The next MacBook Air (2023) could get the one upgrade no one asked for

Apple Store with MacBook Display
(Image credit: Art-Dolgov via ShutterStock)

A new rumor suggests Apple is preparing to launch a redesigned MacBook Air in just a few week’s time - but not everyone will be happy.

Only last year the MacBook Air had a redesign, with Apple introducing the M2 chip to its thinnest, lightest and most affordable MacBook range. Alongside an internal boost with the new chip, the new MacBook Air got a boost in screen size from 13.3 inches to 13.6 inches. The actual look of the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) changed quite drastically too, showing off new color choices, a bigger webcam and much more screen real estate. The notch that surrounds the webcam is the same as the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021), which was quite a divisive move.

According to analyst Ross Young, the MacBook Air (2023) could come with an even bigger display, this time boosted to 15.5-inches, potentially turning Apple’s thinnest, lightest and most portable laptop into one of its largest (eclipsed only by the 16-inch MacBook Pro). As alluded to in the name, the appeal of the MacBook Air range is the fact that they are light (and airy, pun intended) and portable, easy to carry around everywhere. Producing a model that has a  15.5-inch screen might deter MacBook Air fans that are looking to upgrade their gear without having to sacrifice portability. 

Analysis: Why though?

At the moment this is all unconfirmed rumors (and Apple certainly won’t comment on it), so we can’t predict how much a new 15.5-inch MacBook Air might actually cost, but it certainly won’t be cheap. So, it does make us wonder; what exactly is the point of a larger MacBook Air? Who is this for? 

One of the best features of MacBooks, and the MacBook Air models in particular, is the fact that they’re incredibly portable. You can whack that bad boy into any bag, or carry it around in your arms from class to class or office to office and it won’t weigh you down with a bulky weight and size. But here it does feel like Apple might (remember, as a rumor this should be taken with a grain of salt)  be making the MacBook Air a little bigger just because they can, or perhaps trying to appeal to users that need the extra size while neglecting consumers that have to prioritize portability for commuting or work space reasons.  

As we asked earlier, who is this extra size for? Is this something that consumers want, a bigger laptop that’ll be harder to lug around? Maybe graphic designers or video producers might want the bigger screen size, but they wouldn't really be using a MacBook Air for their work, they’re likely to use the Pro models. 

According to the rumour, we’re likely to see the updated MacBook Air models in April this year, possibly at Apple’s Spring event. But could Apple be making a product that no one asked for? Sure, there will be people who’d welcome the size increase, though the price-tag that will inevitably come along with it may dampen the buzz.

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).