Apple’s MacBook laptops are on a tear, with record sales announced in the recent earnings call. The move to its own ARM-based processor has unlocked a flurry of purchases. But if you’re thinking of buying a MacBook Pro, you might want to look at what Apple has planned for the next step before getting out your wallet.
Putting aside the apparent design flaw that has users of the 2020 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air update reporting spontaneous display cracks, there are some significant reasons to hold off on buying a new MacBook Pro, no matter the special offers and back to school bundles that are no doubt on their way.
The first is to realise that, for all of the inclusion of the Apple Silicon processor, the current MacBook Pro M1 laptops are the low-end laptops. Just as with the recent Intel MacBook Pros, the line has a clear division between ‘top-end’ and ‘low-end’ specs. The Pro laptops that went on sale at the end of last year are squarely in the ‘low-end’ of the market.
If you’re looking for the ‘high-end’ models, they are still to be launched. The nebulous “in the next few months” is suggested by many, which puts them in the traditional late October slot Tim Cook’s team have become fond of for the laptop launches.
Then there’s the design. The current MacBook Pro is using a design that, while current, is expected to be depreciated with the launch of the new laptops. The first Apple Silicon machines maintained exactly the same look and feel on the outside, no doubt to help consumers stay comfortable with the brand as the architecture change took place under the keyboard.
Now Apple has the chance to bring new design trends to the platform, to rework the bezels, the keyboard, the trackpad, the external dimensions, and no doubt try and make it all a little bit thinner.
Of course that’s not the biggest visual change. More than the new design, the next MacBook Pro discussions are going to be about the screen. The switch to miniLED should offer more vivid colours, deeper blacks, and all with lower power consumption. The smaller (and more popular) MacBook is expected to bump the screen size up to 14 inches – which likely means much smaller bezels as part of the new design discussed above.
Finally of course is the processor. Befitting the status as the ‘top-end’ MacBook Pro machines, the new macOS laptops will ship with an uprated M1 processor; the presumptively-named M1X should feature more cores to offer more processing and graphical power.
A new refreshed design; a clearer and improved display; and a little bit more processing power. All that for waiting a few months. Why would you by a new MacBook Pro now when Apple has something better around the corner?