avatarby Dan BartramOctober 20, 20160 comments

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Apple is holding an event on October 27 that will likely focus on introducing an entirely refreshed lineup of Macs later in the month. But what can each model expect to see?

MacBook Air

Speculation has surrounded the MacBook Air variants, more specifically that Apple are considering retiring the 11-inch model in order to draw focus towards the 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Air. While the MacBook Air isn’t expected to see any major updates and the design will stay relatively the same, Apple is expected to give the MacBook Air the USB Type-C treatment.

It also appears that the MacBook Air won’t receive any display upgrades, probably due to it being what Apple consider as the entry-level laptop. This makes even more sense when considering Apple want to direct attention to the 12-inch MacBook. With the 11-inch model being discontinued, there is likelihood that the 13-inch model will be reduced in price, cementing it as the entry-level model.

We could see the MacBook Air updated with a later generation Intel processor, but it seems that any update will be minimal and the story here will be primarily around the price.

iMac

Apple is said to be looking at further options surrounding the AMD GPU and upgrades related to this. The iMac is also expected to benefit from a general speed boost with the processor seeing a bump. The display and general design of the iMac are expected to remain unchanged, just as they have done for a few years now.

Like the MacBook Air, the iMac isn’t expected to see much focus during the event, except a performance increase. It could also see the addition of USB Type-C.

MacBook Pro

While the MacBook Air and iMac are expected to take relatively small slots at the October 27 event, the MacBook Pro is where the focus will be placed, marking a major overhaul following a 4 year wait.

The design of the MacBook Pro is expected to change greatly, with a much sleeker, thinner, and lighter design than current models. This will help contribute to a smaller footprint of the pro laptop but will feature a larger touchscreen, similar to that of the MacBook. It’s likely to retain the same square base that previous models have had rather than a wedge-like design of the other laptop offerings in Apple’s lineup.

The new MacBook Pro will also feature USB Type-C connectivity and ditch all of its previous ports. It’s expected to feature two USB Type-C ports and charging is expected to provided via this port too rather than the MagSafe power connection that has been used previously.

As we’ve heard before, the biggest change expected in the Macbook Pro is the addition of a new OLED touch display to replace the standard function keys above the keyboard. While also providing the function keys, the new display strip is to provide quick action buttons for common tasks that can change depending on the app that is open. Apple is already working with developers to ensure that apps work with this feature on launch.

The MacBook Pro is also expected to see TouchID added, likely to be located near or on the power button of the laptop. TouchID will allow the user to unlock their device without using a password, much like the iPhone and iPad already offer.

Design isn’t the only thing that will change on the MacBook Pro, the laptop will also be getting a performance boost. It’s not clear just what that entails yet, but will certainly be focused on the graphics and processor speed. Apple is expected to be offering the latest Intel Skylake processor and Polaris AMD GPU to achieve this performance increase.

Apple 5K External Display

With the official Apple Thunderbolt Display discontinued, it leaves space for a new model to replace it, and Apple is expected to announce a new 5K external display at its event. The display will reportedly contain an internal dedicated GPU running a 5K resolution of 5120 x 2880. The internal GPU will be used to help lower-end machines run the 5K resolution. Pricing is still a mystery, but with the Thunderbolt Display not exactly cheap, don’t expect this new 5K external display to be any different.

Mac Pro/Mac Mini

There has been very little mentioned about these two almost forgotten devices. We could see a small spec bump for the Mac Mini to bring it in line with the latest Intel processors but nothing has surfaced suggesting so.

One More Thing

With the desktop and laptop arena covered, Apple may use the event as an opportunity to provide small updates to other products. One, for example, is the clarification of the wireless AirPods that Apple said would be released in late October. The event could see the announcement for the release of these. We could also see the AirPort Express updated to support 802.11ac and also the Apple Magic Keyboard updated with the same OLED display bar found on the MacBook Pro.

The October 27 event will certainly be packed with announcements for the offerings Apple have for its desktop and laptop lineup. Be sure to stay tuned to TabTimes for the latest information.

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