2022 MacBook Air Rumors: Non-Tapered Design With Notched Mini-LED Display, MagSafe, 'M2' Chip, and More

Following the highly accurate leaks about the new MacBook Pros that were first reported by MacRumors, we now have clearer details and more certain expectations about the next-generation MacBook Air that Apple is working on. Here's everything we've learned in the past few months.

notch macbook air rounded mock

Here Comes the Notch (Again)

The next-generation ‌MacBook Air‌ will feature a notch in the display housing. This is according to Ty98, the same leaker who was first to mention the notch on the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. This detail was mentioned in the same highly accurate forum post from August 19 discussing the new MacBook Pro models.

macbook pro 2021 notch feature
The likelihood is that, similar to the MacBook Pro, there will be no Face ID in the next ‌MacBook Air‌, as the notch will house only the camera and ambient light sensor plus an indicator light.

Goodbye Tapered Wedge Design

Ty98 also said that the next ‌MacBook Air‌ will "look much better" because Apple will eliminate the current wedge design that has been synonymous with the company's thinnest notebook since October 2010, when the tapered unibody chassis was introduced. The tapered design transitions from thicker at the back to thinner at the front, whereas the new, more uniform design will be not only "light" but "very round," according to the Chinese leaker.

macbook air m1

Wedged tapered design of current ‌MacBook Air‌

Other ‌‌MacBook Air‌‌ rumors have also suggested that Apple is designing a thinner and lighter version of the machine with thinner bezels than the current model. For example, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in January reported that Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the ‌MacBook Air‌, which is likely to achieve a smaller profile by shrinking the border around the 13-inch screen. On a related note, Apple considered building a larger version of the ‌MacBook Air‌ with a 15-inch screen, but Apple isn't moving forward with this for the next generation, according to Gurman.

Given that Apple has adopted a black well for the keyboard and full-size function keys on the new MacBook Pro models, as was predicted, it would seem logical for Apple to bring this look to the ‌MacBook Air‌ as well. Such a change would also necessitate a smaller trackpad.

Hello MagSafe (Also Again)

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to report that the MagSafe charging connector would return to Apple's MacBooks in future designs. That has already been realized in the just-announced MacBook Pro models, but Gurman has since claimed ‌MagSafe‌ is also coming to the MacBook Air.

macbook pro magsafe 3 charging
In Gurman's report, he clams that ‌MagSafe‌ will feature in the new 13-inch ‌‌MacBook Air‌‌ model in addition to a pair of Thunderbolt/USB4 ports for connecting external devices.

Enter Apple's 'M2' Chip

Apple this week unveiled the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which are specially designed for the new MacBook Pro machines. These chips share high-performance architectures aimed at sating the needs of resource-hungry creative professional workflows, therefore are unlikely to feature in Apple's entry-level MacBook offering.

m2 feature
Instead, Apple is expected to debut a high-end "direct successor" to the M1 processor found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and current ‌MacBook Air‌. The new chip, codenamed Staten, will include the same number of performance and efficiency cores as the ‌M1‌ but will run faster, according to Gurman. It will also see the number of graphics cores increase, from seven or eight, to nine or 10. In addition, Gurman says Apple plans an update to the low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro using the same chip.

The new chip in the next ‌MacBook Air‌ could take the moniker "M2." This revised nomenclature is based on rumors from leakers Jon Prosser and Dylandkt, both of whom have accurately predicted some of Apple's plans in the past.

Another Mini-LED Notebook

According to Kuo, the ‌‌MacBook Air‌‌ will feature a mini-LED display, a prediction also echoed by DigiTimes. Both the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro feature mini-LED-based Liquid Retina XDR displays, and there is good reason to expect if not an identical specification display, then a mini-LED variation in the ‌MacBook Air‌.

Mini LED MacBook Pro Feature
Mini-LED display technology brings a significant improvement in MacBook display quality, allowing for thinner, lighter designs while offering benefits like improved wide color gamut, high contrast and dynamic range, and truer blacks. Several reports have suggested that MacBooks will be the main driver of mini-LED panel shipments going forward as Apple transitions to the technology across all of its display-based products.

Multiple Colors Could Be Coming

According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the ‌MacBook Air‌ will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the current 24-inch iMac. Prosser has shared concept renders of MacBook Airs in several colors, and his source has told him he has personally seen a prototype of a blue MacBook. Kuo has also intimated that the next ‌MacBook Air‌ will be offered in multiple colors.

Notably, a Reddit poster that recently collated the accurate MacBook Pro leaks also claimed that the rumor about a ‌MacBook Air‌ launching in additional colors is "true."

macbook colors 3d black bezels

MacRumors concept render

If the information is accurate, the new colorful lineup of MacBooks would be a throwback to the older iBook G3. Apple first started to offer vibrant color options for its iPad with the iPad Air, released in October 2020, and the ‌‌iMac‌‌ followed suit. Just this week we saw new color variants of the HomePod mini introduced, suggesting this could be a trend as Apple hones its ability to mass produce products in multiple colors at scale.

That said, the introduction of colored chassis could pose problems for a notch. If the ‌MacBook Air‌ goes the way of the colored ‌iMac‌, that would likely entail white display bezels – and presumably a white notch, which couldn't so easily be hidden, at least by using dark mode. In which case, Apple would have to settle on a multiple-color design that remains notch-friendly by incorporating black bezels around the screen.

When Will It Be Released?

