2016 MacBook Air: What to Expect

The MacBook Air is due for a huge overhaul, especially since the laptop still doesn’t sport a Retina display. Here’s what to expect out of the 2016 MacBook Air, based on rumors and predictions.

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The 2015 MacBook Air didn’t receive a huge refresh by any means. The processors were updated to Intel Haswell chips, there’s faster flash storage and better graphics than before, and Thunderbolt 2 is now included. Other than that, that’s about it.

It doesn’t even have the Force Touch trackpad that’s in the 2015 MacBook Pro and the newer 12-inch MacBook.

Read: Why You Should Wait for the 2016 MacBook Air

Overall, the MacBook Air has seen very little progress over the last few years, which is rather disappointing considering that it’s a really great laptop that’s light and portable, but also powerful enough for most everyday tasks.

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Hopefully, the 2016 MacBook Air will receive a nice overhaul that includes faster performance, as well as more features like a Retina display and maybe even USB-C. Here’s what to expect from the 2016 MacBook Air this year.

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Faster Performance

The MacBook Air current comes with Intel’s Haswell processor, which is a 4th-generation chip that offers better efficiency over older models, allowing for better battery life, but it’s a processor that’s aging.

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The good news is that it’s possible that the 2016 MacBook Air could receive Intel’s Broadwell or even Skylake processors this year. Skylake is Intel’s latest processor and it includes big upgrades to the chipset, which means way better graphics.

However, the new chip also requires DDR4 memory and not the DDR3 memory in the current 2015 MacBook Pro. That’s not bad or anything, but it could mean big changes coming to the MacBook Air if it does get Skylake chips.

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Read: Apple 2016 Predictions: iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2 & More

We’re not too sure if the 2016 MacBook Air will come with a Skylake processor, though. It’s really a processor meant for power users, and there’s a better change we’ll see Skylake in the 2016 MacBook Pro if anything.

Retina Display

For some reason, the MacBook Air still doesn’t have a Retina display, but that will likely change in 2016.

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The 12-inch MacBook that was released last year was a good indicator as far as where Apple wanted to take the MacBook Air.

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The 12-inch MacBook has a resolution of 2304 by 1440, and it’s possible that the MacBook Air could come with that same display technology. At this point, it’s only logical now that Apple has proved it can pack a Retina display in a super-thin laptop.

USB-C

With the 12-inch MacBook coming with only one USB-C port and nothing else, it’s clear that Apple wanted to send a message saying that USB-C is the future, but will we see USB-C on the 2016 MacBook Air?

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It’s very possible, and we’d be surprised if it didn’t come with at least one USB-C port. The new standard can deliver speeds faster than USB 3.0 and the best part is that it’s a reversible connector.

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We predict that the 2016 MacBook Pro will come with USB-C, so it would be wise to predict that the 2016 MacBook Air will receive the same treatment, but we’ll really just have to wait and see what Apple decides to do there.

Thinner Body

While I personally don’t think Apple will make the 2016 MacBook Air significantly thinner, a rumor from late last year says that the new laptop will sport a thinner body, although specifics were hard to come by.

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That same rumor also claimed that a 15-inch MacBook Air model would be coming this year. That doesn’t seem too far-fetched, but we wonder how that would affect the portability of that size MacBook Air. The laptop has always been about small size and being ultra-portable, and a 15-inch model could compromise that.

Release Date

Perhaps the big question that people want to know is when the 2016 MacBook Air will release.

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The bad news is that we’re not really sure, as there hasn’t been any significant discussion about that lately in the rumor mill, although we could take a few good guesses as to when Apple could announce it.

If I were a betting man, I’d take a guess that Apple could announce the 2016 MacBook Air during its WWDC keynote, which is likely to happen in June, just like last year. That’s when the company will also probably announce iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, and maybe a couple of other things if it already doesn’t have a full plate.

In the end, Apple will release a new MacBook Air this year, that’s for sure, and it’ll be surprising if the refresh is anything but an overhaul.