After years of staunch allegiance to the iPad for on-the-road productivity and the iMac for office work, the MacBook Air M3 has compelled me to reconsider my tech stack.

The seamless, instant-on experience of iPads had always won my favour – the immediacy with which one could dive into work, jot down notes, or launch apps. The tactile feedback and the intuitiveness of a touch interface seemed unparalleled. But here I am, years later, seduced by the allure of the latest MacBook Air.

Having spent three weeks travelling America with the new 13-inch M3 MacBook Air and my iPad, the reality of choice revealed itself unexpectedly. Each time I reached into my bag, my hands veered towards the MacBook Air – unless, of course, the task at hand required the pen-on-screen intimacy of the iPad or I was in a location without wifi. This transition wasn’t trivial. The MacBook Air, with its compelling fusion of power, portability, and speed, has reshaped my travel tech preferences. This is no small feat.

What Makes the MacBook Air M3 Stand Out?

The MacBook Air M3 is the best entry-level consumer laptop ever created. The leap in performance is material: 30% faster than the M1 chip. This responsiveness, coupled with the lightweight form factor, is stellar, making it a better choice than reaching for a tablet in most circumstances.

m3 apple silicon

However, despite these accolades, the MacBook Air M3 still has some shortcomings, making it fall short of being the perfect device.

The Two Misses: Touchscreen and SIM Card Slot

The absence of a touchscreen on MacBook devices in 2024 can’t be ignored; it is a glaring omission Apple chose to make each year.

Similarly, MacBooks need a SIM card slot. Hotspotging from a phone—a process often fraught with connectivity issues, not to mention draining the phone’s battery— feels archaic and annoying.

It’s clear why both these features aren’t in the MacBook Air, though; Apple would be reluctant to embrace any feature that could reduce iPad sales. I know if the MacBook Air had a touch screen and a SIM card slot, I would likely never use my iPad again.

Conclusion: The Pinnacle of Portable Computing, With Room to Grow

The MacBook Air M3 is a testament to Apple’s commitment to being best in class.

It is a machine that almost perfectly encapsulates the needs of more users: lightweight, fast, and powerful. The M3 chip is an absolute delight. If you’re coming off an M1 chip, you will really notice the difference, and it’s all the more impressive that it’s delivering so much power on such a small device.

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