Everything we know about the redesigned MacBook Air with M2 processor

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 31
Apple is expected to announce a new MacBook Air with the M2 processor and a colorful redesign during WWDC or in the second half of 2022. Here's everything we know about it so far.

The new MacBook Air could be announced at WWDC
The new MacBook Air could be announced at WWDC


When the M1 processor launched in late 2020 in three of Apple's popular computers, no design alterations were made to any of them. The MacBook Air has retained the same overall aesthetic since it was pulled out of an envelope in 2008, but that could change with the M2 model.

Like the 24-inch iMac redesign, the new MacBook Air is expected to take on a thinner, lighter chassis with a bright color scheme. The renders produced by AppleInsider showcase off-white bezels, a notched display, and a white keyboard.

The tapered case design has always been an iconic part of the MacBook Air, but its thinness was an illusion due to a convex slope that houses its internal components. Now, Apple may be able to fit everything into a case just wide enough to hold the Thunderbolt 4 ports.

The aluminum chassis might take on the more rounded shape of the 14-inch MacBook Pro design, but with color options. Apple is likely to mimic the 24-inch iMac colors with blue, green, pink, silver, yellow, orange, and purple hues.

The new MacBook Air may have two-tone color schemes
The new MacBook Air may have two-tone color schemes


The interior color would be slightly muted with white keys set in a color-matched aluminum basin. The bezel around the display is expected to be off-white and feature a notch for the camera housing.

Active leaker Jon Prosser has shared renders previously based on disassembled part images given to him. These renders show a chassis without a tapered case, which may be to ensure there's space for internal components in the thinner design.

The 13.3-inch Retina Display may gain mini-LED backlighting
The 13.3-inch Retina Display may gain mini-LED backlighting


Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believed Apple could add a mini-LED backlit display to the new MacBook Air, but later said this feature wasn't coming to the redesigned notebook. The 13.3-inch display would be the smallest MacBook with the technology, but Apple seems to treat mini LED as a pro feature for now.

Thanks to improved I/O, the M2 is said to allow the MacBook Air to have two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a MagSafe connector for charging. While it hasn't been confirmed, we expect the laptop will be able to drive multiple external displays, unlike the 2020 model.

The new MacBook Air may have MagSafe and Thunderbolt 4
The new MacBook Air may have MagSafe and Thunderbolt 4


The M2 is rumored to have better performance than the M1, but not the M1 Pro or M1 Max. It would likely have more technologies packed in, like the Media Engine and a faster Neural Engine.

The webcam may be 1080p and have an ultra-wide lens for Center Stage. This capability debuted in the iPad Pro and has yet to make it to any Mac models, but is available in the Studio Display.

The new MacBook Air may come in a variety of colors
The new MacBook Air may come in a variety of colors


After April's Apple Event, rumors began shifting to a later release window for the new MacBook Air. Mark Gurman says the release has slipped into the third or fourth quarter of 2022 with a possible announcement taking place at WWDC in June.

More evidence of a WWDC announcement has shown up as we get closer to the event. Developers have seen signs of a "next generation MacBook Air" running their apps. Gurman says this suggests a launch of the product is imminent, so it is possible the M2 and the new MacBook Air will be revealed at WWDC.

Read on AppleInsider
patchythepirateGeli
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,010member
    Is that two TB ports sharing the same limited power so you can’t run two unpowered external TB drives or will they fix this? Any work on fixing the limited write speeds of TB drives?

    Haven’t seen any testing on M1Pro/Max showing faster external write speeds. Please, someone tell me this has been fixed. 
    lkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 45
    ajmasajmas Posts: 585member
    Would be interested in colour choices, though for the M2 each individual core needs to be more capable. Adding more cores is not going to make much of a difference for applications that are inherently single threaded. The other thing is that if they release the MacBook Air before the new MacBook Pros, they risk hurting MBP sales.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 45
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,010member
    ajmas said:
    Would be interested in colour choices, though for the M2 each individual core needs to be more capable. Adding more cores is not going to make much of a difference for applications that are inherently single threaded. The other thing is that if they release the MacBook Air before the new MacBook Pros, they risk hurting MBP sales.
    From what I’ve read the M2 is not going to be as powerful as the M1 Pro/Max, which are totally redesigned versions of the original M1. The M2 uses newer cores and might be a simplified version of the M1-P/M which will still be faster the the 2020 Macs. I don’t believe M2 MBAs will compete with the more powerful 2021 MBPs. I could be wrong but don’t think so. 
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 4 of 45
    I would be interested in what Apple feels is the current and future audience for the MBAirs.  Is it evolving?  There has been the faction of executive travelers who need light, relatively simple machines to carry around and do most work in the cloud.  They don't need to edit 8k video, use PS, or have the need for lots of ports.  They can afford to pay for the best, minimalistic tech and materials, but probably won't want a bright red laptop.  Then there are the somewhat wealthier students or other consumers who also don't need much, but who might fit the old iBook type with colors and "just let me get online, do email and IG stuff."

