New MacBook Air 2014 Rumored with Big Boost in Portability

The new MacBook Air 2014 update will reportedly include a thinner and lighter MacBook Air with internals so intricate Apple is working with former watchmakers to fit the components into a super-small frame.

Rumors point to a new MacBook Air update as early as this week or WWDC 2014 where we could see new processors an specs in the same design, but there is a bigger update rumored for 2014.

Multiple rumors point to a smaller and thinner MacBook Air Retina for 2014. One of the most prominent rumors is that Apple is working on a MacBook Air Retina with a 12-inch display and a new design that will be as small as the 11-inch MacBook Air and possibly slimmer with a new touchpad design and no fans.

A new MacBook Air 2014 update could include a redesign on one model.

A new MacBook Air 2014 update could include a redesign on one model.

This major update to a MacBook Air 2014 model is not expected by the June 2nd WWDC 2014 event, but later in the year. Apple released a new MacBook Pro Retina in October 2013 with a slimmer design and an analyst roadmap of Apple 2014 release dates points to a similar time for a MacBook Air Retina.

Read: Should I Buy a MacBook Air or Wait?

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If rumors are correct we could see a small MacBook Air 2014 release in the next month and another major update to the MacBook Air Retina in Q4 after Apple delivers an iPhone 6, iWatch and iPad Air with Touch ID.

A new report from Mobile Geeks shares information from Apple supply chain partners who claim that Apple is working on a thinner, lighter, more compact MacBook Air 2014 update. The new MacBook Air 2014 model is allegedly so small and complex that Apple hired another watchmaker to help piece the parts together.

“people familiar both confirmed to us about that Apple has even hired an extra watchmaker for the development and relies on their experience with highly complex and, above all, extremely small components. [translated]“

It would make sense that Apple would work with someone experienced in making complex objects like watches work with many moving parts even if the new MacBook Air 2014 update comes without many moving or user replaceable parts. One new MacBook Air 2014 rumor is that Apple is planning a new touchpad without a physical click and that it could come with a fan-less design.

The 11.6-inch MacBook Air internals are already paced tightly, but removing the fan and using flexible battery tech could free up some space. Image via iFixit.

The 11.6-inch MacBook Air internals are already paced tightly, but removing the fan and using flexible battery tech could free up some space. Image via iFixit.

If the new MacBook Air does not include a fan, product engineers will need to design the inside of this notebook to allow for air flow to cool the inside of the device using pathways. The image above shows the inside of an 11-inch MacBook Air with a prominent fan in the upper right corner.

This new report suggests Apple will offer an 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a size similar to a 10.1-inch netbook. This is a lot smaller than the earlier reports of a 12-inch MacBook Air in an 11.6-inch MacBook Air frame. If Apple were to shrink the MacBook Air this much it may also be a challenge to deliver a large enough keyboard and trackpad to deliver usability and functionality.

There is not much room for Apple to trim down the size of the 11.6-inch MacBook Air.

There is not much room for Apple to trim down the size of the 11.6-inch MacBook Air.

 

The 11.6-inch MacBook Air already offers a smaller trackpad and there is not much room to adjust down to a smaller keyboard or trackpad. It seems more likely that Apple will put a larger display in this form factor and shrink the MacBook Air bezel and the edges of the notebook where possible. A MacBook Air 2014 rumor from late March discussed a 12-inch display and a new trackpad design.

Mobile Geeks also shares a video that shows a flexible battery that Apple could use in a a new MacBook Air to deliver good battery life in a smaller package. The video below shows a flexible battery that Apple could place inside the new MacBook Air to basically turn any extra area into a spot for a battery. Skip to 45 seconds in to see the flexible battery aimed at a new MacBook Air.

This report from Mobile Geeks does not include any information about the resolution of the new Macbook Air display, but additional rumors suggest Apple is working on a MacBook Air Retina with a new design for 2014. It is possible that this supply chain source is only aware of part of the picture.

Read: 5 Reasons to Wait for the New MacBook Air 2014 Update

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The new MacBook Air 2014 rumors are all across the board right now, but we could get a better idea of what Apple has up its sleeve when WWDC 2014 arrive in June. This is a potential MacBook Air 2014 release date, but if it is, shoppers may only get updated specs and performance. While there is a possibility Apple will include a Retina Display, there are enough rumors that also point to a fall MacBook Air Retina release that there is more uncertainty about this feature.

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