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Intel Portables (Apple) Apple Hardware

Apple To Refresh Entire MacBook Lineup Next Month, Air and Pro To Feature Kaby Lake (bloomberg.com) 234

Apple will unveil new laptops during its annual developer conference, known as WWDC, next month, reports Bloomberg. The company is going to refresh the MacBook Pro (as well as Air and just the 'MacBook' models) with new seventh-gen processors from Intel, the newest available, the report adds. Last year, Apple launched three new MacBook Pro laptops with older sixth-generation chips, which means people who already own the newer model may be a bit dismayed by Apple's refresh. From the article: Apple is planning three new laptops, according to people familiar with the matter. The MacBook Pro will get a faster Kaby Lake processor from Intel, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal planning. Apple is also working on a new version of the 12-inch MacBook with a faster Intel chip. The company has also considered updating the aging 13-inch MacBook Air with a new processor as sales of the laptop, Apple's cheapest, remain surprisingly strong, one of the people said.
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Apple To Refresh Entire MacBook Lineup Next Month, Air and Pro To Feature Kaby Lake

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  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @02:45PM (#54428263)

    When you buy any laptop there's going to be an update before too long - even if Apple were not doing "new" models there's usually some kind of mid-year refresh you're going to not be getting.

    At the time of the last MacBook Pro release there was a lot of technical analysis pointing out all of the things coming on-line in the next few years - the new intel processors, and with them mobile chipsets that could handle more memory efficiently. So it was pretty easy to judge at the time if you should buy a laptop then, or wait another year if you really wanted the Intel processor update.

    Not everyone cares about all of the aspects of a laptop being at peak, it's always judging tradeoffs and deciding if a system will meet your needs.

    • by halivar ( 535827 )

      When Apple releases a new laptop, that's the laptop they're going to sell you for the next 5 years. (For better or worse)

      • It sounds like they are going to 'refresh' the laptops they've been selling for, oh, about six months now. What a mistake people who bought the new 2016/17 Macbooks made. They're all obsolete in a little while.

        And those are the most festering eager Apple customers.

        Way to go, Apple.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      I looked at the Macbook Pro last year, looked at my 2012 15" model, and passed on the new one. I acutally like my old one better than the new one and it's actually not that much slower. I'm not paying out 2K for a laptop that's 100 dollars faster.

    • by Zemran ( 3101 )
      But is it ever anything we need? They do not seem to realise why their cheapest is the best seller and I do not believe it is price. In many ways it is their best model. They should try expanding the basic model range and see how that goes. Drop the CD slot but keep it basic and repairable.
  • by exabrial ( 818005 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @02:45PM (#54428265)
    This time, we're taking away the SCREEN. SCREENS were invented as a part of 1960s/1970s MAINFRAME technology and are outdated. The entire computer will run with SIRI.
    • nah man its all holograms from now on, full VR with Smellovision.
    • I figured as much. It's the only thing that's left.

    • by WheezyJoe ( 1168567 ) <fegg@@@excite...com> on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @03:36PM (#54428613)

      SCREENS were invented as a part of 1960s/1970s

      Screens? In the 60's early 70's? Would have loved to have screens! We had teletype machines [wikipedia.org], line-printers with keyboards attached! You're "screen" was a roll of paper. Files edited one line at a time. You think they call 'em "carriage-return" and "line-feed" for nothing?
      Gett^H off my lawn^H^H^H^HLAWN!

      • by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

        Teletypes? Luxury! We had switches we used to load programs! And perfectly good incandescent status bulbs to read the output on! Later, we got paper tape punches and readers, and we were so happy!

        ==> ...still has copy of Tiny Basic on oiled paper tape, safe in a film canister

      • We had some of them when I was at college. They were great for 1st year stats - you did the exercise on minitab, tore off the bog roll, added notes & comments, signed it & handed it in.

    • You mean like a Mac mini?

      I have one and I mostly use my phone as the SCREEN. Fortunately Mac OS X still comes with the screen command.

  • nix the Touch Bar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by supernova87a ( 532540 ) <kepler1&hotmail,com> on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @02:53PM (#54428321)
    I hope they will quickly do away with the Touch Bar, which, as much a fan of Macbooks that I am, has been totally useless. Even worse, it interferes and causes errors when I do other tasks that happen to go near the Touch Bar, such as the calculator.