    I just bring this up because as the MBPro's get back to real pro features and multiple ports, and perhaps the MacBooks remain the somewhat clunkier, but reasonably priced mac laptop for most consumers - I really hope Apple can again differentiate their customers in a way that gives everyone options and continues to grow the ecosystem.

    Of course, it might be that the MBAirs are just the laptop for those who really want an iPadPro, but can't give up on MacOS.
    williamlondonroundaboutnowd_2docno42
  • Reply 5 of 45
    XedXed Posts: 1,476member
    rob53 said:
    ajmas said:
    Would be interested in colour choices, though for the M2 each individual core needs to be more capable. Adding more cores is not going to make much of a difference for applications that are inherently single threaded. The other thing is that if they release the MacBook Air before the new MacBook Pros, they risk hurting MBP sales.
    From what I’ve read the M2 is not going to be as powerful as the M1 Pro/Max, which are totally redesigned versions of the original M1. The M2 uses newer cores and might be a simplified version of the M1-P/M which will still be faster the the 2020 Macs. I don’t believe M2 MBAs will compete with the more powerful 2021 MBPs. I could be wrong but don’t think so. 
    I imagine that the M2 will use less power for a given performance level that they both the M2 and M1 Pro/Max can achieve, but the M2 won't even come close to what the M1 Pro/Max are capable. They won't have the cores or the clock rate, but they won't need it.

    I love my M1 Max MBP and also just sold my Intel MBP so I can buy an M2 MBA for the SO and for travel. I hope those come out sooner rather than later in the year.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 6 of 45
    thttht Posts: 4,498member
    The long feet are curious. Why? Is it to make it less likely to slide off laps and couches?

    If the display is miniLED with a notch, the display size will increase from 13.3 to 13.5". 13.5 is tricky number and Apple could round up and called it a MBA14. ;) Probably not. Anyways, if the display is a miniLED like the iPP12.9, I think that means the base SKU will start at $1300, and Apple will keep the M1 MBA around for the $1000 price point. It will probably be the 8 g-core model though. I'd like them to drive an M1 MBA to $900. With some discounts, you could get an M1 MBA for $800.

    Same for the Mac mini. Offer an M1 Mac mini at $600 once the M2 and hopefully M1 Pro/Max models come out.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    I used to have a MacBook Air for travel and lighter work and then my 15" MBPr for when I need to actually do editing and work. Nowadays I do most of my light work on an M1 iPad Pro 12.9 and then my heavy work on a 16" M1MAX. Nice new colors is not going to sway me back into purchasing another MacBook Air.  My iPad Pro 12.9 already has an M1 processor and the screen is so much nicer to work on. If I need ports - I have one dongle that I can plug I and it will give me all the ports I need. 
  • Reply 8 of 45
    XedXed Posts: 1,476member
    TPCK012 said:
    I used to have a MacBook Air for travel and lighter work and then my 15" MBPr for when I need to actually do editing and work. Nowadays I do most of my light work on an M1 iPad Pro 12.9 and then my heavy work on a 16" M1MAX. Nice new colors is not going to sway me back into purchasing another MacBook Air.  My iPad Pro 12.9 already has an M1 processor and the screen is so much nicer to work on. If I need ports - I have one dongle that I can plug I and it will give me all the ports I need. 
    I understand the desire for many to have an iPad over a notebook, but I look at the 12.9" iPad Pro with a keyboard case is more pricey than a MBA without the utility of a notebook that I want and need. I'm holding for the M2 MBA—hopefully that happens in the next couple months.

    PS: Why do Macs get rounded to the whole number while iPads are to 1/10th of an inch?
    docno42
  • Reply 9 of 45
    I’ve always liked the MBA because it satisfies my work requirement, which is to have one device that does everything I need, in as light a weight as possible. 
    If I could put a SIM card in it, even better. 
    I’d reserve silver for the MBPros.

