13.4-inch OLED MacBook Air Reportedly in the Works
The MacBook Air remains Apple’s best-selling laptop, and the M1 chip took it to great heights in 2020. The M2 MacBook Air wasn’t as well received since the M2 chip wasn’t the most efficient with thermals.
The laptop still had upgrades in other areas, like a brighter screen with 10-Bit colour depth. It was still iterative for the most part, and M1 Air users didn’t need to upgrade.
There’s no confirmation, but we could see a MacBook Air with the M3 chip in 2023. The M3 chip could have TSMC’s new 3nm fabrication.
After the M3 MacBook Air in 2023, what could Apple do next with the MacBook Air lineup? Most rumours suggest shifting to OLED displays- something Apple calls Super Retina XDR.
There’s a good chance Apple will skip 2024 for the MacBook Air since there’s no point in releasing multiple models that are too similar in design and specifications each year.
The first Apple product with an OLED display was the Apple Watch. Apple was fairly late to adopt OLED on smartphones. Competitors like Samsung first used OLED in 2010, and Apple did it on the iPhone X in 2017.
We still don’t have any iPads with OLED in the market. The best iPad Apple sells has a MiniLED panel, which uses smaller individual LEDs as a backlight for the LCD. It’s not a bad panel, but Samsung’s OLED still displays colours better.
The debate between LCD and OLED on laptops remains subjective. Large OLED displays aren’t as bright as MiniLED panels, and Apple’s MiniLED MacBooks are class-leading. Supremely bright and has excellent colours, good dynamic range, and enough contrast.
OLED has its own set of advantages, like the deepest possible blacks, vibrant colours, and power efficiency. However, both have their drawbacks. OLED panels suffer from burn-in problems and also brightness problems, especially outdoors.
MiniLED displays have blooming problems and aren’t as efficient. Since it uses thousands of tiny individual LEDs as a backlight, the blooming effect is very prominent.
Apple is trying to solve the problems with large-screen OLEDs before launching laptops with OLED panels. We aren’t sure about the suppliers; there’s a good chance it’ll be a mix between Samsung, BOE, and LG, with Samsung as the primary.
Apple is also planning to manufacture displays in-house in a couple of years, and the new OLED MacBook Air could have proprietary Apple displays.
We still don’t have an exact release date for the OLED MacBook Air, but we can speculate that it’ll happen around 2025 or 2024 alongside the OLED iPad Pro.
We expect Apple to move to OLED on the iPads in 2024, and the MacBooks will probably follow. A reliable display analyst, Ross Young, told Twitter super followers that Apple is working on a 13.4″ MacBook Air model with OLED.
The new M2 MacBook Air deviates from the usual 13.3″ screen size and comes in at 13.6″. There are rumours of another 13.6″ MacBook Air in the works, but it’s unclear whether it’ll launch alongside the 13.4″ OLED MacBook Air.
Since none of this is confirmed, Apple could drop the 13.6″ size for the MacBook Air entirely and offer the 13.4″ size. A size difference of 0.2″ seems redundant and wastes materials and manufacturing costs.
There are also leaks that there will be a 15″ MacBook Air in the future, so we’ll have at least two sizes of MacBook Air models to choose from.