Apple to Give MacBooks a Major Facelift

12 Aug

Apple is preparing the first serious overhaul of its MacBook Pro laptop line in more than four years, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The updated notebooks will be thinner, include a touch screen strip for function keys, and will boast more powerful and efficient graphics processors, market insiders say. The new design will also include USB-C technology and Touch ID fingerprint technolog. Apple may also consider bringing gray, gold and silver colors to the new line.

This year’s MacBook Pro overhaul intends to boost notebook sales at a time when consumers are taking longer to buy or replace iPads. Apple research suggests customers upgrade iPads roughly every three years, while they buy new iPhones every 18 to 24 months. That helps explain why iPad sales numbers have fallen from a peak in 2013.

The most significant addition to the new MacBook Pro is a secondary display above the keyboard that replaces the standard function key row. Instead of physical keys, a strip-like screen will present functions on an as-needed basis that fit the current task or application. The smaller display will use organic LEDs; a thinner, lighter and sharper screen technology.

The new MacBook Pros have a smaller footprint than current models and the casing has shallower curves around the edges. The pressure-sensitive trackpad is also slightly wider.