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MacBook Air (2021) release date, news and rumors

Those hoping to see the MacBook Air (2021) have been sorely disappointed so far. While Apple did launch two new (and drastically different)...

Those hoping to see the MacBook Air (2021) have been sorely disappointed so far. While Apple did launch two new (and drastically different) MacBook Pros, the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) and the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), at its last event of the year, the lightest and thinnest MacBook stayed out of the limelight.

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) has been highly-praised for its improvements in performance and battery life, and it has sat at the top of our best MacBooks list for quite some time. However, while its Pro cousins have gotten a considerable boost in power, with both the 14-inch and the 16-inch being powered by Apple’s new silicon chips, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max, as well as upgrades in design (welcome back to the world, MagSafe), the MacBook Air (2021) did not even get a mention.

So, MacBook Air fans who were hoping for a redesign or at the very least, the 1080p FaceTime camera that both new Pros are sporting might have to wait until 2022 to see their favorite notebook get a fresh lick of paint. The good news is that if it does come then, the MacBook Air (2022) may just get much more than a design update.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next Macbook Air, fourth design change
  • When is it out? Most likely September 2021 or later
  • What will it cost? Probably $999 and up 

MacBook Air (2021) release date and price

Apple could reveal the MacBook Air (2021) anytime after June, but various circumstances suggest the arrival won't happen until at least September and perhaps even later. Apple has finally announced the date for its iPhone reveal event on September 14th. It's possible that Apple will show the MacBook Air 2021 at this event but it's very unlikely.

Cupertino only just announced the iMac (2021), which also features an M1 SoC. A next-generation MacBook Air is likely to offer an M1 successor on the inside, and it doesn't make sense to reveal both products around the same time with different internals. And the iMac (2021) is only being released in May though it was announced a month before. The current MacBook Air model is also still relatively new, which is another reason to think a new model won't launch until after Labor Day in the U.S., which is on September 6.

And yet, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is set to begin on June 7. The popular event's Monday keynote has been used in the past (2012, 2013) to reveal a new MacBook Air, so anything is possible. 

The best bet: We'll see a new MacBook Air this fall and not before. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, supply issues could even push this model to an early 2022 debut. Additionally, we have every reason to believe the new MacBook Air will start once again at $999 or $899 for the education market. 

Possible MacBook Air (2021) design

(Image credit: Jon Prosser / RendesByIan)

MacBook Air (2021) design and colors

Whenever the next MacBook Air arrives, it should be worth waiting because of its design changes alone. Starting with the appetizer, the entire 2021 MacBook lineup is expected to see the return of MagSafe charging. It's also expected to be even lighter and thinner than the 2020 model that weighs 2.8 pounds. 

And then there's the main course; according to serial Apple leader John Prosser, the MacBook Air (2021) could launch in the same seven colors as the iMac (2021). These colors are Blue, Green, Pink, Silver, Yellow, Orange, and Purple. 

The new MacBook Air could also feature white keycaps, larger function keys, and a slightly smaller trackpad. Prosser also says increased thinnest will be achieved by Apple's decision to ditch the Air's wedge shape design.

Possible MacBook Air (2021) design

(Image credit: Jon Prosser / RendesByIan)

MacBook Air (2021) specs and performance

A thinner design makes it inevitable that the MacBook Air (2021) will include some variance of the Apple M1 SoC. The new all-in-one chip will most likely be called "M1X" or "M2", depending on when the laptop is released. 

Beyond this, Apple's probably going to keep many of the same specs as the current model. This means 8GB or 16GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of SSD. We'll also once again see a Retina display with True Tone, Magic Keyboard, and Touch ID. While the number of ports on the MacBook Pro (2021) is expected to jump, the same might not happen on the MacBook Air (2021), which will likely remain at two ports. How a refreshed MagSafe plays into this isn't yet known. 

Finally, the next MacBook Air could include thinner bezels, but still a 13-inch display, and (finally) a new, more powerful webcam. 



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