Apple’s next-generation MacBook Air, which is expected to come with a 12-inch screen, will have a “radically new design” that will abandon traditional specifications to produce a noticeably thinner and lighter device compared to the current 11-inch model, according to a report.
The upcoming MacBook Air is expected to be about a quarter-of-an-inch narrower than the 11-inch version, while also sporting a quarter-of-an-inch taller body in order to incorporate the slightly larger display, 9to5Mac reported, citing “sources within Apple” with access to “internal prototype versions” of the device. The bezels on the display could also be narrowed out on all sides to get a larger display fitted into the footprint, which is about the same size as the current 11-inch version's.
In addition to the 12-inch screen, the new MacBook Air could also feature an edge-to-edge keyboard with a redesigned key set, allowing each key to sit closer together, the report said, adding that the move is said to be aimed at making the computer as compact as possible.
The new model could also feature a revamped trackpad with the same width as that found on the 11-inch version, but with a taller frame almost touching the bottom of the keyboard, 9to5Mac reported, adding that the new trackpad may come without the clicking effect found on existing MacBook models.
Just above the keyboard of the next-generation MacBook Air, there could be four new speaker grilles that are expected to also function as ventilation ports, as the device lacks traditional computer fans.
In a bid to achieve a significantly thinner form factor, the 12-inch MacBook Air could do away with standard USB ports, the SD Card slot, and Thunderbolt and MagSafe charging standards in favor of a single USB Type-C port, which is reportedly smaller, faster and better than the existing USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. In addition, the USB Type-C port is reversible, similar to that of the Lightning connector on the latest iOS devices. While the new USB Type-C port will sit on the left side of the device, the right side will accommodate the headphone jack, along with input and noise-canceling microphones, according to the report.
The details of the 12-inch MacBook Air closely follow recent rumors that the device could enter mass production in the first quarter of 2015. According to a report from Taiwan’s DigiTimes in December, Apple’s suppliers were stocking up inventory of related components for the new MacBook Air, in anticipation of the device entering production.