Apple is planning its biggest MacBook Pro makeover to date – but the new notebooks “aren’t likely” to launch in September, apparently.
The new MacBooks will feature a thinner design, a touch-screen strip for function keys, and more powerful components like advanced GPUs for “expert users such as video gamers”. That’s according to a new report published by Bloomberg, and written by journalist and respected Apple scoopster Mark Gurman.
It’s coming soon
Gurman claims that the new computers have been in “advanced testing” since earlier this year, but that they “aren’t likely to debut at an event currently scheduled for September 7” – that’s the expected iPhone 7 launch day. However, they could still arrive this year.
There’s a new display...
“This year’s MacBook Pro overhaul is aimed at increasing notebook sales at a time when consumers are taking longer to buy or replace iPads,” writes Gurman. “The most significant addition to the new MacBook Pro is a secondary display above the keyboard that replaces the standard function key row.”
…with new functions
This OLED strip will be touch-sensitive, and will present functions based on the current task. For instance, if you’re in a specific application like Apple Notes, you’ll get relevant function keys. These could include text modifiers like ‘bold’ or ‘italics’, or a ‘save’ function. Similarly, in iTunes, media playback controls could be offered up by the touchscreen.
(Image credit: Martin Hajek, designer)
It’s going on a diet
Gurman’s sources also claimed that while the new MacBook Pro models will be “slightly thinner” than current versions, they won’t be tapered like the MacBook Air and 12-inch MacBook. The new MacBook Pro will have, overall, a smaller footprint than existing models, and the casing will have shallower curves around the edges. The trackpad will also be “slightly wider”.
Powerhouse graphics incoming
The report goes on to claim that a version of the MacBook Pro that features a “higher-performance” AMD graphics chip will be available. Apple is reportedly using one of AMD’s ‘Polaris’ GPUs, because “the design offers the power efficiency and thinness necessary” to fit inside the MacBook Pro’s newly svelte chassis.
USB-C and fingerprint scanning
Apple is said to be adding other new features to the MacBook Pro, including a USB-C connection port (like the 12-inch MacBook) and a TouchID fingerprint scanner (like the iPhone). The latter will reportedly sit beside the new function key display, and will let users log in more quickly, and even authenticate purchases.
As with any leak, take this report with due caution. Apple has not confirmed any of the details rumoured in the Bloomberg article.
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