Why you shouldn't buy a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro this week...

By David Flynn , October 4 2016
Why you shouldn't buy a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro this week...

Planning to buy a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro laptop in the next few weeks?

Hold your horses, hombre. Apple's set to reveal all-new models of its two flagship notebooks on the morning on October 28th (AU time), and based on information coming through from well-informed industry sources we hear they'll be worth the wait.

Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro Retina

As previously reported, expect this month to see a sweeping upgrade to Apple's flagship 13 inch and 15 inch laptops.

Beefier Intel processors and optional high-performance AMD Polaris graphics chips? Yep.

A thinner design to tempt peripatetic power-users? Definitely.

But the standout feature of the 2016 MacBook Pro Retina is likely to be a narrow touch-sensitive display replacing the top row of function keys, as shown in these concept mockups by designer Martin Hajek.

This versatile 'dynamic function strip' – which will reportedly use OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology – would act as a secondary screen for showing app-based information as well as presenting shortcut functions to suit whichever app you're currently using.

This could include music playback keys in iTunes or Spotify, and common editing commands in a word processor or spreadsheet, with new buttons being added via software updates from Apple or individual apps.

Another touch-centric addition is expected to see Apple finally offer fingerprint recognition to unlock the MacBook Pro with a mere tap.

(This would use the same Touch ID tech as on the iPhone and iPad, with a scanner nestled into one side of the new function key display.)

Also on the cards: a shift to the latest USB-C sockets (with support for Apple's Thunderbolt 3 spec) which can handle everything from charging the longer-life battery to superfast data transfer and hooking up a desktop monitor.

Yet to be confirmed, but a burning hope in the hear of many frequent flyers: the appearance of a SIM card slot to make the MacBook Pro truly mobile, swapping a reliance on WiFi hotspots for go-anywhere access to 4G or 3G data networks at home and overseas (using a local prepaid SIM card).

Apple's 2016 MacBook Air

Less is known about the latest member of the MacBook Air family, which with its Twiggy-esque profile, light weight and long battery life has become the ultra-thin notebook of choice for many business travellers.

There's been speculation that Apple will pare back development on the MacBook Air in an effort to steer most buyers towards the Retina MacBook Pro – indeed, the Air already serves as Apple's entry-level notebook.

For now, it's expected the October launch will be a refresh which brings the MacBook Air up to current spec.

That would likely include USB-C ports (hopefully at least two of these multi-purpose sockets, rather than the single socket of the skinny 12-inch MacBook Retina).

On the inside, expect Intel's latest processors: either the sixth-gen Skylake or seventh-gen Kaby Lake powerplants, both of which deliver markedly greater performance and reduced power consumption (read: longer battery life) compared to whatever's driving your current model MacBook Air.

They're all good reasons to try and make your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro last just a few weeks longer – at least until Apple's launch event in the wee hours of October 28th, Aussie time...

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

My 2001 MBP is still kicking along nicely so no need to get a Mac, but great to see Apple is at least doing something good. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 50

Your 2001 MBP is going nicely? How is that even possible because I want to chuck my 2011 Pro at the wall at least once a day.  

VA

17 Jun 2014

Total posts 15

Word on the street is that the latest Intel chips have arrived too late for these - one can only hope though when your primary machine decides to reboot every so often for reasons unbeknown to I!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Oct 2016

Total posts 1

I will seriously consider selling my 2015 Macbook to upgrade as I also know the feeling of want to throw it against the wall.  the only thing that brings sanity back is the thought of the replacement cost and a PC is more expensive for the same quality.  I believe though that the most problems are software related!!  Microsoft being the biggest culprit along with ADOBE Acrobat Pro subscritpion versions.  Ahh the joy of everyday life with a computer.


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