MacBook Air 2022: from specs to design, here’s what we know

Apple gave its top-end MacBook Pro a welcome overhaul in 2021, turning out its most powerful laptops yet. In theory, it should be the turn of the lighter, more economical MacBook Air to get an update this year.

Obviously, rumours are already rife, and we’ve heard plenty about what might be in store for the MacBook Pro’s little sibling, which, although it’s one of our favourite laptops, still feels like it’s well due a design update by now. The most notable rumours concern some enhanced screen tech and a fund range of colours following the lead of iMac.

As for the internals, if the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips make their way from the MacBook Pro to the Air, that could really rekindle our love for the laptop. Below, we’ll round up the most notable rumours that have emerged so far, but if you can’t stand the wait, make sure you see our guide to the best Apple deals for top prices on the current Apple range.

MacBook Air 2022: Design

MacBook Air colours concept

A fan-made render of the upcoming MacBook Air 2022 (Image credit: Parker Ortolani)

One of the biggest MacBook Air rumours involves its design, and particularly colours. Lots of them. There are rumours that the MacBook Air will follow the lead of the 2021 iMac, introducing a much wider colour range. That’s led to plenty of handsome fan renders imagining some delectable pastel hues, which would certainly inject some fun back into Apple’s laptop range.

Elsewhere, we’ve heard that the MacBook Air’s famous tapered design could be on the way out, with a more uniform straight, flat-edged design taking over. And yep, rumour has it the notch is coming too – because, as Apple insists, it’s a really, very, extremely “smart” design touch. (Okay, then.)

That said, rumour also has it that there won’t be a notch – instead, the MacBook Air might have wider bezels than the Pro. This would of course mean a slightly smaller screen, so the lack of a notch could come at a cost.

Whatever happens, it sounds like we’re in for some big changes. In a recent newsletter, seasoned Apple leaker Mark Gurman claimed that Apple is planning “the biggest MacBook Air revamp in the product’s history, adding the M2 chip and a new design”. Indeed, it sounds like 2022 is going to be a very busy year for Apple

MacBook Air render

Leakers are divided over whether the next MacBook Air will feature a notch (Image credit: Jon Prosser)

That flat design could make the 2022 MacBook Air the thinnest MacBook ever. For creatives, this could be a game-changer – the MacBook Air’s best quality is its portability, but it can’t quite compare in that regard to the likes of the iPad. An Air that lives up to its name once again can only be good news for digital artists on the go. 

But what about that name? In perhaps the most surprising rumour to date, it’s been claimed that Apple is actually planning to drop the ‘Air’ moniker, reverting to the simple ‘MacBook’ name last used by the company’s ill-fated 12-inch laptop. That would make some sense, bringing the MacBook naming convention in line with products like the iPhone, where we have a Pro and a mini but no Air, and it would avoid the name clashing with the unrelated AirPods range of headphones.

MacBook Air

A fan-made render of the upcoming MacBook Air 2022 (Image credit: Devam Jangra)

MacBook Air 2022: Tech specs

MacBook Air green concept

A fan-made render of the upcoming MacBook Air 2022 (Image credit: Parker Ortolani)

Elsewhere, we’ve heard that the MacBook Air could feature game-changing display tech. Apple leakers have suggested the Air will have a Mini LED display, a technology that Apple already introduced in this year’s iPad Pro 12.9, offering super high brightness and contrast.

And then there’s ports. Apple users rejoiced when the company, tail between its legs, reintroduced MagSafe, HDMI and more to the MacBook Pro this month. And if rumours are to be believed, they’re coming back to the Air too. It could finally be time to say goodbye to Apple’s self-imposed dongle dystopia.

MacBook Air

A fan-made render of the upcoming MacBook Air 2022 (Image credit: Jon Prosser)

As for specs themselves, there’s little in the way of rumours about the internals of the MacBook Air. But we think it’s a safe bet to assume the M1X chip, introduced with the new MacBook Pro, will be making its way to the Air. That said, recent rumours have also suggested a new M2 chip could debut in the next MacBook Air, along with a new 14-inch MacBook Pro. But the M2 is said to be less powerful than the M1 Pro (yep, we’re confused too).

Time will tell what Apple has in store in 2022, and we’ll keep this page updated with every rumour and leak that comes along. If you want the best iPhone experience available now, check out today’s best MacBook deals below.

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