Apple has leaked its own big announcement with two hidden images of its upcoming MacBook Pro in the macOS Sierra 12.1 update. MacRumors first noticed the images in the system files. Meet the new MacBook Pro.
As expected, the MacBook Pro features a second mini display above the keyboard. It replaces the function row and should change depending on what you’re doing. In the example, you can see that the display (probably called the Magic Toolbar) prompts the user to confirm the Apple Pay payment with the Touch ID sensor.
As you can see, the function row is gone. On the one hand, I don’t remember the last time I used the F7 key. On the other hand, there’s no physical escape key anymore. On the photo, we can see that the left part of the display features a cancel button. So it’s more or less like hitting escape on your current keyboard — but it’s going to be harder compared to blindly hitting the top left key on your keyboard.
These photos also show that there will be a Touch ID sensor in the new MacBook Pro. You can see on the second photo below that the Touch ID area is a bit darker. It’s not the same color as the rest of the display, so I think it’s not part of the display. But it doesn’t look like the home button on your iPhone or iPad. When you rest your finger on the home button of your iPhone, the metal ring senses your finger and triggers the Touch ID sensor. Surprisingly, there’s no ring around the Touch ID sensor. Something like 3D Touch could potentially render the metal ring useless though.
Also worth noting, the keyboard looks an awful lot like the one on the 12-inch retina MacBook with larger keycaps. I don’t like the low key travel on the 12-inch retina MacBook. But it’s still unclear if this keyboard has deeper switches like on the external Magic Keyboard.
As you can see in the top photo, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is going to have a slimmer bezel around the display and keyboard. And the speakers are now on each side of the keyboard instead of below the keyboard — this change in particular could indicate that the MacBook is slimmer. The hinge seems to be smaller; let’s hope that it’s still as strong as the one on existing MacBook Pro models.
And that’s it for today! We don’t know the number of ports on this laptop. We don’t know the internal components, release date or price. Rumor has it that it’s going to ship with Intel Skylake processors and a bunch of USB Type-C ports. If you look at the current MacBook Pro, the USB and the MagSafe ports are a bottleneck when it comes to thickness. Switching all these ports to USB Type-C ports would make it much easier to make the laptop thinner.
Apple will be holding an event on Thursday. In addition to updated MacBook Pro models, the company should also update the 13-inch MacBook Air with a new design and better components. The iMac could receive a performance update. The Mac Pro and Mac Mini have been neglected for years, and it’s unclear if it’s about to change. Finally, while a new retina external display is probably coming soon, it might not be ready just yet. Apple could still announce the new display and ship it later.