The MacBook Air is in desperate need of a refresh
The MacBook Air was unveiled over a decade ago and in that period it has become extremely popular with those looking for an affordable laptop with dependable power and all the benefits of Apple’s software.
However, one of the reasons many chose the Air is it’s relatively affordable price.
The MacBook Air’s cheapest model comes in at £949 on Apple’s website – that will give customers a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor that can be boosted up to 2.9GHz.
But, if you shop around, you can get this laptop even cheaper with the entry-level MacBook Air currently available for £799 at John Lewis, a price significantly more affordable than through Apple’s official channels.
This is a very good deal but it’s worth remembering that Apple’s MacBook Air has not seen a major internal or external overhaul since 2015, so the chips inside the computer are from Intel’s fifth generation.
This means they are becoming severely out of date – the chip manufacturer has already released its eighth generation of chips known as Kaby Lake.
So, with rumours rife that Apple will soon release a new entry-level portable PC here is Express.co.uk’s wish list for a MacBook Air 2018 refresh.
The MacBook Air needs its internals replaced with up-to-date chipsets capable of giving users a ton more power.
Intel is expected to release its newest processors, named Whiskey Lake, in a few months time.
Implementing the latest and greatest from the manufacturer would make the MacBook Air incredibly capable and users purchasing the computer would have more confidence knowing the computer is going to have enough power to cope with the growing demands put upon it.
A recent report from the Economic Daily News iterated an upgrade for the MacBook Air was in the pipeline.
However, the publication declared Apple is opting for Intel’s current generation chips, Kaby Lake, for the refresh.
Kaby Lake chipsets are available in i5 and i7 models.
They can reach speeds from 1.6GHz to 1.9GHz with Turbo Boost speeds rising to between 3.4GHz and 4.2GHz.
If Apple is deciding to forgo the next generation chips for Kaby Lake, it could suggest a MacBook Air refresh is coming sooner rather than later.
The MacBook Air currently sports a 13.3-inch LED screen with a resolution of 1440×900.
While the display is functional for consuming content and browsing the web, it is in desperate need of an update.
The super thin MacBook and top-end MacBook Pro have had what Apple dubs a “Retina” display since 2012.
The Retina screen boasts a resolution of 2560×1600 that makes all content look incredibly crisp.
Such a feature also allows functions such as video and photo editing to be performed to a greater level of detail.
Apple has also recently added True Tone technology to latest laptops which changes to the colour of the display to match the lighting around you.
This makes using the machine for long periods much easier on the eyes.
The MacBook Air would greatly benefit from a brand new screen, especially when Apple’s other thin computer, the MacBook, features Retina technology.
The current design of the MacBook Air was introduced in 2010 and it still looks relatively modern.
But Apple is persisting with pushing the boundaries of design in all other product areas – the iPhone X is radically reducing bezels in favour of an all-screen design and the newly released MacBook Pro’s refine a design that looks incredibly sleek.
When the MacBook Air showed off its brand new look ten years ago it revolutionised what people thought a capable and thin laptop could be.
Apple needs to perform the same feat with a redesign of its hugely popular computer to justify why it has “Air” in its title.
Since 2010 the world has greatly embraced USB-C as a new format for charging and connectivity.
The port needs to make its way to the MacBook Air to future-proof the laptop and make it compatible with a score of new accessories that will surely adopt the port.
A Force Touch trackpad is a handy feature that is now present in all new MacBook Pro models.
The feature allows the user to use any part of the computer’s trackpad to click and paves the way for some nifty new functions.
Similar to 3D Touch on the iPhone, pressing harder on the trackpad can act as a new way to interact with apps.
Pressing down with a video player open can make scrubbing faster for instance.
The MacBook Air needs its internals replaced with up-to-date chipsets
Passcodes are a thing of the past
For years macOS forced users to type in a password manually to unlock their computer.
But the introduction of the Apple Watch gave users a new way to authenticate themselves, eliminating the need for keyboard interaction.
And the introduction of the Touch Bar for the MacBook Pro added a Touch ID sensor, greatly lowering the barriers of entry for users.
The MacBook Air would greatly benefit from such a feature and while asking the computer to receive an entire Touch Bar could be unrealistic, simply adding a fingerprint sensor would be a great addition.
The MacBook Air needs to keep its affordable price tag if it sees a refresh
Maintaining the price point that made it so popular
For the MacBook Air to truly please laptop fans it needs to keep its affordable price tag in addition to receiving the new features mentioned above.
This would allow the laptop to cement its position as Apple’s cheapest laptop while coming with specifications and functions that are extremely appealing.
This would also allow the computer to differentiate itself from the thinner and lighter MacBook.
Apple’s more modern laptop sells for £1,249 if you want the lowest-specced model.
This model comes with a 1.2GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core m3 processor, 256GB of SSD storage and 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory.
However, a more capable version of the computer can be purchased for £1,549 and comes with a 1.3GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 512GB of SSD storage and 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory.
Apple could discuss the future of the MacBook Air at a hardware event later this year.
The company will hold a keynote in the next few months to discuss the future of the iPhone line.
It is possible the Apple Watch and iPads will be discussed too.