More details on Apple’s upcoming renewal of the MacBook family are pointing to not only an increase in power for the new ARM-powered processor, but also a battery life approaching twenty hours. And the heart of this radical new laptop looks suspiciously like the iPhone.
The expectation from both the analysts and the details coming out of the supply chain are for two new MacBooks by the end of 2020, Covid-19 willing.
The first machine is targeting the clear benefits of an ARM-powered laptop, namely better battery efficiency at lower temperature; this allows for a fan-less design thanks to more efficient cooling. With the MacBook Air’s name losing its lustre, the latest indications are that Apple will go with the predicted ‘MacBook’ name.
Nothing says this ARM MacBook is a MacBook like calling it “MacBook”.
The second machine is perhaps more surprising, Apple will bring the MacBook Pro brand into the ARM race from the beginning.
As a statement of intent that the new ARM platform is ready for business, launching a MacBook Pro is a big statement. Not only does it lean into Apple believing that there will be few if any compatibility problems with legacy apps, it also leans into the idea that the power of macOS on ARM is at least equal to that of macOS on Intel.
But then Apple has been saying for a long that its smartphone chips are just as powerful as those found in the traditional laptop form. Which is why the tacit confirmation from the supply chain that the new Macs will use a variant of the A14 Bionic chip destined for this year’s iPhone 12 family.
Presumably the MacBook and MacBook Pro are going to use the same presumptively named A14X Bionic that is destined for the next generation of iPads.
Whether the combination of the mobile processor and the iOS-ifcation of the macOS Big Sur means this is still the same workhorse of previous MacBook Pro machines, or is an up-gunned iPad Pro adopting the classic name remains to be seen.