We first heard about Apple's plans for a 16-inch MacBook Pro in February through a note from Ming-Ji Kuo investors. Since then, we've learned so much more about the design, price, display and more of the new MacBook.
Read on as we round up everything we know about Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro.
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Update: 11/11/19: October has come and gone without any Apple announcement for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. With that in mind, however, Apple seems to be holding private media briefings in New York, where it will probably show the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. This suggests we could get an official, public announcement this week.
Meanwhile, macOS Catalina has unveiled a pair of devices that further suggest the existence of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. First, macOS Catalina contained a slightly smaller frame on the MacBook Pro's hardware icon, confirming reports that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will be the same physical size as the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
In addition, 9to5Mac has detected an image in macOS Catalina, which shows a revised touch screen and touch bar. As you can see here, the Touch ID button is separated from the rest of the touch bar. This also suggests that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will have a true escape key instead of software.
Given all this, there seems to be a consensus that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will not be a dramatic redesign. Instead, we can expect a slightly larger screen in the same size form factor, with almost identical chassis.
Update 8/26/19: As we approach the fall of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, we have learned more about exactly what to expect.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Jie Kuo has released a new report detailing that the new 16-inch MacBook Pro will be the first MacBook to adopt a revised keyboard design starting this fall. This new keyboard design will be like the keyboard design for the older MacBooks scissors switches.
Meanwhile, another supply chain report suggested that the new MacBook Pro will have a 9-generation Intel Cafe Lake-H processor. These are the same processors used by the current 15-inch MacBook Pro, which Apple refreshed in May. The report says that the 16-inch model will be configurable with up to 8 cores.
The same report also says that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will serve as a replacement for the 15-inch model. This makes sense if, in fact, the 16-inch Pro fits the same body size as the 15-inch, as has been speculated many times.
Last but not least, Apple has registered several new MacBook Pro models with the Eurasian Economic Commission – a clear hint that new models are on the way in the coming months. Read the full overview below.
When it first announced the larger existence of the MacBook Pro back in February, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo worries about a "new design". It remains unclear exactly what this means, but there are several logical possibilities.
Report from Digitimes earlier today said Apple's goal is to fit the 16-inch MacBook Pro into the same body as the 15-inch MacBook Pro. This will be achieved with the new model which has a narrower frame than other MacBook Pro models.
The current 15-inch MacBook Pro weighs 4.02 pounds, and if the larger model really fits into the same form factor, we should expect a similar weight and size.
As for other design changes, Digitimes says supply chain partners do not expect much change, with raw materials reportedly remaining the same. The only real change is that the chassis for the universe will have to be different from the CNC to match the larger display.
In many ways, it doesn't sound like the new 16-inch MacBook Pro design will go far beyond the design Apple first unveiled on the MacBook Pro in 2016. The inclusion of a larger display in the same size form factor, however, is a remarkable achievement in itself. Earlier this year, Michael Stiber of the 9to5Mac created a beautiful concept imagining what Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro looks like.
The standout feature of the 16-inch MacBook Pro is likely to be its display. The machine is bigger than the current 15-inch MacBook Pro, but smaller than the legacy 17-inch MacBook Pro, which still remains a popular machine for many today.
Sitting between those two sizes means the 16-inch MacBook Pro can strike a balance between power and portability to satisfy pro-level users, especially if it fits the same size as the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Several reports suggest that the 16-inch display will have a resolution of 3072 × 1920, relative to the 2880 × 1800 display used on the 15-inch MacBook Pro from the first Retina MacBook Pro in 2012. The panel will be LCD, unlike OLED, and manufactured by LG.
Specifications with a 16-inch MacBook Pro
Specifications for the MacBook Pro are hard to predict, but given the machine's target market, expect it to be powerful. Back in May, Apple released an upgraded version of its 15-inch MacBook Pro with more powerful 8-core Intel processors.
It's not clear what Apple can pack in the entry-level 16-inch MacBook Pro, but the current 15-inch MacBook Pro may be a good indicator. The base model includes a 6-core 9-generation Intel Core i7 processor with 256 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM and Radeon Pro 555X with 4 GB GDDR5 memory.
Can the new MacBook Pro include more I / O options than just four USB-C ports? It is not clear at this time, but that along with the return of the physical key Escape are items at the top of many lists in the Mac community.
According to Ming-Ji Kuo, the 16-inch MacBook Pro will be the first MacBook to move away from Apple's controversial butterfly keyboard. The analyst expects Apple to adopt a new scissor-based keyboard design after several controversial repetitions of the butterfly mechanism over the last four years.
Initially, it seemed like the 16-inch MacBook Pro would launch with a butterfly keyboard, but Kuo clarified his predictions in a new investor note just last week. Kuo predicts Apple will move beyond 16-inch butterfly buttons, and move its other MacBooks in 2020.
Returning the MacBook Pro Scissors Switch Buttons means a few things. For one, we expect improved key travel – perhaps similar to what Apple's standalone wireless keyboards are still delivering. Kuo also says the new keyboard design will have a new glass fiber to strengthen the keys, helping to improve reliability.
Butterfly keyboards on recent MacBook models have also been much louder than other keyboard mechanisms, so ideally returning the scissors switches would help.
16-inch MacBook Pro Price and Release
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is expected to create a new, top-of-the-line Apple MacBook. Reports suggest a starting price of around $ 3,000, which is what we would expect based on the rest of the MacBook lineup. It positions it between the 15-inch MacBook Pro and the iMac Pro, which starts at $ 5,000.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro starts at $ 2,399 in its basic configuration, but you can easily raise it to over $ 5,000 with things like SSD storage, more powerful graphics and 32 GB of RAM. The 17-inch MacBook Pro that Apple introduced in 2009 had a starting price of $ 2,799. When you consider this, it makes the starting price of $ 3,000 more reliable than the 16-inch model.
As for availability, many reports have suggested that Apple will launch the new MacBook Pro during the fall of this year. Digitimes suggests availability in September, but other reports suggest publishing in October. Apple will almost certainly hold a press event in September, but will focus on lining up the iPhone 11, Apple Watch, and new Apple services such as Apple TV + and Apple Arcade.
There are numerous precedents for the October event focused on Mac and iPad. Apple is believed to have several new iPad models in the works, and the October event could include those announced alongside the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
What do you hope to see in the 16-inch MacBook Pro? Are you planning to buy the new premium MacBook? Let them know in the comments.
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