It’s the rumor that just won’t quit: after years of tiny refinements, Apple plans to introduce a brand-new, redesignedin 2018, according to reports.
While the company has made incremental updates to the the MacBook Air during the past eight years, it’s more or less the same essential device it. Suffice to say: A major makeover is way overdue. The , released in August 2017, is nearly identical to its save for a microboost in the speed of its antiquated Intel CPU and a belated doubling of RAM.
In the interim, Apple has expended plenty of attention on the premium MacBook Pro line, regularly refreshing internal components and introducing innovations like the Touch Bar. Just this June, the company delivered a new ultra-flat butterly keyboards being rendered inoperable by a literal speck of dust. Despite , this brouhaha may have prompted Apple to retool the Pro line before releasing a new MacBook Air.and model. That enterprise hasn’t been flawless, however, as some recent-vintage MacBook Pros have been the subject of complaints and due to concerns with their
At the same time, Apple’s competitors have been flooding the market with alternatives that are well-designed, affordable and significantly more powerful. Exhibit A: Dell’s elegant, which offers state-of-the-art Intel processors and other modern flourishes for $1,000. If you can tolerate Windows, there are many laptops to choose from that arguably deliver more value per dollar than the outdated MacBook Air.
Still, the fact that Apple has left the Air in its lineup and not killed it off — as it just did with its— has fans of the Air hoping for a . After all, the basic design of the MacBook Air remains to many. At the very least, a MacBook Air reboot — whether or not Apple sticks with the name — is an opportunity for Apple to redefine what kind of a laptop you can get for $1,000 in 2018.
To that end, we’ve collected all the rumors and published reports circulating about the forthcoming price, specs, features and design of the next MacBook Air equivalent. (Note: Apple has not announced anything officially, and did not respond to our request for a comment.) This roundup will be updated on an ongoing basis, so check back often to see breaking news and details about the 2018 MacBook Air.
This piece was originally published on May 4, 2018, and is updated frequently.
Rumor: A new MacBook coming in 2018
A new report from Bloomberg breaths new air into our hopes for a debut this year. The article describes a “low-cost” MacBook coming “later this year,” leaving room for some curveballs. It’s possible that Apple might drop the “Air” and go with the plain-old “MacBook,” as it did for theand refreshed in and . And there’s many months to go before we put up our 2019 calendars.
Rumor: September or October release date
So, while there’s consensus — all unofficial, of course — that we’ll see a new MacBook in 2018, there’s far less confidence about exactly when. Last year, DigiTimes reported that Apple would debut a new 13-inch model sometime during the first half of 2018. After refreshing its entire laptop lineup at WWDC in 2017, Apple delivered zero new hardware at this year’s developer’s conference. So, DigiTimes recently revised its forecast, suggesting that the introduction would be “probably in the third quarter.” The clock is ticking on that one, but it would work if Apple slipped in a new MacBook unveiling alongside the new, and possibly we expect to see announced in .
But, if Apple holds off on Mac announcements at its presumed September event, the next feasible opportunity will be October — a month during which it has often debuted new Macs. We could see new iMacs and even updated, too.
Rumor: Retina display, finally
Bloomberg reports thatto update that “low cost” MacBook with a high-resolution Retina Display screen. This bolsters an earlier report by DigiTimes that describes a new MacBook with a “slim design” and a high-resolution Retina Display in addition to a contemporary Intel CPU; the newest Bloomberg information also suggests that the new model will have slimmer bezels. It’s hard to imagine Apple unveiling a new MacBook Air-equivalent that doesn’t have all of this, at a minimum.
Price: Still under $1,000?
Bloomberg reported back in March that a “new, cheaper MacBook laptop is in the works and likely destined to replace the MacBook Air at a price less than $1,000.” Likewise, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the 2018 model will be even “more affordable” than the current MacBook Air. More recently, however, DigiTimes has reported that Apple has developed a new “entry-level” MacBook that will run a new Intel CPU and will cost $1,200.
Today’s entry-level MacBook Air, with 128GB of hard-drive capacity, starts at $999, £949 or AU$1,499; the 256GB version costs $1,199. Third-party retailers now routinely discount the Air to $750 or $800, and its low price is key to its popularity. (Converted, $800 is about £600 or AU$1,060.)
: CNET’s full review of the MacBook that gets it right
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