MacBook Air 2022 expected at WWDC — here are the top rumored features

MacBook Air 2022 render front and back
(Image credit: Darvik Patel)

Update: Follow our WWDC 2022 live blog today for all the big announcements from Apple's event.

The MacBook Air 2022 could be unveiled during Apple’s WWDC event today (Monday, June 6). It's been two years since we’ve seen a new MacBook Air and now seems like an opportune time for Apple to release an updated model.

Naturally, rumors surrounding the MacBook Air 2022 have increased over the past few weeks. Some rumors seem likely while others may be far-fetched. From a complete redesign to the inclusion of the rumored M2 chip, Apple’s thinnest laptop could potentially undergo significant changes. It’s also possible the new MacBook Air could get only a minor update.

Below, we’ll list the top MacBook Air 2022 rumored features and the likelihood of seeing them in the new laptop.

MacBook Air 2022 rumored features: Redesign 

Leaked renders suggest the MacBook Air 2022 may receive a fresh redesign. Instead of the wedge-shaped tapered design the laptop is known for, the MacBook Air may have a more uniform, rectangular rounded chassis similar to the 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch.

Those same MacBook Air 2022 renders reveal several color options, including purple, orange, blue, red, yellow, green and silver/gray. These colors could serve to distinguish the MacBook Air from the MacBook Pro line, similar to how the iPad Air’s colors differentiate it from the iPad Pro.

MacBook Air 2022 render

(Image credit: ZoneOfTech)

The aforementioned renders also show slimmer bezels, a notched display and a MagSafe connector for power. However, a more recent suite of renders, reportedly based on CAD designs from supposedly within Apple, show a MacBook Air 2022 with no display notch after all. Slimmer bezels are one of the 5 things we want from the next MacBook Air, so such a change would be welcome.

Considering how the MacBook Pro 2021 line received a redesign last year, it’s not unreasonable to assume Apple would do the same for the MacBook Air. This rumor seems likely.

MacBook Air 2022 rumored features: Mini-LED display 

The MacBook Air 2022 screen has been tipped to use a mini-LED display like the iPad Pro 2021 and new MacBook Pros, which should deliver a boost in brightness and colors. However, industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo disputes this, and notes that the laptop may come with a brand new design that doesn't include mini-LED.

Display analyst Ross Young says that the ‌MacBook Air‌ will continue to use an LCD display, with Apple reserving mini-LED for more expensive Pro models (via AppleWord).

MacBook Air 2022 render

(Image credit: Darvik Patel)

Although a mini-LED display would be nice, the MacBook Air 2022 may not include it if Apple wants to keep the laptop’s price low. After all, the relatively affordable price compared to the MacBook Pro line is one of the main reasons the Air series is so popular.

MacBook Air 2022 rumored features: MagSafe charging and ports 

MagSafe charging returned to MacBooks with last year’s MacBook Pros. Rumors have hinted at it coming back to the next-gen Air as well. If true, long-time MacBook fans will no doubt rejoice. After all, MagSafe charging was one of the line’s most distinguishing features.

The new MacBook Pros also got an SD card reader and HDMI port, so we may see the same on the new Air, though one detailed leak claims that the MacBook Air could stick with USB-C ports only. That wouldn't be a huge deal thanks to USB-C enabling a greater degree of connectivity, but people who want more port access might have to deal with dongles.

The MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch)

MagSafe charging returned with the MacBook Pro line and could also be a feature of the MacBook Air 2022. (Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

Since the MacBook Air series is meant to be slim, it wouldn’t be surprising if Apple kept ports to the bare minimum. However, MagSafe charging seems like a more likely bet.

MacBook Air 2022 rumored features: M2 chip 

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, we may see the first M2 chips appear in the next iterations of the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. It’s also possible that the M2 chip will appear in the MacBook Air 2022.

Interestingly enough, as previous rumors have suggested, the M2 may not be much more powerful than the M1. Apple may call the redesigned chip “M2” to boost sales or wait to use that moniker for chips debuting in 2023, according to Kuo.

In an earlier report, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claimed that the M2 chip would have an 8-core CPU, complete with four efficiency and high-performance cores, plus a 10-core GPU. That would make it less powerful than the M1 Pro or M1 Max in the new 2021 MacBook Pros, but more powerful than the M1 chip.

Apple M2 chip

The Apple M2 chip could power the MacBook Air 2022. (Image credit: Apple)

Another rumor says that entry-level vanilla M2 chips are being tested in a MacBook Air 2022, a Mac mini 2022 and an entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro 2022. You may get a sense of deja vu at this point, as these are the three bits of hardware Apple debuted the original M1 chip with, so a pattern does appear to be forming. Across all three, the M2 chip has the same specs: the same eight CPU cores as the M1, but with an additional two or three graphics cores, for a total of ten.

Apple said that the M1 Ultra (which is basically two M1 Max chips stuck together) is the last of the M1 line. To that end, an M1 successor is coming – though that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see it in Apple’s laptops and computers in 2022. If M2 does debut this year, it’s possible it may not offer a major upgrade over the M1. With that said, it should still possess the impressive power and performance Apple silicon is known for.

MacBook Air 2022 rumored features: Naming 

One of the more interesting MacBook Air 2022 rumors is that Apple may drop the “Air” moniker and simply call the new device “MacBook.” This is according to both leaker Dylandkt and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors). The former isn’t completely sure when or if this will happen, while the latter claims Apple will ditch the “Air” name in a future 2023 MacBook Air model.

It’s hard to say if this rumor will come true or not. Perhaps Apple wants to drop the Air name to make it clear that this is the de facto MacBook line for everyday users and that the Pro series is for, well, professionals. But we don’t have enough information at the moment to make that determination. 

MacBook Air 2022 rumored features: Outlook

There's little doubt that we'll see a new MacBook Air sometime in the future. Though rumors strongly suggest the laptop will arrive this year, that's still up in the air (pun intended). But whether the MacBook Air 2022 shows up this year or not, Apple fans and the computing world at large have every reason to be excited. 

Hopefully, we'll find out more during WWDC 2022. You can follow it all with us in our WWDC 2022 live blog today, and we've also got a guide to how to watch the WWDC 2022 live stream.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.