There have been rumors about a 12-inch MacBook Air for some time now, but well-connected blogger Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac has the most fleshed-out version of the story to date, including some mockup images created for 9to5Mac.
As described in Gurman’s report, the revamped slimline notebook would be lighter and thinner than current MacBook Air models, and boast a higher-resolution display, although Gurman never says whether it would reach the ultra-high-res level which Apple called “Retina.” Fitting in between the 11- and 13-inch versions of the MacBook Air currently available from Apple, the tweaked form factor looks to include a thinner bezel around the display, along with an edge-to-edge keyboard, which fits more keys into a smaller surface area.
If the report is correct, Apple will also look to reduce the notebook’s overall thickness by eliminating the “clicking” physical feedback of the device’s trackpad.
Most interesting of all, however, is Gurman’s claim that Apple is considering ditching all ports with the exception of the standard headphone jack and dual-microphones for input and noise-canceling. Instead of standard USB ports, an SD Card slot, and even the Thunderbolt connector and MagSafe charging jack, Apple is said to be opting for a new USB Type-C port, which is smaller and faster than the existing USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.
Of course, none of this should be taken as gospel until Apple actually announces something. With that said, having previously ditched numerous components we thought were essential but quickly learned to do without–like mouse buttons, old-school serial and printer ports, and floppy disk and CD drives–Apple’s not a company known for holding onto legacy components just because we’re used to them.