MacBook Pro 2016 Release Date and Specs: 5 Amazing Features Expected from Apple’s 2016 MacBook

Apple’s MacBook Pro 2016 family is packed with a lot of features that its predecessor are void of, so let us do a breakdown of what the upcoming notebook will feature

It’s been more than a year since Apple introduced a refresh for its MacBook Pro lineup, and we couldn’t be more excited for the imminent announcement of the MacBook Pro 2016. There are more than a few changes incoming and this little roundup piece will highlight every possible change that’s going to be included inside the upcoming lineup.

Before we proceed, here’s a little hint for you: Apple’s MacBook Pro 2016 is going to be like no other notebook and we fear that these extra changes will be directly responsible for the high price tag that’s to be expected from these notebooks. The currently MacBook Pro already fetches a high price tag, and with these new changes, you’d best prepare your wallets.

macbook pro 2016 rumors
MacBook Image by Pexels

1. The most important change: The OLED display that will replace the physical keyboard strip

With nothing extraordinary emanating from the MacBook Pro family, apart from the USB-C port present in the 12-inch MacBook, Apple really had to bring some noteworthy changes to the upcoming notebooks. One of these changes that we keep hearing about is an OLED display. If you have a notebook sitting right in front of you, doesn’t matter if it’s a Windows-powered one or macOS one, take a peek at the top most row of your laptop’s keyboard. If you notice the function keys, which start with the letter ‘F’, then you’ll know that they are used to carry out a wide range of functions after you type the ‘Fn’ key or command key. The OLED display is intended to replace it.

Here’s how the strip of the display is going to function on the MacBook Pro 2016. Replacing the functions keys of the MacBook Pro, the OLED display will provide a more in-depth feel to the way you command the notebook to carry a different slew of functions. However, Apple is not just going to add this brand new feature just because you can carry out the same functions that you did when physical buttons were present. No, when we said you’ll get to experience this feature on an in-depth level, we meant it.

While details are currently scarce, it’s possible that the OLED display allows you to open up different applications from within that tiny bit of display. We also feel that customization will be a part of this feature, allowing you to choose which apps show up on that display, and which don’t and since this will help to reduce a lot of clutter that’s present on the screen, it’s going to be a terrific upgrade for the user. With a simple drag and drop option present, you can choose which apps to open from within the screen and which ones you won’t.

Also, since we are on the topic of how the OLED display strip will function, we also feel that as soon as you open up an application, a new interface of that app will show up, allowing you to control the primary functions of the said app from within that tiny display. For example, if you’ve fired up the iTunes app specifically for listening to music, a series of icons that you see on media players (play, pause, rewind, fast forward etc.) will pop up, allowing you to control the app from within that portion.

It’s not been specified if Apple plans on supporting all apps for this, since that will require a ton of work. However, if only a limited applications will be compatible with this, then it is also a very high probability that Apple will bring that support to future apps in the future. It’s also possible that developers get the software development kit necessary to bring their own apps onto that tiny OLED display, but that will be a talk for another time.

2. Support for Apple’s Touch ID

Touch ID is widespread on Apple’s iPhones and iPad devices and we’ve not seen the feature get ported to any notebook version belonging to the company, but with the announcement of the upcoming MacBook Pro 2016, we could be looking at the very first notebook from Apple to provide support for this feature. However, it’s not been detailed where the dedicated Touch ID button is going to be present. Since there’s a dedicated fingerprint sensor mounted beneath the physical home button of iPhones and iPad devices, the same configuration could be used for the MacBook Pro 2016.

However, what if the upcoming MacBook Pro 2016 models are too thin enough to add another physical button. To be honest, a single button dedicated for Touch ID purposes and that too on a MacBook will definitely look out of place on the notebook, so here’s what we think. There might not even be a physical button placed on the MacBook Pro 2016; instead the fingerprint sensor could be placed on the trackpad and the feature would only pop up when the need would arise for it.

Touch ID

For example, when you’re logging into your iTunes account or any another program that requires you to input your username and password, and an option would appear allowing you to either use Touch ID or a password to prove your identity. To match its legendary rumored aesthetic quality, placing a physical home button on the MacBook Pro 2016 would definitely look out of place so if designers and engineers want to blend in a combination of looks and functionality in a ‘simple to use’ fashion, then we are of the opinion that the security feature will be present beneath the trackpad.

3. Support for AMD Polaris GPUs

The last MacBook Pro model (we’re talking about the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display) came with an AMD R9 M370X GPU and it’s possible that the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016 version comes with an AMD Polaris GPU. The RX 480 sounds like a really good option in our opinion, because it’s affordable and delivers the best bang for the buck ratio as far as performance goes (especially the 8GB GDDR5 version). Unfortunately, there is no mobile version of AMD’s RX 480, but the chip that delivers the highest possible performance is the R9 M485X and features the same amount of video memory as an RX 480.

AMD Polaris

All the details of all mobile GPUs from AMD have been listed below, and we are of the strong opinion that the most beefed out version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016 is going to feature the above-mentioned GPU. Now, here is what is confusing us. Apple’s MacBook Pro family is shipped out with the intent of delivering the highest amount of battery life as possible correct? How is the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016 version expected to deliver high battery life when you have powerful hardware running inside?

