This past week at WWDC, Apple surprised us by updating their entire Mac lineup, as well as introducing a new professional computer. Today, we’re taking a look at everything that Apple announced.
Apple’s 2017 Mac Lineup
The first new Mac is the third-generation MacBook. The super thin laptop now features updated Kaby Lake processors, making it up to 20% faster. You can now upgrade the MacBook to 16GB of RAM.
Maybe the biggest addition is Apple’s second-generation butterfly keyboard first introduced in the MacBook Pro. The new keyboard sounds more realistic and has much firmer clicks.
The new MacBook is available now at $1299.
Apple also updated the MacBook Pro first introduced last October with Kaby Lake processors and improved battery life.
The new laptops start at the same prices as before, except for the entry level non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro, which now starts at just $1299.
Apple updated its line of iMac computers with Kaby Lake Intel processors. Additionally, iMacs now features AMD Radeon 500 chips standard, allowing for up to 4x greater graphics performance.
Apple’s Fusion Drives are now standard across the Mac lineup. Fusion drives are a drive that features both an SSD and HDD, storing the OS and main app files on the SSD for speed and everything else on the HDD to allow for maximum storage. Apple says the SSD is up to 50% faster and is available in up to 3TB models.
The color palette of the iMac has been expanded and is now able to show over a billion colors. The display itself is now 43% brighter, displaying up to 500 nits.
Apple has significantly improved the I/O on the back of iMac. It now features the standard SD card slot, 4 USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, but now also 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports and a 10GB/s Ethernet port. Apple says this is powerful enough to run one 5K external display or 2 4K displays.
The new iMac is available now and starts at just $1099 for a 21.5-inch non-retina model and $1299 for the baseline 4K model.
The last and most major Mac update at WWDC was a preview of a new Mac called iMac Pro. The device, launching in December is going to be the most powerful Mac Apple has ever made.
Before the iMac Pro, high-end Macs featured 8-core processors. The new machine starts at 8-core standard but you can upgrade that to 10-core or an insane 18-core Intel Xeon processors.
The graphics in the iMac Pro feature unannounced AMD Radeon Pro Vega cards, which Apple says is 3x faster than any previous Mac graphics card. Each card comes with 8GB of VRAM standard and goes up to 16GB.
RAM wise, iMac Pro starts at an insane 32GB and can be upgraded to an absurd 128GB. Storage wise, iMac Pro goes up to 4TB SSD. The iMac Pro features the same screen and I/O as the new iMacs, except for two extra USB-C ports.
Apple says they were able to retain the iMac design on such a powerful machine using a new thermal cooling system. The iMac Pro features a Space Grey design, as well as accessories to match.
Speaking of Accessories, Apple finally unveiled a Magic Keyboard with a number pad at WWDC, which is now available for purchase.
The Future of Mac
Apple’s new Mac lineup comes alongside announcements of an updated iPad line, which makes the device extremely more powerful. Additionally, the iMac Pro comes right after Apple told the press that a new Mac Pro was coming in the future.
Apple firmly believes, and I agree, that Mac has many years to come. No one would buy an iPad Pro and sit at their desk every day working on it. But they would use it as their on the go machine and for light tasks at home. The Mac will always remain the top-of-line professional device.
The iMac Pro story is a little more interesting. Apple clearly planned on replacing the Mac Pro with this iMac Pro, before reversing that decision due to backlash.
A new Mac Pro is coming in 2018, and it will be modular and upgradable. If that’s the case, who is the iMac Pro for? The answer, for now, is hard to say, but the device will surely sell when it is released.
One last interesting thing to notice, the entry-level MacBook Pro is now the same price as the entry level MacBook.
That means consumers now have a choice between an extremely underpowered but beautiful and light computer, and a powerful professional computer that is beautiful in its own right and a bit thicker and heavier (though still thinner than a MacBook Air). I don’t know why anyone would choose the MacBook.
How does your Apple shopping list look for this year?