We’ve been waiting four painful years for new MacBook Pros, and if you’ve been holding on to your dying machine in hopes that a refreshed line must be imminent, we’re sorry to inform you that you’re going to have to wait even longer. According to Bloomberg’s Apple sleuth Mark Gurman, the new MacBook Pros are coming — but not at the early September iPhone event as many had hoped.
The report is chock full of details about the new machines, which don’t have a release date. Gurman cites anonymous sources who confirm many of the rumours we’ve heard about the forthcoming MBPs. The function key strip at the top of the keyboard will be replaced with a customisable OLED strip that would give gamers and Photoshoppers quick access to frequently used macros and hotkeys. That would be similar to the OLED keys included in the 17-inch Razer Blade Pro (though Razer replaced its number pad, not its F-key strip).
Gurman’s sources also say the MacBook Pros will be slimmer than the current models, and will be smaller too. That could mean a much thinner bezel around the display — a move Dell popularised with the XPS 13.
The new Pros will have a faster processors too, but seeing as there have been four new Intel chips introduced since the last time Apple refreshed the one in the MacBook Pro, that’s not exactly surprising. Details are scarce on what the new chip could be. It could be a Skylake chip like that found in the current MacBook. Or it could be the next generation Kaby Lake. With Apple’s tendency to go with what’s stable versus what’s new, expect the slower Skylake chip to be on the Macbook Pro when it eventually shrugs off its afterbirth and shuffles into the real world.
The most flabbergasting news out of Bloomberg’s report concerns Apple’s purported choice of video card manufacturers. Especially in light of Gurman’s claim that Apple wants to woo gamers with its MacBook Pro update.
The new MacBook Pro will reportedly feature an AMD Polaris video card versus something from the much, much, much more popular Nvidia brand. Years ago there was a pretty heated contest between AMD and Nvidia for gamers’ money. It was a rivalry as fierce as that between Apple and Samsung or Windows and MacOS. But Nvidia eventually won. Big time. Last year I was told they held something like 80 per cent of the video card market.
Gamers simply prefer Nvidia. Just like they prefer Windows to Macs. And it’s not the hardware’s fault. In both cases it’s because of superior software. That will be the real hurdle Apple will have to jump if it wants to pry gamers away from sleek Razer machines and insanely powerful MSI ones. There are half as many games available for Macs as there are for Windows. So unless Apple accompanies its announcement with plans to port Overwatch, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the rest of the Windows-only games, the new MacBook Pro will likely only appeal to the people currently clamouring for it: those who need a new workstation for 3D rendering, video editing, and image manipulating. [Bloomberg]