12-Inch MacBook Air Rumoured to Be Fanless, Feature USB Type-C

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12-Inch MacBook Air Rumoured to Be Fanless, Feature USB Type-C

More details of Apple's rumoured 12-inch Macbook Air laptop have emerged online indicating a slimmer design with more powerful innards.

The yet-to-be-announced 12-inch Macbook Air's sleek design might require it to sacrifice standard USB ports and instead use the reversible Type-C USB port that was announced last month by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, according to sources close to Apple (via Jack March). The USB Type-C connector is expected to be available on products in 2015.

9to5 Mac speculates that if Apple incorporates USB Type-C in its rumoured Macbook Air, the new device could also support the newly announced USB Alternate Mode which could allow high-quality audio and video to be delivered over USB cables.

Apple is also rumoured to be considering dispensing with the MagSafe charging port that it uses on all current MacBook models and introduce a new method to charge the device; a decision yet to be finalised by the Cupertino-based firm. Depending on the product's final specifications and power requirements, a dedicated charging port might not be necessary, thanks to additional provisions of the USB 3.1 standard which will be required for Type-C to be implemented. New USB power delivery specifications allow for up to 100W to be delivered in either direction over USB, which would be sufficient for charging a light notebook.

The product, besides being completely fanless and much thinner than the current MacBook Air design, will most likely be powered by Intel's Core M Processor based on the fifth-generation Broadwell architecture which can run fast and cool without a fan. "The source also told me that the product is completely fanless which has helped it gain a thinner design, it is assumed that Intel's Broadwell processor line will allow this change as they can keep at low temperatures and high performance without a heat sink," stated Jack March.

The Intel Core M processor will be the first implementation of Intel's 14nm manufacturing process and is specifically designed for thin fanless devices. It is expected to be incorporated in dozens of new slim notebooks, tablets and 2-in-1 devices which will hit markets this holiday season.

The rumoured 12-inch Macbook Air's screen bezels are also said to be thinner than before, similar to the design of the current MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup. There will not be any space on either side of the keyboard, and the speakers will be moved to above the keyboard. The device is expected to arrive next year in iPhone-style Space Gray, Silver and Gold colour variants.


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