Apple has quite a lot to live up if it decides to release a MacBook Pro for 2018, both in terms of fan expectations and surpassing the last version.
When you look at all the rumors surrounding the cheaper 13-inch MacBook and MacBook Air coming out sometime in 2018, the MacBook Pro can’t be that far off. Especially when you consider it’s been nearly two years since the MacBook Pro was refreshed with Thunderbolt 3 and the OLED Touch Bar, too. Apple has had plenty of time to screw around with the hardware, and we’ll soon see what it’s been working on at WWDC 2018.
So, what do we actually know about the 2018 MacBook Pro, and what new features do we want to see? We can’t say we have any official information, but with our Apple expertise we can make some educated guesses based on past releases and what we’ve heard through the grapevine. Plus, we can list what we want to see if a new MacBook Pro does release in 2018.
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Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple’s most powerful 2018 laptop
- When is it out? June 2018 at the earliest?
- What will it cost? Hopefully as much as current models
MacBook Pro 2018 release date
The current spate of rumors and leaks, unfortunately, give no indication as to exactly when the MacBook Pro 2018 release date will be. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate based on previous MacBook Pro releases.
Looking back at 2017, Apple surprised us with a MacBook Pro release in June, almost immediately following its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that year. The reason for the surprise is how close this release came following the previous.
The year before that, in October 2016, Apple released the first MacBook Pro to get a major redesign, which saw the debut of the Touch Bar and the T1 co-processor which powers it.
Prior to that, the MacBook Pro was receiving piecemeal updates since the last major revision of 2012, also released just after Apple’s June WWDC of that year.
So that leaves us with the most likely release window for the 2018 MacBook Pro being June, probably right after a WWDC 2018 announcement. That would make it a proper annualized release, and give Apple enough time to thoroughly address issues that have persisted in its MacBook Pro lineup since the 2016 model.
If Apple misses that date, the next likely debut window is late 2018, most likely before November and therefore ahead of the Christmas and holiday shopping rush. We’ll look out for new rumors and update this article as soon as the MacBook Pro 2018 release date begins to grow clearer.
MacBook Pro 2018 price
Again, none of the rumors or leaks regarding a MacBook Pro so far have made any mention of the possible pricing, but this isn’t terribly surprising. Those bits of information don’t tend to drop until we get closer to an expected release date.
That said, we wouldn’t expect much about the MacBook Pro price to change year over year. Apple has already hit a sweet spot of prices for its various MacBook Pro models, starting at $1,299, £1,249 or AU$1,899, for one without the Touch Bar.
From there, to purchase a Touch Bar model will increase the price to $1,799, £1,749 or AU$2,699. Of course, the 15-inch models (all with Touch Bar) pump up the price even further.
If pricing were to change this year, we’d wager that Apple would simply make room for that rumored 13-inch, entry-level MacBook by upping the hardware inside the low-end MacBook Pro and hiking up the price. Otherwise, Apple could simply wipe out the Touch Bar-free model and reserve the ‘Pro’ moniker for laptops with the Touch Bar.
We’ll look out for new rumors and update this article as soon as the MacBook Pro 2018 price begins to grow clearer.
What we want to see in MacBook Pro 2018
Of course, this lack of any truly substantial information about the forthcoming 2018 MacBook Pro gives us plenty of room to draft up a wishlist.
So, here’s what we want to see from a MacBook Pro for 2018.
Longer battery life
Apple’s laptops have always been notable for their lasting power, but the MacBook Pro has struggled to uphold that standard in recent years. For instance, the most recent MacBook Pro model lasted just 6 hours and 37 minutes. That’s a far cry from models of years previous and short of Apple’s own claim of 10 hours.
So, we’d like to see the rumored performance enhancements of the next macOS coupled with Apple’s rumored, self-made processor designs inside the next MacBook Pro to give its battery life the boost it desperately needs. Either way, we just hope the next MacBook Pro doesn’t issues with a swelling battery.
More power across all models
With the onset of Intel processors with AMD graphics onboard, we think this is the perfect opportunity for the smaller MacBook Pro models to get a power boost. For too long have 13-inch MacBook Pro models been relegated to Intel’s integrated graphics, which doesn’t do much to back up that ‘Pro’ moniker.
In working with both AMD and Intel, it’s easy to theorize that the next MacBook Pro would be able to better render video and photo work more readily with AMD Vega graphics on board. Better yet, such a processor might be able to better handle sharper screen resolutions with less of a battery draw.
More ports, and a new MagSafe charger
These are admittedly ‘pie in the sky’ requests, but Apple’s MagSafe power adaptor was beloved for a reason, and charging via USB-C is a poor replacement for it. It’s hard to believe that there isn’t room for such a dedicated port, and it truly can be a laptop (and person!) life saver.
Plus, the move to solely Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports has left people still using SD cards in a lurch. The next MacBook Pro would do well to avoid trying to push the industry too far, too fast – especially when such rapid change may not be necessary.
If Apple were to make just these two wishes true, the MacBook Pro would be in a fantastic position.
A better keyboard
Unexpectedly, when the MacBook Pro was refreshed in 2016, we didn’t hate its implementation of Apple’s butterfly mechanized key switches. The keyboard was a massive step up from that of what was then the 12-inch MacBook, which would feature more tactile inputs despite having the same amount of travel.
This was a design decision that went on to inspire the 2017 MacBook. It’s not clear how the MacBook Pro’s keyboard could be improved, but ‘sticky’ keys have been a problem for the MacBook Pro – there’s even a class-action lawsuit over its keyboard.
However, there’s a rumor that the Cupertino-based tech behemoth is considering implementing a virtual touch-screen keyboard with haptic feedback. Who knows if this would make it into the MacBook Pro 2018, but it would solve some of the sticky key issues.
Apple has also addressed some of the controversy surrounding its butterfly switches with a recently filed patent that describes a kind of ‘guard structure’ to prevent spills and crumbs from sneaking under the keys. If it’s actually real, we would appreciate not having to worry about pressing the spacebar and nothing happening.
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Gabe Carey has also contributed to this report