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MacBook Air 2021 release date, price, specs, and more

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(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

With the recent release of Apple’s M1 chip, the company has launched a pair of laptops boasting unrivaled power. With the 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple is proving that its new technology can contribute to excellent performance and battery life.

Apple isn’t done, however, as we know some information on the company’s potential plans for the next generation of MacBook Air. Here’s everything you need to know, including details on its release date, specs, rumors and more.

MacBook Air 2021 release date 

According to a Bloomberg article, the MacBook Air 2021 is set to launch either in the latter half of 2021 or at some point during 2022. This information comes from “people with knowledge of the matter,” and considering the report was done by reputable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, there is a good chance it's true.

The current generation of the 13-inch MacBook Air launched on November 17, 2020, so the next generation coming at some point during the end of the year definitely makes sense.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple will release the new MacBook Air mid-2022 with a mini-LED display and new design.

Apple's September event showcased the iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, iPad Mini and much more. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Macbook Air 2021. However, Apple is holding its "Unleashed" event on October 18. We expect to see 14-inch and 16-inch iterations of the MacBook Pro with M1X processors, but who knows what Apple has in store.

MacBook Air 2021 price 

Considering the current-gen 13-inch MacBook Air starts at around $999 ($899 for education) and can go up to $2,649, it’s safe to assume the MacBook Air 2021 will possess a similar price range. However, we won’t know for sure until later in the year.

MacBook Air 2021 design 

Reports have surfaced stating, the next generation MacBook Air will get smaller “by shrinking the border around the screen,” although the display itself will remain 13 inches. This is an exciting change, as the current MacBook Air has large, outdated bezels on both the top and bottom of the display. Gurman also made it clear in a Twitter post that the redesign will be both thinner and lighter. The current model comes in at 2.8 pounds, so having its weight drop to possibly match the 2.6 pound Dell XPS 13 is good news.

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We also expect the 2021 model to have two USB 4 ports instead of Thunderbolt 4 for external connections. The existence of a lone headphone jack will likely return, although we’re really hoping Apple can put more ports on the MacBook Air. We also know that MagSafe charging is coming back for the first time in a few years.

Apple also temporarily entertained the idea of doing a 15-inch MacBook Air, but ultimately decided against it, according to Gurman. However, that could still mean we see a 15-inch MacBook Air in late 2022 or early 2023.

Ian Zelbo created a fan-made concept of what the MacBook Air 2021 could look like, taking inspiration from Apple's iMac 2021.

MacBook Air 2021 Fan-Made Concept

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo)

This new design features a soft pastel blue finish, which makes the white keyboard look like clouds floating in the sky. The speaker placement and ports are faithful to what Apple built with the previous MacBook Air model, making Zelbo's rendition seem plausible.

MacBook Air 2021 MagSafe 

We also have strong reasons to believe the MacBook Air 2021 will launch with MagSafe. MagSafe is a magnetic charging system that can easily and sturdily connect into the laptop, but if it’s yanked, it’ll come out smoothly without bringing the entire thing down with it. This was a feature last used in 2018. 

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

If it does return, MagSafe will likely be better, especially since Apple’s M1 chips have already significantly contributed to improving battery life. We also anticipate users could have a choice between USB Type-C and MagSafe charging.

MacBook Air 2021 specs 

Similar to the latest iteration of MacBook laptops, the MacBook Air 2021 will boast a variation or upgraded version of Apple’s M1 chip. When we reviewed the 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, we found that Apple’s M1 chip greatly contributed to its excellent performance and battery life. If the M1 chip continues to improve with further iterations, we expect the next generation of MacBooks to do great things.

Apple M1

(Image credit: Apple)

There are rumors that a more powerful chip called the M1X is in the works, but this is expected to be reserved for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Otherwise, we can expect the MacBook Air 2021 to have similar specs to its predecessor with 8GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB SSD, a Retina display with TrueTone, Touch ID and a Magic Keyboard

MacBook Air 2021 what we want 

When we reviewed the current generation of 13-inch MacBook Air, we took problem with the lack of an updated design and the existence of few ports. Apple is seemingly already at work on redesigning the MacBook Air to make it thinner and lighter. The current design is one that we’ve been familiar with for years, so we’re hoping Apple can show off something truly brilliant.

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The current MacBook Air only has two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a single headphone jack. We know that the new MacBook Air will have two USB 4.0 ports (and we’re hoping there will be one for each side this time), but we’re unsure of what to expect beyond that. Hopefully, we can see a more varied collection of ports come to the MacBook Air, including a USB Type-A for legacy peripherals.

We’re also hoping to see improvements to the webcam. The current generation of MacBook Air boasts a webcam superior to most others found on laptops, but the images are still a bit fuzzy. Perhaps the implementation of a 1080p webcam would fix this, as the colors and brightness are already great on the current model.