Report: New MacBook Pros Will Be Thinner, Have Wider Trackpad, OLED Bar, More

It seems that recently report after report have come out about Apple’s highly anticipated new MacBook Pros for 2016, however we haven’t heard anything official from Apple themselves yet. But according to a new report by Bloomberg, it appears that we don’t need official word from Cupertino as the site has been able to confirm most of the expectations we’re all looking forward to as a part of the 2016 MacBook Pro lineup if their sources are correct.

Apple Inc. is preparing the first significant overhaul of its MacBook Pro laptop line in over four years, according to people familiar with the matter, using one of its older products to help reverse two quarters of sliding sales.

According to the news website, Apple is currently in advanced testing of the new laptops and has been since earlier this year. A launch date of the new MacBook Pros isn’t expected to occur until  after September 7th when the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (and even the Apple Watch 2) debut. However, a Q4 2016 unveiling is still expected.

Bloomberg notes that the most significant addition to the 2016 MacBook Pros will be the OLED touch bar which will replace the Function keys at the top of the keyboard. Increased functionality and interaction with apps is likely a motive behind this added hardware, however nothing’s confirmed as of yet.

The most significant addition to the new MacBook Pro is a secondary display above the keyboard that replaces the standard function key row. Instead of physical keys, a strip-like screen will present functions on an as-needed basis that fit the current task or application. The smaller display will use Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, a thinner, lighter and sharper screen technology, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier this year.

Apple’s goal with the dedicated function display is to simplify keyboard shortcuts traditionally used by experienced users. The panel will theoretically display media playback controls when iTunes is open, while it could display editing commands like cut and paste during word processing tasks, the people said. The display also allows Apple to add new buttons via software updates rather than through more expensive, slower hardware refreshes.

The news site also makes note of a smaller footprint the 2016 MacBook Pros will leave while also being thinner than the current and past generations of the laptop. However, a sloped ‘wedge’ design like the MacBook Air and even the 12-inch MacBook isn’t expected from these computers.

The new top-of-the-line MacBook Pros will be slightly thinner than the current models but are not tapered like the MacBook Air and latest 12-inch MacBook, one of the people said. The new MacBook Pros have a smaller footprint than current models and the casing has shallower curves around the edges.

A wider, pressure-sensitive trackpad is also expected to be placed on the new laptops according to Bloomberg.

The pressure-sensitive trackpad is also slightly wider, the person added.

In addition, customers, according to Bloomberg, will have the option of upgrading their MacBook Pros with more powerful AMD graphics. However, it appears that graphics from this company will be supplied by default for users as Apple is reportedly using the company’s ‘Polaris’ graphics card for their MacBooks. This is because the card is 20% thinner than it’s predecessor and it offers the power and efficiency Apple needs for their new computers. Bloomberg tried reaching out to AMD for comment, however the company declined.

The news publication also predicts that Apple will include a USB-C port(s) on the 2016 MacBook Pros which has been highly rumored to be true for quite some time now. Bloomberg also heard that Apple has considered bringing over their gray, gold, and silver color options from the 12-inch MacBook to the new Pro lineup, however the site doesn’t know for certain whether this is true or false.

Finally, a Touch ID sensor is expected to land on the 2016 MacBook Pros. According to Bloomberg, Apple’s been testing this fingerprint scanning technology on their laptops and that it would allow things such as Apple Pay transactions to process quicker and smoother.

Apple is planning to bring over its Touch ID fingerprint technology from the iPhone to the new MacBook Pro line. Apple has tested versions of the upcoming laptops that integrate the scanner beside the new function key display, according to one of the people. The sensor would allow users to log in more quickly and theoretically authenticate Apple Pay purchases. Like with iPhones, the new Pro laptops will encrypt fingerprint data so it can’t be removed from the devices.

All in all, it looks like everything we’re expecting from the upcoming MacBook Pros is coming. Of course, we won’t know for sure until later this year, however with reports like this coming out as often as they are now, we can’t help but think that these leaks and rumors are pretty much legit.

What’s your take? Is Bloomberg telling the truth? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Bloomberg