Apple icon MacBook Air the laptop only comes with a 13-inch screen, for now.
A steady stream of rumors point to the debut of a new 15-inch MacBook Air at Apple’s upcoming WWDC conference on June 5. The latest not-quite-confirmation comes from Bloomberg’s noted Apple forecaster Mark German, who previously said the new 15-inch Air will join WatchOS 10, iOS 17, MacOS 15 and Apple’s long-awaited mixed reality headset, and recently tweeted that it expects “several new Macs” at the event.
In addition to the rumored 15-inch Air, this could mean an updated Mac Studio desktop, updates to the current 13-inch Air and Pro models, or even the long-promised Mac Pro desktop, which is Apple’s only remaining Intel-powered computer.
This wouldn’t be the first time Apple offered a MacBook Air with a different screen size. From 2010 to 2016, the company offered the 11-inch MacBook Air, which we reviewed several times during its six-year lifespan.
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Apple then released the 12-inch MacBook (without the “Air”). This little system ended up being one of my favorite laptops of all time, but sadly it was also discontinued.
Additionally, Apple’s long-running 15-inch MacBook Pro disappeared in 2019, replaced by new 14-inch and 16-inch versions, leaving Apple without a 15-inch laptop, which is still one of the most common screen sizes for Windows laptops.
All this time, the 13-inch Air remained the standard, although the exact screen dimensions shifted a bit between the 16:10 aspect ratio of the M1 Air and the slightly larger 3:2 aspect ratio of the newer M2 MacBook Air.
But there is an excellent case for the 15-inch version of the MacBook Air. The 13-inch MacBook Air remains my default choice as the single most universally useful laptop for most people. But the 13-inch screen, as good as it is, isn’t necessarily big enough to be your all-day, everyday laptop. Especially if, like me, you have aging eyes, bigger screens are becoming increasingly important.
The problem is, the cheapest 14-inch MacBook Pro is $1,999. The cheapest 16-inch MacBook Pro is $2,499. That’s a big jump from the $1,199 13-inch MacBook Air.
The idea of upgrading to a larger 15-inch MacBook Air screen using the same M2 chip as the 13-inch Air is appealing, especially if it only adds a modest price premium. Personally, I’d say around $1,300 to $1,400 would be a reasonable starting price, assuming it will have similar specs to the 13-inch M2 Air.
This is far from the first time we’ve talked about this. A quick Google search revealed that I wrote about the potential appeal of the 15-inch MacBook Air back in 2012. According to a poll we conducted in 2012, the 15-inch Air was the winner among CNET readers for the most anticipated laptop of 2012 .
We were clearly throwing in the gun back then, but just a decade later, maybe it’s finally time to give the MacBook Air an oversize option.