Apple has been a little behind the curve with their desktops and laptops. Though they’ve introduced and subsequently updated the 12-inch MacBook and slightly improved their iMac line as recently as last year, the rest of the line has been a bit stagnant. October 27th Apple is having a new event presumably to inject something fresh into their designs. So what kind of rumors are going around and what do we actually expect?
Apple’s ‘Hello Again’ is coming back to the Mac. Again
The basic shape and design of the MacBook’s and Mac’s has remained largely the same since the smooth aluminum was introduced in 2012, so it’s certainly assumed that some sort of change, no matter how small, will come to the basic design. OLED-equipped keys or some sort of OLED strip above the keyboard seem likely enough. This function strip may be that the strip of keys could change context given the application that’s open. There’s even some confirmation in the depths of macOS of that change. Also in tow could be a fingerprint reader embedded into the power button.
Indeed, a radical change that could change the face of computing, regardless of whether it’s been used before may somehow make it a desirable product. Apple, for all their faults, does innovate. Sometimes that innovation is a refinement on existing, emerging technology.
Further changes expected are an evolution of the connectivity. They pioneered the adoption of Thunderbolt and we’re likely to see Thunderbolt 3 make an appearance. In addition there may be USB Type-C for those ports that aren’t connected to any PCIe lanes. And what are those PCIe lanes going to be hooked up to? Well, just as in the past, Apple may have found a way to earmark the first higher wattage Kaby Lake processors. Apple was the first to use Sandy Bridge when Intel unveiled it, so it’s not far fetched that they’ll use Apple to debut their 7th generation Core processors. These would be faster than the Haswell currently in the 15-inch MacBook pro and the Broadwell that’s sitting in the 13-inch model.
Graphics-wise we’re looking at a strong indication that AMD’s Polaris architecture may be making it’s mobile premiere, and likely in Polaris 11 guise. They’ve had a long relationship with AMD even if they haven’t always taken to their GPUs in their machines. Even with the nearly 6TF of compute power, we’re still expecting similar screen resolutions.
That’s nice ‘Hello Again’ but what’re we getting?
So what’s actually getting updated? The aging MacBook Air line could see nearly complete overhauls and the 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro’s will be upgraded as well. Though this is supposed to be about their computers on Thursday, we’re unsure what’ll happen to the Mac Pro or Mac Mini line. It makes sense to simply update the internals of the already beautiful (arguably, of course) Mac Pro. But what the Mac Mini? It might be a slight of build, tiny machine, but it’s been useful and still more popular than expected. It can’t game (except with an eGPU, which is possible on Thunderbolt 2) of course, but for productivity and those wanting the macOS ecosystem, it worked well.
So we’re getting new MacBook Pros and maybe updated internals for the iMac. Check in on Thursday to see our coverage of their Hello Again event.