Apple’s $1,299 15-inch MacBook Air is its largest to date

When is an ultraportable not an ultraportable? It’s a riddle posed by Apple’s latest addition to the MacBook Air family. The much-loved thin and light line just got its largest model to date, announced today at WWDC. The 15-inch MacBook Air is — by some measures — also the company’s largest consumer laptop, given the work/enterprise focus on its 15- and 16-inch Pro models.

The company is, naturally, calling it the “thinnest 15-inch laptop to date,” weighing in at 3.3 pounds. As expected, the Air uses last year’s M2 chip (supply chain shortages are suspected to be at play here). That’s an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU. Memory can be configured up to 24GB and storage up to 2TB. There’s a MagSafe charger and only two thunderbolt/USB-C ports (like the 13-inch).

15-inch MacBook Air

Image Credits: Apple

Apple is promising 18 hours of battery on a charge — and, again, as with the other Airs, there’s no fan on-board (“silent design,” as Apple calls it). The company’s clearly not expecting people to push it as hard as the Pro models.

Screen real estate has always been a bit of a sticking point for the line — though it has also been understood that some sacrifices have to be made for the sake of portability. A 15-inch Air occupies an interesting space in the ever-shifting MacBook line, taking the parts of the company’s best laptop and scaling them up. The design means it’s quite portable for such a large screen — but again, portability is relative at 15 inches.

15-inch MacBook Air overview

Image Credits: Apple

“We’re thrilled to introduce the first 15-inch MacBook Air. With its incredible performance and striking design, the new MacBook Air is the world’s best 15-inch laptop. And it’s only possible with Apple silicon,” SVP John Ternus said in a release. “From its expansive Liquid Retina display and remarkably thin and fanless design, to extraordinary battery life and an immersive six-speaker sound system, the new MacBook Air has it all.”

The 15-inch Air is available for preorder today and ships next week, starting at $1,299. The 13-inch is sticking around, at $1,099 — a $100 price drop.

Read more about WWDC 2023 on TechCrunch