Apple Silicon is coming and it means big changes coming for the Mac range. To grab back lapsed Apple fans or nab Windows stalwarts, Apple will need to hit it out of the park with the reimaged next MacBook. Here’s how they can do it.
Apple is taking back control of its laptop and desktop chips – ditching underperforming Intel processors – and there’s a whole lot of technical benefits that could come.
However, what consumers want is stellar features that they’ll actually use and it may actually be little touches of hardware redesign that brings this about – even if it may be helped along by Apple Silicon too.
So, if you are thinking of picking up a MacBook right now and aren’t sure whether to wait or are looking for any reason to make the Windows to macOS move, read on for some features we’re really hoping the next MacBook has.
1. That sweet nano-texture display
The nano-texture display was introduced on the Pro Display XDR and acts much in the same way as a matte display – obscuring light and making for a much more pleasant experience when working outdoors or with direct lighting around you. Current MacBook displays may be great but they definitely don’t play that well outside.
Until recently, you’d have to spend upwards of £5000 to gain access to Apple’s matte-like Nano-texture display. Thanks to the new 27-inch iMac, the company has now made it accessible to everyone for the low-low price of £2300. Okay, so maybe not everyone just yet, but Tim Cook has lightened the load a bit.
Apple’s already whittled what was a £900 upgrade for the Pro Display XDR down to £500 on the iMac and so something like a £200 upgrade for those enthusiast MacBook Pro users might make for an easier to swallow offering.
Admittedly, the nano-texture display isn’t without some drawbacks (check out number five on this list for more on that).
2. Trim down those bezels
Why does the MacBook range still look extremely similar to what it did back at the start of the decade? For most of the MacBook, it isn’t a problem and it’s stayed looking the same because of success – the metal unibody is ultra-premium and has been slimmed down over the years.
However, what hasn’t been slimmed down are those positively portly bezels – bezels which, mind you, are still not able to house a decent webcam.
Rumours of a new 14-inch MacBook Pro that sheds those unsightly black bars to fit the larger display in the 13-inch form-factor have been around for some time now, with it appearing like Apple’s been saving the change for Apple Silicon – our fingers are crossed.
3. Games that are actually good
Gaming has never been huge on MacBooks but that leaves plenty of room for improvement (especially with the loss of PC games via Bootcamp). With the introduction of Apple Arcade, we saw the release of some console-class games like Sayonara Wild Hearts and intriguing new mobile-friendly titles.
The selection may have been slim-pickings but it showed plenty of promise for what Apple developers could do if given more horsepower to play around with – more horsepower that will be available with new Apple Silicon Macs.
4. A decent webcam (and Face ID)
The below-par MacBook webcam has truly achieved transcended meme status in tech fandom. Thankfully, Apple is clearly aware of the problem – seeming to give a friendly “we know” kind of nod with the new Mac 27-inch receiving the Mac range’s first 1080p webcam.
While improved quality would be great, a delightful new feature to also integrate would be Face ID. Windows Hello has been around for some time now and it’s a super-handy way for unlocking your machine – Apple, please take note.
5. Add touchscreen support, finally
The late Steve Jobs once described touchscreen laptops as “ergonomically terrible” and outright stated, “this doesn’t work”. However, Jobs also once remarked on stage, “who wants a stylus?” and we are now several years past an Apple Pencil release.
Times change and so does Apple – it’s time for a touchscreen MacBook. The benefits aren’t immediately clear but, when you use one, you realise it’s simply a handy addendum to the way you already navigate. With the Mac experience moving closer to that of an iPadOS/iOS device, the reasons not to adopt a touchscreen become ever less clear.
One snag would be that premium nano-texture glass upgrade we’d so desire. A nano-texture touchscreen is a no go. In particular, Apple requires you to use the provided cloth and absolutely nothing else to clean its nano-texture displays so they definitely don’t want your grubby mitts on it.