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I haven’t used my Mac mini since the new MacBook Pro arrived, however, so I sold it over the weekend and connected my MacBook to the external display, mouse, and keyboard.I dislike using multiple monitor s as much as I dislike managing multiple Macs, so I use the MacBook in clamshell mode and treat it like my Mac mini. That means losing access to Touch Bar and Touch ID so I may rethink this in the future, but for now it’s working for me.I’m actually using my old 27-inch 1920×1080 DELL monitor connected over HDMI to USB-C until the LG screen arrives on Wednesday, but I’m already happier with the bigger screen and improved ergonomics of this desktop setup. It feels better physically than crouching over a notebook on my desk, and I can unplug and take my work with me in an instant as needed.This would be improved by a better-looking external Retina display and a Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar and Touch ID, but for now this setup is ideal for me.I don’t think new desktop Macs like the iMac and Mac Pro would make a difference for me based on my own needs, but that’s likely a factor considering the 12-inch MacBook and new MacBook Pros were the only new Macs last year.

Apple already told us that the 2016 MacBook Pro had set a new online sales record, backed by supply-chain reports of increased component orders, but Slice Intelligence has provided our first look at the scale of those orders. The company reports that the new models took just five days to outsell every high-profile laptop on the U.S. market.It has already outsold combined sales of the Dell XPS 13 and 15 – probably the closest equivalents in the Windows world – which have been on sale for more than ten months. It has also sold almost four times as many units as Microsoft’s flagship laptop, the new Surface Book.The company additionally compared sales to Apple’s own 12-inch MacBook, to see how its pro laptops were faring against its ultraportable model …Just five days in, the MacBook Pro models had already hit almost 80% of combined 2015 and 2016 MacBook sales – and look set to exceed 18 months of sales in the first week.Slice gets its data by analysing email receipts among its panel of 4.4M online shoppers. The methodology isn’t perfect, counting only online sales in the USA, but the size of the panel should mean it provides a reasonably reliable steer.

It wasn’t all good news for Apple: the data also showed that not everyone could wait for the company to finally update its pro models. Of those who bought an Apple laptop in 2014, some 40% had since bought another brand. This number will, however, include those who bought a second machine, or a Windows laptop as a gift for family or friends.The sales of course need to be viewed in perspective. Just as iPhone 6 sales reflected pent-up demand for larger-screen phones, 2016 MacBook Pro sales will be in large part driven by similar pent-up demand for a long-awaited update to the range. Even so, this data indicates a successful launch by any standards.In case there needed to be any more smoke to the fire, Russian trademark filings reveal that Apple is readying the release of three new Macs running macOS Sierra. The products have apparently passed the Russian registration, labelled as ‘portable personal computer models’ with model identifiers A1706, A1707 and A1708.This all but confirms Apple plans to launch three new Mac laptops at its media event on Thursday, corroborating a KGI report from over the weekend. These product identifiers likely correspond to two new MacBook Pros and a new ultrathin 13-inch MacBook as a sibling to the 12-inch MacBook …

The same source correctly leaked the iPhone 7, Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 2 a week before Apple’s September event last month. The Russian regulations are mandatory for companies to launch new electronics product that use encryption and cryptography technologies, which encompasses almost all of Apple’s product line.The existence of the products in the database indicates that the devices will be available to buy very soon, likely going up for order the same day as the unveiling event on October 27th. The leak does not spill too many specific details about Apple’s unreleased products, mentioning only the model numbers and a summary description of ‘portable personal computers models’.The new MacBook Pro is expected to be a major update, featuring significantly improved internal components, Touch ID, a new OLED shortcut bar above the keyboard and USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 enclosed in a new thinner chassis design. Although the devices will represent substantial performance upgrades over the aging models on sale today, it is still not clear whether Apple will ship Skylake or the newer Kaby Lake Intel CPUs.

The other new Mac expected is a 13-inch version of the current 12-inch Retina MacBook, know for only featuring one port. Details about the 13-inch MacBook are murky but it will be interesting to see how it justifies in the product lineup aside from a minor bump in screen dimensions. The fate of the MacBook Air is also unclear, with some previous publications reporting that the 13-inch Air would gain USB-C ports whilst the 11-inch version is discontinued. It is possible that details about the 13-inch MacBook have been wrongly attributed as a 13-inch MacBook Air.We’ll know for sure in just a few days — Apple’s October event kicks off this Thursday at 10 AM PT. 9to5Mac will be bringing live coverage of all the announcements, so stay tuned.Last week, we reported that Sonder Design was in talks with Apple to license its futuristic keyboard technology, that replaces the normal printed keys with dynamic E-Ink displays. A new article from the WSJ today confirms that Apple does intend to use the technology and is aiming to ship new MacBooks including the special keyboards in 2018, citing anonymous sources. The keys can automatically adjust to show emojis, international characters, special command functions, as well as the standard QWERTY layout.

