2015 MacBook Air Retina vs MacBook Air: 5 Exciting Details

The new MacBook Air Retina is on the way, offering a thinner, lighter 12-inch MacBook Air with a high-resolution screen and a new design according to leaks from Apple. This 2015 MacBook Air update is more than just a processor bump and a price change — it is something radically new for 2015.

For the past year rumors of a MacBook Air Retina kept potential buyers on their toes waiting for a major update that includes a smaller body, smaller display and key upgrades. Multiple MacBook Air Retina release rumors teased an arrival in 2014, but according to new insider information the MacBook Air Retina release gains major focus for the 2015 MacBook Air.

The news comes as Dell announces the Dell XPS 13 at CES 2015 that crams a 13-inch screen into what is traditionally a 11-inch notebook size.

Here is how a MacBook Air Retina vs MacBook Air compares based on a new leak.
Here is how a MacBook Air Retina vs MacBook Air compares based on a new leak.

This leak arrives from Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac who cites Apple sources who used the MacBook Air Retina prototype. Gurman is the primary source for a lot of Apple news, and while the included images are not photos of the actual device, there is a very good chance that you are looking at something close to what Apple will announce and it is likely that these are the new MacBook Air Retina features you can count on in 2015.

MacBook Air Retina Release Date

New Intel processors can enable the thinner, fanless design of the MacBook Air Retina.
New Intel processors can enable the thinner, fanless design of the MacBook Air Retina.

According to this report the MacBook Air Retina release date is likely in mid-2015. That lines up with the last MacBook Air update and it is timed well with the arrival of the new 5th Gen Intel processors. Some of these new processors are in notebooks on sale in January, but by mid-2015 Intel will deliver a higher performance mobile 5th Gen Intel processor that could be the key to the 2015 MacBook Air 12-inch release.

12-inch MacBook Air with Retina Display

Although the report focuses on the 12-inch MacBook and the internal code name of MacBook Stealth, there is a good chance that consumers will refer to this as the MacBook Air Retina, similar to the common name for the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

Apple’s shift to higher resolution displays encompasses the iPad, iPhone, iMac and MacBook Pro lines, but there is still a gap when it comes to the MacBook Air. In addition to a thin design, you can count on a high-resolution display on the MacBook Air Retina.

Completely New Design

This new MacBook Air 2015 update will include a new design that is smaller than the 13-inch MacBook Air and is narrower than the 11-inch MacBook Air according to the 9to5Mac report.

A possible look for the MacBook Air Retina in 2015.
A possible look for the MacBook Air Retina in 2015.

 

You can count on a totally new look that includes smaller bezels on the display and a thinner design that includes relocating the speakers and the removal of physical feedback on the touch pad. The speaker openings on the top of notebook also help keep the notebook cool, as there is no fan inside the notebook.

New Keyboard

Because of the smaller size, you can expect changes to the keyboard. 9to5Mac artist Michael Steeber shares a concept of the new look and of the new MacBook Air Retina keyboard.

Count on new keyboard spacing on the 2015 MacBook Air Retina.
Count on new keyboard spacing on the 2015 MacBook Air Retina.

As the image above shows, the spacing between the keys may shrink to accommodate the smaller overall size of this notebook, which is a big change for many users.

Big Changes in Ports & Connectivity

In order to cut the overall thickness down, Apple may cut many of the ports on the MacBook Air Retina. The report cautions there are multiple designs, but there may be no MagSafe, ThunderBolt or SD card reader on the MacBook Air Retina.

Users may only find a headphone jack and a single USB Type C connector. This connection can drive a Thunderbolt display and is capable of charging the MacBook Air Retina. This is a major drop from the array of ports and connections on the current MacBook Air. The Type C connector is reversible, much like the Lightning cable.

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