Something to look forward to: While Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro is an impressive piece of kit, there are many who wish a more compact, 14-inch version existed. Industry watchers have confirmed that Apple is making one that also ditches the dreaded butterfly keyboard.
Last November, Apple released a 16-inch MacBook Pro that keeps the same footprint of the 15-inch version, effectively replacing it while offering more power, a bigger battery, significantly better speakers, and a more reliable, scissor keyboard.
Naturally, many were excited about the possibility of a similar upgrade path for the 13-inch model, which seemed logical and wasn’t denied by Phil Schiller during an interview about the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Schiller only hinted that customer enthusiasm around the new model would increase the chances of seeing similar things done to other products in Apple’s lineup.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, there is indeed a 14.1-inch model with a scissor keyboard in the pipeline for sometime later this year. Even better, Apple is reportedly looking to upgrade the display to mini-LED in 2020 and 2021 in several of its products such as the 7.9-inch iPad mini, 10.2-inch iPad, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 27-inch iMac Pro, as well as the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Apple’s choice of mini-LED over OLED makes sense, as the former has most of the benefits of the latter without at least two of the downsides. Specifically, mini-LED doesn’t suffer from burn-in, and is less expensive to manufacture due to better yields on large panels.
This is not to be confused with micro-LED, which is a different beast that works a lot like OLED. Mini-LED displays rely on an array of hundreds or thousands of small backlight LEDs that make it possible to achieve really dark blacks through local dimming.
Interestingly, Kuo notes that the coronavirus outbreak hasn’t forced Apple to push back the release dates, and CEO Tim Cook said this week during an interview that Chinese factories are starting to reopen and ramp up production.