MacBook Air 2019: what we want to see
After years of waiting, the latest MacBook Air finally hit the shelves in October 2018. And, with it came a few improvements to the MacBook Air lineup, like the awesome new fingerprint sensor. Most recently, Apple has given the MacBook Air a refresh, bestowing its Retina display with True Tone technology, lowering the price to $1,099 (£1,099, AU$1,699) – originally $1,199 (£1,199, AU$1,849), and giving it the same improved keyboard as the MacBook Pro 2019.
However, we think more could have been done to bring the popular laptop into the modern age. And, that’s why we can’t wait to see what Apple does with the MacBook Air 2019. That is, if a MacBook Air 2019 does indeed come out.
A new rumor suggests that the MacBook Air 2019 is indeed real, and that it will be released in September, to coincide with the release of macOS Catalina. The rumor also suggests that the MacBook Air 2019 will get Intel’s latest processors – currently, it’s only packing 8th-generation i5 chips.
Considering that Apple just refreshed the MacBook Air 2018 this July, we’re not positive a MacBook Air 2019 will even happen. However, we do know that Apple has revolutionized at least one Mac, the Mac Pro 2019 (slated for release in the Fall of 2019), so we can make some educated guesses about when we might see a new MacBook Air, and create a wishlist of what we would like to see.
Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t dropped any hints at this year’s WWDC 2019 Keynote, but with the unveiling of macOS Catalina, it would be nice for MacBook Air users with aging models to have a new, grounds-up piece of hardware to go with it. Don’t worry, we’ll keep this page updated with all the latest MacBook Air 2019 rumors and leaks so be sure to keep it bookmarked.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next MacBook Air
- When is it out? November 2019 at the earliest
- How much will it cost? Likely around $1,199 (£1,199, AU$1,849)
MacBook Air 2019 release date
Speculating when the next MacBook Air release date is, is going to be tricky, thanks in large part to Apple’s strange history with its mainstream laptop lineup.
Ever since Apple redesigned the MacBook Air in July 2011, a new MacBook Air came out within the same April-to-July timeline. At least, until 2015. After that, Apple skipped 2016 altogether, opting instead to unveil a simple refresh of the MacBook Air with the same 5th-generation processor and a faster SSD in June 2017.
Then, Apple rolled out the new MacBook Air in November 2018, with a redesigned chassis and updated internals. So honestly, we don’t think that a MacBook Air upgrade will come out this summer – it definitely didn’t make an appearance at WWDC 2019 – that’s far too soon.
Instead, if a new MacBook Air does come out this year, we’d bet on a November launch. However, considering that Apple just gave the 2018 model True Tone technology, an improved keyboard and a lower price, it would be more likely that it will just get a slight boost in specs later in the year when Catalina rolls out, and we won’t see an overhaul until 2020 at the earliest.
MacBook Air 2019 price
The MacBook Air has always been the cheapest way to get macOS running on a laptop. And that’s still true today because while Apple did raise the price from $999 (£949, AU$1,499) to $1,199 (£1,199, AU$1,849) with the release of the MacBook Air 2018, it recently dropped it back down to $1,099 (£1,099, AU$1,699), making it more affordable once again to students and budget users.
We believe (or rather, hope) Apple will keep the price the same with the next MacBook Air, barring another complete redesign – in which case the price would more than likely just go back up slightly. We probably won’t be seeing a price decrease, unless Apple launches a MacBook Air with an ARM processor. Of course, that’s more likely for a 2020 release at the earliest.
What we want to see
The 2018 model did bring a lot to the table, ushering the MacBook Air to the modern age, with its 8th-generation Amber Lake fanless processors, modern SSDs and a Retina display. However, it wasn’t quite as revolutionary as many had hoped, so there’s still a lot of room for improvement. So, here’s what we want to see in the MacBook Air 2019.
Let’s see some faster processors
MacBook Air 2018’s processor isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it wasn’t great either. Because it’s a fanless dual-core chip, it lags behind other laptops. Now, usually in a thin and light notebook, this approach would make sense. But, at its thickest point, the MacBook Air is actually thicker (albeit just barely) than the 2018 MacBook Pro.
We’d like, therefore, to see Apple shove some full-fat, Ultrabook-class processors in the MacBook Air, and maybe design a fresh cooling solution. Rumor has it that MacBook Air 2018 will get new processors in September 2019. Who knows? Maybe since Intel’s Ice Lake processors are shipping now, we’ll see some Ultrabook-class processors that don’t produce so much heat.
Fix that keyboard, Apple
Another year, another MacBook, another keyboard. Look, we get it Apple; you want to make your MacBooks as thin and light as possible – ultraportable is in, after all. However, the Butterfly keyboard has produced more issues than Apple’s traditional keyboards.
The third-generation Butterfly keyboard placed a rubber film below the keyboard that was supposed to stop it from malfunctioning. But, the MacBook Air 2018 is running into its own problems, with key presses repeating.
Luckily, Apple has addressed the issue with its July MacBook Air refresh, giving the 2018 models the same improved keyboard as the MacBook Pro 2019. That definitely solves that problem, though we still want to see a touchscreen MacBook keyboard with raised, tactile keys. This might be Apple’s ultimate answer to its keyboard woes.
Cheaper storage upgrades
We get that larger SSDs are going to command a price premium, but the cost of upgrading is a little bit inflated.
The base MacBook Air comes with a pitiful 128GB SSD, which might be fine for people with cloud storage and not a lot of app use. However, to upgrade to 256GB of SSD storage, you’re looking at a $200 (£200, AU$300) price jump.
That’s huge by itself, but if you want a 1.5TB SSD, you’re looking at a whopping $1,100 (£1,100, AU$1,650) price jump. For that price, you could literally buy a second MacBook Air.
Admittedly, Apple’s SSDs are some of the speediest in the business, but there’s no way a 1.5TB SSD costs that much. The SSD upgrades for the MacBook Air 2019 need to be more affordable. Otherwise, you’re better off getting an external SSD.