Macbook Air to go on a diet in 2015.

One might think Apple’s MacbookAir is an incredibly thin machine, and indeed it is.  Well, 2015 is going to be the year Macbook Air  even sees further dramatic change.  The venerable MBA already thin and light will be slimming down further with radical new concepts on the horizon.

For starters, Apple will do away with the internal fan.  This will allow quiet operation just like a fanless iPad.   Apple plans to jettison most of the ports on the current Macbook Air .  The upcoming 12-inch Air will have the fewest ports ever on an Apple computer,  On the right side is a standard headphone jack and dual-microphones for input and noise-canceling. On the left side, will be a single, new USB (v3.1) Type-C port.

mba2015-usb31

That means Apple is planning to ditch the standard USB ports, the SD Card slot, and even the relatively new Thunderbolt port and MagSafe charging standards on this new notebook.  They all will be ‘Gone With The Wind’.  The new USB Type-C connector is smaller, faster, and more capable than the standard USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports on existing computers.  There will be a doubling of throughput (10Gbps) superceding existing USB 3 performance.  Insertion of the connector will be reversible much like the lightning connector is on the iPad,   It will also offer a “DisplayPort Alternate Mode”, enabling the new USB cables to “deliver full DisplayPort audio/video (A/V) performance, driving monitor resolutions of 4K and beyond,

usb_type_c_closeup

For those who might bemoan the disappearance of ports, one can still opt for the 13 inch Macbook Air, or, if one has the budget, it’s more powerful sibling, the Macbook Pro.  As in previous instances of new technology, I reckon Apple is taking a calculated risk here by deciding to introduce the USB 3.1 Type-C connector, as the emerging standard for USB going forward.  But in order to accommodate the Macbook Air’s new slender profile it will be necessary to shed these legacy USB ports and the SD memory card slot in order to trim down the profile.

The new 12-inch MacBook Air will be considerably smaller than the current 13-inch version, and also slightly narrower than the 11-inch model as well.   Also rumored to come with the radically redesigned Macbook Air will be a higher-resolution display.  The new trackpad will also ditch the mechanical button that has been in the multi-touch trackpads since they first debuted. Instead, the new Air will use only tap gestures for clicking

In summary, here is what we can expect to see come around Q2 / Q3 of 2015:

12-inch MacBook with new design + Retina Display:

  • Smaller MacBook with entirely new design
  • Launching in either Q2 or Q3 of 2015
  • 12-inch screen, but as portable as current 11-inch MacBook Air and productive as 13-inch MacBook Air
  • Higher-resolution display (Retina)
  • Non-click TrackPad
  • USB Type-C connector @ 10Gbps,  Reversible (similar to Lightning connector on i-Devices)
  • Will “redefine laptop computing” once again just like the current MacBook Air design
  • Thinner/lighter than MacBook Air, new clamshell structure
  • Will run on Intel chip, not Apple-based A8 processor
  • Potentially lower-cost than current Apple notebooks

This will be the first major step in mobile Mac computing since the release of the Retina Macbook Pro launch in 2012. This may be just the ticket to have the most slender, compact, lightweight full computing experience to date and to adopt the colors of the current iPhone 6/6+.  Keep in mind that all this is still vaporware until rumor becomes fact with Apple making their formal announcement.  Sources within Apple however, who have used internal prototype versions of the upcoming computer, have provided in-depth details about the machine.   And, there are sufficient clues in Apple’s  supply chain to deduce we are coming close to see such a Macbook Air come into existent soon.

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About the Author

Jerry

Born: Chicago, Illinois, USA; Military service: U.S. Army, Vietnam war veteran (1968-1969, peak of operations); Education: Triton College, River Grove, Illinois, A.S. Engineering; University of Hawaii, B.A. Jaoanese, (1977); Employment history (pre-Japan); Continental Airlines Chicago & Honolulu airport operations, Honolulu reservations; Relocation to Japan (1982 (permanent resident)) employment experiences in Japan: Hitachi Consumer electronic product sales promotion to U.S. military market in Japan; translation services (military intelligence), IT network support services and support in the Japan financial industry; Current; semi-retired working in TV talent productions, wedding services industry, occasional IT contract work.