What You Can Expect From Apple’s MacBook Event This Week

What You Can Expect From Apple’s MacBook Event This Week

Apple is having a press event on Thursday October 27 and you know what that means: New MacBooks! Finally. We’ve been waiting for this MacBook Pro overhaul for years.

As always, a lot of what we should see has been leaked out. Here’s what to expect.

A totally redesigned MacBook Pro

Image: Martin Hajek — This is a design concept of what Apple’s new MacBook Pro with OLED touchscreen could look like.

This is the big one. Apple is expected totally overhaul its 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks. This is a big deal because the actual MacBook Pro design hasn’t been changed since 2012, when Apple rolled models with Retina displays. Since then, we’ve begged and pleaded with Apple to release something worthy of replacing the 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Back in May, analyst Ming Chi-Kuo from KGI Securities reported that Apple was going to overhaul the MacBook Pro, making it thinner and offering an OLED touchscreen above the keyboard.

The touchscreen will sit where your function keys sit on the MacBook Pro now, and will dynamically change, based on what apps you’re using and what is on your screen.

Cult of Mac later obtained "spy photos" of the chassis, showing off where the OLED touchscreen will sit.

Image: Cult of Mac

The MacBook Pro is also expected to add USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 ports for faster connectivity. In fact, a recent Macotakara report suggests Apple will only have USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro. Apple could even get rid of MagSafe, its long-patented (and very useful) power adaptor and use just USB-C.

When it comes to internals, Bloomberg reported back in August that the new MacBook Pro would use AMD graphics. As for processors, Apple could go with Intel's sixth-generation Core Skylake chipset or it could update to the new Kaby Lake processors.

We'd love to see Kaby Lake MacBook Pros, especially after waiting this long, but it might come down to yields.

Updated MacBook Air

Image: Apple

Although the MacBook Pro is expected to be the big star of the event, Apple is also expected to update the MacBook Air. Though it might have lost its thin and light crown to the MacBook, it's still Apple's best-selling notebook. It's also Apple's most affordable.

Both Bloomberg and Macotakara report that the MacBook Air will be updated with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 support. The actual hardware design, which Apple has used since 2010, is expected to be the same. The screen is not expected to get an upgrade, so if you want Retina, you need to pony up for a MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Macotakara also reports that Apple will be getting rid of the 28cm MacBook Air, leaving only the 33cm model in the lineup.

Updated iMac

Bloomberg reports that Apple will update its 4K and 5K iMacs with faster processors. This makes sense, since Apple did the same thing last year. It's possible the iMac could also get USB-C ports, though we are really hoping to see some Thunderbolt 3 love.

Graphics on the iMac are also expected to get a boost, thanks to newer chips from AMD.

5K External Display

Back in June, Apple discontinued its beautiful Thunderbolt Display. The discontinuation was notable because there wasn't another product in Apple's lineup to replace it.

For years, professional users who use 4K displays have asked where Apple's first-party solution might is. The problem is that in order to successfully drive a 5K display, you need powerful graphics, something a lot of MacBooks just don't have. Back in June, 9to5Mac reported on rumours that Apple was working on a 5K display with an external GPU, in order to drive that needed performance.

We just might see it this week. If Apple does roll-out Thunderbolt 3 across its laptop line, that could pave the way for a 5K display with built-in GPU.

No Mac mini and Mac Pro updates

Image: Apple

Apple hasn't updated the Mac Pro since its release three years ago. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Pro machine will get an update, even thought the addition of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 would be very welcome to pro users.

Similarly, the Mac mini hasn't had an update since October 2014. The Mac mini is a low-volume seller, but plenty of users rely on it for an inexpensive Mac; it's also often used as a server. Sadly, the Mac mini isn't expected to get an update this time.

This story originally appeared on Gizmodo


  • Best not to do anything Apple, who knows how many authors are going to use these things to peddle their agendas in my un-written, undeveloped eventual video game stories.

    It’s just too dangerous.

    • OK, I eventually got a laugh from that.

      That said, scrapping the lowest end model of the MacBook Air is going to be soul-destroying for said authors. (Being serious, having that 11″ Air was an absolute godsend on long trips and cons. I’ll be gutted if it’s scrapped.)

      • My “eco-system” revolved around my 2008 Macbook White. I am definitely wanting to remain within the walled garden of Apple due to all the devices I have to manage (family phones and tabelts are all iSomethings) and to do so I have to upgrade it. It’s literally falling apart but I won’t be able say I can’t part with it for much longer.

        • My 2008 non-unibody is still, uh.. well, not ‘going strong’ but at least ‘going’. The screen only works on some angles and I have to hold the MagSafe in with a strip of duct tape.. but when it’s running it does surprisingly well! Please hold on for a few more weeks, ol’ faithful.

  • Is the MacBook Air’s screen still awful? Surely if there’s one thing on any Apple product that desperately needs an update, it’s the Air’s awful, awful display?

    I’m definitely staying optimistic over the new MBP though. I really want to update my mid-2012 one. As long as it doesn’t start at like $2500.

    • I wouldn’t say it’s awful, but it doesn’t come close to a Retina screen or probably anything post 2014, I’ll give you that.

      (But yeah, the new MBP probably will start from $2499, sorry)

      • Damn 😛

        It’s been a few years ago now since I last played with one, but I remember the Air having a pretty poor viewing angle to the point it looked like a really cheap laptop’s screen.

  • I hope the capacitive function keys don’t extend all the way to escape. As someone who uses vim on a daily basis, I’m not sure how I’m going to go with hitting a piece of glass every time I want to change mode

    • Really? It’s the most exciting new feature, to me (assuming reports are correct). App specific functionality seems super useful. If anything is a deal breaker for me it will be the connectivity options, or lack thereof.. and maybe the price. Most likely the price…

      • I use the function keys all the time, various IDEs and apps have heaps of shortcuts. Without the tactile feedback it will be rubbish using these apps with the built in keyboard. By all means add a new touch screen but don’t remove expected functionality to do so.

        • I’m picturing some cool functionality though. Like channel specific pan pots or faders in Logic, or hue and saturation etc sliders in Photos. But yeah, I’m sure I’ll encounter frustrations reaching for old shortcuts.

          Problem with Apple is, to add something new, they’d sooner take out something old than increase the size of their devices.

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