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These are the new Macs likely to launch at WWDC

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Apr 10, 2022
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This two-year Mac rollout with Apple silicon sure was fun, wasn’t it? Not only do we get to see how the M-series processors are evolving, but we also get a fresh look at Mac designs and features. It’s been years since Mac customers had anything sensible to look forward to other than processor bumps and a new laptop keyboard, and the Apple silicon transition has made things super exciting again.

We come to the two-year anniversary of Apple’s first announcement that it would switch to its own silicon. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see any new Macs! We know the rollout of M1 is complete, and now we’re going to see what else Apple can do with its Mac silicon so we can see more exciting design changes.

The excitement won’t end in June, and based on the rumors, we’ll see more innovations on the Mac at least until the end of this year. Here are five Macs that can continue the parade that started in 2020.

Mac pro

The Mac Pro isn’t for everyone, but everyone wants to see what Apple will do with it. This is the Mac for the most demanding users, and Apple can pull out all the stops, not only with speed, but also with premium features and design.

Apple’s previous two Mac Pro designs — the 2013 cylinder and the 2019 tower — are stark contrasts in design, with the former being super compact and self-contained, while the latter being large and modular. With the new Mac Pro, we could see a compromise between these two design philosophies, eliminating some user-accessible components and allowing others.

That’s because the M1 System on a Chip (SoC) has built-in features that would normally be separate components, such as the GPU, RAM, and media accelerators. However, Mac Pro users need expansion slots for different cards and want the ability to add more RAM or upgrade a GPU. If Apple took away any modular capability, it would send the wrong message to Mac Pro customers.

The Mac Studio introduced the M1 Ultra, Apple’s best M1 series SoC. The Mac Pro is Apple’s chance to really boost its processing power so that the company could introduce a new SoC implementation that really makes the Mac Pro scream. WWDC would be a fantastic showcase for the latest Apple silicone Mac – the same place Apple showed the last two models.

Mac Pro with wheels

The real question most people will have about the new Mac Pro: how much will the wheels cost?

IDG

mac mini

Apple currently offers three Mac mini models: two with the M1 SoC and a third that still uses an Intel processor. It is this third Mac mini model that will be very interesting to watch.

Apple doesn’t have a desktop Mac that uses the M1 Pro processor, it’s only in the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro. The high-end Mac mini seems to be the ideal machine for this. The price could also go up – it’s $1,099 now, but it could go to $1,299 to better fit between the low-end Mac minis and the entry-level $1,999 Mac Studio.

Even with the M2 likely to debut this fall, an M1 Pro Mac mini would be a great option at the higher end. The M2 would replace the M1 in the low-end Mac minis. The M2 will be like the M1 (8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores), but faster, but not fast enough to catch the M1 Pro. With the Mac Studio at the high end of the spectrum, WWDC could be a great showcase for a new mid-range Mac mini.

Mac mini space gray 2022

Apple still sells an Intel Mac mini, but it won’t be around for long.

Apple

MacBook Air

Like the Mac mini, the current MacBook Air has an M1, and there are rumors that a new model could get an M2 (although there are conflicting reports). What’s even more exciting about a new MacBook Air is the possibility that it could get a dramatic makeover.

Essentially, the MacBook Air could look like a portable iMac, with a variety of color options, a white border around the screen, and an even thinner and lighter body. It could still use an LED display, which is cheaper than the mini LED displays used in the MacBook Pro.

This would help differentiate the MacBook Air as a general consumer laptop like the iMac. So not only would it be interesting to see the redesign, it will also create clear lines within Apple’s Mac lineup. A WWDC entry would certainly make a splash, but it will likely launch in the fall alongside the M2 processor.

M1 MacBook Air with iPhone

The MacBook Air has a colorful future ahead of it.

Jason Cross/IDG

15-inch MacBook

New rumors of a 15-inch Mac laptop have surfaced and it is believed to be a larger version of the MacBook Air, which is currently only available as a 13-inch model. It wouldn’t be unprecedented: In case you didn’t know (or don’t remember), Apple used to have two MacBook Air sizes, an 11-inch model and a 13-incher. The smaller Air was discontinued in 2015.

However, Apple is selling a 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M1, and there are rumors that this laptop will be upgraded to an M2. So will Apple really go for two MacBook Airs and three MacBook Pros? That’s an overcrowded laptop setup.

It’s hard to believe that Apple would keep the 13-inch MacBook Pro if it were to make a 15-inch MacBook Air. Maybe Apple can convert the 13-inch MacBook Pro into a 15-inch MacBook that sits between the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 14-inch MacBook Pro? But whatever the name of the machine, it would be the first 15-inch laptop since 2019, when Apple launched the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

For many people, it’s the sweet spot between portability and size, and we can’t wait to see what it looks like, although we may have to wait a while. Look for this model in the fall or early next year.

13-inch MacBook Pro 2020

The 13-inch MacBook Pro may be on its last legs.

Foundry

iMac Pro

Apple’s desktop lineup is evolving nicely. The Mac mini has $699 and $899 lower-end models, and an M1 Pro Mac mini would be a nice high-end addition. The Mac Studio is a relatively lower-end pro computer and the Pro is the ultra-high end.

Then there’s the iMac. Apple sells three standard configurations, but no matter which one you choose, it’s still a lower-tier M1 Mac. It has no high-end companion. It may not need it, but it looks like an iMac Pro would be a good fit.

Even though Apple phased out the 27-inch iMac in March, the rumor mill is circulating about an iMac Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max professors that could be released in 2023. Rumors make it sound like an interesting Mac, with a chip similar to the M1 Pro, a Liquid XDR display, and a design similar to the 24-inch iMac. It could be an attractive all-in-one alternative to the $1,999 Mac Studio, which lacks a keyboard, monitor, and mouse.

This post These are the new Macs likely to launch at WWDC

was original published at “https://www.macworld.com/article/626321/macs-likely-to-launch-at-wwdc.html”

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