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New MacBook Pro

Price: TBD

Availability: Possibly October

The outlook: It's been well over a year since most of Apple's laptop lineup was revamped, so we're past due for new hardware. The question remains: will this be an exciting new chapter in the MacBook story, or just a handful of small updates to the same old design?

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNETRead the article
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VR Backpacks

Price: TBD

Availability: Maybe late fall

The outlook: We've seen mockup and prototypes of VR rigs packed into wearable backpacks from Dell, HP and MSI. The idea is intriguing, offering new freedom to explore while using an HTC Vive, but it may be too complex for casual gamers.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Acer Swift 7

Price: $999

Availability: October

The outlook: The arms race toward the world's thinnest laptop continues, with the Acer Swift 7 getting down to just 9.98mm thick. That beats out the 10.4mm HP Spectre by a little bit, but both are impressively slim, despite having fast Core i-series processors. The biggest trade-off in both: the displays are non-touch.

Published:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Alienware 15 (2016)

Price: $1,200 and up

Availability: September

The outlook: The iconic 15- and 17-inch Alienware gaming laptops are getting a long-awaited design upgrade, with thinner bodies and an inset hinge for better cooling, but we're more excited about the new generation of Nvidia graphics chips, which will let these (and many other new gaming laptops) run virtual-reality headsets.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo Yoga Book

Price: $499

Availability: September

The outlook: This small hybrid really lives up to the "book" in its name. It looks more like a paperback than a laptop, and plays more like a tablet than either. That's because the bottom panel is a stylus-friendly blank surface with a hidden backlit keyboard the reveals itself at the touch of a button. Plus, it's available in both Android and Windows versions.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

OLED laptops

Price: $1,600 and up

Availability: Now

The outlook: The most eye-catching new laptop feature this season is the inclusion of OLED displays in a couple of high-end laptops. The Dell Alienware 13 and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga are a couple of the very first examples, and both show why TV shoppers are willing to shell out a steep premium for OLED televisions.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

HP Pavilion Wave

Price: $529

Availability: September 16

The outlook: The living room PC concept adds some much-needed audio power in this handsome mini-tower desktop. The design, which already looks like a cross between the Amazon Echo and a bookshelf speaker, is built around a top-firing 360-degree speaker. Add Windows' voice-activated Cortana, and you could do some very interesting smart-home stuff with it.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

7th-gen Intel laptops

Price: Various

Availability: Fall

The outlook: Hope you're ready for the new laptop you just bought to be outdated already. There's a new generation of slightly faster, slightly more power efficient Intel CPUs coming soon, and you'll see them in mainstream and premium laptops almost immediately, with more specialized (and desktop) versions coming later. These are the seventh-generation Core i-series chips, and while they're going to have the same Core i3/i5/i7 branding as the previous six generations, Intel says new laptops will have a helpful "7th generation" sticker on them to help you differentiate.

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