The current ‌MacBook Air‌ was announced in November 2020, and 334 days have passed since its release as of writing. The average time between ‌MacBook Air‌ updates in the last few years is 398 days, which suggests an update could be coming soon.

Bloomberg originally reported that the new ‌MacBook Air‌ could come as soon as late 2021, but given that Apple's last event of the year has likely come and gone, a launch next year is much more probable.

Kuo also initially reported a 2021 launch, but subsequently revised his expectation and now believes Apple will release a new version of the ‌MacBook Air‌ around the middle of 2022, although it could always come sooner.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)
Related Forum: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

KarimLeVallois Avatar
12 months ago
I actually like the wedged design, much nicer on the wrists.
Score: 63 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mattopotamus Avatar
12 months ago
"The current ‌MacBook Air‌ was announced in November 2020, and 334 days have passed since its release as of writing. The average time between ‌MacBook Air‌ updates in the last few years is 398 days, which suggests an update is overdue."

Explain that overdue math to me?
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
themoose Avatar
12 months ago
Losing the wedge design, perhaps they will go back to the “MacBook” name and drop the “Air”
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacFather Avatar
12 months ago
15-inch option, please!
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
12 months ago
It’s a shame they did not release it now. I probably won’t be using half the power of the 14 inch Pro I have just ordered but I didn’t want to wait anymore to replace my MBP from 2012
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Awesome Avatar
12 months ago
I think it’s more likely that Apple will make the keyboard white instead of black, to match the design of the iMac.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

macbook air rounded mock green

Everything the New MacBook Pro Tells Us About the Next-Gen MacBook Air

Friday November 12, 2021 3:01 am PST by
With Apple's latest high-end MacBook Pro being such a radical departure from the previous model, some users are now looking to the next-generation MacBook Air and what similar changes could be brought over to the company's smallest and lightest laptop. Rumors already abound about the next-generation MacBook Air, providing a number of insights into Apple's plans for the new ultra-portable...
Flat MacBook Air 15 Feature

Larger 15-Inch MacBook Air Expected in 2023

Wednesday March 23, 2022 11:43 am PDT by
Apple is developing a larger 15-inch MacBook Air that could come out in 2023, according to research shared today by Display Supply Chain Consultants in its quarterly report. The full report is limited to those in the display industry who subscribe, but display analyst Ross Young provided a bit of color on what can be expected. Apple is working on a MacBook Air that's somewhere around 15...
macbook air rounded mock orange

Kuo: 2022 MacBook Air to Feature M1 Chip, More Color Options and All-New Design

Tuesday March 8, 2022 4:47 pm PST by
Following today's event that saw the introduction of the Mac Studio, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has provided some detail on the MacBook Air, another Mac product that we're expecting to see refreshed later in the year. According to Kuo, the 2022 MacBook Air will have an all-new form factor design and more color options. Previous rumors have suggested the new MacBook Air will not...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
macbook air rounded mock purple

'MacBook Air' Name Could Be Scrapped Next Year

Monday November 22, 2021 2:29 am PST by
Apple could scrap the "MacBook Air" moniker for its lightweight, entry-level Mac laptop next year, a recent rumor has suggested. Apple is widely expected to be planning the launch of a new MacBook Air, featuring a slimmer, non-tapered design, the "M2" chip, a mini-LED display, a notch and white bezels, MagSafe charging, a 1080p webcam, and a range of color options, for release next year....
macbook air rounded mock purple

MacBook Air and 'MacBook' With M2 Chips Slated for Launch Later This Year

Thursday March 10, 2022 1:52 pm PST by
Apple is working on the successor to the M1 chip, expected to be called the M2, and multiple rumors have already suggested that these chips are going to be used in machines that include a refreshed MacBook Air and a new version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. A new report today from 9to5Mac once again reiterates these rumors, with the site claiming that Apple will introduce a MacBook Air and a...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Leaks Expose Redesigned MacBook Air With Even Thinner Design and Colors

Friday May 21, 2021 2:29 am PDT by
Apple is working on a radically redesigned version of the MacBook Air, featuring an even "thinner and lighter" design, multiple color options, and changes to almost all aspects of the machine, according to recent reports. Leaker Jon Prosser recently revealed renders purporting to accurately represent the next-generation MacBook Air. Prosser said that the design of the ‌MacBook Air‌...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky Removed From iOS App Store Ahead of Upcoming Shutdown

Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:27 pm PDT by
The Dark Sky weather app that's owned by Apple is no longer available for download in the U.S. App Store, suggesting that it has been removed ahead of schedule. Apple acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020 and has since incorporated elements of the app into the Weather app available on the iPhone (and soon, the iPad). Dark Sky remained available for purchase as a standalone weather app...
iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow

Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro Max Popularity Could Lead to More Differentiation Between iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has seen high demand for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could lead the company to further differentiate the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple could add exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in an effort to encourage more people to purchase the larger and more expensive device. Kuo last week said that Apple asked...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
iOS 16

Everything New in the Latest iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 Betas: Stage Manager Expansion, Wallpaper Tweaks and More

Tuesday September 27, 2022 11:36 am PDT by
Apple today released new betas of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 to developers, tweaking some of the functionality that's been introduced in prior betas and in the case of iPadOS 16.1, adding a major new feature to Stage Manager. We've rounded up everything new in both betas below. Wallpaper Updates Apple has updated the Wallpaper section of the Settings app to allow users to swap between...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...