MacBook Air 2017 release date, specs: rumors E-Ink keyboard among features; Apple ditching MacBook Air?

Reuters

While the rumor mill nowadays abounds with all things Apple, one thing that doesn't make good rumors is what used to be the tech giant's thinnest and lightest computer, the MacBook Air. Will Cupertino unveil a new MacBook Air, or just let it disappear like thin air? Since Apple is mum about it, let's hear what the rumor mill says.

Expert opinion

Fans are hoping that Apple will give the MacBook Air a refresh, even just a Retina display and some RAM upgrades. While Apple did update the MacBook Air's RAM in April 2016, it didn't equip the laptop with a Retina display, disappointing many fans, MacWorld reported. With Apple updating all other models while skipping the MacBook Air, one can't help but speculate that the portable will be discontinued over time.

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seems to confirm this speculation. In a note acquired by Apple Insider last year, Kuo said that both the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air won't likely get a Retina display update. Instead, Apple might turn these devices into its entry level laptop offerings. Now, only the 13-inch model might become the entry-level laptop since the 11-incher has already been retired.

This means that the MacBook Air, if Apple continues with it, will become the lowest of a three-tier structure for Apple's laptops – the MacBook Air as a budget option, the MacBook as the choice for portability, and the MacBook Pro as a powerhouse.

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Why not?

Still, it won't hurt to hope that the MacBook Air line will still see another mass production, with new features.

One of the features that might come with it is an E-Ink keyboard, a keyboard type that can change keys or characters on the fly. 9to5Mac reported that Apple was in talks with E-Ink keyboard maker Sonder Designs, which could mean this might happen.

Rumors also say the MacBook Air for this year will come with a Retina display and a USB-C connector. If Apple released a new MacBook Air this year with these specs, that would be good. All these in addition to a thin and light body, and a powerful battery.

Stay tuned for more MacBook Air updates.

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