Apple’s next MacBook could be a 12-inch MacBook Air

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If 9to5Mac’s latest findings are true, than Apple’s biggest product of the year could be the MacBook Air. (You know, right behind the Apple Watch.) According to early reports, Apple has completely redesigned the MacBook Air, ditching the full-sized USB port, MagSafe connector, and SD card slots for something entirely different.

9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman writes: “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.”

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9to5Mac's artist Michael Steeber designed renditions of what the new Air could look like. Here's a side view of the rumored 12-inch Air (left) compared to the current 11-inch Air (right).

Why this matters: We already have an 11-inch MacBook Air... and a 13-inch, too. So, doesn’t a 12-inch just seem unnecessary? To keep up the MacBook Air’s reputation of being ultra-light and ultra-portable, it makes sense to keep the Air’s screen size at 13-inches or less. However, something smaller than 11-inches will just be too small. So, the 12-inch could actually fill that “just right” sweet spot nicely.

It’s not all about the size

However, if 9to5Mac’s design estimates are correct, this is the start of a new design shift for the MacBook Air. We’ll see features that are slimmer and more compact than before, with an edge-to-edge keyboard, a modified trackpad, and a thinner profile (yes, the Air will actually be getting smaller).

Apple could also introduce USB Type-C on the new Air, which means it would no longer need a MagSafe port, as reports on USB Type-C indicate that it can be used to power computers. 9to5Mac believes this single port could be used as a sort of hub, allowing users to plug in multiple devices to the Air.

Of course, this is just speculation at this point—Apple has yet to announce a new MacBook Air officially—but 9to5Mac’s artist renditions are pretty cool. Check out their full report for more details.

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