After the Apple Spring Event, the deluge of questions. And one of the biggest ones is this: when will we see the 2022 MacBook Air? Rumours have helped put flesh on many of the next MacBook Air8217;s bones, and each one makes us a little more excited by the prospect and a little more irritated that we can8217;t buy it yet. So when is it coming and what can we expect? Here8217;s what we know so far.
So much for the rumours that we8217;d see the MacBook Air 2022 at Apple8217;s Spring Event. Rumoured timescales have been shifting, so while we were originally told by various outlets to expect a late 2021 or early 2022 launch it8217;s now looking increasingly likely that we won8217;t see it until the second half of 2022 – although an April event isn8217;t entirely impossible just yet.
A later-2022 release makes sense, though, partly because that8217;s the peak buying season for college and uni students: any time we8217;re on a campus there are so many MacBook Airs it feels like we8217;ve stumbled into an Apple ad. And the semiconductor shortage may have been easing lately, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine could bring it back: Ukraine is where half of the world8217;s neon gas comes from, and that8217;s a crucial gas for making microchips. So Apple may well be playing safe with its production plans.
That depends. If it8217;s a like-for-like replacement of the current model we8217;d expect the starting price to remain the same too: that8217;s currently $999/£999. But if Apple makes the next MacBook Air a slightly higher end model instead, then we8217;d expect it to be more expensive. But not too expensive: the Air is one of the best laptops right now, but if it gets a lot more expensive that8217;d make it too pricey for many.
The most solid-seeming rumours say we8217;ll get a similar range of colours to the fourth and fifth generation iPad Air, and that the design will be thinner and lighter than before too. Together that would mean a very different-looking device.
The original MacBook Air sacrificed connectivity for thinness and was criticised for it, but the 2022 MacBook Pro could still include twin USB-C ports while getting so thin you could cut cheese with it. If you look at the current model some of its size is disguised by clever design: it8217;s not as thin as it looks, and if you view it from side-on you8217;ll see that quite a lot of it sits underneath the visible area. A more iPad-esque design could remove the need for such visual trickery. We8217;re not expecting many more ports – again, the bigger MacBook Pros offer that – but we do think MagSafe will make a welcome return and we8217;re really hoping we8217;ll finally see a decent quality webcam, ideally with Centre Stage support like the new Apple Studio Display.
The truth is, Apple doesn8217;t need to think too different for the MacBook Air to sell like hotcakes: it just needs to keep it current, and ideally make it visually different for that all-important campus cred. The current version is already one of the best laptops of any kind, so the 2022 version doesn8217;t need to reinvent the wheel to be similarly successful.