New Macs to be unveiled at October 27 event, claims report

With Apple expected to refresh the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro before the end of the month, it makes now just about the worst time to buy a new Apple laptop.

Get ready for a MacBook Pro and MacBook Air refresh

Apple's current MacBook Pro lineup

Apple

If you're just on your way to your local Apple Store to pick up a new MacBook, then you might want to wait a couple of weeks -- a refresh of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup seems imminent.

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Since Apple didn't announce any new MacBooks at the iPhone 7 launch event, analysts are now expecting that Apple will unveil new laptops before the month is out.

The date that's being circulated is October 27, a couple of days after Apple's earnings report.

As you would expect, Apple has declined to comment on this rumored date.

See also: Apple's disgracefully outdated Mac lineup is killing sales

So, what can you expect?

On the MacBook Pro front (which is in serious need of a revamp considering that the last major redesign happened back in June 2012), aside from giving it a much-needed processor and graphics boost, the other big updates are expected to include:

  • Dropping the MagSafe 2 power port
  • Replacing all the existing ports with four USB-C ports, which means dropping the SD Card slot, USB 3 ports, and Thunderbolt ports (and this isn't a problem now that the Thunderbolt 3 has been integrated with USB-C)
  • Adding a new touch-sensitive OLED strip above the keyboard that will act as a sort of menu bar and shortcut pad and replace the existing function keys present on the MacBooks (there's a further rumor that in 2018 Apple will release a Mac with an E-Ink keyboard where each key would feature a tiny screen rather than being a fixed, printed key cap)
  • A thinner, lighter, all-aluminum chassis similar to that of the MacBook
  • Upgrade to Intel Skylake CPUs (Kaby Lake chips probably won't land until early 2017) and AMD Polaris GPUs
  • Addition of a Touch ID sensor (built into the power button) for logging onto the system and Apple Pay
  • The current crop of leaks suggest that the headphone jack will survive this update
  • Improved battery life

OK, so what about the MacBook Air?

Here the rumors and leaks are more scattered.

One rumor is that Apple is planning to kill off this line altogether, starting by retiring the 11-inch MacBook Air, since this space is now filled by the iPad Pro. The idea behind the rumor is that Apple is transitioning into having two lines: The MacBook and the MacBook Pro.

However, dropping the 11-inch MacBook Air would mean eliminating a low-cost Mac for those wanting to enter the macOS ecosystem.

It has also been suggested that Apple could introduce a 13-inch MacBook Air.

But it doesn't seem that the MacBook Air is going anywhere yet, and the latest leaks and supply chain chatter points to this being more of a refresh than a total redesign:

  • Dropping the MagSafe 2 power port
  • Replacing all the existing ports with a single USB-C port
  • Addition of a Touch ID sensor (built into the power button) for logging onto the system and Apple Pay
  • Force Touch trackpad (bringing it in line with the MacBook Pro)

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