Next major re-design

bunce66

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2008
48
112
Seeing that Apple has typically done major re-designs of the MacBook Pro every 4 years or so, what are your thoughts about the next major revamp of the design? We are about 2.5 years into the current setup, so maybe a big change is right around the corner. Or, maybe Apple is looking to make major changes less frequently moving forward, as the focus is now on iDevices and people upgrade their laptops less frequently than before.

I've never been a fan of the Touch Bar and the current model. Holding on to my 2014 model for as long as I can until the next major re-design comes out...Hopefully can see that happen in about 2 years.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,664
5,183
The MBP is already arguably the most minimalistic laptop on the market, I don't really see how Apple could streamline it any further. So I don't expect any major external changes with the 2020 redesign (assuming it is coming): it most likely will retain the form factor (minor adjustments notwithstanding), the ports, the low-travel keyboard as well the Touch Bar. I would expect larger changes to the internals: possibly redesigned cooling system, new display panels, apple pen support on trackpad, CPU and GPU on the same package, that kind of stuff.

Of course, they could also surprise everyone and do something completely new. I don't really see them increasing the form factor though, abandoning the minimalist approach would be very unlike Apple...
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
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Austin, TX
The MBP is already arguably the most minimalistic laptop on the market, I don't really see how Apple could streamline it any further. So I don't expect any major external changes with the 2020 redesign (assuming it is coming): it most likely will retain the form factor (minor adjustments notwithstanding), the ports, the low-travel keyboard as well the Touch Bar. I would expect larger changes to the internals: possibly redesigned cooling system, new display panels, apple pen support on trackpad, CPU and GPU on the same package, that kind of stuff.

Of course, they could also surprise everyone and do something completely new. I don't really see them increasing the form factor though, abandoning the minimalist approach would be very unlike Apple...
I agree with this, if you look at the previous generation of Macbook Pros, they basically had the same overall design from the first unibody design until 2015. They made minor adjustments, such as adding the Retina display, slimming the body somewhat (by removing the CD drive and other I/O ports), but the overall design lasted for nearly 8 years (2008-2015).

I fully anticipate we will see the same thing with this current gen of Macbook Pros. The next “redesign” of this gen of MacBook pros will likely be a mostly internal spec changes. They may not release a “major redesign” of these machines until they are ready to release a version with an ARM chip, which likely won’t be for 4-5 years from now (for the Pro lineup, non-Pro models might see ARM chips sooner).
 

cap7ainclu7ch

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2010
380
328
However for a lot of us that aren't interested in the current design for the obvious reasons, even a small redesign could be enough to bring us back. I know even if they added a SD slot and magsafe that I'd buy it day one. My 2015 rMBP will hold me off until they hopefully make some positive changes. I guess either way I'll buy in at the next update, as I don't realistically see myself wanting a windows machine even if the hardware fits me better.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
2,012
Ditch the touchbar. It's a frippery, and worse, actively interferes with my workflow.

Bring back Magsafe.

Go back to the 2015 keyboard. The 2018 rearranged deck chairs on the Titanic, and I've already had one fail. It is still an abomination.

Shrink the trackpad - wrist rejection sucks, and it looks hideous.

Enlarge the case to provide better cooling, larger battery, allow for the ports and slots people need now, not in some wished-for future. It might even allow for user-upgradable RAM and storage.

Make a 15" model without the ticking time bomb that is the dGPU.

Stop ripping people off on storage. 256 GB for $2399 is absurd. Speed increases stopped mattering with the 2014/2015 models - if you're one of the 13 people to whom that's important, you're on the wrong platform.

Add the extension cord back.

And so on.
 
Jul 4, 2015
4,488
2,548
Paris
Ditch the touchbar. It's a frippery, and worse, actively interferes with my workflow.
More likely that haptics and pressure sensitivity will be added to the Touch Bar.

Bring back Magsafe.
Can't until the USB-C spec advances to allow it. It's preferable to be able to charge on either side using any USB-C port.

Go back to the 2015 keyboard. The 2018 rearranged deck chairs on the Titanic, and I've already had one fail. It is still an abomination.
Not going to happen ;p

The new keyboards are more stable and have less light bleed.

Shrink the trackpad - wrist rejection sucks, and it looks hideous.
True, it's too close to the edge and uncomfortable to use on your lap.

Enlarge the case to provide better cooling, larger battery, allow for the ports and slots people need now, not in some wished-for future.
No chance :p

It might even allow for user-upgradable RAM and storage.
Laptops are increasingly made by machines and surveys show that most people don't upgrade them. So if you want to save production costs then having upgradable slots is not ideal otherwise you have to employ humans on assembly lines to fill these slots.

