ICYMI: A 13-inch MacBook could be coming at WWDC

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by TigerMSTR, May 24, 2016.

Tags:
  1. TigerMSTR, May 24, 2016
    Last edited: May 24, 2016

    TigerMSTR macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #1
    Buried in today's news about the new MacBook Pro was a short blurb on a new 13-inch MacBook:

    The 12-inch MacBook will also be joined by a 13-inch MacBook, according to Kuo. The analyst believes that Apple will move forward with all three MacBook lines this year, with the MacBook Pro occupying the high-end slot, the MacBook will replace the Air as the medium-level model and the MacBook Air will serve as an entry-level model with comparatively low prices.
    It was mentioned in this Apple Insider article that the 13-inch MacBook is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2016. The third quarter of Apple's fiscal year ends around the week of June 20th. With the WWDC keynote scheduled for June 13th, it's looking likely that Apple will announce the 13-inch MacBook at the conference, with a release during the days following. Alternatively, it could launch during the third quarter of the calendar year, which would place launch between beginning of June and beginning of September.

    It's curious that Apple could release a MacBook that is only one-inch larger than their current offering. However, though one-inch might seem small on paper, it does have a perceptible impact on the size of the content. If these rumours are indeed accurate (Kuo does have an excellent track record), I'd expect the 13-inch MacBook to have enhanced capabilities, including:
    • Higher resolution, 2560-by-1600 display; the same as the 13-inch MacBook Pro,
    • 2x USB-C, 1 audio port; addressing the complaints due to the 12" MacBook's single port,
    • Larger battery and potentially longer battery life,
    • Improved CPU/GPU performance, with less throttling due to larger chases allowing for greater heat dispersal,
    • Thunderbolt 3, since they'll be room for a larger motherboard, and hence the chip(s) needed for Thunderbolt,
    • 60 Hz 4k video output support (via Thunderbolt 3)
    So I'd hold off on purchasing a MacBook until after WWDC if you were looking to purchase the 12-inch model.
     
  2. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #2

    I read this as well, and thought I also read that there may be a 15" variant as well. Either way, I'd definitely hold off on any MB purchase until.. hell, even until after the next iPhone release if these rumours are correct. If they are, then depending on the specs and how it aesthetically looks, this could spell the end of the Macbook Air.

    BL.
     
  3. Eggtastic macrumors 6502a

    Eggtastic

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    NJ
    #3
    Thanks for this. I hate playing the waiting game, but still curious to see what WWDC brings.
     
  4. Ovedius macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #4
    I wouldn't put it beyond Cook's Apple to further fragment their product line.
    But a 12" and a 13" MacBook?
    Why?
    Make the increments larger, the difference between a 12" and a 13" screen is negligible at most.
    Unlike for instance the difference between today's 11" and 13" Air, those seem worlds apart.
    No, if Apple wants to make a larger MacBook they should make it 14", 13" is pointless.

    Besides, Apple just bumped the 12" to Skylake.
    If they were thinking of expanding the MacBook line, they should have just waited until WWDC to announce both a larger MacBook and a spec bump.
    Apple are almost notorius for taking their time with upgrades (MacBook Pro, anyone?)
    Stumbling forward with a spec bump in April and an expansion of the product line in June seems too erratic.
     
  5. TigerMSTR thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #5
    I disagree that the jump from 12-inch to 13.3-inch is negligible. That 1.3-inch increase in size makes the display 21% larger. That's quite a large jump. It's a difference I can certainly feel when using a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook; the MacBook Pro's display certainly feels much roomier/less camped. And speaking from personal experience, I know people who've contemplated purchasing the MacBook, but decided against it since 12-inches were a little too small.

    Then there are the additional benefits I mentioned in the OP.
    - A 13.3-inch display can comfortably run higher resolutions than a 12-inch panel without the content being too small (2560-by-1600 vs. 2304-by-1440; 25% higher resolution)
    - The 13.3-inch size should allow for additional USB-C ports and introduce Thunderbolt to the MacBook line. This'll get a lot of people who were hesitant about the single port to purchase this laptop, making it a true Air replacement.
    - Potential for better CPU and battery performance

    These enhancements would address many of the concerns people had about the notebook, better positioning the MacBook as a complete Air replacement.

