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M3 MacBook Air to launch in March alongside new iPads, leaker claims

Published Jan 29th, 2024 10:21AM EST
MacBook Air 15-Inch Keyboard
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The OLED iPad Pro and all the 2024 iPad refreshes aren’t the only new Apple computers we’re expecting in the first quarter of the year. For starters, the Vision Pro will hit stores in the US this week, though the spatial computer is far more niche than new tablets and laptops. 

As for more traditional computers, Apple should update the MacBook Air line with the M3 chip in the first quarter as well. A brand-new report provides an updated release window for the laptop, which should give you an idea of how long of a wait you’re in for. According to Mark Gurman, the MacBook Air and iPad refresh is coming in late March, so there is not long left to wait.

Apple surprised buyers in late October with a MacBook Pro announcement. Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max system-on-chips (SoC) alongside new MacBook Pro laptops that look similar to their M2-based equivalents. 

One big change at the time concerned the cheapest MacBook Pro. Apple finally abandoned the ill-conceived Touch Bar design that never really resonated with users.

Apple didn’t reveal the M3 MacBook Air back in October, which is a move that made sense. The 15-inch MacBook Air dropped just a few months before the M3 MacBook Pro refresh. Upgrading the entire MacBook Air series to M3 chips would have been too soon. A late March upgrade certainly makes more sense. 

Covering Apple’s most recent moves in his Power On newsletter, Gurman updated the release date timeframe for new hardware. In December, he said Apple had extensive plans for March, including the new iPads and the next batch of M3 Macs.

Gurman now says the new iPads and Macs should arrive at the end of March. The list should include the OLED iPad Pro, the iPad Air 6, and two different M3 MacBook Air models (13-inch and 15-inch). 

He doesn’t offer a precise release date but notes that the new iPad Pros and the 13-inch MacBook Air are already “deep in production overseas.”

While I’m not that excited about the M3 iPad Pro models, I’m definitely looking forward to the M3 MacBook Air. I can’t wait to see what battery efficiency gains, if any, Apple is able to deliver on top of the M3 performance boost. As a reminder, the M3 MacBook Pros don’t offer better battery life estimates than their predecessors. 

On the same note, don’t expect any design changes with the M3 MacBook Air release. Just like their MacBook Pro equivalents, the upgrades will mostly concern overall performance.

If you’ve been holding out for a new M3 MacBook Air, you don’t have long to go. I will add that you’re going to find great M2 MacBook Air deals right now from third-party retailers. The same goes for the base M3 MacBook Pro, a great alternative to the upcoming M3 MacBook Airs. 

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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