It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas – at least for Apple fans. The company’s Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off on Monday with Tim Cook’s keynote speech. While we’ll be hanging on all of Cook’s words as he announces Apple’s latest creations, we think the Internet hive mind already has a pretty good idea of what he’ll be talking about on Monday – particularly when it comes to the MacBook line. The are several updates to both the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro that we would like to see, but which items on our wishlist and in the rumor mill will actually come to fruition? You’ll have to tune in on Monday to find out. Here’s what we know (or what we think we know) about Apple’s new MacBooks.
Quite frankly, it’ll be more of a surprise if Apple doesn’t launch a MacBook with Intel’s new Haswell chip inside. In case you haven’t noticed, nearly every computer manufacturer has announced systems with Intel’s fourth generation of Core processors inside within the last few weeks. We’re sure Apple won’t be an exception. According to Intel, the new processors offer better graphics, up to 10 hours of battery life, and draw less wattage than current chips. That last feature is key because chips that draw less power will last longer on battery charge. Thus, Apple can keep its chassises extra thin because it doesn’t need to make more room for a bigger battery.
Still don’t believe us? KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is going on the record in his most recent report stating that Apple will employ Haswell in its new notebook lines.
While speedy Wi-Fi is definitely useful, it’s not super sexy. Mention it in the same sentence as the MacBook Air and it’s suddenly more attractive. One of the most recent rumors we’ve heard is that MacBooks will be getting an upgrade to the 802.11ac wireless protocol. It’s faster than 802.11n and there are already 802.11ac routers available, though they are still a bit pricey. Lending credence to this rumor are reports of low stock on the Airport Extreme Base Station and the Time Capsule, both of which could also see an upgrade coming their way.
While this one isn’t on our wishlist, there’s growing speculation that the new MacBook Air will include a 1080p webcam. We’re not sure we want our video chat friends to see us and our pores in glorious 1920 x 1080 resolution, but, hey, maybe Apple thinks we’re beautiful. This rumor stems from another rumor that Apple is including the dual-microphone configuration on the new Air. It’s currently available on the MacBook Pro Retina and helps with noise cancellation. Speaking of the MacBook Pro Retina…
Retina MacBook Air
One of our favorite rumors is that a MacBook Air with a Retina display will be announced at WWDC. Though Apple analyst Kuo doesn’t think a Retina Air will appear due to the display’s heaviness, power consumption, and cost, we think that if Apple can manage a Retina display in a 9.7-inch iPad for $500, it can manage at least an 11.6-inch one for the smaller model of the Air without an exorbitant price increase.
Slimmer Retina MacBook Pro
Another one of Kuo’s predictions is an even slimmer Retina MacBook Pro. The Retina model already ditched the disc drive that’s still present in the non-Retina Pro and is using a stick of flash memory in place of an SSD. Making the Retina Pro slimmer would be interesting, especially since the MacBook Pro could use a new look, but we’d rather see a Retina model of the Air if we have to choose between the two.
No Pro at all?
Some sources say that WWDC will be all about the Air and that Apple will save its Pro lineup for non-show event in the next few weeks. We’re not sure Apple would waste its chance to announce both products, but if its moving its attention towards the Air line, it may release the updated Pros in a less public event.
9to5Mac has already noted dwindling supplies of the Airport Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule, but there’s another peripheral that could be due for an update this year: Apple’s Thunderbolt display. According to CNET, the most recent Thunderbolt display uses USB 2.0 and the older version of Apple’s MagSafe power adapter, meaning the display is ripe for a refresh.
What do you think we’ll see MacBook-wise on Monday at WWDC?