Most of us watched Apple’s Peek Performance launch event earlier this week with the hopes of seeing the new M2 chipset and the much-awaited MacBook Air refresh. The company, however, unveiled its flagship M1 Ultra chipset and only one Mac product – Mac Studio at the event. The MacBook Air (2022) was a no-show. Well, that means the rumor mill still has time to confirm details about the upcoming MacBook Air, which will likely bring major design and performance upgrades over its 2020 predecessor. So, in this article, we round up all the leaks and rumors about the upcoming possibly Apple M2-powered MacBook Air.
MacBook Air (2022): Everything We Know So Far
MacBook Air (2022): Release Date
Apple is expected to launch the 2022 MacBook Air later this year. To be specific, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported last month that we could expect up to 7 Macs in 2022. Now that we have already seen the Mac Studio at Apple’s Peek Performance event, we could expect the redesigned MacBook Air in June at WWDC 2022.
MacBook Air (2022): Rumored Price
MacBook Air currently starts at $999. Assuming that Apple is planning to discontinue the 2020 M1 MacBook Air and considering the fact that MacBook Air is positioned as an entry-level machine in the Mac ecosystem, we could expect the company to stick to the same pricing for the new MacBook Air models.
MacBook Air (2022): Design
Going by leaks and rumors so far, Apple may launch the 2022 MacBook Air in multiple vibrant colors. Like the 24-inch iMac, we could see the MacBook Air in Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Purple, Blue, and Silver variants. While Apple has not officially confirmed these colors for the new MacBook Air yet, we will likely see at least some of these color options.
Moving away from its patented wedge design, Apple may opt for a MacBook Pro-esque finish for the new MacBook Air this time around. Furthermore, Apple may introduce a notch in the upcoming MacBook Air, much like the one we have seen on the MacBook Pro.
However, the difference here is that MacBook Air’s bezels and notch are expected to be white in color, as opposed to black bezels and notch in the Pro models. If that turns out to be the case, hiding the MacBook notch might prove ineffective, and you will have to live with the notch. And it could, well, because we have already seen Apple make the switch to colorful aesthetics and white bezels on the non-Pro M1-powered 24-inch iMac model earlier in 2021.
MacBook Air (2022): mini-LED Display?
Apple brought mini-LED displays (or Liquid Retina XDR, as the company calls it) to the new MacBook Pro models earlier last year. While there were rumors previously suggesting that we could see the same in the upcoming MacBook Air, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now says that the 2022 MacBook Air may not feature a mini-LED display.
Kuo even goes on to say that Apple may not launch any new mini-LED products this year due to cost concerns. If that’s true, we may have to wait for another refresh to witness mini-LED displays on MacBook Air.
MacBook Air (2022) Processor: M2 or M1 Chip?
The highlight of any new model in a MacBook series is the specification upgrade, especially in the CPU department. As you might recall, the MacBook Air with M1 chip launched in 2020. Although we were hoping to see the unannounced next-gen Apple M2 chip on the new MacBook Air, Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest note mentions that we could see the 2022 MacBook Air arrive with the same M1 chip. In an interaction with 9to5Mac, Kuo mentioned that Apple might use an updated version of the M1 chip in the upcoming MacBook Air.
However, a new report from 9to5Mac citing sources familiar with the matter hints that Apple may end up using the M2 chip after all. According to the report, the M2 chip, codenamed J413, will have an eight-core CPU and a 10-core GPU. The 2020 M1 MacBook Air, on the other hand, packs an eight-core CPU and 7/ 8-core GPU options. As a result, we could expect to see improvements in graphics capabilities in the new MacBook Air.
Since there are contrary opinions from reputable sources, it’s hard to predict if Apple will end up including an upgraded M1 chip or the M2 chip under the hood on the next-gen MacBook Air. Taking an educated guess, we are inclined to believe that Apple will indeed use the M2 chip. However, that’s something we will have to wait and find out.
MacBook Air (2022): Camera
Apple has long used 720p cameras on MacBooks. Last year, however, the company finally switched to 1080p cameras on the MacBook Pro. We expect the same camera upgrade to trickle down to this year’s MacBook Air. Having a 1080p webcam should significantly improve the video quality in your meetings. That said, those who want the best possible quality should invest in an external 4K webcam instead.
MacBook Air (2022): Keyboard
After dropping butterfly keyboards in favor of scissor switches, the keyboard complaints on MacBooks have dropped significantly. Hence, Apple is likely to play it safe, and we might not see significant changes in the keyboard. What could change this time, however, is the color of the keys. According to rumors so far, MacBook Air (2022) may have off-white bezels with full-sized function keys.
MacBook Air (2022): Ports
The M1 MacBook Air features two Thunderbolt/ USB 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. While it’s unlikely to see an SDXC card slot in the next MacBook Air, rumors suggest that MagSafe charging is expected to come to MacBook Air this time around. In case you missed it, the MagSafe port marked its return to MacBooks with the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros last October.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When is the next MacBook Air coming?
The next MacBook Air is expected to launch later this year, sometime in June 2022.
Q: Will MacBook Air have an M2 chip?
Probably. However, there are contradicting rumors pointing towards an upgraded version of the M1 chip and M2 chip. Since it’s a hardware refresh, we could expect Apple to pack an M2 chip in the upcoming MacBook Air.
Q: Will the MacBook Air be redesigned?
Yes, Apple is likely to launch the new MacBook Air in new colors, along with a white keyboard and bezels. Also, you can expect to find a white colored notch on the 2022 Macbook Air refresh.
Q: Should I wait for MacBook Air 2022?
If you are tempted by the new color options, the upgraded camera, and the chip upgrade, you’re better off waiting for the new MacBook Air. Having said that, the 2020 M1-powered MacBook Air is still a capable machine, and you might find enticing discounts on that now.
Are You Excited for the 2022 MacBook Air Launch?
That sums up everything we know about the next-gen MacBook Air at the moment. While the white bezels might prove to be a controversial transition, the new colors are likely to be accepted well among casual MacBook users. So, which of these features are you excited about, and are you planning to purchase a new MacBook Air later this year? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image Courtesy: Jon Prosser x Renders by Ian