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Apple doesn’t want you to buy the base-model 15-inch MacBook Air

Published Jun 14th, 2023 9:56AM EDT
15-inch MacBook Air with M2 chip unveiled during the WWDC 2023 keynote
Image: Apple Inc.

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The story repeats itself. As you should avoid the base model 13-inch MacBook Air, the same is worth it for the 15-inch version. Once again, Apple is equipping a single 256GB NAND chip, which offers slower SSD read and write speeds when compared to the other models with more storage available.

This “issue” was spotted by YouTuber Max Tech. According to his tests, the single NAND chip offers benchmark results with a 30% to 50% reduction in SSD speeds when compared with the M1 MacBook Air, which offers two NAND chips of 128GB each.

The slower read and write speeds are present on the Mac mini, 13-inch MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and now the 15-inch MacBook Air—all of them with the entry-level M2 chip. While the comparison is easier to spot with another machine side to side, the everyday user won’t feel the difference.

That said, a single NAND chip with 256GB brings a slower transferring files to an external drive. When using your Mac up to its maximum, it might get slower, as Apple uses the SSD space as virtual memory when the physical RAM is being completely used.

While Apple selling a $1,299 15-inch MacBook is enticing, it’s recommended for users to go with the next configuration, as people usually need more space on a computer to install their favorite software, store their photos and videos, and more.

Since the new 15-inch MacBook Air also offers slow read and write speeds, this is probably a change that has come to stay and will likely be available with the upcoming M3 Macs – expected to release by the end of the year.

Upgrading to 512GB of storage costs $200 more and can be beneficial in the long run, mainly because people don’t upgrade their computers as often as they do with their iPhones.

The new MacBook can feature up to 24GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. It’s available on Apple’s website, local Apple Stores, and premium resellers.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.