MacBook Pro 2017 release date, news and rumors

Plus, what we want to see from Apple’s next pro laptop

Apple released its massively updated, new MacBook Pro in October 2016 to an awfully mixed crowd of press and general public alike. The device’s new Touch Bar wowed, whereas its price for the parts inside certainly did not.

Just four months since that tumultuous release, reports and rumors of what Apple’s MacBook Pro 2017 follow-up will be like have surfaced, and all signs point to better parts for the price. However, there is also so much that we don’t know, so check back on this space every once in a while, as we’ll be updating it with the latest regarding the would-be 2017 MacBook Pro.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The new MacBook Pro’s successor
  • When is it out? Anywhere between spring and fall 2017
  • What will it cost? Likely as much as – if not more than – current models

Anticipate seeing the Touch Bar on the next MacBook Pro models

MacBook Pro 2017 release date

Sadly, this is one of the facets to the new MacBook Pro story that we know very little about. The closest thing to an idea is a report from famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the next MacBook Pro models will go into production in Q3 2017, so around July.

That would logically place the new MacBook Pro in an October 2017 release window, which would make a whole lot of sense considering when the updated MacBook Pro released in 2016. (Hint: it was in October.)

However, Apple has debuted new MacBooks in the past during the months of March and April as well as during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. Without an alluring email invitation from Apple, anything is possible.

MacBook Pro 2017 price

Considering the backlash to the price hike we saw coming from the generation of MacBook Pro’s into the current one, we wouldn’t expect to see major changes in MacBook Pro pricing. Of course, we wouldn’t anticipate them coming down in price by comparison. That would just be ludicrous.

So, it would be safe to expect the next line of MacBook Pro models to start at $1,499, £1,449 or AU$2,199 – starting with the lowest-power, non-Touch 13-inch model – and top out around $2,799, £2.699 or AU$4,249 for the highest-end, 15-inch model with Touch Bar.

Then again, Apple has a way of introducing new, exciting features to dull the blow of an increased price, if last year is any indication. In this age of Apple, be prepared for a wild, new feature that could potentially drive the price up.

The 2016 MacBook Pro in an exploded view
(Image: © iFixit)

MacBook Pro 2017 specs

Probably the biggest point of discussion regarding the new MacBook Pro is what Apple will choose to place inside. This is one of the most divisive points surrounding the current range of MacBook Pro’s and continues to be so as long as Apple continues its particular trend of price per part.

The current line of MacBook Pro’s has been criticized for its low RAM, or memory, threshold of 16GB as well as its use of “dated” 6th generation (Skylake) Intel Core i-series processors. Naturally, the latest rumor surrounding the would-be new MacBook Pro is that it will contain both the latest, 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i-series chips as well as room for up to 32GB of RAM.

These details were first brought to the public via the same aforementioned report in which Ming Chi-Kuo projected the release window for the new MacBook Pro’s. But since, evidence of these Kaby Lake-equipped models has allegedly appeared within the code of the macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta – the one currently underway, as of this writing.

Further to this scuttlebutt regarding what will be inside the new MacBook Pro’s is a Bloomberg report citing sources with claims that Apple is working on its very own Mac processor to work in tandem with Intel chips for future Mac products. 

According to the report, this chip will be a logical extension of the ARM-based T1 processor currently used to power the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. This chip would reportedly take on more power management tasks that Intel's processors currently handle, with the goal of increasing battery life.

For starters, we'd like to see even sharper screens

MacBook Pro 2017: what we want to see

Beyond these reports, we know little else about what the new MacBook Pro will be capable of. Of course, we’ve drafted up a brief wish list for Apple’s next pro-bent laptop.

Longer battery life

This is no doubt low-hanging fruit, but being one of the primary complaints lobbed toward Apple for the MacBook Pro’s of today, we couldn’t help ourselves. After all, Apple once prided itself on the longevity of its laptops.

And, the firm has quite a lot going for it in this direction. Between rumors of more power-efficient Kaby Lake processors inside and those of a special power management chip, longer battery life should be in the bag for the new MacBook Pro.

Sharper screens

Apple no doubt spurred the obsession with screen resolution in all consumer electronics once it unleashed its “Retina” screen standard years ago with the iPhone 4. But, the rest of the technology world has at last caught up to the firm’s screen sharpness.

Frankly, in computing, Apple’s Retina display was surpassed years ago, and it’s about time that its standards for “Retina” were updated. Especially for the price, the new MacBook Pro’s should come sporting 3,200 x 1,800 QHD+ displays at least – and that’s at 13.3 inches.

Naturally, what we’ll see is some incredibly particular resolution that hovers around industry standards but doesn’t get too close. Jokes aside, it’s time for sharper MacBook Pro screens.

More (and more varied) ports

Throwing a glut of Thunderbolt 3 ports, while impressive, at a laptop doesn’t solve the users’ problem of not having compatible connectors or accessories to use them with. To that end, we need to see either more variety in the ports that the new MacBook Pro offers or for Apple to include more adapters in the box.

Professional users need to be bridged between where they are technologically right now and where a creator like Apple envisions them being in the next few years. At the very least, a few more USB-C adapters would go a long way.

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