While Samsung is in Galaxy Note 7 never happened mode and the media is getting over digesting Apple's latest iPhone 7 and Apple Watch offerings, Apple is bustling about preparing for their October 27, special event. This time it's all about the Mac – F I N A L L Y!
We've previously discussed how walking into an Apple Store is like stepping into a computer museum, but Phil Schiller should be all about delivering some welcome Mac news. But which Macs will get updates and how major, or minor, will those updates be?
Every Mac Apple offers should receive some form of an update. Some models will get a major makeover, while others are likely to see only minor processor updates. Here's the breakdown of Thursday's Mac unveilings:
- Mac Mini: An Intel Skylake processor upgrade, with most USB-3 ports replaced with USB-C.
- Mac Pro: Apple should include Intel's newest "Broadwell-WS" or "Skylake-WS" Xeon processors, while replacing the aged ATI Radeon 57XX and 58XX series graphics cards with ATI's latest Radeons. Don't be surprised to see an optional BTO option offering NVIDIA graphics. Apple is also likely to incorporate the fasted version of Thunderbolt into the USB Type-C ports (also known as Thunderbolt v3).
- iMac: The retina display is likely to achieve an even wider HDR (High Dynamic Range) color gamut, while introducing USB-C ports. The latest Intel Skylake processors or perhaps Intel's Kaby Lake processors (supporting 10Gbps speeds for UBC-C), and an all-new chassis, with redesigned keyboard and mouse should also make the cut.
- MacBook: An Intel Core M5 update should be a given, but an additional USB-C port may be coming to the 12" model. We also believe a 14-inch version is possible, allowing the MacBook lineup to replace the aging MacBook Air product offerings, relegating to them to entry level and educational sales.
- MacBook Air: If Apple does indeed surprise and deliver a 14-inch MacBook, the 13-inch MacBook Air is likely to receive little more than a Skylake processor update, with more aggressive pricing. Apple may opt to utilize the update to deliver USB-C ports, but this seems unlikely. The 11-inch MacBook Air will be discontinued.
- MacBook Pro: By far the biggest update to Apple's notebook lineup will be its flagship MacBook Pro offerings. Both the 15-inch and 13-inch versions will receive a Skylake or Kaby Lake processor upgrade, 16GB and 32GB of RAM, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD storage. Discreet ATI Radeon graphics for both models is likely, along with updated HDR retina displays, UBC-C ports. The MacBook's butterfly keyboard will be added, along with an all-new OLED function bar, and the elimination of one USB-3 port (making rooom for USB-C. Perhaps the most noticeable change to the MacBook Pro will be in is its design and color options. The Mac Pro will be lighter and amazingly thin compared to the current model, shipping in space gray, gold, rose gold and silver.
Apple's MacBook Pro is likely to be the largest overall upgrade, but a surprise 14" MacBook, with the relegation of the MacBook Air lineup, vs a compete overhaul of the MacBook Air, may deliver the biggest shock value.
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