Apple is preparing “the first significant overhaul” of its MacBook Pro laptop line in over four years, reports Bloomberg, quoting unnamed “people familiar with the matter.”
The revved pro laptops will purportedly be thinner, include a touch screen strip for function keys, and will be offered with more powerful and efficient graphics processors for expert users such as video gamers. Echoing previous rumors, Bloomberg says the most significant addition to the new MacBook Pro is a secondary display above the keyboard that replaces the standard function key row. Instead of physical keys, a strip-like screen will present functions on an as-needed basis that fit the current task or application.
“Apple’s goal with the dedicated function display is to simplify keyboard shortcuts traditionally used by experienced users,” says Bloomberg. “The panel will theoretically display media playback controls when iTunes is open, while it could display editing commands like cut and paste during word processing tasks, the people said. The display also allows Apple to add new buttons via software updates rather than through more expensive, slower hardware refreshes.”
My take: I think the article is right. And you can expect to see USB-C ports, which made their debut on the 12-inch MacBook, arrive on the pro laptop. I’d expect the next MacBook Pros to debut in August, but it could be later than that, depending on how quickly Apple can get its hands on Intel’s Lake Kaby-S processors.