Concept: How a new MacBook Air could adopt the best parts of the iMac and MacBook Pro

As soon as Apple unveiled the new iMac earlier this year, it hit me that the company needed to give the same design treatment to its mobile counterpart, the MacBook Air. Soon after, the rumors started flowing in, and now that Apple has officially revealed its newest notebook designs with the MacBook Pro, it’s time to look ahead to how the MacBook Air could be redesigned.

First things first, colors. Colors have been missing from Apple notebooks since 2001 when the company switched the iBook to white. In 1999 the company introduced their first consumer notebook in two colors: tangerine and blueberry. They later added a handful of new colors like lime, indigo, and graphite. So with the iMac gaining a wide palette of delightful new colors this year for the first time in nearly two decades, it’s more than likely a Mac notebook is going to adopt them again as well.

For a new MacBook Air, Apple could start with the three colors offered in the base iMac configuration. There could be a gorgeous light blue, pink, and green. Following iPhone 13, iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 7, the silver option could be replaced by starlight. They could also add a midnight option, although I’d be willing to bet the company sticks with space gray.

On the inside of the notebook, Apple could take the fresh new look of the MacBook Pro and make it more friendly for the average consumer. Like the iMac, the border could be turned from black to light gray. The bottom bezel could be a lighter pastel shade like the iMac’s chin. They could also scale the display up to 14 inches to match the smaller MacBook Pro.

One controversial change Apple could make with the MacBook Air is add a notch. It’s not something that will really bother anyone on the MacBook Pro since it’s part of a black border. But a light gray notch may stick out like a sore thumb. I personally wouldn’t have a problem with it, but it certainly would be more noticeable.

Since this is the MacBook Air, it would naturally be significantly thinner than the MacBook Pro. Apple’s made the new MacBook Pro all about power and it’s not shy about its thickness. So next to it, a MacBook Air could look razor-thin. The display could be thinner, too, since Apple would likely not include a full Liquid Retina XDR display. It would simply be a Liquid Retina display that’s got a less complicated stack.

On the left side of the machine Apple could reintroduce MagSafe. MagSafe 3 looks fantastic, and it’s something we’ve all been missing. It will more than likely come back to the MacBook Air in the next version. It’d likely also have fewer ports. So there’d be no HDMI port, no SD card slot, and one less USB-C port.

On the lid of the new MacBook Pro lives a gorgeous black glossy logo. On the MacBook Air, the logo could be a glossy light gray to complement the light gray bezel on the inside. The light gray logo would look absolutely stunning paired with the light aluminum colors.

Overall, the package would include an all-new display with a notch, a set of stunning colors, MagSafe, and an all-new non-wedge shaped design that more closely resembles the MacBook Pro.

The new MacBook Air would likely live between the low-end M1 MacBook Air as a new mid-tier option. It could replace the M1 MacBook Pro that’s currently priced at $1,299. Like the 2020 iPad Air, Apple could also likely justify charging a bit more for the modern design and feature set.

$999 – M1 MacBook Air (Silver, Space Gray)
$1,499 – M2 MacBook Air (Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Green, Pink)
$1,999 – M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro (Silver, Space Gray)

What do you think about our MacBook Air concept? Let us know in the comments below.

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