Apple’s MacBook Pro desperately needs a redesign. With almost 5 lbs of weight and an inch of height for the 13” variant, this piece of hardware has gradually but steadily started to age in its appearance. If compared with the 12” MacBook, it becomes evident that a four year design cycle is probably as far as the Californian company could go. So what are the rumours for the now official 10/27 Apple presentation? According to the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities and Bloomberg, 1qApple plans to introduce revamped MacBook Pros in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Most of the information we have point to a design similar to the 12” version. First of all, there is a thinner and lighter design that has been speculated in the past months. Metal injection mold-made hinges will also be necessary, due to the thin body. It is also said to have less accentuated curves around the edges, a wider ForceTouch trackpad with the flatter butterfly keyboard. The machine is rumored to include a Touch ID sensor incorporated into the power button, USB-C (with Gen 2 USB 3.1 support for transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s), and Thunderbolt 3, as confirmed by code found within macOS Sierra. The 3.5 mm AUX port could be leaving us as well as the SD slot and the MagSafe, which is a bummer exactly for those that the MacBook Pro is targeted: creators.
The antenna will adopt the same technology used for the 12” MacBook, avoiding the black plastic bar. Apple could offer the same color options as for the 12″ MacBook: SpaceGrey, Silver, Gold and RoseGold. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves but a Matte Black finish would be the cherry on top.
But let’s take a look at what everyone is talking about: a thin OLED bar that will replace the function keys. Apple is calling it the “Dynamic Function Row”, that might be contextual with functions that adapt based on the app that’s in use. The utility of said bar will only depend on how the software is designed around it.
As far as internal specifications go, we can safely say that we might see a bigger performance boost in the 15” MacBook Pro. While the 13” MacBook was updated with Broadwell chips last year, the 15” one continues to use the old-generation Haswell chips. A series of mobile Xeon E3 chips could potentially improve general performance, but pricing constraints make the Core i7 Skylake chips Apple’s more likely choice. The new MacBook Pros will include more powerful graphics cards aimed at gamers and professionals. There is also rumored to be an option for a high-end Polaris graphics chip from AMD, which offers better power efficiency in a slimmer package.
What we are going to see in the upcoming weeks will probably be the biggest revamp of the Pro laptop lineup. Stay tuned for official coverage on the 27th of October.