2021 Apple MacBook Air: New leak reveals razor-thin redesign

MacBook Air 13-inch
(Image credit: Apple)

There was a time when Apple's naming conventions made sense. The MacBook Air was thinner than the MacBook, and the iPad Air was thinner than the iPad Pro. Things are a lot more confusing these days, with the 'Air' moniker no longer a guarantee of the thinnest or lightest device. But if new leaks are to be believed, the MacBook Air could soon live up to its name once again.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a thinner and lighter 13-inch MacBook Air, which could be released as soon as this year. Last year's M1 MacBook Air is currently one of our best laptops for graphic design, but anything that makes it an even more portable powerhouse can only be a good thing for digital artists on the move (ah, remember being on the move?). 

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Bloomberg says the new MacBook Air will feature a thinner and lighter body, with vastly reduced bezels around the 13-inch display. The report suggests Apple also considered a 15-inch version, but "isn’t moving forward with this for the next generation. As rumoured for the upcoming MacBook Pro, MagSafe charging is said to be returning to the new MacBook Air. 

A thinner and lighter MacBook Air sounds like a winner to us. Back when Steve Jobs pulled the first model out of a brown envelope onstage in 2008, its thinness was truly jaw-dropping. But with a design largely unchanged since 2018, the Air isn't looking so svelte anymore. Indeed, even Apple itself has produced a thinner machine in the form of the tiny 12-inch MacBook, which is arguably airier than the Air (told you things were confusing). 

2021 MacBook Air render

A recent render of the rumoured 2021 MacBook Air (Image credit: MacRumors)

A smaller design would also help differentiate the Air from the MacBook Pro. Both current 13-inch laptops feature the same width and depth (30.41 x 21.24 cm) and the Air is only 0.11kg lighter. Indeed, with both capable of incredible performance thanks to Apple's new M1 chip, choosing between the two is no mean feat. If the Air does indeed become thinner and lighter, at least there'll be an obvious choice for creatives looking for the most portable machine possible.

We were a tad disappointed by the lack of new Mac designs in 2020. From the MacBook Air and Pro to the iMac, every new model sported a familiar look. But with the 2021 iMac, MacBook Pro and now the MacBook Air all rumoured to be getting a fresh coat of paint in the next few months, the only possible explanation is that Apple has been reading Creative Bloq very closely. 

Still, if performance is what matters most to you, you don't have to wait for an incredible Mac experience. We've been surprised to see some unbeatable M1 MacBook deals emerge already, and you'll find more brilliant M1 Mac offers below. 

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).