Here’s everything we know about Apple’s next MacBook Pro

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Martin Hajek

Apple is hosting an event on Thursday, October 27, and it’s likely to announce some new Mac computers.

About time, too, because the MacBook Pro as we know it has barely changed since it was released in 2009, save for a slimmer design, spec updates, and a sharper Retina display.

We have a pretty good idea of the all-new features to expect during Apple’s event from the numerous leaks and rumors. Check it out:


There will be two main models with different screen sizes.

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Apple

The often reliable and accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities predicts Apple will release two sizes of the MacBook Pro, with 13-inch and 15-inch screens.


It’ll have a new design.

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Martin Hajek

A report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says the new MacBook Pros will have some subtle design changes, like “shallower curves around the edges,” which could give them a sleeker and sharper design.


They’ll be even thinner than the current MacBook Pros.

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The current MacBook Pros are already pretty thin.
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Apple

Kuo believes the new MacBook Pros will have an even thinner design than the current crop.

To help make the new MacBook Pros thinner, Apple is designing new hinges to save space, according to the Chinese news site Commercial Times.


It’ll have an OLED strip with customizable keys instead of the ‘F’ keys.

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A photo accidentally leaked by Apple of the new MacBook Pro.
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Apple

One of the biggest new features in Apple’s new MacBook Pro is an OLED display strip that will take the place of the “F” keys, which are usually found above the row of number keys on a keyboard, according to 9to5Mac.

This rumor was reinforced earlier this week when a MacRumors reader discovered Apple had leaked images of the new MacBook Pro inside the new macOS Sierra update.

That OLED strip is said to let users customize the “F” key functions, whereas those keys on the MacBook Pro can’t be customized.

For example, you could potentially move the volume control keys, which are F10 to F12 on the current MacBook Pro. Or you could assign one of the keys on the OLED strip to open an app or a shortcut to a feature.


It’ll use USB-C.

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USB-C on the 12-inch MacBook.
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Stephen Ambruzs/YouTube

The new MacBook Pros will use USB-C ports for connecting external devices – such as external hard drives, displays, and anything else you normally connect to your computer – according to Ars Technica.

And the latest from the Japanese Apple blog MacOtakara, citing a “reliable” Chinese supplier, claims the upcoming MacBook Pro won’t come with the good ol’ USB ports at all.

That means you might need an adapter to connect legacy peripherals that don’t use USB-C, which could be a pain.

At the same time, USB-C allows for faster data transfer speeds, and you could have all your devices connected to a single USB-C adapter rather than multiple cables sticking out of your MacBook Pro, which makes it easier to plug and unplug all your peripherals when you need to.


USB-C will also be used for charging.

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The USB-C port on the 12-inch MacBook.
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Marque Brownlee/YouTube

Ars Technica also claims that USB-C will be used for charging the new MacBook Pro.

This one worries us a little, as USB-C for charging might not be as practical as the MagSafe power connectors on the current MacBook Pros. That’s because the MagSafe’s magnetic connection allows the power cord to disconnect safely without damaging your MacBook Pro if you trip on or pull the wire by accident.

If you accidentally trip on a USB-C cable, on the other hand, it could pull the new MacBook Pro off a table and potentially damage it, as a USB-C’s connection could be more secure.

We’ll have to wait and see, but it seems like a devolution rather than an upgrade if the rumor is true.


You might use TouchID to unlock the new MacBook Pro.

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Flickr/Kārlis Dambrāns

Kuo predicts the new MacBook Pro will have a TouchID fingerprint sensor built into the power button, which could be used instead of a password to unlock the laptop.

As it is on the iPhone, using TouchID to unlock the new MacBook Pro would be easier and more convenient than typing in a password, especially if you’re doing it multiple times a day.


It’ll run on Intel’s latest processors, with some models running with AMD graphics cards.

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The processor of the early 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro.
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iFixit/YouTube

Most of the new MacBook Pros will used Intel’s latest “Skylake” processors, and some of the models designed for users who need extra graphics power for video games and photo or video editing will include AMD’s “Polaris” graphical processors, according to Gurman at Bloomberg.


It’ll run Apple’s new macOS Sierra.

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Florence Fu/Tech Insider

Apple’s new macOS Sierra will come with some nifty features, including “picture in picture” mode that’ll let you pop out a video in a separate window, save space by storing old files and apps in iCloud, and use Apple’s Siri voice-activated assistant.


It’ll be announced on October 27, and likely released within the next month or so.

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Getty

Apple will announce the new MacBook Pros on October 27, but if the company doesn’t launch the new computers the same day, it might make customers wait a few weeks to get the first models. We expect Apple will be ready for the big holiday push.