Apple could be launching new MacBook Pros at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, so we asked Mac users what they think the ‘killer feature’ of the new MacBooks will be when they are unveiled.
Of the 836 people that voted, 38.2 per cent said that they were most excited about the Ivy Bridge processors making their way into new MacBooks.
Intel released its Ivy Bridge processors in April, and it is expected that Apple will be the first to manufacturer to launch an Ivy Bridge-equipped laptop. The Ivy Bridge processor family is the third generation in the company’s line of Core processors. The set of quad-core processors are made for desktops, all-in-ones, and high-end laptops.
Benchmarks for a new 2012 MacBook Pro have emerged on Geekbench, despite new models being unreleased. These benchmark results show a MacBook Pro with an Ivy Bridge Core i7-3820QM quad-core running at 2.7GHz.
Intel’s Vice President Kirk Skaugen revealed that the new processors are built for Retina displays.
Adding Retina displays to the MacBook Pro could cost Apple an extra £63, possibly increasing the price of the laptop. AlanAudio wrote in the Macworld forums that he thinks the killer feature of the new MacBook Pros would be an aggressive price, but a second Macworld forum user, Xhris2210 said that he doesn’t expect Apple to reduce the price of the new models. However, an increase in price doesn’t seem to be deterring potential new MacBook Pro buyers, according to a Twitter poll.
One of our poll participants, Xhris2210, wrote in our forum that he believes Retina displays and/or Air-style cases are on the way in the new MacBook models.
MacBook Air-style cases for the MacBook Pro have been hot topic recently, with reports that the new generation of Pros will be thinner and radically redesigned. 28 per cent of our poll participants are hoping for a MacBook Air style case in the new launch.
The Air-like Pro could use solid-state drives rather than optical drives, and traditional hard disk drives will be scrapped altogether. This would enable the MacBook Pro to be much thinner than before, but also reducing the number of moving parts – the result of which should be a much more durable MacBook that is less likely to break.
6.5 per cent of our participants said that the lack of optical drives could be the killer feature should Apple decide to scrap them.
Mark Hattersley wrote in the forum linked to the poll: “I imagine the speed boost from having integrated Flash storage and a much lighter case (if it goes down the Air route) will both be huge benefits.”
Other rumours, however, have gone against the Air-like speculation, claiming that the next MacBook Pros could gain a bigger but longer lasting battery. The MacBook Pro may still lose its optical drive, making space for two 2.5in SSD drives.
10.3 per cent of the poll’s participants said that they are hoping for a better battery in the next generation of MacBook Pros.
We’ve also heard speculation that Apple could use Liquidmetal in the new MacBooks, an addition that 9.4 per cent of Mac users say would be their favourite new feature.
The benefit of using Liquidmetal over aluminium would be damage resistance. Liquidmetal will acquire less bumps and scratches than aluminium does. This, along with its lightweight qualities, would mean added portability to the device.
However, one of the inventors of the Liquidmetal alloy, Atakan Peker, has recently said that Apple is ‘unlikely’ to use the alloy in its next MacBook range, but he does expect the company to use the technology in a ‘breakthrough product’.
2.9 per cent of our poll’s participants voted that a new Thunderbolt connector would be the best feature in the next-generation of MacBook Pros. Intel is reportedly working on the next generation of Thunderbolt controllers, which could appear in new Apple devices.
The final 4.8 per cent of voters in our poll chose ‘other’, indicating that they are hoping for a new feature that we hadn’t listed.
One of these ‘other’ features would be “to confound the rumours and still have a 17in MacBook Pro,” said Jaded in our Macworld forum. Apple is rumoured to be dropping the 17in MacBook upon the arrival of the new models. “It will become impossible to do high-end video and imaging work on the road if the 17in goes,” said Jaded.