Apple’s ‘Gather Round’ event is largely believed to be all about iPhones. However, if the rumors are to be believed, we may also see the long-rumored MacBook Air 2018 at the event.
Will it be released today or later?
Apple first introduced the MacBook Air in 2008. Since then, the company has made mostly incremental updates to the device. The current 13-inch MacBook Air, which was launched in August 2017, is almost same as its predecessor, which came in 2015, except for changes in RAM and the Intel CPU.
Thus, Apple’s current MacBook Air has been long due for an update. Thus, it is expected that Apple will announce a brand-new, redesigned MacBook Air 2018 at today’s event or in a separate event before the end of the year.
There are reports that the MacBook Air 2018 will feature the recently announced Amber Lake Intel Core processors. However, reports suggest that these new processors are already facing shortages, which raises questions about the release of the new MacBook Air today. Nevertheless, these chips, would help Apple revive its super-thin laptop.
Intel’s Amber Lake processors succeed last year’s Intel Core Y series chips, which were aimed at fan-less ultra-thin laptops and tablets. For this year, the chip maker claims that its chips will allow laptops to be as thin as 7mm and weigh under 0.45kg. Currently, Apple’s thinnest laptop is 13.21mm and weighs 0.92kg. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that using Intel’s latest chip in the MacBook Air 2018 would surely make the laptop worthy of the “Air” name.
If Apple postpones the launch of the MacBook Air 2018 (probably due to Intel chips) today, the next feasible opportunity would be next month. October is the month when Apple has debuted most of its new Macs.
What to expect from the MacBook Air 2018
As far as the screen, the new MacBook Air is rumored to feature Apple’s Retina display. A Bloomberg report claims that the new MacBook Air will be the same as the current one and continue with the 13-inch size, but with thinner bezels.
Even a simple 1080p display would be a sufficient upgrade to previous models, and it would help extend the battery life. Adding just a Full HD display would enable Apple to make the laptop affordable as well.
Apple’s new MacBook Air would also benefit from the MoltenVK Vulkan API implementation, which has been introduced for Apple’s Metal 2 graphics framework. This new tech will ensure that users get higher frame rates on several multi-platform games on macOS, including Dota 2.
It would be better if Apple continues to use a traditional keyboard for the new MacBook Air. Though Apple has introduced the revised butterfly hinge keyboard in the MacBook and MacBook Pro, the hinge mechanism has its flaws, and even Apple has admitted it. Thus, it would be better to stay with the traditional keyboard. This will not only give users a choice, but it will also help keep the price low.
Another item that may not need an upgrade is the webcam. Apple’s current MacBook Air FaceTime camera captures video at a higher resolution than the higher priced 12-inch MacBook.
Suspense over price
Traditionally, the MacBook Air has been Apple’s most affordable laptop. The company is expected to continue the trend with MacBook Air 2018. Like always, there have been some conflicting reports as well, claiming that the new MacBook Air will be a more premium presentation that could even get a four-figure price tag.
On the other hand, there are also reports that Apple will keep the price in three figures, keeping in mind families and students. In March, Bloomberg claimed the company was working on a cheaper MacBook laptop that would succeed the MacBook Air and cost less than $1,000.
Similarly, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the 2018 model would be even more affordable than the current MacBook Air. However, DigiTimes claimed recently that Apple’s “entry-level” MacBook would be powered by an Intel CPU and cost $1,200. Apple’s current entry-level 128GB MacBook Air carries a price tag of $999, while the 256GB version costs $1,199. Third-party retailers often discount the Air to $750 or $800.