When late Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs debuted the MacBook Air onstage in 2008 by pulling it out of a manila envelope, the laptop immediately set the gold standard for thin and light laptops. Now, some 12 years after the notebook’s initial unveiling, the MacBook Air is rumored to be getting a significant design overhaul that will make it both thinner and lighter than the current Air.
Apple most recently refreshed the MacBook Air in late 2020 with the company’s in-house silicon in a move away from Intel processors, but that model largely used the same design as its predecessor. Now, we’re hearing reports that the next MacBook Air will feature an overhauled design that cuts weight and thickness. It’s unclear how much weight Apple intends to shed or how much thinner it could make the MacBook Air as part of this new redesign.
Bloomberg reported that the new MacBook Air will be a more premium model that will be offered alongside the current Air, rather than a direct successor that will replace the Air. The current MacBook Air will likely move to a more affordable, entry-level position within Apple’s notebook lineup as a result.
And even though Apple may use the same 13-inch screen size as the MacBook Air, it’s also been reported that the company is looking to shrink the bezels around the display to reduce the notebook’s overall size. The move is not unlike what PC manufacturers have been doing for a while. For example, the Dell XPS 13 features nearly invisible bezels that makes the laptop occupy a smaller footprint on a desk or in a bag.
In the past, it was rumored that Apple is also considering a 15-inch version of the MacBook Air, but Bloomberg’s sources say the company has decided against this configuration.
Despite shedding some of the heft and weight of the current model, the new Air will feature a number of significant upgrades, if recent rumors are to be believed. In addition to a shift to a new mini-LED display technology, Apple is said to also be working on reintroducing the beloved MagSafe technology in some form to its lightweight notebook.
Chatter of MagSafe’s triumphant return comes by way of Bloomberg, which added to a prior prediction from trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who previously speculated that MagSafe will come to the Pro models of Apple’s laptops. Most recently, MagSafe appeared on Apple’s iPhone 12 series to help augment Apple’s ecosystem of cases and accessories for its smartphone.
Powering the whole setup is said to be Apple’s next-generation silicon, likely named the M2 processor. Apple’s M1 processor on the current MacBook Air has received praise for its strong performance and long battery life. It’s unclear how much of a performance boost the new chip will produce or how much more battery life users can expect from a more efficient processor coupled with a thinner design.
Previously, it was rumored that Apple is also working on 14- and 16-inch versions of its MacBook Pro for a new refresh, which could reintroduce the much-requested SD card reader. It’s also rumored that Apple could be doing away with the Touch Bar as part of the MacBook Pro’s redesign. Apple is also mulling 5G network connectivity for a future MacBook Pro model, but it’s unclear if a cellular-enabled model will be released this year.
In addition to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro redesigns, Apple is also said to be working on new designs for its iMac and Mac Pro desktops.
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