5 great things about the MacBook Air M3

5 Great Things About The MacBook Air M3

Shortly I’ll share 5 great things about the MacBook Air M3 after having been using mine for a while now, but first a bit of background.

A few months ago I was faced with the prospect of having to replace my aging Windows 11 laptop.

Time had caught up with it as updates to the apps I regularly use as well as to the OS itself, placed more and more demands on the machine’s physical resources.

So, torn between sticking with Windows or reverting to a Mac (having previously very happily enjoyed owing one many years ago), I turned to the ‘net to do my due diligence and have eventually decided to ditch Win 11 and go with a Mac.

Having made that decision, the next one was – which Mac?

To cut to the chase I wanted a machine that was portable, powerful, and of course fast enough to run DxO Photolab, the Nik Collection and On1 Photo RAW without breaking a sweat.

Budget limitations – I am retired after all – meant that I had to compromise on a few things. I have ended up with an “entry level” MacBook Air M3, with 256GB storage and the standard 8GB RAM upgraded to 16GB.

Main storage for photos and documents, etc. would continue to be an external USB 1GB SSD.

Just check Google and you’ll find that many people think a Mac – any Mac – is the best thing since sliced bread.

One of the things that I noticed when doing my online research was that all the reviews for the MacBook Air M3, while very favorable, were all objective technical reviews as opposed to what the machine was like in day-to-day use.

So my story here is more about what my MacBook Air M3 is like “hands-on” in day-to-day use – and what I personally like and maybe dislike.

5 great things about the MacBook Air m3

  1. My first impression on taking it out of the box was “wow!” It is a very, very good looking laptop – probably some might say “sexy looking”. I had chosen the Midnight Blue finish as the Apple promise was that the new finish was less likey to be easily marked. Afer a couple of months I can say – they are right!
  2. The display blew me away. Admittedly my old HP laptop had only a 1366 x 768 display that was dull and wishy-washy (I always used an external monitor for photo editing), but the 2560 x 1664 display on the MacBook is so bright with good contrast and fantastic colours. For me it was like moving into a whole new world of colour. At first, I was concerned the 13.6″ screen would be too small but it is perfectly usable on all apps I run, and only on rare occasions do I plug an external monitor in.
  3. It might sound like I have been paid by Apple to say some of these things – I haven’t of course, but I wish I had been – but the  Keyboard and Trackpad are great. The Trackpad is so silky smooth and precise, while the keyboard has a lovely tactile feel about it.
  4. That brings me to performance. It may seem strange to be talking about how good the M3 SOC – system on a chip – is with the M4 chip just around the corner…but I am so impressed with what I now have in my grasp. My favourite apps – Photolab 7, Nik Collection, and – dare I say it – On1 Photo RAW – all load in a mere 6 to 7 seconds – in a flash compared with the 20-plus seconds on my old Windows machine. One of my concerns previously was that I had time to go and make a cup of coffee when DxO was processing RAW files using DeepPRIME XD. Not any more. I barely have time to get out of my seat and it’s finished within 10 or so seconds.. The same applies to On1’s noise reduction. 
  5. Battery life is impressive. The battery lasts and lasts, and lasts…unless, of course, you turn off the Low Power Mode in System Settings, in which case the battery just lasts and lasts. Low power mode decreases performance, but in all honesty, it is still fast enough for almost all needs – and still certainly faster than anything I’ve had in the past.

There are heaps more things I like – no love- about my MacBook Ait M3, but I would be less than honest If I didn’t tell you about some of the things I don’t like.

things I don't like about my MacBook Air m3

  1. The price! Sure most people are happy to pay a little extra for a premium product, which the MacBook Air is. However, I would have loved to have had a 1 TB internal SSD but I found the upgrade price prohibitive. 
  2. If you’ve read the specs, you’ll know that the MacBook Air has just two USB-C connectors on the left-hand side. This meant I needed a small USB-C “hub” with HDMI output (for my existing monitor when needed), an SD-card reader for transferring photographs, and USB-A to handle my older external drives. Fortunately, I was able to obtain a decent Satechi hub at no charge through a loyalty scheme.
  3. This is only a small irritant but the camera is notched into the top middle of the screen.
  4.  And that’s it….there is nothing else that irks me.

Hands On With The MacBook Air M3

Specifications may tell one story – but, for me, actual day-to-day hands-on usage tells the real story.

I use my laptop for the basics – web surfing, blogging, emails, writing documents, occasionally playing music, and so on. 

But most importantly, I use it for post-processing and editing my photographs. 

And from my perspective, the MacBook Air M3 excels at this task.

This is without a doubt the fastest and best computer I have ever owned. It really does do everything I ask of it – with no fuss or drama, no overheating or noise (MacBook Air is fanless). The transition back to MacOS from Windows was painless and stress-free. 

In a nutshell – I am loving the MacBook Air M3, and certainly do not regret the move back to a Mac.

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