AMD-Radeon-R9-M400

To be honest, we don’t think Apple is going to market its 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016 as a battery friendly notebook. Everyone knows that battery technology has not evolved properly to deliver longer battery timings, even though chips powering up the machines are continuing to improve, making them even more efficient than their predecessors. The most powerful versions of Apple’s upcoming notebook family are probably going to be targeted to power users, or users who need the additional firepower, but cannot be tied to one place to carry out their respective tasks.

AMD-Radeon-R7-M400

Apple’s superior macOS operating system is already regarded as an optimized platform, since it was shown that a 12-inch MacBook, which features underpowered hardware is not only able to edit a 4K video, but it passed that test with full marks. The improve OS updates and the free software suite that comes along with it will prove more than useful if you’re looking to experience both battery life and performance. Granted, it is far too early to tell if an R9 M485X is going to be a part of hardware specifications, but the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2015 was regarded as the best of the best, and being the top spec’d model out of the entire family, the future MacBook should pack the hardware worthy of its title.

AMD-Radeon-R5-M400

4. Skylake or Kaby Lake processors?

It’s quite disappointing: we’ve been hearing about the MacBook Pro 2016 models coming with Intel’s 6th generation of processors, especially when all of the manufacturers that produce notebooks are awaiting the arrival of Intel’s Kaby Lake processors. Apple must have made a deal of some kind with Intel, so it’s more than possible that the processor manufacturer offered its Skylake processors at a bargain. Knowing that the PC market is shrinking, Intel’s fortunes are currently riding on this market, and if it continues to shrink, so does Intel’s revenue stream.

The company has slipped out of the mobile SoC market, since its expertise is clearly lacking there and it’s doing what it does best; producing desktop and server processors. However, in order to maintain doing what it does best, Intel will have to agree to the negotiation terms of Apple, with the promise that the company will use Kaby Lake processors in the 2017 MacBook Pro lineup.

Intel Skylake

Skylake processors are not a bad choice at all; it’s just that seeing Kaby Lake processors featuring a better CPU design that contributes to their performance and efficiency would have been a much better option and we’re speaking for the consumers when we say that you have a lot to gain from a machine that features a Kaby Lake chip.

If Apple heavily negotiated the Skylake chip prices with Intel, then it only means the company would be able to gain more profit with each MacBook Pro 2016 notebook it sold, and that’s what nearly every company strives to achieve does it not?

5. Complete design change: Does this mean a thinner body and smaller battery capacity?

Apple’s fondness of thin products hold no boundaries, with the company coming up with astonishing ways to reach that level of thickness. With the 12-inch MacBook, all you had was a single USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack, nothing else. With the MacBook Pro 2016 being a flagship lineup, we intend to see more than just the combination of a single USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack. Rumor has it that the MacBook Pro 2016 will have a total of 4 USB-C ports per model, along with a bunch of other ports to help facilitate users.

USB-C will also have a Thunderbolt 3 circuit present, meaning that the MacBook Pro 2016 will effortlessly be able to attach a secondary display (those that feature a USB-C port) for extending displays and getting more work done in the process, even though it will mean you’ll be stuck in one place. The design overhaul of the 2016 MacBook Pro suggests that the one getting announced this year is going to be thinner than its predecessors, which is obviously a bad thing, especially if you’re looking to upgrade to Apple’s newest notebook for the sake of upgraded battery life.

macbook-pro-14

However, if you take a look at the 2015 and 2016 12-inch MacBook, they are essentially both the same products in terms of dimensions, with the bulk of changes being present on the inside. Remarkably, without changing a sliver of a difference between the two notebooks, Apple managed to cram in a larger battery inside the 12-inch MacBook, which goes to show that if Apple can do it with the latest refresh, then what’s stopping the company from using the same approach with its MacBook Pro 2016?

What are the expected hardware specifications and pricing of the MacBook Pro 2016?

Looking at the highest spec’d model that Apple currently has in stock right now, we’ll be drafting what we believe is going to be the retail price of the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016. The list has been given below:

  • Processor: Intel 6th generation i7-6700HQ (4 cores, 8 threads, 2.6GHz, Boost speed up to 3.5GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 530 + AMD R9 M485X with 8GB GDDR5 video memory
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe-based storage
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Price: $2,499

Here are the specs of the upgraded 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016 with Retina display

  • Processor: Intel 6th generation i7-6770HQ (4 cores, 8 threads, 2.6GHz, Boost speed up to 3.5GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 530 + AMD R9 M485X with 8GB GDDR5 video memory
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe-based storage
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Price: $3,199

Remember, the above-mentioned pricing details are just speculation of what feel will be present in the flagship notebook, and the hardware details could change without notice.

There you have it, we have told you the 5 amazing features that we expect to see inside Apple’s MacBook Pro 2016. Since there are going to be several models announced, we obviously cannot draft all the hardware specifications of these models, but looking at the details above, you have a fair idea of what to expect from the upcoming models. Now that this has been taken care of, tell us any feature that you feel will be present inside the upcoming MacBook Pro 2016 models.

  • David P

    What about the actual release date? Does not seem to be in the article.

  • A_Sound_Bite

    Unbelievably expensive. No way. Too bad, because I’ve been all-Apple for a gazillion years.