2022 MacBook Air will have 'M2' chip, MagSafe, 1080p camera, says leaker

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited October 22
Apple's MacBook Air is not due for a refresh until 2022, but new rumors claim to offer details on a next-generation version of the thin-and-light that supposedly borrows key elements from the recently unveiled MacBook Pro.

MacBook Air


Reliable leaker dylandkt outlined the upcoming MacBook Air in a series of tweets on Thursday, saying the laptop will eschew its long-standing wedge shape for a squared-off design that is more in line with 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.

An "M2" chip is predicted to power the device. Performance specifications went unmentioned, but the silicon is unlikely to be more powerful than M1 Pro or M1 Max, as MacBook Air is not aimed at professional users. Further, dylandkt claims the upcoming MacBook Air once again lacks fans, suggesting "M2" is a low-power, high-efficiency chip.

Mini-LED is considered "likely" and the machine is expected to incorporate a 1080p camera, but the leaker was unable to confirm whispers that Apple will adopt a camera housing "notch." ProMotion variable refresh rate technology, which was introduced to MacBook Pro this week, will not make an appearance on the new MacBook Air, according to dylandkt.

Other MacBook Pro features supposedly set for integration include full-size function keys and MagSafe charging, the latter of which will draw power from a 30W adapter. Peripheral connectivity, including support for at least two external monitors, will be accomplished via USB-C ports, but an SD card reader and HDMI are not expected.

Like the 24-inch iMac with M1, Apple is predicted to offer MacBook Air in a variety of colors, while the laptop's bezels and keyboard will transition from black to an off-white hue. The final product could resurrect the "MacBook" name that was last used in 2019.

Today's rumors echo predictions from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who earlier this year said the 2022 MacBook Air will sport a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, redesigned chassis with new color options and updated M-series chip.

Apple is anticipated to debut its MacBook Air redesign in the middle of 2022.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    It will likely have the notch. I believe the notch was sized the way it was so when they do add face unlock, they won't have to increase it and everyone will be used to that sized notch already. The 16" MBP is so good but I really want face unlock in addition to the fingerprint reader. Throw in an M2 Max Apple Silicon with 64 graphic cores and I'll probably be opening up my wallet.
    Xed
  • Reply 2 of 33
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,200member
    I don’t understand why it didn’t have Face ID from the get go.
    An off white notch would look better in the menu bar.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    lukeilukei Posts: 362member
    entropys said:
    I don’t understand why it didn’t have Face ID from the get go.
    An off white notch would look better in the menu bar.
    The components required for Face ID would make screen too thick
    StrangeDaysdocno42williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    Darn, my 2015 Air has an SD Card slot. Apple, ffs, add SD Card (MagSafe and headphone jack). Make MBA great again.

    First things first: dongles are the worst. If MBA gets no SD Card I would be forced into buying a more powerful, thicker, heavier, more expensive machine I don't want with less web browsing battery life than my current 2015 MBA (new battery).

    So I'd have less ports and worse web browsing battery life than my then 7 year old MBA. Seriously.
    edited October 22 elijahgMplsPdocno42williamlondondtb200
  • Reply 5 of 33
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,341member
    I wish they did a 16” MacBook Air.
    patchythepiratecanukstormMplsPmike54
  • Reply 6 of 33
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,124member
    If it's not wedge shaped, then why is it an Air instead of just a MacBook?  That's been the principal and most enduring distinction since forever.
    jas99applguy
  • Reply 7 of 33
    dk49dk49 Posts: 185member
    It should be just like moving from A13 to A14, A14 to A15, and so on. Though they may add more memory bandwidth, taking a cue from the M1 Pro and Max.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,637member
    ireland said:
    Darn, my 2015 Air has an SD Card slot. Apple, ffs, add SD Card (MagSafe and headphone jack). Make MBA great again.

    First things first: dongles are the worst. If MBA gets no SD Card I would be forced into buying a more powerful, thicker, heavier, more expensive machine I don't want with less web browsing battery life than my current 2015 MBA (new battery).

