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Leaked images claim to show next-gen MacBook Pro with OLED touch bar

Just days after a prominent tech analyst said Apple was readying an all-new MacBook Pro featuring an “OLED display touch bar,” images have appeared online that claim to show the refreshed design.

The photos, sent to Cult of Mac by an unnamed source who claims to work for one of Apple’s manufacturing partners in China, show a thin strip for the touch bar located in place of the function of keys. It’s been suggested the bar could give user various configuration options that make better use of the space currently taken up by the function keys. In other words, users will be able to use the bar to perform the same operations offered by the F-keys, plus many more.

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The images also suggest the revamped laptop will come with not one USB-C port, not even two, but a very useful four. If true, it seems Apple may taken on board people’s gripes regarding its decision to include only one port on its newest computer, the 12-inch MacBook, though admittedly the two machines are aimed at different audiences. What the next-gen Pro does appear to have in common with the MacBook is the lack of an SD card slot and MagSafe connector.

Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said last week he expects the tech giant to launch the redesigned MacBook Pro in the final quarter of 2016 – presumably in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season – with the company maintaining screen sizes of 13 and 15 inches.

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Besides that intriguing OLED touch bar, Kuo said the laptop could also incorporate Apple’s Touch ID sensor, which would be a first for the company’s line of computers. As you’d expect, the machine should also be lighter and slimmer than the existing model, a claim seemingly borne out by several of the just-released images. An ultra-shallow keyboard similar to that seen on the MacBook could also be part of the package.

Apple hasn’t made any significant changes to the MacBook Pro since 2013, so it seems a safe bet that we really are about to see an all-new design hit stores in the not-too-distant future. For many fans of the laptop who’re hoping to upgrade, the launch can’t come soon enough.