed. Not a big deal for many, but super helpful if you work with multiple displays at a time.


The 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air 2024 have 52.6-watt-hour Li-Po and 66.5-watt-hour Li-Po batteries respectively. These models are advertised to provide an extended battery life of “up to 18 hours total,” which is “6 more hours of battery life.” This is compared with the February 2020 preproduction unit of a 1.1-GHz dual-core Intel Core i3-based MacBook Air system with an 8-GB RAM and 256 GB SSD per Apple’s website.

The 13-inch 256 GB base MacBook Air M3 comes with a 30W USB-C power break in the box while upgraded variants come with either a 35W dual-port charger or a 70W power break. You can get the 35W dual-port charger or 70W power break with the 13-inch 256 GB MacBook Air M3 by paying an additional $20.


MacBook Air M3 models have 2 Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports. These laptops are equipped with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. For charging, there is a MagSafe 3 connector. Supports spatial audio and Dolby Atmos.

Color Options

2024 Air M3 models come in 4 different colors. They are Starlight, Space Gray, Silver, and also a Midnight color (features an anodization seal). The new anodization seal will alleviate fingerprint issues on the MacBook Air M3 models.

Release Date and Price

MacBook Air 2024 has just been announced. Apple will start shipping M3 MacBook Air models as soon as Friday, March 08, 2024.

The 13.6-inch MacBook Air M3 costs $1,099 for an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8 GB Unified Memory, and 256 GB SSD Storage. The 15.3-inch MacBook Air M3 costs $1,299 for an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8 GB Unified Memory, and 256 GB SSD Storage.

You need to pay an extra $200 for 16 GB RAM and $400 for 24 GB RAM. Moreover, for upgrading SSD storage to 512 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB, you will have to pay additional $200, $400, or $800 respectively.

Wrapping up

To conclude, the Apple MacBook Air M3 ensures great performance with amazing battery life and durability. We will review these units as soon as they are available. Stay tuned for more.

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