If you’re in the market for a new MacBook Air, it might be wise to wait until the 2016 MacBook Air releases if you can wait until then, and here’s why.
The MacBook Air has remained relatively the same ever since its initial launch back in 2008. It has the same overall design and it doesn’t even have a Retina display yet. Because of that, the MacBook Air is due for a major overhaul, and 2016 is when it could happen.
The MacBook Air is a tempting buy, especially when its price starts at just $899, making it the cheapest MacBook that Apple currently sells, but if you can wait until next year when Apple releases its 2016 refresh of the MacBook Air, your patience just might be rewarded greatly.
Earlier this year, Apple released the new 12-inch MacBook, and instead of giving it the “Air” or “Pro” moniker, the new MacBook stands alone as the “New MacBook.” It weighs just two pounds and is only 13.1mm thin at its thickest point, which is 24% thinner than the 11-inch MacBook Air.
Overall, it sports a much slimmer design than the MacBook Air and includes a Retina display, as well as the all-new USB-C port, essentially making it the laptop of the future, and it tells us a lot about what this could mean for the future of the MacBook Air, and even though the performance of the new MacBook isn’t anywhere near the MacBook Air, we wouldn’t be surprised to see next year’s MacBook Air adopt some of the same features as the new MacBook.
The new MacBook is really just an overhauled MacBook Air if you think about it — Apple’s version of the MacBook Air if they absolutely, completely redesigned it from the ground up.
It’s perhaps the grand public experiment that Apple is doing to see if customers would enjoy a redesigned MacBook Air like this, and if so, 2016 could be the year that Apple finally upgrades the MacBook Air in a serious manner.
Of course, Apple has refreshed the MacBook Air every year since its initial release, but all it has ever gotten year-over-year is a slight CPU performance boost and maybe more memory, depending on the refresh cycle, but the MacBook Air is a laptop that needs a serious overhaul soon, similar to what the MacBook Pro received in 2012.
The MacBook Pro got a thinner design and a Retina display for the 2012 model, sporting a frame that’s nearly half the thickness of the original design. The MacBook Pro sports the new design still to this day. While the MacBook Air is really thin as well, its design is getting a bit dated and could use an upgrade to resemble the new MacBook Air.
The new MacBook has an all-new keyboard and trackpad, with the keyboard being 40% thinner than the old style, but is actually more durable, as the dome switches are made out of stainless steel instead of silicone this time around. Each key also has its own LED backlight instead of a few LEDs thrown about to light up the whole keyboard, which is how the old style was laid out.
As for the trackpad, the new MacBook uses Apple’s new Force Touch trackpad that takes the screen technology of the Apple Watch and puts it into the MacBook’s trackpad. It’s still the same glass material that MacBook owners know and love, but it’s now pressure sensitive and you can click it anywhere. The pressure sensitivity is used for “force clicks,” which allow you to press lightly on something to highlight it (for example), and then press down harder to select it.
On the inside, the new MacBook has a fanless design, which means no noise and no moving parts, which is rather impressive. The laptop doesn’t come with powerful components, so overheating shouldn’t be a huge issue.
The MacBook Air is still a really good laptop, and users who buy one now won’t be disappointed, but if you like the design of the new MacBook and don’t want to pay the starting $1,299 for it, it’s very possible that Apple could bring some of the qualities of the new MacBook over to the MacBook Air at some point soon, as the thin laptop is severely overdue for a Retina display and a design change.