Apple increased the display size of the 15-inch MacBook Air compared to the 13-inch model, but there is still a boatload of similarities between the two portable Macs, such as the cooling solution they use. The smaller MacBook Air shipped with no cooling fan, and for the 15-inch model, Apple likely wanted to keep the machine thin and lighter, so it avoided an active cooling solution too. Unfortunately, this decision can result in a thermally inefficient system.
Even without any elaborate cooling solution, the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air is still 22 percent heavier than its smaller cousin
With the increase in the overall footprint of the 15-inch MacBook Air, Apple had sufficient room to use an improved cooling solution that would have included a fan, just like the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, according to a review posted by The Verge, that is not the case here, but at least the larger surface area can be beneficial when it comes to cooling the M2.
“Since all of these devices have the same processor, any difference in performance likely comes down to cooling. Like the smaller version, the MacBook Air 15 does not have a fan. What it does have is a wee bit more room for its heat pipes to do their thing. Overall, it seems that the 15-incher’s big berth does not have quite as large of an impact on the M2’s performance as the MacBook Pro 13’s fan — but it gets a decent part of the way there.”
Despite not featuring a cooling fan, the 15-inch MacBook Air is 22 percent heavier than the 13-inch model, and that is because, unlike other notebook manufacturers, Apple chooses to employ an all-aluminum casing, which improves the build quality of its machines, but increases the weight substantially. Where other companies choose magnesium alloy or plastic on their laptops to cut down on weight and cost, Apple takes the other route. However, The Verge’s review mentions that the MacBook Air’s keyboard gets hot, but the rise in temperatures does not make it unusable.
“The caveat: the Air still gets hot. It was hotter in the area right above the function row than I wanted to touch during pretty much all of my benchmark testing. The keyboard, while usable, was toasty. I did not see any of this heat when I was just using the Air to mess around in Chrome, which was most of the time. But if you’re one of those people buying this thinking you will use it to export video every so often, take that to note.”
It is possible that Apple deliberately chose to ship the 15-inch MacBook Air without a cooling fan. This would mean that consumers would have to spend more money on the MacBook Pro models, which can tackle the more resource-intensive tasks thanks to their powerful chips and control temperatures with the dual-fan cooling solutions. In short, those interested in getting this version should only do if they want to get the increased screen real estate, not because of the notable upgrades, because according to various reviews, there are little to no substantial changes.