Last year came and went with no sign of the new MacBook. Instead, Apple launched the new MacBook Air – which some would argue replaced it. However, because the latest thin and light has been out for nearly 2 years, we’re more than ready for the follow up. Unsurprisingly, it didn't make an appearance at the WWDC 2019 alongside the redesigned Mac Pro 2019 and macOS Catalina, but we're definitely hoping it will make later this year.
Looking back, the MacBook 2017 is everything we’ve wanted since the thin and light rebirth back in 2015 – at least on paper. It boasts the powerful 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake processors that gave it a massive boost to power, as well as the Butterfly keyboard, which is better than ever, despite some persisting issues.
Now that we have Intel Amber Lake processors, we would love the MacBook 2019 to utilize these, taking a huge leap over the 2017 model and giving MacBook users an indisputable reason to upgrade. And, hopefully it’ll be as dramatic as the leap the new MacBook Pro experienced.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next 12-inch MacBook
- When is it out? Later in 2019
- What will it cost? Presumably the same as current models
MacBook 2019 release date
None of the most recent reports, rumors or leaks give any idea as to when and if we’ll see the MacBook 2019. Of course, we can happily speculate based on the previous three releases of Apple’s 12-inch laptop.
In 2015, Apple released the first MacBook in April, directly following a March keynote. That’s an increasingly common time for Apple to release a device, but that obviously didn’t happen this time.
However, Apple went all of 2018 without releasing a new 12-inch MacBook, and while we initially thought the blame was on Intel’s 14nm shortage – the Cupertino behemoth had no problem putting out the MacBook Air 2018.
Furthermore, Apple didn't showcase the MacBook 2019 at WWDC 2019, which is hardly surprising as this year's hardware portion of the keynote focused entirely on the new Mac Pro 2019 and its 32-inch 6K Retina display, the Pro Display XDR.
However, with the new macOS 10.15 boasting new features such as the Apple Music, TV and Podcasts apps (formerly iTunes), Sidecar and Voice Control, Apple could use that opportunity to show off a MacBook that’s obviously designed for entertainment – the MacBook 2019.
Still, we’ll have to wait until Apple is ready to show the MacBook 2019 off, if it does happen. Don’t worry; we’ll be updating this page as soon as any information comes our way.
MacBook 2019 price
This is another aspect where we’ll have to speculate based on the current pricing of the MacBook.
Currently, the entry-level MacBook will cost you $1,299 (£1,249, AU$1,899) to start. Only one more model, with more storage and power, goes for another $300 to 450 on top of that. And, we think that Apple will launch the MacBook 2019 around the same price as these current models.
There was speculation that Apple will be releasing a cheaper 13-inch MacBook, but that turned out to be the new MacBook Air.
With the pricing so tight here, amounting to minute differences in hardware between offerings, we probably won’t see a price drop. The only way we see the current version of the MacBook budging on price is if Apple introduces sizable storage or higher power options, which will send the price up, rather than the opposite.
For the MacBook price to come down, or for Apple to release a cheaper MacBook model alongside more expensive version, compromises would have to be made. Apple could lower the memory down to 4GB from 8GB, but we don’t think that’ll happen, especially because 8GB is standard these days.
Instead, we believe the only way we’ll see a cheaper MacBook 2019 would be a MacBook with a 128GB SSD instead of starting with 256GB, which might be beneficial to those who’ve already invested in external drives. Considering how much Apple charges for a bump in storage, lowering that amount should equate to a considerable price drop.
We’ll keep an eye out for new rumors and update this article as soon as the MacBook 2019 price begins to crop up as we inch closer.
What we want to see in MacBook 2019
All of this uncertainty surrounding a possible MacBook 2019 release is fertile ground for a well-crafted wishlist.
So, while we wait for any kind of official word from the Cupertino behemoth, here’s what we hope to see Apple improve about the MacBook for 2019.
MacBook 2019 keyboard and screen
Throughout 2018, there were plenty of rumors that Apple had plans to design a MacBook with dual screens. One of these screens would be a capacitive touch keyboard. Early 2019, we stumbled upon a rumor that the touchscreen keyboard would have raised glass and haptic feedback, so it will feel as much like a traditional keyboard as possible. However, it’s easy to expect this to raise the price on any MacBook that implements it.
Even if this touchscreen keyboard doesn’t make its way into the 2019 MacBook, it doesn’t mean the Butterfly mechanism keyboard won’t be improved upon – especially after Apple admitted that some of the keyboards in recent MacBooks are faulty and is now offering to repair them for free.
That’s why we’re pretty sure that the MacBook 2019 will feature the same third-generation Butterfly keyboard as the new Macbook Pro while MacBook Air will have with a membrane that makes it less prone to jamming up.
More ports, please
One of the biggest problems with the 12-inch MacBook, ever since its initial release has been the all too obvious lack of ports. With just the one Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port and a headphone jack, this port situation absolutely needs to change in the MacBook 2019. Even one additional port will help, so that you can charge while also connect a different device at the same time without needing a dock.
We’ve already seen Windows laptops accomplish this feat. Take the Huawei MateBook X, for instance, with its two USB-C ports, or even the similarly priced MacBook Pro, which has two. Maybe there’s room for a microSD card reader too, though that may be pushing it.
Costing as much as it does, Apple really needs to put some more power into its 12-inch MacBooks.
Then again, the MacBook has consistently used energy efficient Intel Core ‘M’ and ‘Y’ series CPUs up to this point, so we wouldn’t bank on seeing full-fat Ultrabook processors, as they’d generate too much heat for the tiny, thin chassis.
Now that Amber Lake Y-series CPUs have been released by Intel, we’d like to see Apple shove these latest 8th-generation processors into the new MacBook. However, at this point, those are essentially old tech already, so again, we’ll just have to see.
We’ve also seen some rumors that Apple is planning on crafting an ARM-based MacBook at some point, and if the iPad Pro 2018 were any indication, we could definitely see this happening. Apple would just have to work out some kinks in getting macOS to run on an ARM system.
It’s also safe to assume that Apple will put its T1 or T2 processor into the MacBook 2019 – as it has with all of its latest Mac releases.
Since the 12-inch MacBook lacks a Touch Bar, it’s safe to assume that if one of these co-processors is implemented, it will be used for the automatic wake and ‘Hey Siri’ functionality that’s currently unique on to the iMac Pro, MacBook Air 2018 and MacBook Pro 2018.
The Apple MacBook already feels remarkably sturdy in hand, but over time it can become inundated with scratches – even if you are exceptionally careful. Lucky for us, Apple has recently filed a patent that details plans for making ‘indestructible’ hardware, through some unique coatings. This will be an excellent option for a premium device that most users won’t want to upgrade for four to five years, as well as help keep the MacBook looking as stunning as the day you opened it.
Of course, we don’t know if this patent will ever see the light of day or even get utilized for the MacBook. However, this approach, alongside the improved Butterfly keyboard found in the MacBook Pro 2018, could make the MacBook 2019 a much more durable device, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Stronger audio and video
Speaker performance and webcam quality are two corners that Apple obviously cut when in designing the MacBook. With the MacBook 2019, this needs to stop. Tinny speakers and a sub-HD webcam for a laptop this expensive and designed for entertainment simply isn’t acceptable, and not in this day and age.
Apple needs to simply beef up the webcam up to 1080p, to make it more worthy of its price tag suggests, and problem solved. The speakers, though, are a problem we don’t necessarily have a solution for. Supporting the speakers with down-throwing bass modules in the base might work? Otherwise, stick to your better made external speakers and headphones.
Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Rae Uy has also contributed to this report
Image Credit: TechRadar
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