MacBook Air 2018: Retina display and mini bezels tipped for new model

Rumours are hotting up that Apple will reveal the new MacBook Air 2018 this October.

Since the Air range hasn’t had a refresh since March 2015, an update is long overdue. It’s thought that MacBook Air 2018 will feature a Retina display, slimmer bezels, a faster processor and Touch ID, so the range can once again compete with modern laptops.

But there’s a chance the new Apple laptop won’t actually be a new addition to the Air family, but the first of a whole new range. Since the Air was originally billed as the thinnest MacBook ever, the notebook’s unique selling point has since been matched by the standard MacBook 12-inch 2016 model, leaving it somewhat redundant.

That means Apple’s new laptop could be a successor to both the MacBook Air and vanilla MacBook, with a more affordable price than what Apple currently has on offer.

We’ve scoured the web to bring you all of the latest rumours for the potential MacBook Air.

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MacBook Air 2018: New MacBook Air release date

Since the MacBook Air didn’t show up during Apple’s ‘Gather Round’ launch event, Bloomberg now suggests the new Air will be unveiled at a later point in the year.

It’s likely we’ll see a separate Mac-focused event in October for the launch of both the new Air laptop and Mac mini. The release date could potentially be set in the same month, but there’s no concrete information on that just yet.

Whatever happens, we’ll be sure to update this article as soon as Apple finally announces new Air.

Related: Mac mini 2018

The MacBook Air 2018 is reportedly going to have thinner bezels

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 ultra-portable computer is expected to be cheaper than the current cheapest model despite packing a range of updated specs. For reference, the cheapest Air currently available is £949.

We’re not expecting the new Air to be cheap exactly, but hopefully it’ll offer a little respite compared to the £1249 starting price of the recently announced MacBook Pro 13-inch.

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MacBook Air 2018 rumours: New Retina display and skinny bezels

The most interesting thing we’ve heard so far about the new MacBook Air is that it might come packing a 13-inch Retina display (as reported in Bloomberg), a first for the lineup.

Although the current 13-inch Air’s resolution is 1440×900, a Retina display could mean a resolution as high as 2560×1600 for a notebook of the same size — a pretty big increase.

The bezels of the new Air should also be significantly slimmer than past models too, which should help Apple’s new laptop look fit in with the rest of the 2018 crowd.

MacBook Air 2018 rumours: Faster processor

Outside of these changes to the screen we’re also expecting an internal specs bump over the current Air. The current lineup is equipped with 5th generation Intel processors, but rumours suggest the new Air could adopt Intel’s recently announced U-series or Y-series 8th generation laptop processors.

Intel’s new U-series CPU, code-named Whiskey Lake, would be a significant step up from the current MacBook Air’s offering. As well as providing a much improved performance, the Whiskey Lake CPU would also enable support for gigabit Wi-Fi and integrated 4G SIM cards.

Alternatively, if Apple really wants to hammer down on the portability angle of the new MacBook Air, it could opt for the Y-series ‘Amber Lake’ processor instead. While not boasting the same power as Whiskey Lake, it still offers a decent performance for lightweight and ultra-thin laptops. That sure sounds like the MacBook Air, and since it’s rumoured to be available at a (reasonably) low price, then an Amber Lake CPU probably makes the most sense between the two .

Related: Intel Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake CPUs

MacBook Air 2018 rumours: Touch ID and new keyboard

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that the new MacBook Air will also be sporting Touch ID, so you can access an Air laptop quicker than ever before. Sadly, Kuo ruled out the possibility of a Touch Bar, which you can currently find on 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro. This isn’t really a surprise though, considering the new Air is touted as being the budget option in Apple’s laptop range.

Otherwise, the recently launched 2018 MacBook Pros should provide a good idea of what to expect from the new MacBook Air, including a keyboard that’s quieter and more resistant to dust, and better integration with the Siri voice assistant.

Related: MacBook Pro 13-inch review

Apple is rumoured to be announcing the MacBook Air 2018

MacBook Air 2018 Preview: What we’d like to see from the new MacBook Air

Elsewhere, we’d expect the new 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 Air 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.

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, although we don’t expect this to make its way to the MacBook anytime soon.

What would you like to see on the new MacBook Air? Let us know @TrustedReviews.

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