    Every time I try to use the calculator (and the top row of number keys) my fingers graze the Touch Bar, which then triggers an incorrect calculation because the Bar adopt some calculator function keys while open.

    There is something positive to be said about having keys that have physical boundaries and limited functions, and having that well separated from a touch bar which, if it provided some actually useful function, had the versatility to change roles during use. They should have kept dedicated physical volume, brightness keys -- which now hide behind 2 finger presses on a strip that you have to look at carefully to find where to press.

    Aside from that inconvenience, I have to date used the Touch Bar approximately 0 times productively. I am not a video manipulator, so maybe that's what it's designed for, but so far, nothing. I am not really in need of having quick access to emoticons when I chat, thank you Apple...
    • I always touch the Siri button when I hit delete. It's very annoying. Then I have to go grasping for the nonexistant ESC key.
      • Re:nix the Touch Bar (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @03:17PM (#54428471)

        Not sure if you know, but you can customize the touchbar. If you go to "System Preferences->Keyboard->Customize Control Strip" you can customize it... get rid of Siri, move things around, etc.

        I had the same problem hitting the Siri button, but once I found this it made my life so much easier.

        I still don't use the touchbar much, but I do love touch ID.

        • Thanks, I will probably do that. How do I make it just show function keys all the time?
        • Might I add, for an operating system that supposedly 'just works' it is rather ironic that I need to go into prefs far more than I do even for any Linux distro I have used.
          • I thought the traditional complaint was that OSX wasn't sufficiently customisable... now you're complaining that it's too customisable?

            They just can't win.

            • No, I'm complaining that the little but of customizing you can do seems to always be required. If I could choose to customize the menus so they would just show all options at all times rather than having to play hide and go seek pressing keys on each menu I would do that in a shot. But it would be even better if it just came with an expert mode that you configured once and it made it that way.
        • Thank you - that simple information just changed my life. (a little)
    • apple will lose people who take the bar in some states with that pad.

    • I like the touch bar, and think it's an excellent idea they just need to refine a bit.

      In my case I agree that the Siri button is a little too easy to hit, because my finger will slide up off delete and graze it.

      My solution would be either to make the touch bar pressure sensitive and require a bit more force to trigger Siri, or to put up some kind of small ridge between the keys and the touch bar so your finger could not slide up there from the row of keys below.

      My only complaint about the Touchbar is that I

      • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @04:02PM (#54428763) Homepage

        See, I'm actually a bit surprised that Apple did a touchbar at the top of the keyboard. I think a couple other options might have been smarter:

        1) A small screen on the outside of the laptop so that notifications can be seen while closed. New Macs have a feature called "Power Nap" which allows the Mac to do limited things while asleep (e.g. check email). It might be handy to be able to see if you've received PowerNap enabled controls and notifications without opening your laptop. On the other hand, I'm not sure there are many uses for this that wouldn't be better handled on a smartphone.

        2) Turn the trackpad into a touchscreen. It's basically already a fairly large glass touchscreen that you're used to performing gestures on. All they'd have to do is put a display behind the glass. Then you could enable apps to assign functions to specific gestures to specific areas of the touchscreen.

        To replace some of the keyboard buttons with a touchscreen, however, doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Power users are generally going to be accustomed to touch typing, so forcing them to look at the keyboard for some of those keyboard functions seems counter-productive.

        • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @04:48PM (#54429121)

          A small screen on the outside of the laptop so that notifications can be seen while closed.

          I don't see it, my laptop when closed is in a case or backpack pretty much instantly. When I use it when closed, a small screen would have almost no value to me.

          Turn the trackpad into a touchscreen

          I still like the Touchbar as it is more than doing a touch-screen trackpad. Since my fingers are often hovering over or around the Touchpad I think it would be really hard to see the display compared to the Touchbar, which is always visible at the top fo the keyboard.

          To replace some of the keyboard buttons with a touchscreen, however, doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

          It makes a ton of sense to me and in practice is very useful. That's why I yearn for an external keyboard with a Touchbar.

          • I don't see it, my laptop when closed is in a case or backpack pretty much instantly.

            Huh? You *just said*:

            My only complaint about the Touchbar is that I often use the laptop shut attached to an external monitor...

            so I've gotta call bullshit here. Like I said, most functions that would be useful in an external display on a laptop would probably be better managed on a smart phone, but don't shoot down my admittedly flawed idea because "my laptop is never shut" when you just complained, "my laptop is always shut".

