2024 Apple MacBook Air Hands-On: Equipped with M3 Chip, Enhanced Game Functions and Graphics Rendering

April 8, 2024

In early March, Apple rolled out the new 2024 MacBook Air featuring the M3 chip. This release marks a routine upgrade in the MacBook Air series, with the key improvement being the switch to the M3 chip. Previously, Gizcoupon provided preliminary user experiences. Now, let’s delve into a more comprehensive review. Now, let’s take a closer look at the details.

Apple 2024 MacBook Air


If you’ve been using the previous generation M2 chip series MacBook Air, you’ll notice that the appearance of the M3 chip version is nearly identical. This time, I got my hands on the 15-inch midnight black version, boasting a sleek, minimalist design. The dimensions measure 34.04 × 23.76 × 1.15cm, weighing 1.51kg. On Side A, there’s only a glossy Apple logo, seamlessly blending into the midnight black finish.

Apple 2024 MacBook Air

One notable update is the enhanced anodizing sealing process of the midnight black version, offering improved resistance to fingerprints. For instance, when I touched the metal surface of Side A with slightly oily fingers, leftover from snacking, I noticed that while fingerprints were still visible, they weren’t as pronounced as before. Without careful inspection, you might even miss them.

Apple 2024 MacBook Air

Overall, the new MacBook Air retains the classic design of its predecessors, showcasing Apple’s trademark quality in materials and craftsmanship. While there may not be significant alterations in design, the superior build ensures that users won’t be disappointed with its appearance and overall quality.


The 2024 Apple MacBook Air has the latest M3 chip upgrade. It features an 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 energy efficiency cores. Additionally, it includes a 10-core GPU (some models offer 8 cores), supporting ray tracing. Moreover, it incorporates a 16-core neural network engine and a unified memory architecture with a 100GB/s memory bandwidth.

The comparison with the previous M2 chip generation, the M3 chip offers incremental enhancements. It maintains a 4-performance core + 4 energy efficiency core CPU architecture and a 10-core GPU. However, it benefits from hardware-level ray tracing technology, with performance improvements primarily stemming from architectural upgrades and frequency increases akin to the A17 Pro chip.

We conducted various benchmark tests to gauge the M3 MacBook Air’s performance. Initially, using “GeekBench 6”, it achieved a single-core score of 3165 points and a multi-core score of 12061 points, surpassing the M2 Max in single-core performance but lagging in multi-core performance.

Continuing with a GPU test on the 2024 Apple MacBook Air using “GeekBench 6”, it scored 30523 points under the OpenCL graphics standard and 47616 points under the Metal standard.

Subsequently, We performed a Cinebench R23 test, yielding a single-core score of 1899pts and a multi-core score of 9993pts, showcasing impressive performance.

For hard drive performance evaluation, the “Blackmagic Disk Speed Test” indicated a writing speed of 3126.3 MB/s and a reading speed of 3050.6 MB/s, meeting the MacBook Air’s positioning expectations.

The new MacBook Air’s performance improvements align with expectations for the Air product line. The M3 chip delivers commendable performance for a fanless, lightweight notebook.

We proceeded to assess practical applications.

  • In “Photoshop”, processing a large 3.9GB .tif file with Gaussian blur took approximately 8 seconds, indicating swift performance.
  • In “Final Cut Pro”, editing multiple 4K resolution ProRes format videos showed no lag, even with five video tracks.
  • Rendering a 4-minute, 4K resolution 60fps mp4 video with five video tracks took around 13 minutes and 33 seconds, demonstrating acceptable performance.
  • Reducing the video tracks to two decreased rendering time to 6 minutes and 30 seconds, maintaining acceptable performance levels.
  • “Honkai Impact 3” ran smoothly at around 60fps, with minimal fluctuations and low body temperature.
  • Playing “Resident Evil: Village” at medium and low image quality and 1920×1080 resolution resulted in a playable frame rate of around 45fps in the village scene.
  • Observing the M3 chip’s power consumption during gaming, CPU usage was approximately 1.1W, GPU usage around 5.1W, with an overall power consumption of about 6.2W.

Additionally, the MacBook Air’s keyboard area reached a temperature of about 43.6°C under heavy load, indicating significant warmth for a fanless design.

