Report says 12-inch MacBook Air coming mid-2015; ultra-thin design, no Thunderbolt, MagSafe connectors

retina macbook air

The 12-inch MacBook Air’s existence has long been rumored, and according to a new report, the notebook will finally be unveiled this year, with a radically new, thin design.

According to 9to5Mac, the 12-inch MacBook Air will get rid of commonly used ports like MagSafe, regular USB and SD card slots to achieve a thinner and lighter body. From the report:

The 12-inch MacBook Air will be considerably smaller than the current 13-inch version, yet also slightly narrower than the 11-inch model. The new 12-inch version is approximately a quarter-of-an-inch narrower than the 11-inch version, yet it is also a quarter-of-an-inch taller in order to accommodate the slightly larger display. In order to fit the larger screen into a footprint about the size of the current 11-inch model, the bezels on the display have been reduced on all sides.

The thinner new design will also impact the keyboard arrangement, with the gap between each key being reduced, speakers being moved to the top, function keys being rearranged, and the keyboard extending from edge to edge. Additionally, the up and down arrow keys have been made shorter to maximise the space used, and not leave any gaps, as can be seen in this concept below:

retina macbook air keyboardThe trackpad on the 12-inch MacBook Air is as wide as the one on the 11-inch MacBook Air, but is a little taller, and doesn’t include the physical feedback when clicking. This is done to keep the thickness as small as possible.

retina macbook air thinness
12.2-inch MacBook Air (left), 11-inch MacBook Air (right)

The 12-inch MacBook Air, internally referred to as “MacBook Stealth”, features the least amount of ports and connectors. On the left is the headphone jack, and dual microphones, and on the right is the new USB Type C port, with a reversible, thinner design. The USB Type C connector not only replaces the standard USB connector, but also the MagSafe and Thunderbolt port, as it is capable of both, driving displays and powering computers.

The report adds that Apple might make the MacBook Air in a Space Gray color, just like iPhones, iPads and certain Macs. Apple will likely use Intel’s 14-nm Broadwell chips for faster, yet efficient performance, and the mid-2015 release timeframe suggests the device could be launched at WWDC, which generally takes place in June.

Let us know what you think about this radically different MacBook Air in the comments below. Would you be willing to let go of the standard USB and Thunderbolt ports in favor of a higher resolution screen and a much thinner design?

[via 9to5Mac]