A MacBook Air with Retina display and Mac Mini “Pro” could arrive this fall

Mac faithful who swear by their Mac Mini desktop and MacBook Air, which kickstarted the Ultrabook revolution in consumer laptops, may have reason to celebrate this fall. Apple is planning on updating both Mac models later this year with new features, and the company’s miniature desktop is said to be getting a pro-centric focus.

Rumors of a refreshed MacBook Air have picked up steam in recent months, and like earlier reports, Bloomberg claims that the laptop will come with a huge screen update. As the only current notebook in Apple’s laptop lineup without a high-resolution Retina screen, Apple will be giving its 13-inch laptop a Retina makeover this year, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with Apple’s products. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a solid track record with Apple leaks ahead of the company’s product launches, previously reported that the refreshed notebook could come in at $1,000, essentially replacing the current MacBook Air at that price point.

In addition to the MacBook Air refresh, Apple could also give its Mac Mini desktop a refresh, with some features catered to professionals. Given that Apple recently refreshed a high-end iMac Pro for its prosumer audience, this move makes sense. With the pro-centric Mac Mini, Apple will focus on more premium components that could increase the starting price of the laptop.

“For this year’s model, Apple is focusing primarily on these pro users, and new storage and processor options are likely to make it more expensive than previous versions,” Bloomberg reported and similarly cited people familiar with Apple’s plans.  This would be the first Mac Mini refresh in several years, and given the available technology today — like Intel’s eighth-generation processors — it could be the most powerful update to the beloved desktop computer ever.

The Mac Mini remains a popular option for many users given its compact size and low cost. Unlike the all-in-one iMac and iMac Pro, the Mac Mini doesn’t ship with a display, keyboard, or mouse, and users will have to add their own peripherals to use the computer. However, with a starting price at just $499, it remains one of the most affordable ways to enter Apple’s MacOS ecosystem.

Apple’s hardware refresh could happen as early as October. Historically, Apple announces its new iPhone and Apple Watch in September, and a Mac hardware event could follow a few weeks later in October. Apple is also slated to release MacOS Mojave in the fall as well.

Another Mac model that is getting refreshed is the Mac Pro. Unlike speculations surrounding the MacBook Air and pro-centric Mac Mini, Apple already confirmed its plans to update the Mac Pro, and the company previously announced that the updated hardware will arrive next year in a move to appease high-end professionals and creatives. These hardware updates will help Apple recover from stagnant Mac sales and improve its market share in the PC space.


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