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15 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch MacBook Air

We compare the specs and pricing of the 13 inch MacBook Air vs 15 inch MacBook Air

Updated: Jun 30, 2023 1:46 pm
15 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch MacBook Air

If you compare the 15 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch MacBook Air – how do they stack up? (besides the obvious difference in screen size of course).

The 15 inch MacBook was announced at the WWDC 2023 event on the 5th June, 2023, to accompany the existing 13″ model. Below we’ve listed the specifications of both models side-by-side, and further down this page we’ll be discussing specific areas of difference to help you decide which version you should buy ahead of the 15 inch MacBook Air release date. Let’s dive right in!

15 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch specs comparison

The specifications for both sizes of the MacBook Air can be found on the Apple website. We’ve summarised them below.

Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022)
screen size & resolution15.3-inch 16:10 (2880 x 1864, 224ppi)13.6-inch 16:10 (2560 x 1664, 224ppi)
display60Hz, Liquid Retina IPS (500nits)60Hz, Liquid Retina IPS (500nits)
chipsetApple M2 (8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine)Apple M2 (8-core CPU, 8-core or 10-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine)
RAM8GB / 16GB / 24GB unified memory8GB / 16GB / 24GB unified memory
storage256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD
I/O ports2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1x 3.5mm headphone jack2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
battery66.5 watt-hour52.6 watt-hour
chargerMagSafe 3 charging port: either 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter or 70W USB-C Power AdapterMagSafe 3 charging port: either 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter or 70W USB-C Power Adapter
dimensions0.45″ x 13.4″ x 9.35″0.44″ x 11.97″ x 8.48″
colorssilver, space gray, starlight, midnightsilver, space gray, starlight, midnight
misc1080p webcam, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.31080p webcam, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3

15 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch display

Although the screen size of both MacBook Air variants differs, and so does the resolution, the ppi (pixels per inch) is the same over both, as the increase in resolution is proportionate to the screen size increase. In layman’s terms, this means the screen sharpness is the same on both laptops.

15 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch chipset

As you can see above, both the 15-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs come with Apple M2 chipsets, but there is a difference between them. Both 15″ and 13″ MacBook Airs can be equipped with M2 chips with an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine, however the 13-inch version has a less powerful 8-core GPU option available should you want it for a cheaper price. The 10 core-version however (in either size) would obviously be the better choice for those using GPU-intensive software or even doing some MacBook gaming.

15 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch battery life

Third-party testing on the MacBook Air 15-inch has now taken place, and depending on whose testing methodology you trust the most (either The Verge or RTings for instance), you can expect the 13-inch to last between 11-13 hours whilst web browsing, and the 15-inch to probably last between c.12 – 14 and a half hours.

The MacBook Air 15 inch model has a larger battery than the 13 inch variant (which is not really surprising). The former comes with a 66.5 watt-hour battery, whereas the latter only a 52.6 watt-hour, although obviously a slightly smaller screen generally means slightly less power draw.

The Apple site states that both sizes should be capable of 18 hours Apple TV app movie playback and 15 hours wireless web viewing, though this rarely stand up to real world scrutiny.

15 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch price

The 15 inch MacBook Air MSRP begins at $1,299 for the lowest storage and RAM loadout, with expanded memory and SSD options costing more.

The 13 inch MacBook Air price for the starting model has now dropped to $1,099 since the launch of the larger laptop.

Final Word

In summary, comparing the 15 inch MacBook Air vs 13 inch MacBook Air the two come out quite similar – the only real difference, besides the obvious difference in weight and dimensions and price, is the option for the 13″ model to come with an M2 chip equipped with two fewer GPU cores (for that cheaper starting price).

If all you’re after is a general use machine and you don’t mind the smaller screen, we’d opt for the cheaper and more portable 8-core GPU 13 inch MacBook Air. If however you’re after something with a bit more power for light video/graphical editing workflows, the 10-core variant of either the 13-inch or 15-inch MacBook Air is likely a better bet. You may also wish the think about some Windows laptops, if so check out our best MacBook Pro alternatives guide.

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