New MacBook Pro 2017 release date, UK price and tech specs
New MacBook Pro models were released in October 2016, but we’re already looking ahead to the next update of the MacBook Pro for 2017. In this article we round up and analyse all the rumours related to the new MacBook Pro 2017 – its release date, specs, design, likely pricing and new features.
We expect Apple to update the MacBook Pro line again in 2017, and one expert has said that mass production of this new updated MacBook Pro will begin around July 2017.
Shortly after the 2016 MacBook Pro models were announced in October 2016, the widely respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a report (Macrumors) suggesting that a 2017 update to the MacBook Pro line would bring a price cut and 32GB RAM option.
In January 2017 Kuo repeated his predictions in a more specific new report, this time forecasting that the 2017 update to the MacBook Pro would enter mass production early in the third quarter (in July, in other words).
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has predicted that the 2017 MacBook Pro will feature an Apple-designed chip to handle simple tasks such as email and updates while the laptop is asleep, citing “people familiar with the matter”.
“The chip, which went into development [in 2016], is similar to one already used in the latest MacBook Pro to power the keyboard’s Touch Bar feature,” Gurman writes. “The updated part, internally codenamed T310, would handle some of the computer’s low-power mode functionality.”
By building a dedicated low-power processor, Apple could reduce battery consumption for the 2017 MacBook Pro.
Increasing the top-line RAM allocation to 32GB would make a lot of sense (many reviewers feel that capping the MacBook Pro at 16GB RAM limits its appeal among the pro users its name would suggest it is for), and Kuo did predict this upgrade back in October; but Macrumors understands that design restrictions would make this difficult.
“To support 32GB of memory would require using DDR memory that is not low power and also requires a different design of the logic board which might reduce space for batteries,” states Apple’s Phil Schiller. “Both factors would reduce battery life.”
Kaby Lake processors
But there are other areas where Apple may choose to add a cheeky spec bump next spring. Most obvious is the processor family.
The 2016 MBP comes with sixth-generation Intel processors rather than this year’s seventh-gen Kaby Lake chips, which are still rolling out. The chips weren’t ready in time, which is fair enough, but it would be nice for those buying a ‘Pro’ MacBook to have the option of the very latest processors. When Apple returns to the Pro in 2017, we think Kaby Lake processors will be on the menu, as well as the option to buy 32GB of RAM. And this is an opinion backed up in Ming-Chi Kuo’s January research note.
The timing of the MacBook Pro’s launch in 2016 evidently made it difficult – most likely impossible – to include Kaby Lake processors, since it would appear that the specific Kaby Lake chips that would have been suitable hadn’t been released yet. But that no longer appears a legitimate excuse, since Dell has announced its Precision 5520 laptop, which includes Kaby Lake chips and is directly comparable to the MacBook Pro. If Dell has got its hands on Kaby Lake – and the 5520 is due to launch in February 2017 – then there’s no reason why Apple couldn’t do the same.