With CES in full flow, there is plenty of new tech to gawp at and salivate over at the moment (we’ll bring you a full round-up next week). Yet, despite not attending the expo, Apple is still claiming its usual spot in the limelight. The interest is based around some new intel, from sources inside Apple, on the next generation MacBook Air — and it includes some pretty major design changes.
According to Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac, those who have tried the new 12” prototype state that it is actually narrower than the current 11-inch version, thanks to an edge-to-edge keyboard. The keys are also seated slightly closer together than on a standard full-size keyboard, and the bezel on either side of the screen has been reduced. Meanwhile, the overall footprint is extended lengthways by a quarter of an inch to maintain the larger display size.
The most significant claim made, however, is that Apple is doing away with all but two ports on the new laptop to allow for an even slimmer figure. The report claims that only a slimline USB-C port and a 3.5mm jack will remain, which would suggest that Apple has finally ditched its unique Magsafe power connector. USB-C is capable of carrying power, transferring data and working with displays, so the single port may suffice as an all-in-one.
Some commenters are speculating that extra ports might be integrated into the accompanying power adaptor. But given Apple’s previous form with the Air — making a SuperDrive an optional accessory, for instance — it seems quite possible that owners of the new machine will be expected to stick to wireless forms of data transfer.
Either way, the new Air is expected to be released at around Q2/Q3 this year, so we won’t have to wait long to confirm or disprove these apparent leaks.
Image Credit: Julien GONG Min