            • Huh? You *just said*:

              Yes, and they I *kept typing!*. Madness I know, but I can express more than one concept in a single paragraph.

              Had you kept reading you would have found answers instead of confusion. From the VERY POST YOU REPLIED TO, directly after the period you ended at:

              When I use it when closed, a small screen would have almost no value to me.

              I don't know how I can be any more clear. Of what use is a tiny screen on the laptop when I am already looking at a very large external monitor? If I want a

              • Whatever. You're full of it. You can't say that a small screen would be useless when you don't know what would be on it or how it would work. But you're complaining that you never have your laptop closed while also complaining that your laptop is always closed. You haven't thought anything through.

      • It is almost as good as this idea: https://slashdot.org/story/05/... [slashdot.org]
        • I liked that idea a lot also at the time, but I think the Touchbar + real keyboard is a more practical compromise. It's also more flexible as it's nice to have areas of the display much larger than a single key.

    • This. The touch bar is shit. It's a gimmick. They do the same thing with keyboards you can buy -- oooh look, your keys now change colors and can have icons. Can't wait until a malware overlay hits the touchbar or some other useless shit. It's almost like they didn't even test this before it came out.
    • by bazorg ( 911295 )

      Removing the Touchbar would be a big admission of failure. I don't know if your feelings about it are widespread in the Mac user community but I'd be surprised if they removed the last big innovation they announced.
      I would not be so surprised if they expanded it to replace physical keys elsewhere.

  • Yes, in continuing the Apple tradition of removing useless external ports with each "upgrade", these will feature a single thunderbolt port and no external power connection. One. Single. Port!

    Of course, you have to buy a new laptop after the 10 hour battery life is up.

    • Of course, you have to buy a new laptop after the 10 hour battery life is up.

      I think they can and will do better than that with a new MacBook Air. It comes in an empty box. Actually it's just the empty box, because it's Air. Now that's courage.

  • Sounds awesome. Intel is getting ready to launch its Core i9-series to compete with AMD's Ryzen 9, aaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddd Apple will be featuring neither. Tip your stock broker accordingly.

    • by leonbev ( 111395 )

      I'd imagine that Apple would be one of the first to offer a Core i9 mobile part once Intel has one available, given that their buyers would be willing to pay extra for it. The desktop parts look like they are going to be power hogs from the specifications I've seen so far.

      • Yes, but this is Apple we are talking about. The i9 will probably not happen for a long, long time, if ever, just because cooling it would make their laptops that much thicker.

    • The i9 will be sucking 140W of power, it's not really a laptop CPU.
  • by WalrusSlayer ( 883300 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @03:44PM (#54428661)

    I've had two Airs in the past three years, and the 2nd one only because the first was stolen. It was covered by insurance, so I tried like hell take advantage of the situation as an opportunity to upgrade. But I ended up buying the exact same configuration. For my purposes, given it's not a primary device, the thing is perfect. Will go all day and then some, is almost as easy to carry around as an iPad, yet you can throw some moderately compute-intensive chores at it and performs admirably. The only thing it doesn't have is retina, but that would just add weight or subtract battery life or both---so no thanks.

    But for the love of Pete, Apple, please don't trash this gem. I have nightmares of them going with two USB-C ports. Or going Retina. Please, just don't. Up the RAM max, update the CPU, give us more SSD capacity, whatever. Just don't fuck with the mag-jack, keep the SD card slot in there, and only put USB-C in as replacements for the USB3 ports that are there already if you must. But that's probably wishful thinking.

    The current iteration of Air is about as perfect a light-to-medium workflow laptop as you can get right now, and now I fear it will be history.

    (and before you trash me as a fanboi, my career has been Windows/Linux software development for 30 years, and I've gone through at least 5-6 generations of Dell laptops in the course of my work).

    • I have nightmares of them going with two USB-C ports.

      USB-C is awesome, though only two ports would be insufficient. Four like the MBP has would be good, and they're small enough it should create no issues, especially since you no longer need the thunderbolt or power ports.

      going Retina

      Why would you not want a higher-resolution screen? It makes everything much smoother and nicer looking.

      Just don't fuck with the mag-jack

      I prefer USB-C for power, though there are some downsides. The main one is the lack of a light to show charge status. I don't miss the mag jack. It always seemed like a clever idea, but it'

  • Until that I'm running a 2013 old one. See no need to upgrade, everything works. Price is no issue.

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