New MacBook Air (2018): Release date, specs, latest news and rumours
It might not have arrived at WWDC 2018, but the rumours about an updated MacBook Air for 2018 are still refusing to go away. Read on for everything that we expect to see from the new device including the 2018 MacBook Air’s release date, specs, and price.
The MacBook Air is in a strange place in 2018. Originally billed as the thinnest MacBook ever, the notebook’s unique selling point has since been matched by the standard MacBook (12-inch), leading to a bit of an identity crisis for the budget model in Apple’s lineup.
The MacBook Air hasn’t been refreshed since March 2015, so a new model is long overdue. We’ve scoured the web to bring you all of the latest rumours about what to expect from the new models. Shall we begin?
Related: New MacBook Pro (2018)
MacBook Air 2018: New MacBook Air release date
The most likely announcement date for a new MacBook Air is at Apple’s anticipated September iPhone launch event. Although this tends to be focussed around the new phone hardware each year, Apple also tends to announce other hardware at the event, and a MacBook announcement wouldn’t be out of the question.
This hunch has been backed up by recent regulatory documents that have emerged for a number of laptops running MacOS 10.13. Since 10.14 ‘Mojave’ is expected to launch at the end of September, this hints we might see the new hardware before then.
Initially we suspected that it might make an appearance at either the education-focussed Apple event or WWDC 2018, but a new 9.7-inch iPad was the only new piece of Apple hardware that showed up between the two. The new Air’s no-show could be an indication that an education-friendly price tag isn’t on the cards for the new model.
Related: How to live stream WWDC 2018
MacBook Air 2018: New MacBook Air price
The most intriguing thing about the new MacBook Air might end up being its price. With the MacBook now more or less as thin, the lineup needs a new unique selling point, and price might just be it.
According to noted industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new MacBook Air is expected to be cheaper than the current cheapest model despite packing a range of updated specs.
For reference, the cheapest MacBook Air currently available is £949.
We’re not expecting the new Air to be affordable exactly, but we could still go for a modest price reduction.
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MacBook Air 2018: New MacBook Air specs and features
The most interesting thing we’ve heard so far about the new MacBook Air is that it might come packing a Retina display, a first for the lineup.
Although the current 13-inch Air’s resolution is 1,440 x 900, a retina display could mean a resolution as high as 2,560 x 1,600 for a notebook of the same size — a sizeable increase.
Outside of a resolution increase we’re also expecting a modest specs bump over the current MacBook Air. The current lineup is equipped with 5th generation Intel processors (codenamed ‘Broadwell’), but Intel has since reached an 8th generation of processors (‘Coffee Lake’), which we’d expect the new MacBook Air to include.
In terms of form-factor, a new keyboard might be in the works if a recently discovered patent is anything to go by. Apparently the new keyboard will be resistant to both spills and crumbs, which should substantially prolong the length of your device if it ends up being included in the new model.
MacBook Air 2018 Preview: What we’d like to see from the new MacBook Air
Elsewhere, we’d expect the new MacBook Air to catch up with the functionality of the rest of the MacBook lineup, including Force Touch (included in the MacBook Pro from 2015 and new MacBooks), and USB-C connectivity.
We’d prefer the MacBook to include this port alongside other more traditional ports unlike the new MacBook, but when the Air lineup is all about simplicity, we wouldn’t put it past Apple to slim the notebook down to the bare essentials.
However, considering the budget nature of the new notebook, we wouldn’t expect it to include the Touch Bar of the more premium MacBook.
One area it would be interesting to see the new MacBook Air explore is biometric entry. Touch ID, Apple’s fingerprint scanning technology, has been standard on all their phones for years and it seems strange that it hasn’t made its way to their laptops yet.
Alternatively, the Face ID technology of the iPhone X could also be an excellent way for users to easily unlock a MacBook Air before using it.
Related: iPhone SE 2 (2018)
What would you like to see with the new MacBook Air? Let us know @TrustedReviews