MacBook Pro latest rumours – release date, UK price and specs

MacBook Pro latest rumours – release date, UK price and specs

When Apple announced its MacBook Pro with Touchbar in October 2016, it decided not to wait for the new generation of Intel Kaby Lake or AMD Ryzen processors to arrive. It seemed a crazy decision – to launch its most powerful portable Mac without the most powerful processor – so we were fairly certain we’d see a refreshed model at a Spring Event in late March/early April 2017.

Such an event, though, has not occurred. Apple in March 2017 updated some of its products, finally unveiling a successor to the iPad Air 2 and introducing new storage and colour options in its iPhone line-up, but it did so with no proper launch event and no new MacBooks.

It had been thought that a refreshed 12in MacBook could go into production in March 2017, but that updated MacBook Pros may not be available until July. With this is mind it’s probably we won’t see a new MacBook Pro now until September or October 2017.

When is the 2017 MacBook Pro release date?

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting updated MacBooks with Intel Kaby Lake processor later this year. Kuo had said that new 12in MacBooks would enter mass production in Q2, which may well mean production has begun, potentially with a new 16GB RAM model.

Meanwhile, new 13- and 15in MacBook Pros will begin mass production in Q3 (July). In Q4 (September) we could see a high-end 15in MacBook Pro with 32GB of RAM as “the most significantly redesigned product this year”. See also: Best laptops 2017

What are the rumoured specifications?

The notion of new MacBook Pros in 2017 is backed up by a Bloomberg report. It says a new model is planned for later this year but it might herald a shift away from Intel processors.

According to people familiar with the matter the chip, codenamed T310 and built ARM technology, will handle low-power functionality and work along the main Intel processor.

This move could mean better battery life as moving the ‘Power Nap’ feature to the new chip will use even less power. Apple’s ARM-based T1 chip is already in the latest MacBook Pro – see below.

But what about AMD Ryzen? An article on Arcitosh.com suggests “AMD’s new Ryzen 7 CPUs look to promise more computing muscle per watt than Intel and offer a nicer philosophical fit for Apple.”

The current MacBook Pro isn’t much faster than the model it replaced, since Apple looks to provide performance while conserving battery life. Arcitosh suggests that rather than producing its own or using Intel’s chips to look for the ultimate performance per watt, it could instead use AMD’s Ryzen CPUs. 

As with Microsoft and the Surface Pro 5, Apple is apparently considering AMD for the 2017 MacBook Pro. In fact, it could be powered by the upcoming Raven Ridge APU – a combination of Ryzen chipsets for CPU and Vega-based chipsets for GPU. Raven Ridge was originally planned for 2018 but an updated roadmap shows a 2017 release instead.

Watch this space for more updates.

All about the MacBook Pro 2016

In October 2016 on the week of the Apple laptop’s 25th anniversary, Apple announced the best MacBook Pro yet. There are 13- and 15in models with new all-aluminium designs that are significantly thinner and lighter than their predecessors, just 14.9mm thin and 3lb for the 13in model and 15.5mm and 4lb for the 15in model.

The new MacBook Pros, available in Silver and Space Grey, have a two times larger Force Touch trackpad and a new context-sensitive Retina display Touch Bar that replaces the row of Function keys. Touch ID is also built-in with Secure Enclave and protected with Sapphire glass.

MacBook Pro 2016

The new Touch Bar consumed most of Apple’s demonstration, and it does look cool. What functions it offers entirely depend on the app you’re in. For example, you might get emoji in the Messages app, favourite sites in Safari, and options to reply or delete in Mail. In Photos are useful editing controls, and we particularly like the look of the quick type function in relevant apps, which may speed up typing.

The keyboard itself has also been improved, with new second-generation Butterfly-style switch mechanisms that are more responsive and offer better travel.

MacBook Pro 2016

The new MacBook Pro is a sixth-generation Skylake machine with a 2133MHz Intel Core i7 inside (you can opt for a Core i5 in the 13in model). There’s up to 2TB of storage via a superfast SSD, and in the 15in model AMD Radeon Pro graphics with up to 4GB VRAM (the 13in model has Intel Iris graphics).

Apple says the 15in model is 130 percent faster than its predecessor on graphics, 60 percent faster for gaming, and 57 percent faster for video editing. The 13in model, meanwhile, is 103 percent faster than its predecessor for gaming, and 76 percent faster for both video editing and 3D graphics.

MacBook Pro 2016

The display is better than ever, now 67 percent brighter with 67 percent higher contrast and 25 percent more colours.

Each MacBook Pro is fitted with four Thunderbolt 3 ports that can go up to 40GB/s. Each of these ports can be used for power or as Thunderbolt, USB-C, DisplayPort, HDMI or VGA connections.

MacBook Pro 2016

How much does the MacBook Pro cost in the UK?

The new MacBook Pro comes in three models, all available direct from Apple.

1. 13in MacBook Pro without Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, Intel Iris Graphics 540, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 2x Thunderbolt 3. Available today for £1,499 ($1,499).

2. 13in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, Intel Iris Graphics 550, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 4x Thunderbolt 3. Shipping in three- to four weeks from £1,749 ($1,799).

3. 15in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, AMD Radeon Pro 450 Graphics, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 4x Thunderbolt 3. Shipping in three- to four weeks from £2,349 ($2,399).

Want to learn more about the new MacBook Pro? Check out our in-depth guide on our sister site Macworld.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

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