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Home / News / Apple fixed the MacBook Air’s biggest issue

Apple fixed the MacBook Air’s biggest issue

The MacBook Air M3 once again features the faster storage missing from the M2 model

MacBook Air M3

I’m testing the latest Apple MacBook Air M3 premium laptop at the moment and I’m pleased to say that it fixes the MacBook Air’s biggest issue of recent times.

With 2022’s MacBook Air M2 there was an issue with the 256GB of storage provided in the base model. And that was its speed. It was even slower than the M1 MacBook Air’s drive. And the (again base level) M2 MacBook Pro had the same issue (the M2 Pro and M2 Max versions were different though).

The issue was that Apple had used a single 256GB module for the drive, rather than two 128GB modules. It was a big downer for the last-generation Air, which introduced a new design. This was, presumably, cost-related as Apple sought to keep the price of the Air below that of the similar entry-level MacBook Pro M2, now discontinued.

With the new Air M3 model, Apple has now reverted to dual 128GB NAND modules and so things are faster once again. We know this thanks to a teardown posted by Max Tech on YouTube and reported on by 9to5Mac.

The theory with the different modules is actually really simple. Two chips can handle more file tasks at the same time.

In our testing using BlackMagic Disk Speed Test I managed to hit speeds of 2743MB per second write and 2928MB read speeds. These are quicker than we found with the MacBook Air M1, but not by much.

MacBook Air M3 speed test

We don’t have an M2 Air to hand presently, but tests shown online reveal read speeds of almost half, a little shy of 1600MB per second.

The M3 Air has also fixed another issue that irked with the M2 as well – multiple display support where you can now drive two displays at any one time as opposed to one (though if you connect two external displays you need to close the laptop lid so the Mac is not driving the internal display as well).

We’re still testing the MacBook Air M3 and we’ll bring you our full review soon.

Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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