Apple M1 MacBook Air, M2 MacBook Air, M3 MacBook Air: Specifications Compared


Apple has just released the MacBook Air featuring the latest M3 Apple silicon chipset. The new MacBook Air also features a 16-core neural engine, which makes it the best consumer laptop for AI, as per Apple. The company has also slashed the prices of its M2 MacBook Air making it a lucrative option to consider.

So how good is the latest M3 MacBook Air as compared to its predecessors? Let’s have a look at the detailed specification comparison between all three MacBook Airs with the Apple silicon.

M1 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Air vs M3 MacBook Air: Price

Model Starting Price (Base Storage Model)
M1 MacBook Air Rs 82,990
M2 MacBook Air Rs 99,990
M3 MacBook Air 13-inch Rs 1,14,990
M3 MacBook Air 15-inch Rs 1,34,990

MacBook Air M1 vs MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M3: Chipset

M1 MacBook Air M2 MacBook Air M3 MacBook Air
Chipset Apple M1 8-core CPU, 3.2GHz Apple M2 8-core CPU, 3.49GHz Apple M3 8-core CPU, 4.05GHz
Architecture 5nm, 16 billion transistors Enhanced 5nm, 20 billion transistors 3nm, 25 billion transistors
GPU Apple M1 GPU, 7-core/8-core Apple M2 GPU, 8-core/10-core Apple M3 GPU, 8-core/10-core
Neural Engine 16-core Neural Engine 16-core Neural Engine 16-core Neural Engine (15% faster)
RAM 8GB/16GB 8GB/16GB/24GB 8GB/16GB/24GB
Storage 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB 512GB/1TB/2TB 512GB/1TB/2TB

Apple says that the latest M3 chip is 60% faster than the M1 chip. The new 3nm architecture on the Apple M3 processor and a significantly higher clock speed make the M3 MacBook Air one of the fastest consumer-grade laptops.

Apple has also tweaked the neural engine, boosting its performance by 15% despite using the same number of cores. The M3 MacBook Air is also the first laptop in the lineup to support hardware-accelerated ray tracing.

M1 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Air vs M3 MacBook Air: Display

The M2 and M3 MacBook Air get a notch design for the front camera with thin bezels. However, the M1 MacBook Air has comparatively thicker bezels. Apart from the design, all the laptops are based on the same 1080p Liquid Retina Display technology. The M2 and M3 MacBook Air have slightly brighter screens with support for 500 nits, as compared to 400 nits on the M1 MacBook Air.

M1 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Air vs M3 MacBook Air: Ports and Peripherals

The M3 MacBook Air features two Thunderbolt 4 ports, as compared to Thunderbolt 3 ports on the M2 and M1 MacBook Air models. Although the maximum data transfer speeds are capped at 40Gbps on both generations, the latest Thunderbolt 4 has a higher bandwidth for data transfers and enables support for dual monitor output.

macbook ports

Users should note that dual-monitor output on the M3 MacBook Air is only available when you close the lid of the laptop. With the laptop screen enabled, the machine will only support output for one external screen.

All three models have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The MagSafe port is present on the M2 and M3 MacBook Air but not on the M1 Air model. Webcam on the M1 MacBook Air is limited to 720p, while the other two models support 1080p video.

M1 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Air vs M3 MacBook Air: Battery Life

Apple says that the battery life on the latest M3 MacBook is up to 18 hours, which is the same claim for its last two iterations, the M1 and the M2. The battery capacity on the M1 MacBook Air is 49.9Wh, the M2 model is 52.6Wh, and the M3 Air is again 52.6Wh, all for the 13-inch models.

The 3nm architecture on the latest M3 MacBook Air is expected to be more efficient, which should improve the idle drain of the laptop. However, there won’t be a major difference in battery life between the three models.

Apple M1 MacBook Air M1
M1 MacBook Air

M1 MacBook Air vs M2 MacBook Air vs M3 MacBook Air Verdict

Apple has officially discounted the M1 MacBook Air and the 15-inch model of the M2 MacBook Air. However, you might still be able to buy leftover stocks on Amazon, Flipkart, and other Apple partner stores. From now on, Apple will only produce and sell the M2 MacBook Air 13-inch, M3 MacBook Air 13-inch, and the M3 MacBook Air 15-inch models.

The M3 MacBook Air will prove as a solid upgrade for the M1 MacBook Air users. M2 MacBook Air users can skip this upgrade, as the upgrades aren’t significant enough. Even though, they are good.

If you are looking to buy a new laptop between the three models, then ideally you should avoid the M1 MacBook Air at this time considering that it is almost 3.5 years old, and the M2 MacBook Air is available for just a little extra. One should consider the M1 MacBook Air only if they are a light user and find the laptop at around Rs 50,000 in some deals on Flipkart.

The tough choice is between the M2 MacBook Air and the M3 option. With a price difference of Rs 15,000, the latest M3-powered Air offers a 10-15% performance boost with the same design, features, and battery life. If you are going to benefit from the extra power, then the M3 MacBook Air is undeniably the best laptop for its price.

If you are looking to save some money, the M2 MacBook Air remains a good choice and offers pretty much everything that the latest model has. Even if you are planning to use it for 4-5 years, the M2 MacBook Air will not disappoint you.