It's been more than a year since Apple released its latest version of the MacBook Pro, leading many to believe that an upgrade is coming shortly. But in recent months, speculation has intensified that the update could be bigger – and far more appealing – than some of the previous updates to Apple's flagship notebook.
According to several rumors over the past few months, Apple is planning to launch a new MacBook Pro this year, featuring an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch bar above the keyboard that would provide additional information, notifications and action buttons for users to touch. It might also come with a better display, support for Apple's Touch ID and more. The new MacBook Pro won't be a cheap device, but if it comes with those features (and others), it will be an appealing one.
MORE: MacBook Pro Rumor Roundup
Best of all, the latest rumors suggest the notebook could launch as early as late October. Here's what the next MacBook Pro should have in order to fulfill its potential and make it a must-have update.
1. Bring On the OLED Touch Bar
The big new feature in Apple’s MacBook Pro is rumored to be an OLED touch bar that would sit above the keyboard. The bar would represent the first time Apple has bundled a touch screen into its notebook computer line and would act both as a place for users to get information and to interact with macOS Sierra. While it would replace the function keys at the top of the keyboard, it's a must-have if Apple plans to offer a major update that could come with a higher price tag.
2. Touch ID Seems a Logical Choice
For years, we've been able to log into a Windows PC with a fingerprint sensor. And yet, Apple, which has been offering a fingerprint sensor in its mobile products for years, has been behind that curve.
That needs to end with the new MacBook Pro. Apple should find a way to bundle the Touch ID sensor with the MacBook Pro. Like on the iPhone or iPad, the Touch ID would allow users to unlock the operating system. And since macOS Sierra already comes with Apple Pay support in Safari, the Touch ID sensor could be used to make payments from the Mac.
3. A 4K Display Would Be Nice
Apple has been offering the Retina Display in its MacBook Pros for years, but they're being trumped by Windows-based competitors that offer higher-resolution screens. Meanwhile, content makers are increasingly investing in 4K video.
Apple, then, would be wise to deliver a 4K display with its new MacBook Pro. The feature would allow users to finally watch 4K content and would go a long way toward making the MacBook Pro a more appealing option for gamers and entertainment seekers. And it would finally put the MacBook Pro on the same level as some of its high-end competitors.
4. USB Type-C Support
Given Apple's decision to invest in USB Type-C in its MacBook, it shouldn't surprise anyone if the feature comes to the MacBook Pro. In fact, it would be a welcome addition.
With USB Type-C, Apple would deliver support for an industry standard – something it's historically been loath to do, much to the chagrin of its users. In addition, USB Type-C is a versatile technology that allows for everything from charging support to data transfers. Best of all, it's a small port, helping Apple design computers with more compelling designs. Overall, it doesn't make much sense for Apple to ignore USB Type-C in its next MacBook Pro.
5. Those Powerful Nvidia GPUs We've Heard About
Debate rages over whether Apple and Nvidia have inked a graphics deal and whether powerful Nvidia processors would even be ready in time to make their way to a MacBook Pro that could launch as early as October. However, Nvidia offers some of the best graphics processors in the world and delivers better products than the AMD chips Apple is currently using. And since Apple seems intent on making the MacBook Pro a graphical powerhouse, it would make sense for the computer to come with the latest and greatest technology.
Simply put, Apple's next MacBook Pro needs Nvidia GPUs.
It's hard to know exactly what the notoriously secretive Apple has planned. The company hasn't confirmed that it's holding a special event anytime soon, and although the MacBook Pro is in need of an update, there's no guarantee we'll get it. But signs are pointing toward a new MacBook Pro. And if Apple has plans to launch a new high-end notebook and delivers the aforementioned features, it'll be an upgrade people around the globe will be anxious to get their hands on.
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