Make a 15" model without the ticking time bomb that is the dGPU.
The T3/T4 will probably integrate graphics and machine learning.

Stop ripping people off on storage. 256 GB for $2399 is absurd.
It's a custom NVME SSD that saves space compared to m.2 drives that are twice the length.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
If that’s what’s putting you off then you are out of luck those things won’t come back.

To be honest they are things that can be worked around with ease anyway. A usb c MagSafe equivalent is already available just plug one half into the MacBook and the other on your cable for MagSafe ability. SD cards can be used on a reader or use WiFi SD cards or you can get great little docks for all your peripherals using usb c. You can even get WiFi connected readers that you can use with SD cards and usb connected storage you wouldn’t even need to take it out of your bag. (Mobile lite/ravpower or similar)
 

poorcody

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2013
844
684
Here's what I'd like to see in the next gen:
  • Make the Touchbar taller. More room for macro buttons and indicators.
  • Replace the explicit touchpad, and instead make the entire surface below the keyboard work as a trackpad. Users could use software to shrink the size to whatever they wanted.
  • Also make the trackpad area like the Touchbar. I would love to have a pop-up numeric pad, activity monitor, or things like RGB-color-sliders
  • Shrink the bezel around the screen so the 15" laptop can get close to the 13" in size
  • Add back the SD slot. I am good with the USB-C ports, but removing the small SD adapter seemed capricious.
  • Add more battery. It is good now, but I'd like to have a full 10 hours when doing heavy load stuff like VMs and IDEs.
  • Add a way for third-parties to attach a "slice" to the bottom of the laptop, so users could add storage, battery, ports etc, much like the Thinkpad does. Then you could choose between thinness or "power".
  • Make the keys individually removable so they can be cleaned underneath or replaced easily.
  • User-upgradable RAM and SSD. Other companies like Dell achieve it in a thin design.
  • Tapered front like the MacBook and MacBook Air. Nicer on the wrists.
 

Bending Pixels

macrumors 65816
Jul 22, 2010
1,273
333
I happen to find the Touch Bar pretty useful. Seriously - who uses f-keys? Apple does need to look at adding back Magsafe. As to adding back a SD card slot - that only adds to the thickness. Chances are camera manufacturers are going to look into either built-in Bluetooth or WiFi transfer of images - eliminating the need for card slots/readers.
 
Jul 4, 2015
4,488
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Paris
I happen to find the Touch Bar pretty useful. Seriously - who uses f-keys? Apple does need to look at adding back Magsafe. As to adding back a SD card slot - that only adds to the thickness. Chances are camera manufacturers are going to look into either built-in Bluetooth or WiFi transfer of images - eliminating the need for card slots/readers.
I can’t remember the last time I needed F keys.

SD cards just add plastic pollution to the world. Stop buying this ****.
 

Hadron

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2010
217
127
I'd like to see smaller bezels, allowing a bigger display on the 13" model and a more compact 15", and more sensible storage tier pricing. I actually would have uses for a touchscreen, even if Apple refuse to countenance one.

I'm afraid to joke about them replacing the short-travel keyboard with a pressure-sensitive one with no moving parts, or doing away with a touchpad and making the entire area below the keyboard touch sensitive, because they have form in taking the things that people complain about and pushing them further.
[doublepost=1537474892][/doublepost]
SD cards just add plastic pollution to the world. Stop buying this ****.
Most people's cameras use them. I imagine that's the reason people care about the slot.

If we care about the environment then we want manufacturers to discourage people from upgrading working equipment, rather than the opposite. (You can add your own joke about keyboards/magsafe/whatever being an attempt to do this here. ;))
 
Jul 4, 2015
4,488
2,548
Paris
I'd like to see smaller bezels, allowing a bigger display on the 13" model and a more compact 15", and more sensible storage tier pricing. I actually would have uses for a touchscreen, even if Apple refuse to countenance one.

I'm afraid to joke about them replacing the short-travel keyboard with a pressure-sensitive one with no moving parts, or doing away with a touchpad and making the entire area below the keyboard touch sensitive, because they have form in taking the things that people complain about and pushing them further.
[doublepost=1537474892][/doublepost]
Most people's cameras use them. I imagine that's the reason people care about the slot.

If we care about the environment then we want manufacturers to discourage people from upgrading working equipment, rather than the opposite. (You can add your own joke about keyboards/magsafe/whatever being an attempt to do this here. ;))
Yeah we know cameras use them but we should be moving away from them. Wireless transmission is here for years and is really fast now.
 

