The renders here were made by Ian "Renders By Ian" Zelbo, and show what's effectively a cross between the MacBook Air M1 and the newest all-in-one Mac. It's certainly good looking, plus a few of the design details are exactly what we'd look for in the next-gen MacBook Air.
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Starting with the design, Zelbo has used the same shade of blue that the new iMac uses. However, unlike the iMac there's no two-tone effect since, according to a follow-up tweet, Zelbo thought it looked odd.
The body itself is a little smaller than the current MacBook Air, which was achieved by removing the curve from the top and bottom of the laptop. It still uses the same wedge shape, the defining design feature that separates the MacBook Air from the flatter MacBook Pro.
To match the bolder color, Zelbo's MacBook Air has been given white bezels around the display and white keys instead of Apple's traditional black ones. These certainly fit better into this new design, particularly because Zelbo also shrunk the bezels down in line with recent rumors, which gives even more display space in the same-sized body.
On the sides are two USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack, just like the current MacBook Air. However you can also spot the return of a dedicated MagSafe charging port, something that's not appeared on any MacBook since 2017 but is rumored to be returning. Considering charging the current MacBook Air requires using one of only two USB inputs, perhaps bringing back a dedicated charger is a good idea. Particularly since Apple has shown a renewed interest in MagSafe recently by adding a version of it to the iPhone 12.
At the top of the introductory image, Zelbo has made a logo based on the iPad Air's marketing images. Below that we see a mention of an M1X chipset, the rumored successor to the first-generation M1 chip in the iMac, MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. However Zelbo later said this was an error. Although Apple will inevitably release an updated Apple Silicon chip, it's unlikely to arrive soon.
Sadly it's the same story with the MacBook Air. After receiving two updates last year, it could be a while before the next generation appears. The earliest it could emerge is late this year, but it could potentially be 2022 before the refresh happens. What we can probably look forward to the appearance of other new Macs later in 2021, including a refreshed 16-inch MacBook Pro and a new 14-inch MacBook Pro.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.