Apple MacBook Air M3 (2024) review: it's definitely no lightweight

The latest chips and a big, sharp screen help guide the ascendance of Apple’s Air to the throne.

An Apple MacBook Air M3 on a table
(Image: © Ian Evenden)

Our Verdict

This may be Apple’s cheapest portable Mac, but it gives up very little to its desktop cousins in terms of performance. The Apple MacBook M3 is another step down the revolutionary road that began with the M1, a journey that sees the Mac move further away from Intel processors and deeper into the new, efficient and quiet computing landscape. The M3 Air’s battery life is exceptional, it’s completely silent in use, thin and light, and with a 15-inch screen it’s big enough for most uses. The M3 Air is a serious laptop for any creative pro, but it is perhaps starting to look like it’s falling behind in the innovation stakes.

For

  • Plenty of power
  • Enormous battery life
  • Thin and light

Against

  • Pricey
  • Limited screen connection
  • No Thunderbolt 4

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You’re reading Creative Bloq so not only do you have impeccable taste, but you know what a Mac is. You remember Steve Jobs pulling a MacBook Air out of an envelope, and you recall the weird feeling in your brain when you realised it only had one USB port. The Air has come a long way since then, and is no longer held back by things like 720p screens, weak dual-core processors or a dearth of connectivity. It’s grown on the inside and the outside, and has become the best Mac for most people. And now we have the new MacBook Air M3, so of course we've given it the full test treatment.

An Apple MacBook Air M3 on a table

(Image credit: Ian Evenden)
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CPU:Apple M3, eight cores
GPU: Integrated, 10 cores
RAM:16GB
Storage:500GB SSD
Screen:15.3in IPS, 2880x1864 pixels
Connectivity:3x Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 Type C, MagSafe charging, 3.5mm headphone port, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Dimensions:1.15cm x 34cm x 23.76cm
Weight:1.51kg
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Cinebench R23:Single-core: 1,899Multi-core: 9,337
Cinebench 2024:Single-core: 141Multi-core: 570
Row 2 - Cell 0 GPU: 3,268Row 2 - Cell 2
Geekbench 6:Single-core: 3,075Multi-core: 12,079
Row 4 - Cell 0 GPU (OpenCL): 30,446GPU (Metal): 47,678
Handbrake:5m 47sRow 5 - Cell 2
The Verdict
4.5

out of 10

Apple M3 MacBook Air

This may be Apple’s cheapest portable Mac, but it gives up very little to its desktop cousins in terms of performance. The Apple MacBook M3 is another step down the revolutionary road that began with the M1, a journey that sees the Mac move further away from Intel processors and deeper into the new, efficient and quiet computing landscape. The M3 Air’s battery life is exceptional, it’s completely silent in use, thin and light, and with a 15-inch screen it’s big enough for most uses. The M3 Air is a serious laptop for any creative pro, but it is perhaps starting to look like it’s falling behind in the innovation stakes.

Ian Evenden

Ian Evenden has been a journalist for over 20 years, starting in the days of QuarkXpress 4 and Photoshop 5. He now mainly works in Creative Cloud and Google Docs, but can always find a use for a powerful laptop or two. When not sweating over page layout or photo editing, you can find him peering at the stars or growing vegetables.