KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Interestingly out before Hari Raya, the MacBook Air M3 is officially available in Malaysia.

Of course the real question is when that fancy new Apple Store is opening at TRX but until that happens let’s have a look at the latest shiny in Apple’s MacBook line.

Deja vu?

Just because, I put last year’s MacBook Air M2 and the M3 model side by side. Both models came in a Midnight finish, a gorgeous deep almost satin blue.

Advertisement

I wasn’t a fan of the shade because it was such a fingerprint magnet that the lid of the laptop was embarrassingly imprinted with my finger oils.

Has it been fixed with the new model? Apple says it has been improved and I can say while you will see some fingerprints it is not nearly as bad, and much easier to wipe off unlike the M2 model that always looked as though I handled it after baking a particularly greasy batch of focaccia.

A post shared by Erna Mahyuni (@ernamh)

Advertisement

Apart from that the design is near-identical, which is good or bad, depending on how you look at it. It still has the best build of any ultraportable in the market — super light, ultra-thin profile without feeling cheaply or flimsily made.

Between the 13-inch and 15-inch models, if you move around a lot you might prefer the smaller version but for all-day work at one location, the 15-inch might offer more screen space.

An Air-y experience

I decided to put the MacBook Air through its paces the next day after I left it to charge overnight.

What makes a light laptop a delight is being able to shuffle it easily from one location to another and I spent a busy weekend toting it from the kitchen to the bedroom and for some activity.

Before starting I opened up Apple’s Freeform app, a free app that needs a lot more publicity than it gets as like Apple’s Notes, it’s simple, free and just works.

After outlining my planned activities and review flow in Freeform, I loaded up my Notes app and a playlist.

The MacBook Air M3 was my kitchen assistant (far away from wet ingredients and the sink), playing music for me and housing my cooking task list.

Then I spent the free evening taking a few classes on Skillshare and finished a quick introduction course on Blender so I could do more than play around with graphic cubes and demos.

This required splitting my display into two — one with my Skillshare videos and the other for Blender. It probably would have been nice on a larger display (my review unit was the 13-incher) but it was still adequate though imperfect.

After feeling very old (I had to rewatch some course videos because it felt, at times, like trying to learn a foreign language), I booted up Steam and played about an hour of the hit game Baldur’s Gate 3.

The good news: it played fine but like on the MacBook Pro M3 (with the Pro chip) it did heat up fairly quickly and that is why I own a laptop cooling stand.

That was the only time I felt the MacBook Air get rather warm because hours of working on the laptop during my shift with YouTube pretty much playing throughout, and unplugged (to see how the battery would cope) didn’t see much of a discernible change in temperature.

I suspect when I actually figure out how to render things that aren’t doughnuts in Blender, I might see temperatures rising as well but that’s something we’ll find out in a few weeks with this new MacBook Air.

What to expect later

I suspect I’ve only skimmed the surface of what’s possible with this particular model (the highest-end of the three base configuration of the 13-inch MacBook Air M3), which comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.

If you’re curious to check out the models in person, word on the street is Switch retailers might have some in stock by the 10th while Machines has a waiting list, which you can contact them to get on.

Until my full review comes out, check out the different configurations as well as the pricing at the official MacBook Air page here.