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Are you going to buy Apple's 15" MacBook when it's announced?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 39 20.1%
  • No.

    Votes: 78 40.2%
  • Maybe. Need to see it first.

    Votes: 77 39.7%

  • Total voters
    194

DHagan4755

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
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If the rumor mill is to be believed, we're really close to Apple announcing a 15" MacBook.

Rumored specs:
  • 15.5" LED display (no mini LEDs)
  • M2 SoC with possible M2 Pro upgrade (could have active cooling design)
  • Bluetooth 5.3
  • Wifi 6E
Beyond that... whether it's a MacBook Air or just a MacBook is TBD.

My personal hunch is that the 15" MacBook might be a new low-end MacBook Pro that along with the 13-inch MacBook Pro will comprise Apple's mid-tier line. When the M3/M3 Pro is ready, Apple will refresh the 15" MacBook Pro & debut an updated 13" MacBook Pro design to match. But that speculation is neither here nor there. This 15" MacBook is a laptop that many, many people have been wanting for years. Are you one of these people?
 

dmccloud

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2009
2,994
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Anchorage, AK
If anything, a 15" model would fit into the MacBook Air line instead of the Pro. With a 13", 14" and 16" Pro already in the market, there is no logical reason to shoehorn a 15" model into that lineup. With the Air product line though, there has been a groundswell of support for a 15" model for a while now.
 

theorist9

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2015
3,713
2,817
  • M2 SoC with possible M2 Pro upgrade (could have active cooling design)
I don't know what Apple will do, but I'd be really suprised if they offered an M2 Pro version, since that would defeat the entire point of the 15" Air, which is to offer a large screen in a laptop that is as thin and light as possible—i.e., to separate screen size from performance.

If you offered an M2 Pro option, you'd need to make the case thicker and heavier, both to accommodate the thermals, and to accomodate the larger battery that would be needed. And it would lose the silent (fanless) design. Customers who want an M2 Pro with a larger screen are already well-served by the MBP's.

However thin and light they could make an M2 Pro Air, they could make an M2 Air even thinner and lighter—and that is, IMO, what they should do for the 15" Air.
 
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DHagan4755

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Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
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I'd be really suprised if they offered an M2 Pro version, since that would defeat the entire point of the 15" Air
My hope is for a 15" MacBook Air with just the M2. Period.

Apple has this knack for surprising us and/or making us scratch our heads though (i.e. why do we still have a 13" MacBook Pro?) so we can't be too sure what it is til Apple announces it.
 
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JPack

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Mar 27, 2017
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I don't know what Apple will do, but I'd be really suprised if they offered an M2 Pro version, since that would defeat the entire point of the 15" Air, which is to offer a large screen in a laptop that is as thin and light as possible—i.e., to separate screen size from performance.

If you offered an M2 Pro option, you'd need to make the case thicker and heavier, both to accommodate the thermals, and to accomodate the larger battery that would be needed. And it would lose the silent (fanless) design. Customers who want an M2 Pro with a larger screen are already well-served by the MBP's.

However thin and light they could make an M2 Pro Air, they could make an M2 Air even thinner and lighter—and that is, IMO, what they should do for the 15" Air.

It almost defies common sense to not offer M2 Pro, in my opinion.

With a 15.5-inch display and chassis, this isn't going to be an "Air" no matter what Apple ends up calling it. It will be well over 3 lbs and a big slab of aluminum. This is a MacBook Plus, not MacBook Air, simply because of physics.

We know 13.6-inch Air can fit an M2 logic board, so a 15.5-inch will have plenty of space. Without adding a fan, what would Apple do with the extra space adjacent to the logic board? Insert a plastic space filler?

Consumers expect a larger notebook to have more power and an M2 Pro option makes sense.
 
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JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,712
23,740
My personal hunch is that the 15" MacBook might be a new low-end MacBook Pro that along with the 13-inch MacBook Pro will comprise Apple's mid-tier line. When the M3/M3 Pro is ready, Apple will refresh the 15" MacBook Pro & debut an updated 13" MacBook Pro design to match. But that speculation is neither here nor there. This 15" MacBook is a laptop that many, many people have been wanting for years. Are you one of these people?

Given the 15.5-inch model is likely to have active cooling, I think it's unlikely the 13-inch Pro will be refreshed. The 13-inch no longer has what it takes (mini-LED, ports, speakers) to be called a "Pro." It would be easier to de-feature the 14-inch Pro (delete mini-LED and reduce base storage/RAM) to have a lower entry price.

For me, 15.5-inch is pretty big. I'd have to see and feel it before deciding. Everywhere I work, I have a dock connected to a pair of monitors, so a bigger notebook display doesn't really help.
 
