Fanless 12-inch MacBook with reversible USB allegedly coming mid-2015

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A mockup of a gold MacBook by @byfuzedesigns
A mockup of a gold MacBook by @byfuzedesigns

One of the less frequent—yet just as persistent—rumors in the Apple universe is the notion of 12-inch MacBook Air with a completely redesigned exterior.

Much like how Apple has gone back to the rounded design of the original iPhone with the 6 and 6 Plus, reports have claimed that this new MacBook will feature a fanless, clamshell-like design in the three main iPhone colors: Space Grey, Silver, and Gold. Now more details about the unannounced laptop have emerged.

Blogger Jack March, who previously reported on Apple’s 12-inch MacBook, says his source at Apple describes the product as having a “noticeably thinner design.” To help compensate for the new level of thinness, Apple will allegedly switch to the new reversible USB Type C connector.

USB Type C was rumored to ship with the iPhone 6’s Lightning cable, but that didn’t come to pass. Interestingly, it was revealed today that Type C is capable of serving as Apple’s next-gen Thunderbolt connector for powering 4K displays.

“The source also believes that the MagSafe port as we know it has also been sacrificed and the new Macbook Air charges in a different way to what we’ve seen in current Macs,” adds March, “however the source wasn’t too sure whether this had been finalised or not.”

The only other kind of charger Apple has introduced in its product lineup is the inductive charger for the Apple Watch, but that won’t ship until 2015.

Intel’s Broadwell processor will assumedly power the 12-inch MacBook given the chipset’s speciality in performing at low temperatures. A fanless MacBook design would require finely tuned specs to manage heat output. A previous report said that Intel’s Broadwell lineup wouldn’t be ready to ship until early next year.

Beyond those details, March’s source says the that the keyboard “leaves almost no space on the side.” The speaker grill is purportedly above the keyboard, while the current Macbook Air’s speakers are under the keyboard. The display bezel is said to look a lot like the Retina MacBook Pro in terms of thinness.

In June, Digitimes said that Quanta Computer had been tapped to manufacture the 12-inch MacBook. The laptop could have a Retina display, but there haven’t been enough reports to bet on it yet.