    So I'd have less ports and worse web browsing battery life than my then 7 year old MBA. Seriously.
    There are plenty of Windows laptops that can meet your requirements. Why not buy one of them instead of being “forced” by Apple to buy something you don’t want? Seriously.
    mike1StrangeDayswilliamlondonspock1234
  • Reply 9 of 33
    ireland said:
    Darn, my 2015 Air has an SD Card slot. Apple, ffs, add SD Card (MagSafe and headphone jack). Make MBA great again.

    First things first: dongles are the worst. If MBA gets no SD Card I would be forced into buying a more powerful, thicker, heavier, more expensive machine I don't want with less web browsing battery life than my current 2015 MBA (new battery).

    So I'd have less ports and worse web browsing battery life than my then 7 year old MBA. Seriously.
    But you're 2015 Air has lower resolution and only about half the brightness. So, if you just buy a new MacBook and turn the screen brightness down to about 50% you'll have all the battery life you need and then some.
    williamlondonspock1234
  • Reply 10 of 33
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,441member
    saarek said:
    I wish they did a 16” MacBook Air.
    Yes! I’d be willing to bet there is a large cadre of people who want a larger screen but don’t need the performance of the new MBP (which is a beast, quite frankly.) If Apple put an M1 (or M2) option in a MBA with MagSafe, HDMI and a single TB4 port with a 16” screen I bet they would fly off the shelves.

    lukei said:
    entropys said:
    I don’t understand why it didn’t have Face ID from the get go.
    An off white notch would look better in the menu bar.
    The components required for Face ID would make screen too thick
    Why do you say that? They fit inside an iphone and none of them should be any thicker than the camera.

    entropys said:
    I don’t understand why it didn’t have Face ID from the get go.
    An off white notch would look better in the menu bar.
    Agree with FaceID but I think off white would end up looking worse - it would blend in somewhat better but still wouldn’t match perfectly and would stick out like a sore thumb for full screen apps and night mode. If they had some way to have it change colors it would be perfect but then it’s darned close to an LCD screen with holes punched in it.

    kdupuis77
  • Reply 11 of 33
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,441member
    Everything in this rumor makes sense. Extending the notch across their line also wouldn’t be surprising unless there is major market blowback. My guess is it will be received like it was for the iphone, just more muted - people will complain, then realize it really doesn’t matter in daily use. 

    Next year would be 2 years after they introduced the M1 making it about right for processor updates. That’s still an impressive amount of processor development for Apple.
    h2pMacPro
  • Reply 12 of 33
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,764member
    MplsP said:
    lukei said:
    entropys said:
    I don’t understand why it didn’t have Face ID from the get go.
    An off white notch would look better in the menu bar.
    The components required for Face ID would make screen too thick
    Why do you say that? They fit inside an iphone and none of them should be any thicker than the camera.
    Historically the reason the MB cameras were crummier than iPhone cameras was because of the thin tapered MB lids; the iPhone was thicker. The new MBPs have a flat lid that looks thicker than the tapered lids, but I don't know how thick it is compared to an iPhone. Do we have that data? Maybe someone with a calipers can post a comparison.
    edited October 22 williamlondonMplsP
  • Reply 13 of 33
    XedXed Posts: 1,111member
    entropys said:
    I don’t understand why it didn’t have Face ID from the get go.
    An off white notch would look better in the menu bar.
    Biometrics get exponentially more difficult as you scale up the number of potential users. Verifying one user’s credentials on a phone is much easier than verifying countless user accounts on a Mac, especially when the familiar and child profiles are considered as we know those are potential security issues for Face ID.

    This isn’t to say it’s impossible and this tells me that Face ID for Macs are coming down the pipeline, but it still needs more work to make it strong enough and/or fast enough.

