After several months of testing, Apple in September released the thirteenth major release of its desktop operating system, macOS Sierra (it’s no longer referred to as OS X), but where’s the new hardware? It has been a long time since Apple refreshed its Mac line with major changes, though don’t fret, Apple isn’t planning to head into the holiday season with old systems.
The folks at Recode say they’ve heard confirmation from unnamed sources that Apple introduce new Mac systems during a press event next month. It will take place on October 27, though exactly what Apple plans to roll out isn’t yet known. If we had to guess, we’d say one of the items is a new MacBook Pro with a rumored row of touch - sensitive keys. They’ll take the place of traditional Function keys and can be customized.
Given the timing of the press event, we suspect Apple’s updated systems will take a dip in Kaby Lake, Intel’s recently introduced 7th Generation Core architecture. Intel launched a line of 14nm Kaby Lake processors for laptops at the end of August with the promise of up to 12 percent faster productivity performance and up to 19 percent faster web performance compared to Skylake.
Intel also touted Kaby Lake’s ability to handle 4K content, saying users would be able to create and edit 4K video up to 15 times faster than on a 5-year-old system. That’s thanks to a new multimedia engine that adds hardware acceleration for 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding and VP9 decoding.
Kaby Lake isn’t a game change - it’s a second consecutive “tock” in Intel’s “tick-tock” release cadence to fill the gap until Cannonlake arrives next year - but it should give Apple some bragging bullets over its previous generation systems. Paired with macOS Sierra, Apple may have some compelling upgrade options in store.