Apple’s event on September 12 revolved around two devices — the Apple Watch and the iPhone. Noticeably absent during the event were references to Apple’s iPad Pro tablets, as well as any mention of its MacBook laptops. Considering Apple’s history, however, it would not be very surprising to see the company hold another high-profile event before 2018 is over.
With this in mind, the company needs a device that can headline the event. Just like the Apple Watch Series 4 and the iPhone XR, Apple’s upcoming event needs a device that is more than just an iterative upgrade. It needs a device that would appeal to a wider consumer base. That being said, speculations are currently high that Apple might very well roll out a new MacBook Air this year, and it would be the perfect headliner for another big unveiling event.
The MacBook Air is Apple’s oldest laptop in its offerings. Debuted by Steve Jobs in 2008, the MacBook Air held the title for the world’s thinnest mainstream laptop for the longest time before competition caught up. The MacBook Air was only given a design refresh once, and the debut of the laptop’s final (and current) iteration was one of the late Steve Jobs’ final keynote addresses.
Since then, the MacBook Air has been Apple’s most affordable entry-level laptop, and it has only aged over the years. Now, the device’s non-HD display and relatively thick frame look very outdated compared to its siblings in the MacBook lineup, such as the 12-inch MacBook, which is far sleeker and equipped with a Retina Display. This year, however, could prove to be the MacBook Air’s second coming, with Apple finally giving the device a much-needed refresh.
Forbes notes that reports and projections about the laptop suggest that it would likely be fitted (finally) with a Retina Display, as well as thinner bezels that are more in line with the design of the tech giant’s other laptops. Reports also indicate that the upcoming MacBook Air upgrade would likely feature the same price as the outgoing model, allowing the laptop to keep its “entry-level” moniker.
One of the most notable aspects of the rumored MacBook Air refresh is its processor, which is speculated to be either an Intel Kaby Lake or a Whiskey Lake chip. As noted by Tom’s Hardware, Intel’s Whiskey Lake chips consume low power but are packed to the brim with processing capabilities. That being said, the rest of Apple’s current MacBook lineup today utilize Intel’s Kaby Lake and older, 7th-generation chips. Thus, there is also a good chance that the updated Air might be fitted with a 7th-gen chip, while the rest of the more expensive MacBook lineup gets a spec bump with newer processors.
Overall, the MacBook Air, if it does get a decent set of upgrades, could prove to be Apple’s most resilient laptop for years to come.