    I do agree that releasing a 13-inch model so soon after the 12-inch spec bump is a little odd. But Apple's laptop update schedule has been very chaotic over the past few years.
     
  6. Ovedius macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #6
    You list some compelling arguments.
    Only time will tell.

    Then again, I am more than a little biased since I purchased a 12" MacBook less than a week ago.
    I figured the recent spec bump ruled out a possible 13"-14" model being announced at WWDC.
    I also thought the screen was big enough for my tastes but now that the rumor is in, a seed of want has been planted in my mind :p
     
  7. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #7
    How long have you two been watching Apple? They've released new sizes and spec bumps of different sizes at different times throughout the last decade. Nothing new there.
     
  8. jlp2979, May 25, 2016
    Last edited: May 25, 2016

    jlp2979 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #8
    My return window for my new 2016 MB closes on 5/27. I really love it and would prefer to keep it. There is only 1 thing that could compel me to get rid of the MB as quickly as I bought it: announcement of a 13" matte screen MBP. This is Apple after all, so I am not expecting this to ever happen. It makes too much sense and would be too useful to many people for them to even consider it in this day and age of form over function. /s . People love the thin and shiny. :(
     
  9. SAdProZ, May 25, 2016
    Last edited: May 25, 2016

    SAdProZ macrumors 6502

    SAdProZ

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    My interpretation of these rumors are what I imagine a sliding scale:
    • 12" MacBook is what we know now, portability being the priority
    • 13" MacBook is a little more power added, including fans and an i5/i7 Intel Processor (essentially replacing 13" MacBook Pro)
    • 15" MacBook Pro is the large screen, power being the priority
     
  10. TigerMSTR thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #10
    If Apple wants to keep the MacBook fanless, we won't be seeing a i5 or i7 processor in the 13" model.

    What I'd anticipate for the 13" MacBook is a higher clocked variant of the m5/m7 chips used in the 12" model. This is because the 13" MacBook body would be about 25% larger than the 12" model, theoretically allowing for improved thermal performance (due to better passive heat dissipation of the larger chassis), and thus better performing processors.
     
  11. Dunbar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    I'm ordering my rMB so that I have enough time to return it if something is announced at WWDC that I want. Getting it next week (while travelling) will save me ~10% tax. I really doubt they'll announce anything that compels me. I don't really see them getting more than 1/2lb. out of the 13" MBP in which case I would not be interested. My 13" MBA is 3lbs. and it's not very portable.
     
  12. PTLove macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #12
    I dont know where they would get those chips. Apple already uses the TDP UP mode of the Core M line (7.5 watts). They cant up the clocks and TDP again, Intel doesnt physically sell those chips.
     
  13. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #13
    I'm personally frozen in place right now, waiting for WWDC. My plans are for an iPad Pro 12.9" and refurbished MacBook Air to replace my 2011 MBP, but since this might be my last Mac, I wanted to wait and keep my options open. I've played with the MacBook, but wanted a larger screen, so that was eliminated as an option. However, if Apple comes out with a 13" MacBook, I will buy it, and then probably go for the 9.7" iPad Pro. That said, I can completely understand if there is rioting in the streets if two months after an update to the current MacBook line, they come out with a larger one with more ports and TB3.
     
  14. jlp2979 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #14
    I don't think it makes any sense at all for Apple to release a 13" MB in addition to a 13" MBP. Just don't see it happening. 13" MBP will be the only new 13" to be released I predict, and it will have a fan inside. The Air and 12" MB have already been refreshed and updated, respectively. I know nothing obviously, just using common sense, it makes no sense IMO to have a 13" MB and a 13" MBP. Then again, it is Apple, so maybe I will eat my words come WWDC.
     
  15. izzyfanto macrumors regular

    izzyfanto

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    #15
    The rMB was built around the full size keyboard, that is as small and portable Apple could go while still offering a real laptop OS experience in such a small package. The MBP will not be constrained by this width or thickness.
     
  16. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #16
    If that were the case, they wouldn't have made a 13" MBA along with a 13" MBP.

    BL.
     
