Report: 12in MacBook Air’s slimmer redesign will eliminate most ports

Is Apple about to make some big changes to its much-loved laptop?
Render based on 12in MacBook Air (2015) leaked specs (Credit: 9to5Mac)

CES 2015 is raging right now, but a purported Apple leak may well steal some of the momentum from the major players exhibiting their wares. Ready for this? The MacBook Air will soon be redesigned.

Wait, that doesn’t sound so exciting. We’ve actually heard this rumour for upwards of a year now, and in various incarnations. So what’s different? 9to5Mac’s sources at Apple have shared significant info about big changes coming to the svelte laptop, and the site used that info to develop some startling renders.

The 12in MacBook Air reportedly makes its ultra-slim build even more of a priority this time around, ditching an internal fan, the click of the trackpad, and even traditional USB ports and the MagSafe power adapter to minimize its bulk. It’s so thin now, in fact, that Apple employees are reportedly calling it the “MacBook Stealth” as a codename.

Render based on 12in MacBook Air (2015) leaked specs (Credit: 9to5Mac)

Like we said - it’s a more significant revamp than it seems at first, if it all pans out. As the commissioned render depicts, the MacBook Air will only have a single USB Type-C port in addition to a headphone jack, and that smaller, newer USB port will be tasked with everything from charging to plugging in accessories.

No doubt, Apple will have to either include or make readily available a USB hub for those needing to use devices while charging the laptop, or plugging in multiple devices at once. But USB Type-C cables are reversible, and the tech can be used for charging and powering displays.

Render based on 12in MacBook Air (2015) leaked specs (Credit: 9to5Mac)

And with fewer ports and components, that allows Apple to not only slim down the build, but also cut some of the cost from the computer. The Verge speculates that this model will mark Apple’s attempt to offer lower-priced options to better compete with Windows PCs on the value equation.

As the render shows, the new MacBook Air will also cut down the amount of bezel around the screen, which has long been rumoured to finally be a Retina display, and the keys will be scrunched together to fit edge-to-edge within the narrower frame. While the trackpad will lose its familiar click, it’s expected to be a bit taller than before, offering even more scrolling space.

9to5Mac's report notes that some details - particularly the part about losing all of those ports - could change before the expected launch sometime this summer, but assuming most of these alterations make the final product, we're excited to see a refreshed take on Apple's immensely successful notebook formula.

[Sources: 9to5Mac, The Verge]

READ MORE: Rumour has it - Retina MacBook Air could land in 2015