MacBook Air 2021 Rumors: Thinner Than Ever & the Return of MagSafe

A new MacBook Air is rumored to be coming out the second half of 2021, or in 2022. Here is what seems likely, what seems plausible, and what we won't be seeing (yet).

Rumors about a 2021 MacBook Air are heating up, and there are two big buzzwords we keep hearing: "thinner" and "MagSafe." Yes, the new MacBook Air is rumored to be thinner than ever and to bring back the MagSafe chargers Mac users were so fond of and so sad to see go. There's a lot that seems pretty definite about the new MacBook Air release, and some things seem a bit more murky. So let's jump in and take a look at what we know, what we think, and what we probably won't see.

2021 MacBook Air Release Date

One of the biggest questions around the 2021 MacBook air release is when? Mark Gurman of Bloomberg published a report claiming we'll be seeing the new MacBook Air in the second half of 2021 or at the very latest at the beginning of 2022. DigiTimes, however, along with Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo both seem to think we won't be seeing it until 2022, and that 2021 won't offer a MacBook Air refresh at all.

MagSafe? The New MacBook Air Charger

All sources seem confident the new MacBook Air will herald the return of the Apple MagSafe charger. These were the chargers that connected to MacBooks magnetically, and they were very popular with Mac users. The phase out began in 2017 with the introduction of the new USB-C chargers, and were gone entirely by 2019. The decision to do this was not a popuar one, so excitement of the prospect of MagSafe chargers' return is high. It makes sense that we'll be seeing this soon, with MagSafe joining the iPhone lineup, so at this point, it seems to really be a matter of when. Gurman also reported we can expect two USB 4 ports in addition to MagSafe.

Thinner Than Ever

The other rumor most of our sources agreed on was the new MacBook Air size. While the screen is expected to not deviate from the current 13 inches, thinner bezels means it will be slimmer than ever. The current MacBook Air is .16 inches at its thinnest, and .63 inches at its thickest. In his Bloomberg report, Mark Gurman says the new MacBook Air will be just over half an inch at its thickest point, raising the question of whether this new model will also sport the tapered design. It will reportedly weight 2.8 lbs.

New Processor

Whenever it arrives, we can be sure the new MacBook Air will feature the latest Apple processor. The current MacBook Air has the new M1 chip, but Gurman's report promises the new MacBook Air will come equipped with the next generation of Apple's in-house processor. If this is true and the new MacBook Air is released in 2021, this might be frustrating to the people who sprung for the 2020 MacBook Air, which was the first MacBook Air available with Apple's new chip. However, the current MacBook Air is expected to stay on the market at the entry-level option, taking some of the sting out of this release sequence.

Probably Not This Year...

DigiTimes and Ming-Chi Kuo anticipate a new MacBook Air with a mini LED display, but not until 2022. Gurman, too, is looking toward the future, saying features such as cellular connectivity, Face ID, and a reintroduced SD card slot are all the works, possibly as part of a new 15-inch MacBook Air, but states in his report these features will not be ready "for the next generation."

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.