Enabling Apple’s MetalFx technology in “Resident Evil: Village” stabilized the frame rate at 60fps, albeit with slightly reduced graphics quality.

Other Experiences

When we talk about the 2024 MacBook Air, its screen display has always set a benchmark among products of similar caliber, and this new MacBook Air continues that tradition. As I held the 15-inch MacBook Air in my hands, switching on the screen for the first time, it delivered a visually pleasing impact.

The screen of the 2024 Apple MacBook Air boasts a resolution of 2880 x 1864 and 224 pixels per inch (ppi). Its overall visual clarity is remarkable. Additionally, it reaches a maximum brightness of 500 nits, supporting the P3 wide color gamut and displaying 1 billion colors.

I compared two notebooks. They showed a wide-color gamut photo. Both photos looked red. Only the MacBook Air showed subtle distinctions like “W”s within the red shades. This shows MacBook Air’s P3 color gamut superiority. It gives richer, more vibrant colors. It offers a naturally gorgeous and realistic visual experience.

When you scroll between the sRGB and Display P3 color gamut versions of the same photo, you notice a difference in color presentation. The 2024 Apple MacBook Air supports the P3 color gamut. Colors appear vivid in the Display P3 space compared to the slightly duller presentation in the sRGB space. However, if you use a notebook without P3 color gamut support, the difference between the two versions is barely discernible to the naked eye.

The 2024 Apple MacBook Air has HDR display abilities. It shows the richer brightness and color info of HDR photos by switching between SDR and HDR versions of a test photo. It accurately displays HDR photos’ vividness, showing richer cloud details and more brilliant sky colors compared to SDR. However, products with poor HDR support may have errors, leading to color shifts, especially noticeable in cyan skies.


In summary, the screen quality of the new MacBook Air remains exceptionally high, suitable for everyday activities like watching movies or engaging in professional image editing tasks.

Speaking of displays, another notable feature of the MacBook Air is its ability to connect two external displays simultaneously. According to the official instructions, it can connect to a monitor with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz and, when closed, to a 5K monitor at the same refresh rate.

However, it’s important to note that when closed, only one external monitor can be active. When the MacBook Air is unfolded, the built-in monitor lights up, rendering one external monitor inactive. Therefore, to use two external monitors, an external keyboard and mouse are necessary.

2024 Apple MacBook Air

With two external monitors connected, users can customize each monitor’s purpose in the system settings. However, there doesn’t seem to be an option to activate both external monitors simultaneously with the cover open.

Lastly, let’s talk about battery life. The 2024 MacBook Air we tested came with a 66.5Wh battery. During our test, playing 1080P high-bitrate movies on Bilibili through Safari, with 50% volume and 80% screen brightness, consumed only 13% of power over two and a half hours, leaving 87% battery remaining. This impressive performance is credited to the efficient power consumption management of the M3 chip.

Furthermore, we also tested the battery life of the new 13-inch MacBook Air, equipped with a 52.6Wh battery. Under the same conditions, it retained 79% battery with a consumption of 21%, showcasing commendable battery performance.


In conclusion, the 2024 MacBook Air, featuring the new M3 chip, represents a standard update and upgrade from its predecessor. The key lies in the enhanced user experience facilitated by the M3 chip and improved GPU graphics performance. Furthermore, the boost in gaming capabilities and graphics rendering, coupled with the ability to support two external screens and improved energy efficiency, enriches the overall MacBook Air experience.

Apple 2024 MacBook Air

Additionally, the 15-inch MacBook Air offers distinct advantages over its 13-inch counterpart in areas such as heat dissipation, performance optimization, battery longevity, and screen quality. Users can make their selections based on individual preferences and budget constraints.

2024 Apple MacBook Air

If you’ve been using the previous M1 MacBook Air or an older version with Intel chips, transitioning to the new M3 MacBook Air is certainly worth considering. It promises a noticeable enhancement in the overall user experience. However, if you’re currently using the M2 chip MacBook Air, it’s advisable to assess your budget and necessity before deciding on an upgrade.

Read Also: 2024 Apple MacBook Air (M3) Now Available: Starts at 8,999 Yuan

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