Skip to main content

WWDC to bring new MacBook Air, possibly with faster Wi-Fi and 1080p webcam

new macbook air hard drive

The rampant speculation about what Apple will debut at next week’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference is at full tilt this week. While we’re pretty sure a Tupac-like hologram of Steve Jobs will not be on hand to deliver the new version of OS X, there are other rumors that have a much better chance of actually coming true. For example, it’s more than likely that a new MacBook will be introduced, and recent leaks suggest the MacBook Air will be getting the love. 9to5Mac is reporting that a refreshed version of the Air will include a faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi card along with chips from Intel’s new Haswell processor line.

Among the evidence that faster Wi-Fi is coming to the MacBook Air and possibly all Mac product lines is the Mountain Lion update we told you about yesterday. Update 10.8.4 includes support for Broadcom chipsets, which makes the Wi-Fi speed upgrade more likely. 9to5Mac also points out that Apple’s wireless router, the Airport Extreme, and the wireless Time Capsule are currently facing “supply channel constraints.” This lends more credence to the idea that a faster wireless protocol is on the way. 

Apple has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to updating its machines to the newest Wi-Fi standards, so the move to 802.11ac wouldn’t be very surprising. The 802.11ac protocol is faster than 802.11n, and while routers capable of the 802.11ac communications are widely available, they are still a bit pricey. However, if Apple does make the switch, the faster speed will help justify the cost of the Airport Extreme Base Station, typically priced at $180.

Another rumor floating around in addition to the faster Wi-Fi is the inclusion of a 1080p webcam on the new MacBook Air. Up until now, Apple has included a 720p webcam on its laptops, so this would be a welcome change. Going hand-in-hand with this rumor is the possibility of dual-microphone system to allow for more efficient noise-canceling. The dual-microphone setup is already present on the MacBook Pro Retina, so it’s probably going to happen.

What we’re almost certain about is that Apple will introduce new MacBook of the Air or Pro variety with Intel’s new Haswell line of chips. This fourth generation of Intel’s Core line of processors promises battery life of up to 10 hours, particularly in Ultrabooks. The MacBook Air was really the first Ultrabook, way back before Intel coined the term and the specifications for the category, so it makes sense that Apple will bring out a faster, longer-lasting version of the Air — if for no other reason than to remind other manufacturers of the OG Ultrabook.

Editors' Recommendations

Meghan McDonough
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Meghan J. McDonough is a Chicago-based purveyor of consumer technology and music. She previously wrote for LAPTOP Magazine…
Your next MacBook Air could be even faster than expected
The Apple MacBook Pro 14 laptop propped up at an angle on a desk.

Apple’s upcoming 15-inch MacBook Air could be launching sooner than expected, which is encouraging for anyone who has been waiting for this much-rumored device. But the good news doesn’t end there, as it could also get a sizeable chip upgrade that would leave rival devices in the dust.

For months, it had been suggested that Apple was working on a new 15-inch version of the MacBook Air that was going to be released at a spring event. However, now that Apple has announced it will host its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) -- but not a spring event -- it seems that the latter isn’t happening. That suggests the 15-inch MacBook Air will have to wait until WWDC before seeing the light of day.

Read more
Best MacBook Deals: Save on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro
Macbook Air (2018) Review

Apple is one of the best laptop brands out there. If you've grown up using the operating system and can't move to Windows, or you're just impressed by the high-quality internal components and gorgeous designs, you know you're an Apple fan for life. As a fan, it's always worth checking out the best Apple deals, by the way. Back to MacBooks, they're perfect for creative professionals and casual users alike. These devices are significant investments though, so shoppers who are interested in them should be on the lookout for any discount they can get. We’re here to help with that — we’ve rounded up some of the best MacBook deals you can take advantage of right now, but you need to hurry because there’s no telling how long they’ll stay online.
Best MacBook deals

Apple MacBook Air 2020 (M1 Chip, 13-inch, 256GB SSD) --
Apple MacBook Air 2022 (M2, 13.6-inch, 256GB SSD) --
Apple MacBook Pro 2022 (M2, 13-inch, 256GB SSD) -- 
Apple MacBook Pro 2021 (M1 Pro, 14-inch, 1TB SSD) --
Apple MacBook Pro 2023 (M2 Pro, 14.2-inch, 512GB SSD) --
Apple MacBook Pro 2023 (M2 Pro, 16.2-inch, 512GB SSD) --

Read more
Hoping for an OLED MacBook Pro? We’ve got some bad news
An Apple MacBook Pro 14 sits open on a table.

If you’ve been waiting for Apple to launch an OLED MacBook Pro, there’s some bad news: it might not come out for another three years. That’s a serious wait considering many of Apple’s rivals have already brought out some of the best OLED laptops on the market.

The news comes from display industry tipster Ross Young, who is well-known for having a solid track record when it comes to Apple leaks. Young tweeted a link to a Reuters article outlining Samsung’s plans for an OLED fabrication plant, adding the comment: “This fab is for 14” and 16” OLED MacBook Pros from 2026.”

Read more