Apple's latest launch event will likely focus on tablets, but the new MacBook Pro will get its share of the spotlight, insiders say.
Rumored to officially be available for sale by the end of the week, Apple is expected to unveil the next generation of MacBook Pros tomorrow (Oct. 22). The flagship notebook is predicted to combine the efficiency and portability of the MacBook Air with the power and capabilities of the MacBook Pro. According to several reports, the new MacBook Pro will be better, faster and an ultimate game changer in Apple's line of notebooks.
As with all Apple products, the company has remained mum about exactly what the new line of MacBook Pros has in store. While plenty of rumors have circulated over the past few months, here are the top three features that reports say the new MacBook Pros will likely have, all of which mean big changes for business users everywhere.
Longer battery life and faster processor
If speculations hold true, the new MacBook Pros will come equipped with the new Haswell processor, which can potentially double the battery life and speed of previous MacBook Pros.
The Haswell chip, developed by Intel, boasts high energy efficiency and power savings. It was introduced to the Apple line of MacBooks in June of this year via the MacBook Air, giving the ultraportable laptop up to an 80 percent boost in battery life. If the Haswell chip is indeed included in the new MacBook Pros, business users can expect up to 12 hours of productivity in a single charge, depending on use.
The new processor also features integrated graphics and improved CPU performance, which reports say can make the new MacBook Pros up to 60 percent faster than previous models. (Note that this estimate may vary based on the amount and type of applications in use, as well as whether or not the device features Retina display — leaked benchmark results indicated that the MacBook Pro experienced only a modest performance boost.)
OS X Mavericks
OS X Mavericks, Apple's new operating system, is confirmed to come out this fall. As such, it will most likely be the weapon of choice for the new MacBook Pros.
Touted by Apple as the most powerful OS X ever, Mavericks was designed to "work smarter, not harder." Created to conserve battery life and boost responsiveness, features such as Timer Coalescing, App Nap, Safari Power Saver and iTunes HD Playback Efficiency significantly reduce CPU usage, while Compressed Memory automatically compresses data and frees up memory between active and inactive apps for extra-fast responsiveness.
Other improvements include an enhanced Finder with tabs and tagging capabilities, as well as a fully functional multiple display support that — for the first time on a MacBook — enables flexible, full-screen app displays while using external monitors.
Additionally, Mavericks was designed with iOS in mind. This is demonstrated by preinstalled iOS native apps, such as Maps and iBooks. Mavericks also borrows from iOS' notifications feature, which is now available on Mail, Calendar, Messages and other notification-enabled Mavericks apps.
Mavericks also offers a host of productivity and security features for businesses. In addition to a fresh new look, the revamped Calendar app has a more streamlined interface that also integrates with Facebook events. For enhanced security, Mavericks features the iCloud Keychain, which encrypts, stores and automatically fills in credit cards and personal access information; it also contains an alphanumeric random password generator for online accounts.
For IT departments, Mavericks includes the OS X Server, which provides more network control and easier, faster collaboration using improved app distribution tools. There's also the OS X Mavericks Developer Tools for creating more powerful apps using the latest Apple technologies.
Two of Apple's latest releases, the MacBook Air and iMac, were both equipped with the 802.11ac "Gigabit" Wi-Fi protocol, which enables faster wireless connectivity. According to several reports, Apple will continue the trend and ship the new MacBook pros with the same blazing fast technology.
Dubbed as 5G Wi-Fi, 802.11ac transfers data up to three times faster than the current 802.11n technology. It also delivers better range and is more reliable than current Wi-Fi connectivity options.
What does this mean for businesses? With the speed 5G Wi-Fi has to offer, any Internet-based process — from managing your website to processing mobile payments and backing up your data — can be completed more quickly than ever before. Companies can also rely on a more reliable up time and not worry about their signal dropping when they need it most.
Note that a device's 5G Wi-Fi capabilities do not guarantee the advertised speed. Because the technology is relatively nascent, your network may need a faster Internet connection, 802.11ac devices for all network users, and a 802.11ac compatible router or router upgrade to take full advantage of 5G Wi-Fi connectivity.