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theorist9

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May 28, 2015
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With a 15.5-inch display and chassis, this isn't going to be an "Air" no matter what Apple ends up calling it. It will be well over 3 lbs and a big slab of aluminum. This is a MacBook Plus, not MacBook Air, simply because of physics.
There should be a rule that people who aren't physicists or physical chemists shouldn't be allowed to invoke "physics" to insist their view is correct. There's nothing wrong with anyone—physicist or not— making specific physical arguments. Indeed, that is encouraged. But if you were actually trained as a physicst, you would realize that general physical principles say nothing about whether either of us is right or wrong in this (which you seem to think they do). This is an argument about engineering details, not physical principles. We're not arguing about perpetual motion machines here.
We know 13.6-inch Air can fit an M2 logic board, so a 15.5-inch will have plenty of space. Without adding a fan, what would Apple do with the extra space adjacent to the logic board? Insert a plastic space filler?
It's not about the lateral space for the logic board. It's about the thermals and the battery. If you confine the processor to an M2, you can make the case thinner and lighter than if that same case design had to be thick enough to accommodate the thermals, larger battery, and fan that would be needed for an M2 Pro. Indeed, given the additional lateral space, they could make it even thinner than the 13" Air and still have good thermals and enough volume for the battery. [If Apple did offer a 15" Air in both M2 and M2 Pro versions, they're not going to have a separate case design for each.]

Indeed, with a 15" M2 Air, they could even bring back the front taper that made the previous Air comfortable to use, while keeping the max thickness equal to or smaller than the 13" M2's.* They couldn't do this with a 15" M2 Pro Air. [*I don't think they actually will bring back the taper, since Apple probably wants to maintain consistent design with the new Airs. But it would be cool to have a 15" with that design.]
It almost defies common sense to not offer M2 Pro, in my opinion....Consumers expect a larger notebook to have more power and an M2 Pro option makes sense.
Nope, the whole point of a 15" Air is to separate screen size and peformance, i.e., to accommodate those customers who only need Air-level performance but want a large screen, and thus don't want to pay for, or lug around, a 14"/16" M2 Pro/Max MBP.

Yes, a 15" M2 Pro Air could be thinner and lighter than the average of a 14" & 16" MBP, because it doesn't need to acommodate the Max processor. But by allowing for a Pro option, Apple gives up the opportunity to make the Air thinner still and, to me, that defies common sense (given the target market of the Air).

Again, I'm not claiming I know what Apple will do, but my analysis isn't about that. It's about what I think it would make sense for Apple to do.
 
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DHagan4755

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Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
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Massachusetts
People's impressions of the size & footprint of this rumored 15" MacBook Air is going to be subjective. This computer could be a thought experiment come to life as a test to see how much demand there really is for a 15" MacBook Air. Demand might be weak like the iPhone 14 Plus.
 
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ricketysquire

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2020
156
677
I wish there was just a MacBook and a MacBook Pro. Where the MacBook model would be for normal usage, and the Pro models would be for enthusiasts and professionals who need that power. But on topic, Im considering replacing my 2017 MacBook Pro, with potentially this model or a 13 inch Air or a refurbished 14 inch pro M1 model.
 

theorist9

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May 28, 2015
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I wish there was just a MacBook and a MacBook Pro. Where the MacBook model would be for normal usage, and the Pro models would be for enthusiasts and professionals who need that power. But on topic, Im considering replacing my 2017 MacBook Pro, with potentially this model or a 13 inch Air or a refurbished 14 inch pro M1 model.
That seems to be what they have right now: The Air for normal usage, and Pro models for higher-end use. Except that the Air doesn't support one component of normal usage, which is dual external monitors.
 

Funny Apple Man

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May 1, 2022
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People's impressions of the size & footprint of this rumored 15" MacBook Air is going to be subjective. This computer could be a thought experiment come to life as a test to see how much demand there really is for a 15" MacBook Air. Demand might be weak like the iPhone 14 Plus.
I agree that they could treat this as a test, but I have doubts it would be a failure like the 14 Plus. iPhone 14 Plus flopped because it was only $100 close to the 14 Pro. Will this 15 inch sell less than the 13 inch? Most likely since 13 inch is cheaper, but it won't be weak.

If they priced it reasonably, then it will do okay.
 

theorist9

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May 28, 2015
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Just for fun, putting some possible numbers to this:

1) Expected dimensions 15.5" MBA, extrapolating linearly from 13" M2 MBA (13.6"):
w = 11.97" * 15.5"/13.6" = 13.6423"
d = 8.47" * 15.5"/13.6" = 9.65331"

2) Expected weight of 15.5" MBA if have same lbs./in^2 as 2017 MacBook, 13" M2 Air, and 14" M2 Pro MBP:
Based on 2017 MB: 2.03 lbs * (w * d)/(11.04" * 7.74") = 3.1 lbs
Based on 13" M2 MBA: 2.7 lbs * (w * d)/(11.97" * 8.46") = 3.5 lbs
Based on 14" M2 Pro MBP: 3.5 lbs * (w * d)/(12.31" * 8.71") = 4.3 lbs

So if Apple doesn't try to put an M2 Pro processor in the 15.5" Air, they should be able to keep the weight to 3.1–3.5 lbs.

[Too bad using AlBeMet for the case is probably too expensive. For the same stiffness, it weighs only about half as much (54%).]
 
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mossimossimossi

macrumors member
Jan 11, 2023
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51
I’m a bit surprised by the poll results which currently has 0 Yes with 22 votes. I’ve seen many “day 1 purchase” comments about the 15” MBA.
 
