Apple released its massively updated, new MacBook Pro in October 2016 to an awfully mixed crowd of press and general public alike. The device’s new Touch Bar wowed, whereas its price for the parts inside certainly did not.
Now several months since that release, reports and rumors of what Apple’s MacBook Pro 2017 follow-up will be like have surfaced, and all signs point to better parts for the price. The latest report from Bloomberg reaffirms as much.
However, there is also so much that we don’t know, so check back on this space every once in a while, as we’ll be updating it with the latest regarding the would-be 2017 MacBook Pro.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The new MacBook Pro’s successor
- When is it out? A WWDC reveal is currently expected
- What will it cost? Likely as much as current models
MacBook Pro 2017 release date
Before May 16, the closest thing to an idea of the MacBook Pro 2017 release date was a report from famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the next MacBook Pro models will go into production in Q3 2017, so around July.
That would logically place the new MacBook Pro in an October 2017 release window, which would make a whole lot of sense considering when the updated MacBook Pro released in 2016.
Apple has debuted new MacBooks in the past during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the most recent being an updated MacBook Air alongside the Mac Pro in 2013. Now, since Apple generally doesn’t like to tease products too long before they’re set to release – ahem, Apple Watch – that would mean new a MacBook Pro in time for back to school rather than the middle of the autumn semester.
MacBook Pro 2017 price
Considering the backlash to the price hike we saw coming from the generation of MacBook Pro’s into the current one, we wouldn’t expect to see major changes in MacBook Pro pricing. Of course, we wouldn’t anticipate them coming down in price by comparison. That would just be ludicrous.
So, it would be safe to expect the next line of MacBook Pro models to start at $1,499, £1,449 or AU$2,199 – starting with the lowest-power, non-Touch 13-inch model – and top out around $2,799, £2.699 or AU$4,249 for the highest-end, 15-inch model with Touch Bar.
Then again, Apple has a way of introducing new, exciting features to dull the blow of an increased price, if last year is any indication. In this age of Apple, be prepared for a wild, new feature that could potentially drive the price up.
MacBook Pro 2017 specs
Probably the biggest point of discussion regarding the new MacBook Pro is what Apple will choose to place inside. This is one of the most divisive points surrounding the current range of MacBook Pro’s and continues to be so as long as Apple continues its particular trend of price per part.
The current line of MacBook Pro’s has been criticized for its low RAM, or memory, threshold of 16GB as well as its use of “dated” 6th generation (Skylake) Intel Core i-series processors. Naturally, a January rumor surrounding the would-be new MacBook Pro stated that it will contain both the latest, 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i-series chips as well as room for up to 32GB of RAM.
These details were first brought to the public via the same aforementioned report in which Ming Chi-Kuo projected the release window for the new MacBook Pro’s. But since, evidence of these Kaby Lake-equipped models has allegedly appeared within the code of the macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta – the one currently underway, as of this writing.
Further to this scuttlebutt regarding what will be inside the new MacBook Pro is the same May 16 Bloomberg report citing the WWDC 2017 debut, calling out the same Intel part by name.
That might not be the only bit of new silicon in the MacBook Pro for 2017, though. Apple is reportedly working on a new co-processing chip that will be a logical extension of the ARM-based T1 processor currently used to power the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. This chip would reportedly take on more power management tasks that Intel’s processors currently handle, with the goal of increasing battery life.
MacBook Pro 2017: what we want to see
Beyond these reports, we know little else about what the new MacBook Pro will be capable of. Of course, we’ve drafted up a brief wish list for Apple’s next pro-bent laptop.
Longer battery life
This is no doubt low-hanging fruit, but being one of the primary complaints lobbed toward Apple for the MacBook Pro’s of today, we couldn’t help ourselves. After all, Apple once prided itself on the longevity of its laptops.
And, the firm has quite a lot going for it in this direction. Between rumors of more power-efficient Kaby Lake processors inside and those of a special power management chip, longer battery life should be in the bag for the new MacBook Pro.
Apple no doubt spurred the obsession with screen resolution in all consumer electronics once it unleashed its “Retina” screen standard years ago with the iPhone 4. But, the rest of the technology world has at last caught up to the firm’s screen sharpness.
Frankly, in computing, Apple’s Retina display was surpassed years ago, and it’s about time that its standards for “Retina” were updated. Especially for the price, the new MacBook Pro’s should come sporting 3,200 x 1,800 QHD+ displays at least – and that’s at 13.3 inches.
Naturally, what we’ll see is some incredibly particular resolution that hovers around industry standards but doesn’t get too close. Jokes aside, it’s time for sharper MacBook Pro screens.
More (and more varied) ports
Throwing a glut of Thunderbolt 3 ports, while impressive, at a laptop doesn’t solve the users’ problem of not having compatible connectors or accessories to use them with. To that end, we need to see either more variety in the ports that the new MacBook Pro offers or for Apple to include more adapters in the box.
Professional users need to be bridged between where they are technologically right now and where a creator like Apple envisions them being in the next few years. At the very least, a few more USB-C adapters would go a long way.