Hadron

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2010
217
127
Flash memory cells wear out, so cameras need replaceable storage. OK, there are casual shooters who would probably get away with fixed storage, but serious photographers can fire off a lot of shots. And to reduce plastic pollution SD cards are very low down the list of targets - far more important things to deal with first.
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
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Austin, TX
Yeah we know cameras use them but we should be moving away from them. Wireless transmission is here for years and is really fast now.
I do some outdoors photography and I can’t really agree with this. Wireless transmission works for indoor projects, sure, but it’s not very feasible for wireless transmissions on outdoor photography.

Also, last time I checked, a professional camera body, a truly good one, would run you easily $4-5,000. A photographer who already has a slightly older gen camera that cost them this much but uses SD cards isn’t going to want to upgrade just for wireless photo transmission.

Just putting that out there. Maybe you have that kind of money to blow for new innovation, but photography is still an art last I checked, and a lot of photographers don’t make that much to simply upgrade their camera bodies whenever they want, especially if it’s just to get rid of SD cards.
 
Last edited:
Jul 4, 2015
4,488
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Paris
I do some outdoors photography and I can’t really agree with this. Wireless transmission works for indoor projects, sure, but it’s not very feasible for wireless transmissions on outdoor photography.

Also, last time I checked, a professional camera body, a truly good one, would run you easily $4-5,000. A photographer who already has a slightly older gen camera that cost them this much but uses SD cards isn’t going to want to upgrade just for wireless photo transmission.

Just putting that out there. Maybe you have that kind of money to blow for new innovation, but photography is still an art last I checked, and a lot of photographers don’t make that much to simply upgrade their camera bodies whenever they want, especially if it’s just to get rid of SD cards.
I’m thinking forward obviously. So saying our computers in the future should have SD card slots again is...unreasonable.
 
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Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
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Austin, TX
I’m thinking forward obviously. So saying our computers in the future should have SD card slots again is...unreasonable.
No I am not arguing against that, I fully agree that moving forward as technologies advance wireless transmission likely is the way it’ll go.

I read your message more as that people now should upgrade their cameras just for the wireless transmission.

For me personally I plug my SD cards into a USB adapter that goes into my CalDigit TS3, so it’s not a big deal. I have already accepted that Apple isn’t going to bring back the SD card or any of the other legacy I/O ports.
 

Lennyvalentin

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2011
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Go back to the 2015 keyboard.
All of your wishes point at what you want is the 2015 model year. So buy one. I'm very happy with the 2018, I love the portability that the slim casing brings, and the super large trackpad which beats the pants off of everything else I've ever seen on a laptop. Haptic feedback >>> dumb clicky button that only really clicks properly along the lower edge. Never that I would go back. Never. Old ports? The past can keep them. I'm moving forwards, not backwards. And so on.
 

Lennyvalentin

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2011
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I actually surprised by how many apparently don’t.
I use the Esc key every now and then, that's basically it. For me the touchbar is a net win, since it shows graphically what I can do and what I am doing. No more will I be brightening my keyboard keys thinking I'm brightening my screen, as happened countless times with my old macbook.

Not sad to see the F-keys go, honestly. They had a good run, fifty fricken years give or take, but sometimes stuff just have to change.
 
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SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
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I use the Esc key every now and then, that's basically it. For me the touchbar is a net win, since it shows graphically what I can do and what I am doing. No more will I be brightening my keyboard keys thinking I'm brightening my screen, as happened countless times with my old macbook.

Not sad to see the F-keys go, honestly. They had a good run, fifty fricken years give or take, but sometimes stuff just have to change.
Sometimes they do and sometimes thing endure for a reason. Not a fan of Touch Bar. I think it is a novelty that even Apple has more or less forgotten about. Whatever happened to “A Touch of Genius?” Now it’s more like “Oh yeah and it also has that touch thingie for what it’s worth”

But hey, we all have our own likes and dislikes
 

sid21177

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2006
6
3
I use the Esc key every now and then, that's basically it. For me the touchbar is a net win, since it shows graphically what I can do and what I am doing. No more will I be brightening my keyboard keys thinking I'm brightening my screen, as happened countless times with my old macbook.

Not sad to see the F-keys go, honestly. They had a good run, fifty fricken years give or take, but sometimes stuff just have to change.
Try stepping over lines of code in the debugger without function keys :)
 

poorcody

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2013
844
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Try stepping over lines of code in the debugger without function keys :)
I do it everyday! :)

Try memorizing all the function key shortcuts for every IDE and tool a developer has to switch between everyday. Customized Touchbars are wonderful for developers.
 
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