New rumors doing the rounds suggest that Apple could release a new 15-inch MacBook Air in 2023. This could either be the best decision Apple has ever made – or a big mistake.
The rumor comes from a report by Display Supply Chain Consultants which suggests that Apple is working on a MacBook Air that has a screen around 15-inches in size, which will launch alongside a “slightly larger” 13-inch MacBook Air.
This isn’t the first time a 15-inch MacBook Air has been mooted, of course. As MacRumors points out, Apple has apparently been toying with the idea as far back as 2008. But so far, the company has kept to a 13-inch form factor for its thin and light laptop.
The idea of a 15-inch MacBook Air has certainly excited a lot of people. At the moment, if you’d like a MacBook with a screen size larger than 13-inches, you need to buy a drastically more expensive MacBook Pro. Not only are the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros more expensive, they offer a level of performance aimed at professionals, so many people wanting a MacBook for more casual use would be paying for features and specs they simply don’t need.
A 15-inch MacBook Air could be the ideal solution, then, offering a more affordable large-screen MacBook with sensible specs. If done right, it could very well be the best laptop ever made, like the 13-inch MacBook Air (M1, 2020) currently is, but if these rumors are true (and that’s a big ‘if’) I won’t be buying one.
Analysis: 13-inch for the win
There are lots of reasons to love the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), but chief among them is the fact that it’s thin, light and easily portable. A lot of this is thanks to the fact that it has a 13-inch screen, and I’m concerned that any MacBook Air that comes with a larger screen could lose that portability.
Dell, one of Apple’s great competitors, has shown with the XPS 15 that it is possible to make a thin, light and stylish 15-inch laptop, but over the many years I’ve been reviewing and using laptops, I’ve always preferred 13-inch laptops.
For a start, I often work while commuting on bus and train, and a 13-inch laptop is much more comfortable to do that with. My old work machine was a 15-inch MacBook Pro, but it was simply too large to use on a pull-out tray on a train.
Work has since replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 13-inch Surface Laptop Go, and while on paper that may seem like a downgrade, I’ve actually found myself using the Surface Laptop Go a lot more than I ever used the 15-inch MacBook Pro, due to it being so easy to carry around and use on public transport.
It’s also why I fell in love with the MacBook Air, and why I recommend it to basically anyone looking for a new laptop. It’s also why I preferred the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) to the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021). Despite them essentially having the same specs, the smaller 14-inch model just felt more impressive and more convenient.
So if there is indeed going to be a 15-inch MacBook Air in the future, and even if it’s the best laptop ever made, I still probably won’t buy it. But, for those of you who like larger laptop screens, it could be a genius move by Apple.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.