Dear Apple: Please update these Macs at WWDC

From the MacBook Air to the Mac Pro desktop, some of Apple's computer lineup could benefit from updated designs.

Laptops

At Apple's WWDC keynote, one may rightly expect updates to the iOS and OS X operating systems, new software features and apps, and also a couple of new Mac hardware announcements. For example, at the 2012 WWDC keynote, Apple introduced the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, along with some MacBook Air component updates.

In 2013, however, as it's been so long since many of the current Mac laptops and desktops have gotten a significant overhaul, there's an outside chance that we'll see new designs and/or hardware for everything from MacBooks to the Mac Pro desktop. In the following pages, we've listed each Mac computer line, when it was last updated, and the case to be made for a new version coming to light at the WWDC conference.

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MacBook Air
Last updated: June 2012 (at WWDC)

The case for an update: The mainstream-targeted Air is a prime candidate to get new Intel Haswell processors, but that's not the end of our Air wish list. The Air's display (1,366x768 or 1,440x900 pixels) is lower-res compared with displays on similarly priced ultrabooks. The $999 11-inch Air is in desperate need of a storage bump to 128GB from its pitiable current 64GB. Also, we wouldn't mind a reduced bezel around the display (or an increased screen size) on both the 13- and 11-inch models, and -- call us crazy -- a touch screen. Barring that, how about a high-res Retina screen for the Air? Several Windows laptops have moved up to similar high-res screens, and a Retina Air could exist parallel to the current line, or else replace it entirely.

MacBook Pro
Last updated: June 2012 (at WWDC)

The case for an update: There's a decent chance the thicker, upgradable Pro might get sidelined while the Air and Retina Pro lines become Apple's two laptops of choice. That would be a shame for those who actually like to easily replace storage and RAM, or crave DVD drives. Expect either a processor bump or a total no-show.

MacBook Pro with Retina Display
Last updated: February 2013

The case for an update: The Retina Pro, Apple's newest line of MacBooks, was first introduced at WWDC 2102, in a 15-inch version. A 13-inch model followed in October, and both received very minor spec bumps/price drops in February, 2013. There's a chance the not-quite-ultrabook-slim Retina Pro models could get even thinner, but an upgrade to fourth-gen Intel Core i-series CPUs is likely, which could improve system and battery performance. We also wouldn't mind a jump to the latest just-released Nvidia mobile GPUs.

iMac
Last updated: December 2012

The case for an update: Does it need a refresh? The iMacs are Apple's "freshest" line of current Macs, so as far as design goes, they're just fine (unless you dream of touch). Where the new iMacs could see an immediate benefit would be new Intel fourth-gen Haswell processors and improved Nvidia graphics. On the Windows side, the hottest all-in-one systems have touch screens, NFC, and even displays that detach and work as giant tablets. Considering we're halfway through 2013, a major update doesn't seem impossible, but it probably won't happen at WWDC.

Mac Mini
Last updated: October 2012

The case for an update: The Mac Mini remains an odd duck in Apple's computer lineup. It's both a cult item for home theater hobbyists and also the least expensive computer the company makes. Updates have been sparse for some time, with the last major physical overhaul coming in 2011, with the elimination of the optical drive. Blu-ray seems unlikely, and you get an HDMI output for TV use and up to 2TB of HDD storage, so it's hard to think what, outside of a radical re-imagining, would move the needle.

Mac Pro
Last updated: June 2012

The case for an update: Don't let the one-year-ago update date fool you; the desktop tower Mac Pro has been seriously stagnant for some time, and its small-but-dedicated legions of fans are eager for something new and powerful. Note that the basic design has not changed since its predecessor, the Power Mac G5 was around in the mid-2000s, and the current model is missing USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, and other features other Mac users take for granted.

Adding to the Mac Pro enigma, new allegedly leaked details point to the addition of Thunderbolt, but the loss of both FireWire and the optical drive, in a new physical chassis that won't be released until the fall.


Which Mac computers do you think are most in need of an update, and which will Apple unveil on Monday at the WWDC keynote? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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