The new MacBook Pro launch will take place at a time when Chromebooks, manufactured by the likes of Samsung, Acer, ASUS and Lenovo are slowly gaining ground at the expense of MacBooks and Surface Books. It is thus a possibility that Apple may introduce a new design along with several new features in the new MacBook Pro to win back customers who have switched over to low-cost Chromebooks and Windows laptops in the recent past.
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As per available rumours, Samsung is expected to launch a Chromebook Pro on October 24th and Microsoft will follow a day later with the launch of its next-gen Surface Book. Apple's MacBook Pro will thus have to compete with both laptops for supremacy in the hard-fought, albeit declining, laptop market. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI securities, has said in his research report that this year's MacBook Pro will come in 13-inch and 15-inch display variants and will feature OLED displays along with Touch ID support which will replace the function keys on the keyboard. The touchscreen will let users run apps and perform tasks directly without having to touch the keyboard.
A new rumour surfacing today has also shed some light on how the MacBook Pro's keyboard will turn out to be. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple's MacBook Pro will feature a blank slate instead of QWERTY keys which will be able to display alphabets, symbols, emojis and other special characters, letting you create new docs with great ease and without fumbling around to find the characters you need to insert in your sheets. The 'e-ink' buttons will also be able to display characters belonging to your default language and Apple will thus not need to build separate keyboards for different regions.
The new 'e-ink' keyboard, says WSJ, is a result of a partnership between Apple and an Australian start-up named Sonder Design who have created the new technology to let you do more with your fingers whn working on a laptop keyboard. If implemented in the new MacBook Pro, it will offer Apple a huge advantage over rival laptop manufactures, at least for the next few months.
New MacBook Pro with OLED screen in the works
There is also a possibility that the MacBook Pro may not feature 3.5mm headphone jacks or SD card slots. Back in September, Apple sent out surveys to existing MacBook Pro users to gather data on the utility of 3.5mm headphone jacks and SD card slots. It is being suggested that Apple may use results of the survey to take a call on 3.5mm jacks and SD cards in future MacBook Pro models. Apple has already taken the wireless route through iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and it is possible that the company may extend the technology to its larger devices.
MacWorld states that the upcoming MacBook Pro may feature Intel's new generation 64-bit Kaby Lake processors with support for Thunderbolt 3 which will facilitate data transfers at speeds of up to 40 Gbps. While increased data transfer speeds and powerful processors are great, it will be interesting to see if the new-look keyboard and OLED display will make the MacBook pro a dream gadget to own and work on in the coming days.
Image source: Sonder Design