    There could also be an issue with shrinking the components since the lid of the Mac notebook is thinner than an iPhone or iPad.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 33
    We know the pattern now. The Mx chip comes out first. It has a new architecture and is aimed at the low end/low power models while the Mx higher performance variants (Pro/Max/?) come out the following year. The M1 was put in the Mac mini, MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and the iMac 24". The M1 Pro/Max went into the MacBook Pros the following year.
    Here is my prediction based purely on extrapolation: In 2022 we can expect to see the M2 in the Mac mini, MacBook Air and iPad Pro. The consumer iMacs will get the M1 Pro/Max possibly in the first half of the year (consumer iMacs traditionally have had laptop components). The M2 Pro/Max/? will appear in the iMac Pro and Mac Pro which will complete the transition to Apple Silicon will be released in late 2022 or some time in 2023. From then on we should expect tick/tock releases of new Apple Silicon on a bi-annual refresh of each while the A series iPhone/iPad chips which will remain on an annual refresh.
    h2pdtb200
  • Reply 15 of 33
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,948member
    entropys said:

    An off white notch would look better in the menu bar.
    Not if you're a dark mode aficionado, like me.

    The notch isn't a big deal to me, but in essence it is a bit of a smoke & mirrors play against the thinner bezel design of the display. If you are offended by the notch you can avoid it by not using the horizontal space occupied by the notch, which means you essentially have a wider bezel at the top. So Apple didn't really reduce the bezels all the way around the display because they added back a little chunk-o-bezel with the notch. It's a compromise solution that is better than good enough for what I expect is the vast majority of buyers. Having a little extra screen real estate on the bottom, both sides, and most of the top while fitting the display in a comfortably sized chassis may not be perfection, but it is still a big win in my book.

    I too wished they had put Face ID in the notch.
    edited October 22 williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 33
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,660member
    MplsP said:
    saarek said:
    I wish they did a 16” MacBook Air.
    Yes! I’d be willing to bet there is a large cadre of people who want a larger screen but don’t need the performance of the new MBP (which is a beast, quite frankly.) If Apple put an M1 (or M2) option in a MBA with MagSafe, HDMI and a single TB4 port with a 16” screen I bet they would fly off the shelves.

    If I could have gotten 32GB of RAM in the M1 MacBook Air I'd still have it.
    Not that I'm complaining about my impending 16" MacBook Pro.  Maxed it out at 64GB of RAM and went up to 2TB of disk.  The more I got to thinking about it in the last few weeks, the more I realized this one machine could replace all my other ones - including my desktop windows gaming machine.  Now that's value and convenience.  

    I'll miss the size/weight of the MBA, but the larger screen and performance are excellent trade offs.  I'm sure I'll get used to the 16".  My 2005 MBP was bigger and almost as heavy and i used it for years before getting the 2015 MBA I'm typing on now. 
    williamlondonh2p
  • Reply 17 of 33
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,823member
    So the next gen MBA will have a next gen CPU?  I'm waiting for Captain Obvious to chime in.
    charlesnmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 33
    sflocal said:
    So the next gen MBA will have a next gen CPU?  I'm waiting for Captain Obvious to chime in.
    I predict that in three years the macBooks will probably have an M3 chip - does that make me a reliable leaker or just Captain Bleeding-Obvious?
    mikeybabes
  • Reply 19 of 33
    I never liked the taper of the MBA (or any of the MBA look-alikes). The original MBA with the thin edge all round looked better IMO, but I guess it was a little too thin to get decent performance out of it. The thin edge or tapered sides also seem to be a waste of space--once a maximum thickness is established, then why not carry that to the edges? It's also possible to get the same volume in a slightly thinner package overall, as the "Jon Prosser/Renders by Ian" MBA 2022 concepts show. Basically a flatter 13" MBP (the colors are cool, but not my style)...

    If a thin package like the Prosser renders is how the next MBA turns out, it doesn't seem like there would be any further need for the M1 13" MBP. I'm not so sure Apple really needs to call it an "Air" anymore either. Maybe just MacBook would do. Although "Air" does imply a little bit of luxury within the iPad line: iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad, so there is precedent there. Oh well, what do I know?
  • Reply 20 of 33
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,124member
    I never liked the taper of the MBA (or any of the MBA look-alikes). The original MBA with the thin edge all round looked better IMO
    Huh?  MBA has always had a taper.  The original was also wedge shaped.
    thtimergingenious
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