New 13-inch MacBook to Replace Air This Year (Report)

The MacBook Air's successor could be on the way soon. A new report claims Apple plans to release a 13-inch MacBook in the latter half of 2018, and do so at a more affordable price.

While this report from the Taipei, China-based Digitimes publication doesn't call the laptop a MacBook Air outright, its description of the new notebook as "an entry-level 13-inch MacBook" brings to mind Air, which just turned 10 and is in dire need of a modern revamp.

MORE: Which MacBook Should You Buy? MacBook vs. Air vs. Pro

Whether the phrase "entry-level" is meant to match the $999 MacBook Air, Apple's current most-affordable notebook, its $1,299 12-inch MacBook or hit another price is still up in the air.

The DigiTimes story sites "industry sources" for this claim and frames its story around an increase of LCD panel orders from Apple. DigiTimes doesn't have the sterling reputation of analysts such as Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities, but its track record includes predicting the all-glass iPhone 8 as well as that smartphone's wireless charging.

If this laptop is meant to replace the MacBook Air, we hope those LCD panels are of retina-quality. When I reviewed the 2017 MacBook Air, an update that featured nothing more than a slight processor upgrade, I noted that its "1440 x 900-pixel screen has aged more poorly than any of its other aspects, lacking full HD and vibrant colors."

And if this 13-inch MacBook winds up being simply a more affordable version of today's 12-inch model, I'm hoping the company adds more key travel and a full-size USB port.

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