The New 12 Inch MacBook Air

7 January 2015

9to5Mac:

The upcoming laptop is so thin that Apple employees are said to refer to the device as the “MacBook Stealth” internally. In order to reach that new level of portability, Apple not only slimmed down the trackpad and tweaked the speakers but the ports as well.

The upcoming 12-inch Air has the fewest amount of ports ever on an Apple computer, as can be seen in the rendition above. On the right side is a standard headphone jack and dual-microphones for input and noise-canceling. On the left side is solely the new USB Type-C port. Yes, Apple is currently planning to ditch standard USB ports, the SD Card slot, and even its Thunderbolt and MagSafe charging standards on this new notebook.

This laptop is going to be controversial. ‘Only Apple’ would have the bravado to reduce connectivity to one (new sized) USB port1 and a headphone jack. This isn’t just a boycott of industry standard inputs, which is the naive response from critics, Apple is openly forgoing inclusion of its own patented connectors, like Thunderbolt and MagSafe.

If this laptop ships as described, this is one of the ballsiest things Apple has done for years. Because you will power this thing through the USB port, you literally won’t be able to use an accessory whilst it charges. The rest of the redesign is pretty standard although I was disappointed by the appearance of the base. The speaker holes look ugly in the mockup and the trackpad is too close to the keyboard for my liking.

I may like the look more when I see it for real, so we can wait a bit before getting too angry. There’s no getting away from it. Stripping away all connectivity is a massive statement, especially if Apple kills off the old 11 inch Air when this is released.

1 Which, I bet, a lot of normal folk will confuse with a Lightning connector when this laptop hit shelves. USB Type-C is not common.