Three Surprising New MacBook Pro Features Offer Massive Advantages – Forbes


Apple’slaunch event forthe new iPhone family(which will look remarkably like the old iPhone family, but run just a tiny bit faster). These will grab the headlines, but further down the playbill will be the more interesting acts, including the potential launch of the largest MacBook Pro machine of recent times.

That a 16-inch MacBook Pro is coming is not in doubt. There has been some question as to the launch date, but signs this weekend point to it bulking up the iPhone news this Tuesday. No matter when it appears, this MacBook Pro is going to a machine that sets the tone for Apple’s laptop family in a way like no other.

So, what does it need to stand out? Here are three key areas it needs to focus on.

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The obvious place to start isthe headline feature of the 16-inch screen. Unlike the difference between the older 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro machines, online sources suggest that the 16-inch MacBook Pro is going to be the same physical size as the current 15-inch laptop.

Unfortunately, Apple has not made a TARDIS. Instead by shrinking the bezels around the screen it can cram more pixels into the same space as the older screen. It’s a trend right across the industry (and in smartphones as well) so the only reason this feels revolutionary is that those locked into the macOS ecosystem may not have seen this trick before.

Nevertheless, more screen real estate is welcome, and keeping it in the same physical space while reducing the bezels is a smart move.

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What about graphics cards? There are a number of Windows 10 powered laptops with high-end graphics cards available. Most of these are marketed as gaming machines, but the GPUs have other benefits, including better rendering time of media, shifting of other intensive processes (such as crypto-currency), and the potential for VR and AR applications.

Apple needs to stay in this game on the desktop.While there is support for external graphics cards in the latest version of macOS, two changes spring to mind for the new MacBook Pro. The first is to consider a high-end graphics card specifically designed for laptop usage to be available as one configuration.

The second, and one that will offer far more long term value, is to expand the graphics cards supported in an external GPU caddy – and here I’m giving Apple a hard stare that simply says ‘get your Nvidia card support sorted”.

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And then there’s the keyboard. It says a lot about the perception of Apple’s keyboard that the biggest question about the new MacBook Pro is not about the impressive screen, the powerful chips, or the graphical choices; the question is about the basic interface capability of the laptop. Namely, will the keyboard work?

It’s fair to say that the butterfly keyboard mechanism has been a failure, with missed keystrokes and double keystrokes becoming common in use. It has come to the point that even on a new MacBook, Apple has to promise fast turnaround on warranty keyboard repairs. All this in the quest for a slightly lighter and slightly thinner construction.

The tweaked MacBook Pros launched in May used ‘a new material’ that it announced would help the problem.The team at iFixit tore down the keyboardto confirm that the transparent switch cover and the metal dome under the key caps have been changed, but this doesn’t say what problem it was attempting to fix.

There is talk of a new scissor switch design coming to the MacBook family, but starting with the MacBook Air in 2019 and not reaching the MacBook Pro until 2020. Why would you launch the new 16-inch MacBook Pro with the jinxed keyboard?

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If Apple is bringing a new hardware game to the laptop table with the MacBook Pro – and every sign suggests that it is – then it needs to commit to the package. The MacBook Pro should not be a compromised laptop, which is doubly true of the 16-inch version which will clearly be the flagship. It’s important for Apple to have a top notch screen, the highest specs possible, and a keyboard that just works.

For once, let’s have a MacBook Pro that has everything, that stands alone, and doesn’t feel like the scraps of the iPad Pro development.

Now read more about a potential solution for the MacBook Pro keyboard through the power of lasers…

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This week seesApple’slaunch event forthe new iPhone family(which will look remarkably like the old iPhone family, but run just a tiny bit faster). These will grab the headlines, but further down the playbill will be the more interesting acts, including the potential launch of the largest MacBook Pro machine of recent times.

That a 16-inch MacBook Pro is coming is not in doubt. There has been some question as to the launch date, but signs this weekend point to it bulking up the iPhone news this Tuesday. No matter when it appears, this MacBook Pro is going to a machine that sets the tone for Apple’s laptop family in a way like no other.

So, what does it need to stand out? Here are three key areas it needs to focus on.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple unveils a new MacBook Air during a launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Getty

The obvious place to start isthe headline feature of the 16-inch screen. Unlike the difference between the older 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro machines, online sources suggest that the 16-inch MacBook Pro is going to be the same physical size as the current 15-inch laptop.

Unfortunately, Apple has not made a TARDIS. Instead by shrinking the bezels around the screen it can cram more pixels into the same space as the older screen. It’s a trend right across the industry (and in smartphones as well) so the only reason this feels revolutionary is that those locked into the macOS ecosystem may not have seen this trick before.

Nevertheless, more screen real estate is welcome, and keeping it in the same physical space while reducing the bezels is a smart move.

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents new products, including new Macbook laptops, during a special event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Getty

What about graphics cards? There are a number of Windows 10 powered laptops with high-end graphics cards available. Most of these are marketed as gaming machines, but the GPUs have other benefits, including better rendering time of media, shifting of other intensive processes (such as crypto-currency), and the potential for VR and AR applications.

Apple needs to stay in this game on the desktop.While there is support for external graphics cards in the latest version of macOS, two changes spring to mind for the new MacBook Pro. The first is to consider a high-end graphics card specifically designed for laptop usage to be available as one configuration.

The second, and one that will offer far more long term value, is to expand the graphics cards supported in an external GPU caddy – and here I’m giving Apple a hard stare that simply says ‘get your Nvidia card support sorted”.

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents new products, including new Macbook laptops, during a special event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House October 30, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Getty

And then there’s the keyboard. It says a lot about the perception of Apple’s keyboard that the biggest question about the new MacBook Pro is not about the impressive screen, the powerful chips, or the graphical choices; the question is about the basic interface capability of the laptop. Namely, will the keyboard work?

It’s fair to say that the butterfly keyboard mechanism has been a failure, with missed keystrokes and double keystrokes becoming common in use. It has come to the point that even on a new MacBook, Apple has to promise fast turnaround on warranty keyboard repairs. All this in the quest for a slightly lighter and slightly thinner construction.

The tweaked MacBook Pros launched in May used ‘a new material’ that it announced would help the problem.The team at iFixit tore down the keyboardto confirm that the transparent switch cover and the metal dome under the key caps have been changed, but this doesn’t say what problem it was attempting to fix.

There is talk of a new scissor switch design coming to the MacBook family, but starting with the MacBook Air in 2019 and not reaching the MacBook Pro until 2020. Why would you launch the new 16-inch MacBook Pro with the jinxed keyboard?

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple unveils a new MacBook Air during a launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music  (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Getty

If Apple is bringing a new hardware game to the laptop table with the MacBook Pro – and every sign suggests that it is – then it needs to commit to the package. The MacBook Pro should not be a compromised laptop, which is doubly true of the 16-inch version which will clearly be the flagship. It’s important for Apple to have a top notch screen, the highest specs possible, and a keyboard that just works.

For once, let’s have a MacBook Pro that has everything, that stands alone, and doesn’t feel like the scraps of the iPad Pro development.

Now read more about a potential solution for the MacBook Pro keyboard through the power of lasers…

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