Dr. Laurin Ostermann

When to buy a new MacBook Pro

With Christmas knocking at the door and my MacBook Pro turning six next year, I have given some thought to replacing my current main setup with a new one. But then, I started to hesitate and figured out all the features I would want in a new configuration.

First, my current setup is a 2010 MacBook Pro with a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD harddrive and a new 802.11ac/BT4 wireless module, both of which I put in a while after my original purchase. So, in principle, I am doing well – I do not cut 4K video, hence this machine should last another couple of years, before it actually has to be replaced. In addition, I use a 24” Apple LED Cinema Display with a MegSafe power cable, which powers the MacBook and serves as a dock for all my other gear.

But now, here is my list of things I would want Apple to feature in a future MacBook Pro:

  • Touch ID or something similar where I couldlog into my machine with my fingerprint, or alternatively a proximity sensor for my Apple Watch, so that the Mac would log me in automatically when I am near it
  • 3D Touch We have this nice new technology in the iPhone 6S, where the display can actually measure the amount of pressure that is applied to it. The new MacBooks do have a Force Trackpad, but this could go further and result in a full-featured pressure sensor.
  • USB-C and charging, which, I guess, will happen at some point anyway. But there is a little caveat when switching over to USB-C: I really like the MegSafe power cable and its concept and USB-C would definitely not attach magnetically. So my favourite solution would be to keep the MegSafe and allow for charging the MacBook via USB-C as well. And please, put in more than one of those new USB ports.
  • 512+ GB SSD At the moment, you can get 512GB or 1TB of flash storage but this will really burn a hole into your budget. I would like to see 512GB as the standard off-the-shelf configuration for a new iteration of the MacBook. Furthermore, there have been discussions about this new Intel storage technology, which is supposed to be 30 times faster than an SSD. That would be even more awesome!
  • Butterfly keyboard mechanics Lastly, I would like Apple to switch over their entire line to the new butterfly keyboard technology. I am still not sure, if I actually like the new typing sensation, but once all my machines will have the new keyboards, I will eventually get used to it. But having one type of keyboard on one machine and another type on other machines will certainly drive me nuts when switching between them.
  • A new Retina Cinema Display We have the 5K iMac now, but the Cinema Display is still at the old non-Retina resolution. Before I get a new MacBook Pro, I really want to be sure that there will be a docking/display solution similar to what I have now, because I really enjoy having a big screen and using it as a dock, when I am at my desk.

I guess, it will take some more time, before we can expect a new line of MacBook Pros, but hopefully it will not be long after OS X has outgrown my current hardware. We’ll see.