Q&A: Is a new Macbook coming?

I have seen rumours on the net about the new Apple Mac Book, what technologies it may have and a possible release date.  Do you know about this?

The Internet is almost always awash with rumours of new Apple products.  Sometimes these rumours prove fruitful, and others they turn out to be complete rubbish.

But, it does stand to reason that a new Apple Macbook could be in the works.  The Macbook Pro lineup was last refreshed in October 2011, and it was more of an incremental update than anything worth noting.  The newer machines had slightly faster processors and larger hard disks, but everything else remained more or less the same.

That being said, we’ve heard the rumours as well, so here’s a list of our favourites:

11″ Macbook Pro – The Macbook Pro is available at the moment in 13, 15 and 17″ variants.  But the 11″ Macbook Air has proven quite popular, leaving many people to predict that the next version of the Pro will ship in an 11″ variant as well.

No more optical drives – Apple is moving entirely in the direction of downloading information rather than keeping a hard copy at home.  In fact, OS X Lion was not available as a DVD pack at all.  You could either download it from the App Store, or purchase it on a USB key.  Apple even went so far as to invite you into their stores to conduct the upgrade, if your home Internet connection wasn’t quick enough.

Retina displays – Apple’s Retina display has been on the iPhone since 2010, and is now on the latest iPad as well.  It’s not so far-fetched to think that Apple could use the same technology on any new Macbooks that they bring to market.  The problem is that this kind of display requires greater graphics processing and more power, which leads us nicely too:

Bigger batteries – Apple proudly proclaim that you can get a full days work out of the Macbook Air.  We’d argue that this depends entirely on what you plan to do with it, but we’d agree you can get a good 5 hours use out of it.  The fabled Retina display is a power hog, though, so expect to see a larger battery if the new display makes an appearance on the Macbook.

21.5″ Thunderbolt Displays – Apple already make a 27″ Thunderbolt display, designed for the current generation of Macbooks.  The Thunderbolt port allows all connectivity to occur on the back of the display, rather than have half a dozen leads connected to the side of the Macbook.  It’s a fantastic idea, and it allows you to quickly and easily dock your Macbook with all your peripherals at home.  The problem is that 27″ is just too big for some people.  Apple already make a 21.5″ iMac, so the display technology is there.  It wouldn’t take too much for them shove the display into a smaller case and give us a 21.5″ Thunderbolt display.

Of course, there’s no word on whether Apple are even planning a new Macbook at this point, so we’d take anything heard on the Internet with a pinch of salt.

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