MacBook Air 2022 rumors: M2 chip, better webcam, new look

M1 MacBook Air

The latest MacBook Air from the end of 2020.

Dan Ackerman / topwatchbest

Despite rumors suggesting the MacBook Air 2022 will debut in Apple’s “Peek Performance” event earlier this monthno Apple laptops arrived. (However, a new Mac desktop computer and monitor has arrived.) According to speculation we have seen, the second half of the year may still bear fruit the new MacBook Air – with M2 processor to run.

The MacBook Air has undergone many changes since the original 2008 version, and the current physical design dates back to March 2020, when Apple released what was likely to be final version with an Intel processor laptop. Later that same year, in November, MacBook Air was one of three Macs to be upgraded to the new Apple M1 chips, although no other design or feature changes were made.

November 2021, and now Apple’s March event, went by without the new MacBook Air, but that could happen later in 2022. Here are the changes we’ll most likely see. (Be sure to check our roundup of the latest rumors about the MacBook Pro 2022 too.)

Chip M2 or maybe 1.5

The MacBook Air, Mac Mini and the 13-inch MacBook Pro of late 2020 received the Apple Silicon M1 chip of the first generation. In 2021, new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops received improved versions, called M1 Max and M1 Pro with better graphics performance. Some Apple Followers, including Mark Gurman of Bloomberglet’s say the new 2022 MacBooks will have a new M2 chip, which can increase CPU performance without changing the graphics capabilities of M1 at all. This would allow the Air to expand, but it wouldn’t enter the more expensive territory of the MacBook Pro that much. A recent rumor of 9to5Machowever, it says the M2 will keep the same CPU while increasing the GPU to 10 cores.

Gurman wrote on Sunday in the Q&A portion of his newsletter for paid subscribers only that the redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 will arrive “around the second half of the year.”

But remember, a March tweet from credible Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the next MacBook Air will have an M1 chipand not the new M2 processor.

MacBook Pro 2021

Late 2021 MacBook Pro with an updated look.

Dan Ackerman / topwatchbest

New Pro style design

Currently, the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro are part of one-generation MacBook design, while the 14-inch and 16-inch Pro laptops are among newer ones. The more current version has a more chunky square look that gives it a retro feel. Older models still have gently curved lids that taper to a point. While there have been periods of design revision where some Macs look different to others, I expect all the latest MacBooks to at least follow the new Pro design language. A March tweet from Kuo also hints that the MacBook Air has received a new case design and more color options.

Improved webcam

It was a tough fight for better laptop webcams. I’ve talked about this idea for years, and it’s only in the COVID 19-fueled working-from-home era that we finally get better cameras. The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, as well as the 24-inch iMac and 27-inch iMac (which is one of the last Intel Mac computers to buy) have Full HD cameras with 1080p resolution. The difference between them and quite a weak 720p camera to be honest on the MacBook Air is stunning. PC makers ranging from Dell to Lenovo to HP are finally putting Full HD cameras into many laptops, and if a MacBook Air were to come out, it would eliminate one of the only blow to the product.


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Changed ports

The latest MacBook Pro laptops have taken a bit of madness by bringing back some long-missing ports, namely the HDMI ports and SD cards. Does that mean the company realizes that having just a few USB-C / Thunderbolt ports for all your charging, input, output, and accessory needs isn’t enough? HDMI would be a very useful option, especially for anyone who works from home and connects to a larger display.

We’ll also have to wait and see if the MacBook’s audio jack survives another round. Apple removed it from iPhones a few years ago but kept it in laptops. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2022 that I started to see some laptops coming up like the Dell XPS 13 Plus, finally risk taking out the headphone jack. I suspect the next MacBook Air will still have one, but the days of the headphone jack may be numbered.

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