The upcoming MacBook Air may have a big redesign and an entirely new processor under the hood, but when will it be available?
The M1 MacBook Air gave Apple’s lightweight laptop lineup a boost in late 2020, but rumours claim that a revised version of the groundbreaking gadget could be on the way shortly.
According to online rumours, the new MacBook Air will be considerably thinner and lighter, include an Apple Silicon CPU, and (gasp) come in a variety of colours. So far, here’s what we know.
What is the expected release date for the new MacBook Air?
The M1 MacBook Air was released in November 2020, so it’s been just over a year and is due for an upgrade.
Unfortunately – but not unexpectedly – there was no evidence of a new MacBook Air during Apple’s September and October 2021 events. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple may opt to release the Air in the first half of 2022.
Ming Chi-Kuo, a well-known industry supply chain analyst, agrees with Gurman, according to a July 2021 9to5Mac storey, citing a mid-2022 release.
I just wanted to offer some information about when the next generation M2 will be released (not the M1X which is reserved for the Pro Mac devices).
Kuo followed up in late September 2021, claiming that the MacBook Air will not go into production until late Q2 2022, or even Q3 2022, indicating a release between August and September 2022.
What will the price of the upcoming MacBook Air be?
Ming Chi-Kuo also indicated in his report that the MacBook Air would be reduced in price, but it’s unclear whether this is due to the new models being less expensive or Apple retaining the previous models in the catalogue and dropping the price.
Purchasing a new M1 MacBook Air costs the following amounts at the moment
One way for this to happen is if Apple reduces the price of the older versions by roughly £100/$100 and keeps the new ones at the same price, making the original M1 units even more appealing.
However, Twitter leaker @dylandkt claims that the new range would be slightly more expensive at the entry level (though no precise prices were given), therefore the new range’s pricing is now unknown.
What new features will be available on the MacBook Air?
According to rumours, Apple’s MacBook Air (2022) revamp will include new features as well as the return of some old ones. You may expect normal upgrades such as new CPUs, increased storage, and access to the latest version of macOS, but here are some of the more fascinating things we’ve heard thus far:
Design is slimmer and lighter.
According to Bloomberg, the new MacBook Air will be ‘thinner and lighter’ than previous generations. This might be accomplished by reducing the display’s bezels, putting it closer to the current MacBook Pro series, Dell XPS 13, or Huawei MateBook 14 (2020), though without the latter’s 3:2 aspect ratio.
In an August 2021 note to investors, Ming-Chi Kuo speculated that the design would be similar to the new MacBook Pro series, which has since been released, with lower bezels achieved in part by positioning the webcam in a notch that cuts through the top of the display.
In October 2021, Twitter leaker @Dylandkt backed up this claim, claiming that the new MacBook Air will be “identical to the design of the 2021 MacBook Pro line while being thinner and lighter.”
The leaker also hinted to a 1080p webcam upgrade and an off-white keyboard and bezels (compared to black on the new MacBook Pro).
In the middle of 2022, the next MacBook (Air) will be released. MagSafe, a 1080p webcam, USB C connections, a 30W power adapter, and no fans will be included. Color options will be identical to those found on the iMac 24. The bezels and keyboard will be an off white colour, and the function keys will be full-sized.
Apple’s new silicon processor
The M1 chip, Apple’s first laptop processor designed in-house, was used in the 2020 MacBook Air, making it one of the first devices to use it. The M1 was updated in 2021 with new M1 Pro and M1 Max models, however these are only available on the new MacBook Pro notebooks for the time being.
According to a tweet from renowned leaker Dylan, the next MacBook Air will be released in 2022, along with an all-new M2 chip. Details on what this new CPU will bring to the table, on the other hand, are scarce.
Early indications suggest it’ll be similar to the A15 chip found in the iPhone 13 and bring more significant changes than the iterative M1 Pro & Max, but that’s about all we know for the time being.
Color possibilities have been expanded.
Apple is reportedly considering releasing new colour options for the MacBook Air to coincide with its revamp. Given that the iPhone 13, iPad Air, and, most recently, the 24in iMac, all available in a number of colours, including red, green, and blue, it’s not unheard of.
In fact, it appears like Apple is currently introducing non-pro items in brighter, more vibrant colours, so it’s not hard to imagine the MacBook Air following suit.
At least, that’s what Apple leaker Jon Prosser suggests. In a May 2021 YouTube video, the leaker mentioned the future M2-enabled MacBook Air, which he correctly anticipated will appear in a number of new colours (albeit his colour forecasts were incorrect).
One of his sources claims to have seen a prototype of the updated MacBook Air in a new shade of blue and described it as “simply wonderful.”
He followed up with another YouTube video a few days later, this time using renderings based on images of the new computers he’d seen.
Ming-Chi Kuo also anticipates the next MacBook Air line to be available in a variety of colours, stating in an August 2021 letter to investors that there will be “many” colour variants to select from, but the analyst has yet to reveal what those colours might be.
According to Twitter leaker @dylandkt, it’ll be available in “colour options similar to the iMac 24” and will be available in “colour options comparable to the iMac 24.”
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According to Ming Chi-Kuo (via Macrumours), the upcoming MacBooks Apple is working on will include Mini-LED panels. These would have a more balanced colour and lighting contrast, brighter panels, and be more energy efficient.
As a result, you’ll have a better-looking screen and a longer battery life. We’d all like to see something like that in a laptop.
Mini-LED is now available in the upgraded 14-inch MacBook Pro, and by the time it makes its way to the MacBook Air, it may be standard on all Apple laptops.
If you want to learn more about what a Mini-LED display is and why you need one, see What is a Mini-LED Display and Why Do You Need One.
The return of MagSafe chargers to the MacBook Air will be welcomed by many long-time Mac customers. When someone pulled on these magnetically linked charging cables, they promptly sprang out.
So, if your dog decides to run across the room when your Mac is plugged in, they won’t tug it off the table and send it clattering to the floor because their paws get hooked in the cable.
MagSafe is another feature we’ve seen in the 2021 MacBook Pro revisions, so it’s more likely than ever that it’ll make its way into the next Air. Charging is supported on both MagSafe and USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports in those laptops, so hopefully the Air will be the same – leaker @dylandkt thinks so.
If you don’t want to wait for the new MacBook Air to arrive, take a look at the greatest MacBook Air offers right now, as well as our guide to the finest laptops on the market.