2016 MacBook Pro: What to Expect

We’re now into 2016, which means we should see a new MacBook Pro release at some point this year. Here’s what to expect from the 2016 MacBook Pro, based on rumors and predictions.

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The last time Apple updated the MacBook Pro was early last year when it updated the 13-inch model and then refreshed the 15-inch model just a couple of months later with the same improvements.

The 2015 MacBook Pro comes with the usual improvements that we expected to see in a new refresh, including updated processors that were bumped up to Intel’s 5th-generation Broadwell Core CPUs and also received the faster Thunderbolt 2 ports.

Read: Apple 2016 Predictions: iPhone 7, Apple Watch 2 & More

The 2016 MacBook Pro also has better battery life, which Apple says is an hour better than the previous model.

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However, the biggest new feature on the 2015 MacBook Pros is the Force Touch trackpad, which is essentially the iPhone 6s’s 3D Touch, but built into the MacBook Pro’s trackpad.

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The 2015 MacBook Pro was a decent jump, but very rarely does Apple completely redesign its laptops. In fact, the last time that the MacBook Pro received an overhaul was in 2012, but could 2016 be the year for another overhaul?

Here’s what to expect this year with the 2016 MacBook Pro.

Intel Skylake Processors

There are very few rumors going around about the 2016 MacBook Pro, which isn’t too incredibly surprising, as Apple’s computer business doesn’t get as much attention as its mobile business, but the refresh cycle for the MacBook Pro has been rather predictable lately.

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Read: Why You Should Wait for the 2016 MacBook Pro

It’s highly likely that the 2016 MacBook Pro will use Intel’s 6th-generation Skylake processors over the 5th-generation Broadwell chips that are currently in the 13-inch MacBook.

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Surprisingly, the 15-inch MacBook Pro still uses Intel’s Haswell processor, which is older than Broadwell by a year.

Skylake processors won’t offer anything too significant over Broadwell chips other than improved efficiency, which will result in better battery life.

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It’s also possible that the processing speed could see a bump from the current 2.7GHz entry-level  processor in the 13-inch MacBook Pro. A jump to 2.8GHz or 2.9GHz in the entry-level MacBook Pro at the same entry-level price of $1,299 wouldn’t be too far-fetched for Apple.

Same RAM Offerings

 

The MacBook Pro currently offers 8GB of RAM in the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, while the 15-inch MacBook Pro starts at 16GB of RAM. It’s likely that this will remain for 2016.

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Just recently Apple doubled the RAM of its MacBook Pros. Just a couple of years ago the 12-inch MacBook Pro only came with 4GB of RAM, with an 8GB option that you could upgrade to. Now it comes with 8GB of RAM by default, which is great.

It’s unlikely Apple will put 16GB of RAM inside of the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro and 32GB of RAM in the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Maybe some day, but we think it’s too soon for that.

USB-C Ports

With the introduction of the 12-inch MacBook last year, Apple now has products that use the new USB-C standard, which is a reversible USB connection that can utilize speeds faster than USB 3.0.

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While the 12-inch MacBook only has one USB-C port, it’s likely that if the 2016 MacBook Pro came with USB-C, there would probably be at least two USB-C ports.

As far as whether or not USB-C will replace Thunderbolt or the USB 3.0 ports (or both) on the MacBook Pro, that remains to be seen, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see USB-C replace something on Apple’s power laptop.

USB-C certainly seems like the way forward for Apple, so we’d be surprised if the 2016 MacBook Pro didn’t come with USB-C ports.

Release Date

Perhaps the most important piece of information that users want to know about the 2016 MacBook Pro is the release date.

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Nothing is set in stone and nothing has really been rumored about a possible release date for the new MacBook Pros, but it’s possible that Apple could unveil new MacBook Pros during WWDC in June later this year.

An official date for WWDC hasn’t been disclosed yet, but rumors point to a June 13 keynote where Apple could announce iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, as well as new MacBooks, but we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for the time being.