While all eyes have been on Apple’s new MacBook Pro, which was revealed at the company's autumn event last Monday, rumours are already now spiralling about its next laptop, widely expected to be an update of the lighter MacBook Air.
The familiar Air name has served it well through four generations to summarise what the more affordable device is about, as a lighter, slimmer version of its high-end sibling. The latest rumours suggest that might now change, but, despite changes in design, the replacement name that's reportedly being considered is far from radical (If you are searching for a MacBook of any kind, make sure you check out our best Apple deals).
We're still very excited about the launch of new MacBook Pro, particularly its 1080p camera, which should make working from home look a lot more professional (though we're less enamoured with the notch it's hidden in). But for those who aren't prepared to fork out for Apple's top-of-the-range laptop, or who want something slimmer, it makes sense to start considering what the next entry-level MacBook Air might come with. We're just not quite sure what we should call it anymore.
The rumours suggest the next Apple laptop will come with the same MagSafe connector that returned to the MacBook Pro and that it will be powered by an M2 chip, Apple’s next-generation step up from its custom M1 silicon. The makes good sense considering the latest MacBook Air was one of the first devices to get the current M1. We can take it as read that this will offer another boost in performance terms over the current device and should ensure the laptop can hold its own pretty well against the new MacBook Pro.
Elsewhere, the tapered design is apparently out, while, like the Pro, the notch on the display is in. We've also heard previously from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the device will come in a variety of colours, and the device is widely rumoured to boast a mini-LED display. But, will it be called the MacBook Air? Not according to regular Twitter leaker, Dylandkt (opens in new tab).
A current naming candidate within Apple for this laptop is MacBook.October 21, 2021
Dylandkt confirms many previous rumours, including colour options like those offered on the M1 iMac 24in, and overall design along the lines of the new MacBook Pro but thinner, lighter and with no fan. It will have that 1080p webcam we mentioned and USB-C ports, but no 120Hz Pro Motion display, and no SD card slot, or HDMI port.
But the name? Dylandkt says the current candidate is simply "MacBook", dropping the "Air". That wouldn't be a terribly exciting move, but it does make some sense. It might make it clearer to understand where the device falls compared with the MacBook Pro, and it also recognises that with most of Apple's products fairly streamlined and lightweight, the "Air" tag perhaps be no longer applies to the Air alone.
Some seem to agree. On person commented on Twitter: "Apple should have just killed the air branding a while ago now that all products are pretty light. Just call it the MacBook and call the iPad Air the iPad. And just axe the older iPad or call it the iPad basic or something." We do wonder if it means that iPad Air will go the same way, but will the latest, 9th generation iPad only just released, there is a chance for confusion that even our iPad generations list might struggle to clarify.
In the meantime, you don't need to wait to get you hands on a powerful, lightweight tablet. Check out our round up of the best MacBook Air deals, or see today's best M1 Mac prices below.