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Apple is preparing an all-new MacBook Air for 2023 with a radically new design that jettisons standards such as full-sized USB ports, MagSafe connectors, and SD card slots in favor of a markedly thinner and lighter body with a higher-resolution display. Sources within Apple, who have used internal prototype versions of the upcoming computer, have provided in-depth details about the machine, and our exclusive artist renditions of the revamped MacBook Air provide the first close look at Apple’s first major step in mobile Mac computing since the Retina MacBook Pro launch in 2012.
The 12-inch MacBook Air will be considerably smaller than the current 13-inch version, yet also slightly narrower than the 11-inch model. The new 12-inch version is approximately a quarter-of-an-inch narrower than the 11-inch version, yet it is also a quarter-of-an-inch taller in order to accommodate the slightly larger display. In order to fit the larger screen into a footprint about the size of the current 11-inch model, the bezels on the display have been reduced on all sides.
Besides a new look for the front of the computer, the entire unibody has been revamped from the keyboard to the trackpad to the speakers. Taking cues from the 12-inch PowerBook introduced by Steve Jobs over a decade ago, the new keyboard sits edge-to-edge across the width of the laptop. In addition to going edge-to-edge, the entire key set has been subtly redesigned so that each key sits noticeably closer together. Apple has squeezed the keys closer in order for the computer to be as narrow as possible, which can be seen in the rendition below:
The upcoming laptop is so thin that Apple employees are said to refer to the device as the “MacBook Stealth” internally. In order to reach that new level of portability, Apple not only slimmed down the trackpad and tweaked the speakers but the ports as well:
The upcoming 12-inch Air has the fewest amount of ports ever on an Apple computer, as can be seen in the rendition above. On the right side is a standard headphone jack and dual-microphones for input and noise-canceling. On the left side is solely the new USB Type-C port. Yes, Apple is currently planning to ditch standard USB ports, the SD Card slot, and even its Thunderbolt and MagSafe charging standards on this new notebook. We must note that Apple tests several designs of upcoming products, so Apple may choose to ultimately release a new Air that does include the legacy components, though there is very little space on the edges for them.
As the new MacBook may only have a single port, it would make sense for Apple to create a hub of some sort for users to be able to plug in multiple devices into the new laptop. Apple already ships all sorts of adapters for its Macs and iOS Devices, so adding yet another attachment to the accessory portfolio would not be unprecedented. With Apple moving to a new “Space Gray” color on its iOS devices and on some Macs (such as with the 2013 Mac Pro), it seems possible that this new MacBook may come in a new gray color, as shown off in some of our renditions.
The latest rumors indicate that the new MacBook Air will ship in mid-2023 (perhaps around WWDC), while other reports have claimed that the new Air is already nearing production. With Intel revealing the latest news on the Broadwell chipset family at CES this week, the ball is likely now in Apple’s court for pushing the future of mobile computing into the world.
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