  17. SAdProZ macrumors 6502

    SAdProZ

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #17
    Apple does what's called Segmentation. They will create multiple products to target different needs and user profiles. So if they have a 13", then assume it will have a slightly different utility than the 12", and that the differences will go beyond the size of the screen. Especially, consider price. The 13" will start at a much more expensive price than the 12".

    (Although Apple may lower price of 12" at WWDC)

    When all is said and done, if Apple releases a 13" we will no longer be confused. The differences will be pronounced. Think Air vs Pro.

    I predict the 13" will be more Pro like, more expensive, heavier. Maybe 3lbs which is 1lb heavier than 12" MacBook. But it will have those ports everyone keeps crying about :)
     
  18. TigerMSTR thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #18
    I wonder if copper liquid cooling pipes
    Custom modified Intel chips for Apple notebooks aren't unprecedented. But you still do bring up a good point. With that in mind, I think it's more more likely that we'll see the same M chips used in the 12-inch MacBook. However, the presumably better thermal performance of the 13-inch model could potentially allow the Core M processor to remain at higher frequencies with less throttling than the 12-inch model.
     
  19. jlp2979 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #19
    That was different though back then. The Air was a revolutionary ultraportable and the Pro was the Pro. Currently there would be just too much similarity in a 13" Pro and 13" MB. Again what do I know, this is MR and I love speculating. I may end up returning my MB because it wobbles on flat surfaces. I've tried bending the right front corner and it helps but only temporarily.
     
  20. TigerMSTR, May 25, 2016
    Last edited: May 25, 2016

    TigerMSTR thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #20
    I'm thinking the same thing. The additional 1.3 inches would allow the MacBook to target a different set of users than the 12-inch MacBook could.

    As a ex-developer, my two major hesitations with the 12-inch MacBook were its relatively low resolution 2304-by-1440 display (compared to the 13-inch MacBook Pro), making it tough to have multiple windows on screen, and to a lesser extent the single USB-C port. Performance has never been an issue with the 2016 12-inch MacBook.

    If Apple does indeed release a 13-inch MacBook with higher resolution display and second USB-C port with Thunderbolt capabilities, I'd have no reservations about purchasing that over the 13-inch MacBook Pro, assuming that graphics performance is still acceptable with the MacBook powering the higher resolution display. In fact, I suspect this 13-inch MacBook might be particularly popular with developers and power users.

    This 13-inch MacBook would target similar use cases as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, with the major differentiator being the difference in portability and power of the two machines. If you need the power, get the Pro, but otherwise Apple would expect people to get the MacBook.
     
  21. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #21
    Quick related hardware question - wouldn't having 8GBs RAM alleviate much of the problem with powering the larger display?
     
  22. TigerMSTR thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #22
    8 GB or RAM would have no impact on the graphics performance of the display. Powering the larger, higher resolution display is the sole task of the integrated GPU in the Intel Core M processor.
     
  23. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #23
    I haven't kept up on hardware so I may be misinterpreting something, but I remembered the MacBooks used system memory:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204349

    Assuming they used the same Intel HD Graphics 515 for the 13" display, it grabs up to 1.5GBs now, so would that jump to approximately 2GBs of system memory possibly used by graphics?
     
  24. TigerMSTR thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #24
    That's a good point. It will allocate up to 1.5 GB of RAM to graphics. That amount is scaled dynamically based on user demand, so it's not as if it would be constantly using 1.5 GB.

    But you are right that if the user had a lot of content in RAM, it could theoretically use all available memory, slowing down system performance. This would be even worse under the HD Graphics 515, since that can use up to 2 GB of RAM. I suspect when RAM is filled, some of the non-graphics content stored in RAM will be swapped to the SSD, while the graphics content will still be maintained in RAM. But these SSDs are so fast nowadays that I don't anticipate that it would have a noticeable impact on system performance. It's certainly not something I've ever noticed after using these computers for years (and I'm using a much slower SSD than found in the MacBook), nor is it something I've ever seen 13-inch MacBook Pro users complain about.

    Memory management in OS X is so good that I wouldn't ever worry about that, even if you were occasionally doing graphics intensive tasks such as gaming or 4k video editing. If your use cases genuinely warrant these concerns, then a 16 GB, 13-inch MacBook Pro would be a more appropriate laptop for you.
     
  25. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida

Share This Page