Apple will be making its first steps in this direction next week, when it unveils a new MacBook Pro with OLED function key row at a to-be-announced October 27 media event. However, the E-Ink keyboard for 2018 could represent the most significant user interface changes for Apple’s line of laptops, although it’s still a few years away … The Wall Street Journal says that Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed its plans with Sonder and Foxconn (Apple manufacturer) at a meeting in China on October 11. The new keyboards would make the bottom half of the Mac laptops as dynamic as the screens. Rather than printed labels, each key would display an E-Ink surface that can update … making the keycap labels dynamic, rather than static.The keys would be able to switch between different language alphabets, as well as show things like emojis or add dynamic shortcuts for the current task the user is performing. For multi-lingual users, the benefits of a dynamic keyboard are particularly apparent.

The Wall Street Journal says this will become a “standard feature” of MacBooks, which implies it will spread across Apple’s lineup and be featured on the cheaper Airs and more-expensive Pro models. It’s easy to imagine how Apple could make it so that users could choose to replace the ‘boring’ symbol keys with their favorite emoji or quick shortcuts inside apps. For a more serious use case, regular users of Photoshop could make their favorite editing tools available with a single button press, for example. There is already a third-party accessory market for special-purpose keyboard covers today, which simply skin the keys with additional labels.Some of this vision will be revealed in the 2016 MacBook Pro, expected to be unveiled next week. That product will substitute the function key row with an OLED touchscreen that can contextually display different commands and controls.

Pictured is a mockup of what that may look like, showing status items like battery strength or Now Playing information on the keyboard itself. The E-Ink technology will enable to bring that kind of dynamism to every single key on the keyboard. One major discrepancy between OLED and E-Ink is that E-Ink has much slower refresh rates, whereas the OLED display will act just like a normal laptop display. It is not unconceivable that a future MacBook could feature E-Ink keys and an OLED function row along the top. 2018 is along way off, so plans could change, but reports from the Wall Street Journal are usually reliable sources regarding Apple product roadmaps.For the time being, MacBook customers will have to be satisfied by whatever Apple has in the wings for October 27th. It seems likely that Apple will announce radically new MacBook Pros with Touch ID, OLED and thinner body and refreshed MacBook Airs with USB-C. There may also be smaller incremental updates to the iMac line.

Following Apple’s iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro launch last month, the MacBook lineup is next up for major product updates from Apple. What needs upgrading? All MacBooks are approaching or passing the one year mark since last being updated — MacBook Airs in March of last year, the new 12-inch MacBook in April, and the Retina MacBook Pros in March and May. But where might the new machines leave the rest of the lineup? Will Apple do some spring cleaning to make room for the new models? Perhaps it will lose the 11-inch option in the process as it pushes the new 12-inch MacBook as its best small-screen laptop? And Apple could potentially do some further reconfiguring if it really launches that rumored ultra-thin 15-inch MacBook model.With Apple’s usual yearly upgrade cycle, all of the models mentioned above as well as the rumored new configurations are prime candidates for product unveilings at Apple’s upcoming WWDC event held each June. To get a glimpse at what Apple has in store, below we explore what we currently know about the upcoming models based on the latest rumors, reports, and intel, and give you a taste of what to expect at WWDC.

The usual internal upgrades with new Intel processors, storage and graphics options, etc. are to be expected, but rumor has it Apple is also planning some larger changes for the design and overall MacBook lineup. References to an early 2016 12-inch MacBook were discovered in OS X Server, while reports point to thinner 13- and 15-inch models, new metal-injection molded hinges, a rose gold color option, and more. There’s also a whole lot of speculation about which models will get the USB-C-only treatment like the 12-inch MacBook (and likely Thunderbolt 3 in the process), and whether or not the Air brand is on its last leg.Reviews of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro are starting to appear – though there are a number of posts out there using that title which turn out to be a hands-on at the event rather than a full review.Phil Schiller set a high bar when he said that one of the markets Apple was targeting included users of older Windows laptops. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro could, he said, be a viable replacement. The general view so far, however, is that while it’s an extremely nice device – more than one reviewer describing as the best iPad yet – it would be a stretch to consider it a full laptop replacement.

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