  • Reply 10 of 45
    Love those renders!
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 11 of 45
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 921member
    I made the mistake of buying a MacBook Air M1 with only 8 GBs of memory. I do have the MacBook Pro Max with 64 GBs of memory but still, use the Air for my day-to-day whereas the Pro Max will be used for my video production. I plan on getting the new Air once they drop, but absolutely with max memory, it will be interesting to compare the two side by side.
    docno42
  • Reply 12 of 45
    xbitxbit Posts: 361member
    I realise that it’s never going to happen but I’d love to see a 15/16” MBA. Most people don’t need the power of a MBP but would love the bigger screen.
    retrogusto
  • Reply 13 of 45
    I'm really looking forward to this revision. The thing that I most hope, and that isn't always mentioned as a definite for this release, is a focus on weight. I still have my 12" Macbook, which is my favourite form factor Mac laptop I've ever had. I find the m3 limiting on occasions but have held off repeatedly buying an Air because even the small weight increase is noticeable if you're lugging it around everywhere - about an additional 25%. If they could keep it at 1kg or below but with all the rest I will be buying. Also, I'd never been much troubled by the butterfly keyboard issues in my first 12" Macbook but my current machine has just comeback from having its 3rd keyboard replacement. I will look forward to seeing the back of that.
    williamlondonTRAG
  • Reply 14 of 45
    While these improvements are nice, I can't understand a WHITE notch on the screen. Heck, I was neutral on a black notch on the MacBook Pros because it was black and it could disappear when in full screen. However, with a white notch, it looks like an eyesore no matter what you do with it. Sorry, but a white notch looks like crap...
    williamlondondocno42urahara
  • Reply 15 of 45
    I'm really looking forward to this revision. The thing that I most hope, and that isn't always mentioned as a definite for this release, is a focus on weight. I still have my 12" Macbook, which is my favourite form factor Mac laptop I've ever had. I find the m3 limiting on occasions but have held off repeatedly buying an Air because even the small weight increase is noticeable if you're lugging it around everywhere - about an additional 25%. If they could keep it at 1kg or below but with all the rest I will be buying. Also, I'd never been much troubled by the butterfly keyboard issues in my first 12" Macbook but my current machine has just comeback from having its 3rd keyboard replacement. I will look forward to seeing the back of that.
    Agreed, love, love, love the original MacBook form factor, hoping to see a bit of a resurrection with the next Air, taking elements from that design. They definitely could, given the first MBA with ASi didn't change the form factor (meaning they put it in a chassis that previously held a fan), an update could make it more diminutive like the original MacBook?
  • Reply 16 of 45
    thttht Posts: 4,498member
    If they can get the weight to 2 lbs with a 13" display, it would be great. Basically an iPP12.9 with a keyboard and hinge accounting for another 0.5 lbs. But if it uses a 12" display like the MB12, I think it fails. 12" is too small for modern web browsing and office automation work. The display size is the biggest thing I'm worried about.
    williamlondond_2
  • Reply 17 of 45
    TRAGTRAG Posts: 42member
    tht said:
    The long feet are curious. Why? Is it to make it less likely to slide off laps and couches?

    If the display is miniLED with a notch, the display size will increase from 13.3 to 13.5". 13.5 is tricky number and Apple could round up and called it a MBA14. ;) Probably not. Anyways, if the display is a miniLED like the iPP12.9, I think that means the base SKU will start at $1300, and Apple will keep the M1 MBA around for the $1000 price point. It will probably be the 8 g-core model though. I'd like them to drive an M1 MBA to $900. With some discounts, you could get an M1 MBA for $800.

    Same for the Mac mini. Offer an M1 Mac mini at $600 once the M2 and hopefully M1 Pro/Max models come out.
    Yeah, I thought the same. I think they are mimicking the 24" iMac design language when, unless there are rumours about the feet, they would be better off mimicking the new MBP's feet. That is the new Mac laptop design language I would have thought.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,258member
    Ports look odd, there's no gap between the Magsafe and the Type-C. Did they render correctly?
  • Reply 19 of 45
    jidojido Posts: 119member
    I'm really looking forward to this revision. The thing that I most hope, and that isn't always mentioned as a definite for this release, is a focus on weight. I still have my 12" Macbook, which is my favourite form factor Mac laptop I've ever had. I find the m3 limiting on occasions but have held off repeatedly buying an Air because even the small weight increase is noticeable if you're lugging it around everywhere - about an additional 25%. If they could keep it at 1kg or below but with all the rest I will be buying. Also, I'd never been much troubled by the butterfly keyboard issues in my first 12" Macbook but my current machine has just comeback from having its 3rd keyboard replacement. I will look forward to seeing the back of that.
    Agreed, love, love, love the original MacBook form factor, hoping to see a bit of a resurrection with the next Air, taking elements from that design. They definitely could, given the first MBA with ASi didn't change the form factor (meaning they put it in a chassis that previously held a fan), an update could make it more diminutive like the original MacBook?
    The display of the 12” is between 13” and 13 1/2” without the borders (I measured). A M2 MacBook with a 13.3” screen would be larger than that, but hopefully not by much. The weight should be higher too. 

    I certainly wish it’ll be closer to the 12” MacBook than the current M1 13” MacBook Air. 
    TRAG
  • Reply 20 of 45
    "Everything we know"

    You KNOW nothing.

    eriamjhlkruppmattinozCesar Battistini Mazieroirnchrizanonconformist
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