There has been no dearth of speculation about Apple’s MacBook. It has been quite some time since Apple last updated the line and with the release of MacOS Sierra in September, the rumor mills have been busy. Obviously, Apple will be coming out with new machines — the only questions are: What and when?
Now, it appears that Apple will be hosting an event aimed at answering those questions on October 27, as Recode reports. The event will be held in Cupertino, California, on or near the Apple campus and will come a day after Microsoft holds its own event to provide some updates on Windows 10 and potential new Surface hardware.
Apple has now confirmed the event and provided a link to add the event to your calendar. If you can’t attend in person, then you’ll be able to live-stream from Apple’s site on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac using Safari, or on Windows 10 using Microsoft’s Edge browser.
Some of the likely updates to the MacBook include an OLED strip along the keyboard of the MacBook Pro line providing customizable keys for app-specific functionality. A night mode similar to the one found in iOS that reduces blue light and, theoretically, eyestrain is another possibility. Finally, Touch ID or another form of biometric authentication and USB 3.1 are probably on tap.
A migration to Intel’s Kaby Lake is likely, particularly given that 2015’s MacBook Pro refresh was based on the now ancient Haswell class of processors. Thinner and lighter is typically Apple’s mantra at such events and a new hinge design fashioned by metal injection molding could be one way of achieving both objectives.
Major questions that will hopefully be answered include the fate of the MacBook Air. Is the MacBook Air redundant or will Apple’s midrange thin and light machines get their own refresh, say with high-resolution screens? The desktop Mac Pro is also well-past due for its own refresh. Will Apple bring its desktops up to date, or will it continue to let them languish?
With the PC market continuing its broad decline, Apple will be best served by bringing their MacBook Pro and other MacOS lines up to snuff. The Windows PC market has enjoyed its own renaissance recently, with companies like Dell and HP producing increasingly competitive and attractive alternatives. Apple likely knows that they cannot rest on their laurels for too much longer and we expect the October 27 event to bring some welcome updates.
Updated on 10-19-2016 by Mark Coppock: Clarified that Apple has now confirmed the event and provided information on the live-stream.