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DHagan4755

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Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
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If they priced it reasonably, then it will do okay.
Big if.

A 15” MacBook Air M2 8/256 at say $1,499 is going to be a tough sell never mind an even higher price. Double the RAM & storage what will that cost? With the bells & whistles of the 14” MBP (SD card slot, 3 TB 4 ports, HDMI, mini LED, M2 Pro), you have to have a compelling reason to settle for a 1.3” more display real estate when you get that close.

This is what makes me uneasy about apple introducing a 15” Air. Aside from the fact apple is introducing a larger version of a product with the same specs that’s been on the market 9+ months.
 
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dmccloud

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Sep 7, 2009
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It almost defies common sense to not offer M2 Pro, in my opinion.

With a 15.5-inch display and chassis, this isn't going to be an "Air" no matter what Apple ends up calling it. It will be well over 3 lbs and a big slab of aluminum. This is a MacBook Plus, not MacBook Air, simply because of physics.

We know 13.6-inch Air can fit an M2 logic board, so a 15.5-inch will have plenty of space. Without adding a fan, what would Apple do with the extra space adjacent to the logic board? Insert a plastic space filler?

Consumers expect a larger notebook to have more power and an M2 Pro option makes sense.

I think this analysis is wrong, because of changes to the MacBook lineup in general. Given how much the bezels have shrunk on the MBA/MBP lineup, a 15" MBA would only be slightly larger than the current 14" Pro (which is around the same depth and width as the older 13" MBP or Air with the larger bezels. As far as the extra space inside the chassis is concerned, a higher capacity battery coupled with a base M2 SoC would make a 15" Air have better battery life than 95% of the notebook market as a whole.

As far as weight is concerned, the 14" Pro is either 3.5 or 3.6 lbs (depending on whether you have the M2 Pro or M2 Max). With a non-Pro M2 (which would bring with it weight savings from both the lack of cooling fans and a more svelte cooling system), you could see a 15" Air come in right around 3.2 lbs if not less, especially if they keep the same profile as the current 13" Airs.
 
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Love-hate 🍏 relationship

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2021
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I have a MBA M1 so I won't buy this iteration, but I'll probably get a 15" when I need to change (hopefully in 5-6 years)

15" should have the best battery of any Mac.

Pricing is gonna be nuts tho ,especially in EU

I predict a 1750-1850€ price tag ,for a mere 8/256 , which stings lol
 

DHagan4755

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
2,197
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Massachusetts
Obviously Apple kept the 13” MacBook Pro around for active cooling. Wedging a 15” MacBook Air in between the 13” Pro & 14” Pro is weird to me. Either the 13” Pro is a goner or something else is afoot.

Perhaps Apple will discontinue the M1 Air & slot the M2 13” Air in its price position, making way for a bigger brother?
 

Miat

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2012
853
808
Got an M2 Air in Dec, and very happy with it, so I am not in the market. But if I was I would be waiting to see what they offer in the 15".

Don't need more power or anything. But would be nice to have a bigger screen, and maybe a little extra width (so I don't have to keep my legs so close together when it is sitting on my thighs, which I have to do with the current tiny 13.6").
 

JaredJenkinsDesign

macrumors member
Jul 19, 2022
97
79
I probably will once I'm ready to replace my 2016 15" MBP but it's still chugging along. This 15" MBA pretty much checks everything that I would want as it's not too heavy or big like the 16" MBP, has a bigger screen than the 13"/14" laptops and has the entry level Apple Silicon chip since I don't need that much power.
 

JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,712
23,740
I think this analysis is wrong, because of changes to the MacBook lineup in general. Given how much the bezels have shrunk on the MBA/MBP lineup, a 15" MBA would only be slightly larger than the current 14" Pro (which is around the same depth and width as the older 13" MBP or Air with the larger bezels. As far as the extra space inside the chassis is concerned, a higher capacity battery coupled with a base M2 SoC would make a 15" Air have better battery life than 95% of the notebook market as a whole.

As far as weight is concerned, the 14" Pro is either 3.5 or 3.6 lbs (depending on whether you have the M2 Pro or M2 Max). With a non-Pro M2 (which would bring with it weight savings from both the lack of cooling fans and a more svelte cooling system), you could see a 15" Air come in right around 3.2 lbs if not less, especially if they keep the same profile as the current 13" Airs.

The main issue is the 15.5-inch display, which means the footprint will be big regardless of bezels. Assuming it has the same bezels as 14-inch Pro, the 15.5-inch MacBook Plus would be about 1-inch wider and deeper.

In the notebook industry, 3 lbs is the threshold between what is considered an ultrabook. That's why you see so many products from Lenovo, HP, Dell that are close to 3 lbs.

Looking at the big picture, if the 15.5-inch MacBook were simply a puffed up M2 MBA, it wouldn't take Apple so long (9 to 12 months after MBA) to launch it. Rather, that's the time it takes to design a new cooling system and chassis. I don't expect 15.5-inch to come with a full heatsink/fan like MBP, but rather something close to Intel-based MBA.
 
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