Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

15 years later, the MacBook Air could soon have its best year ever

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the first-ever MacBook Air going on sale. A decade and a half later, 2023 could be an amazing year for fans of the laptop that changed the industry.

That’s because right now the MacBook Air is in the finest shape of its life, making it one of the best laptops money can buy. And if industry whispers are to be believed, things could get even better in just a few months.

macbook air
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When Steve Jobs unveiled the MacBook Air on January 15, 2008, he famously did so by pulling it from a thin manilla envelope. There was nothing else like it — a laptop so svelte that its thickest point was still slimmer than the thinnest point on rival devices. There was thin and light, and then there was the MacBook Air.

Yet for all its groundbreaking achievements, Apple’s most slimline laptop was hopelessly lost in the wilderness less than a decade later. By the late 2010s, the MacBook Air had become synonymous with sluggish, underpowered performance. It was lightweight in both senses of the word: never weighing you down, yet never offering much in the way of performance either.

With Apple silicon powering the latest MacBook Air, things couldn’t be more different. And there are even more reasons to be hopeful for the next few months.

The little laptop goes large

The screen of the MacBook Air on a table.
Digital Trends

The hope lies in rumors that Apple is working on a 15-inch MacBook Air, which is apparently due out at a special spring event. That means if you want to buy a MacBook Air this year, you’ll have a choice of two sizes for the first time since Apple killed off the 11-inch MacBook Air in October 2016.

But more than that, the addition of a new size underscores Apple’s commitment to its thin and light laptop. Far from the beautiful-yet-anemic device that the MacBook Air used to be, it’s now powering into a new epoch looking stronger than ever.

Despite that turnaround, a question remains: with the MacBook Air potentially getting larger, will it still be the best option if you just want the most lightweight MacBook you can get your hands on? Right now, there’s no other choice, but might the sizing of the rumored MacBook Air (15 inches instead of, say, 11 inches) hint at something else?

There are rumors — fleeting and sporadic for now — that Apple is going to bring back the 12-inch MacBook. Could the MacBook Air getting larger be a cryptic clue pointing towards that possibility? After all, a 15-inch MacBook Air would leave a clear opportunity for Apple to fill the gap with a smaller notebook.

Whether that ever comes to pass is anyone’s guess. But it’s clear that the MacBook Air is entering a new era, one where it is able to offer impressive performance without bulk and weight. That was the original vision of the MacBook Air and, 15 years after its debut, that dream is once again being realized.

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
Some updates coming to macOS 15 aren’t just about AI
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air on a desk, with macOS Sonoma running on its display.

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is coming up soon, and everyone's expecting a huge announcement around AI. But don't worry, according to a report from AppleInsider, there are some practical tweaks coming to macOS 15 that are in the works. Notably, the System Settings app is set to receive the biggest changes, with other menus and app UIs also expecting some rearranging.

The last update to the Settings app happened with macOS Ventura, changing the name from System Preferences to System Settings and shifting to an iOS-style design, a change that ruffled the feathers of diehard Mac users. This time, the organizational system will reportedly be based on "priority and overall importance."

Read more
MacBooks may get very strange (and exciting) in 2026
Foldable Macbook concept image created by LunaDisplay.

Apple's first all-screen foldable MacBook has been rumored for many years, and it's finally getting closer. Reports from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest Apple plans to release its first foldable as early as 2026.

According to Kuo, Apple is considering both 20.25-inch and 18.8-inch panels that, when folded, would equate to a 14- to 15-inch MacBook and a 13- to 14-inch MacBook. Previous reports estimated a 2027 release for these all-screen MacBooks, but Kuo's latest information suggests we could see them as early the first half of 2026. And now that Apple has introduced its M4 chip, it's little surprise that these future devices are expected to run on M5 series processors.

Read more
Why you should buy a Mac mini instead of a MacBook Air
Apple Mac Mini side view showing edges.

Apple’s MacBook Air is an incredibly popular device, and it’s our pick for the best MacBook you can buy. But there’s a strong case to be made for passing over it and buying a Mac mini instead. Apple’s desktop computer is cheaper, supports more displays and ports, and is better for your posture. Those reasons could be enough to sway the balance in its favor.

If you’re on the fence, give this guide a read to see if it helps you make up your mind. Here, we’ll show you four of the most compelling reasons to buy a Mac mini instead of a MacBook Air.
It’s much cheaper

Read more