Malibu Art

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Malibu Art
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  • Redesigned, ultra-thin MacBook Pro with AMD GPU not expected to debut at 'iPhone 7' event Sept. 7

    Prototype Kaby Lake chips are now in manufacturer's hands. Since the next gen MacBook Pro will jettison its legacy ports, it only makes logical sense that Kaby Lake's native support for Thunderbolt 3, native USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2 and 2G graphics architecture to substantially improve performance (30x) in 3D graphics and 4K video playback would be Apple's choice for its next generation MacBook Pro. Timing is the issue, the Core i7-7500U 2.7-2.9GHz quad-core processors are not due until 2017. Apple has not updated the MacBook Pro from Broadwell because Intel has consistently missed delivery dates. If Intel can deliver Kaby Lake which has 2.5 times the performance with 3 times the battery life over Skylake in 2016, Apple will take the bait. Apple has a close relationship with Intel, it would not be the first time that Intel has rewarded Apple with an early release primary because Intel knows the it will be a game changer in that Apple's PC competitors will have to match specifications generating sales in a stagnant PC market. The upgrade to Kaby Lake will also bode well to support Apple's plan to shave off more than a few millimeters from the next gen MacBook Pro's thickness while increasing battery volume because Kaby Lake would help reduce the thermal need for heavy fan cooling. The 15 inch model will certainly have a dedicated Graphic Processing Unit by AMD with Polaris 11 architecture which will be thin and thermally efficient but have enough power to drive the next generation of Virtual Reality apps. The thickness reduction would be aided by metal injection molding by Surface Pro manufacturer Jarllytec along with a MacBook like keyboard with butterfly mechanism as the foot prints should be measurably smaller.

    Because of its new graphics capability, the next gen MacBook Pro could bump up retina to full 4K without too much of a hit on performance or battery life. A move to OLED or Apple's Micro LED would be unlikely but possible. At the same time as Kaby Lake becomes available, Intel/Micron's Optane SSD will be released with its 1000x improvement which would usher in a truly game changing next generation MacBook Pro.

    The top function row will be replaced with a full color OLED backlit touch screen whose icons would change given the context, application or other triggers. The new row will certainly incorporate a Touch ID sensor which is already supported in Sierra macOS. I suspect that changing all the mechanical keyboard backlighting to context sensitive color OLED icons for language, formulas and games may not make it into the next generation.

    The wider pressure-sensitive trackpad would almost certainly provide some of the Pencil capability as the iPad Pros. The iPad's like LTE capability could be natively supported although unlikely.

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