Along with a likely iPad Mini, Apple also looks ready to announce one or more new Macs next week. Here's a look at what's probable -- and what's not.
Rich BrownFormer Senior Editorial Director - Home and Wellness
Rich was the editorial lead for CNET's Home and Wellness sections, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Before moving to Louisville in 2013, Rich ran CNET's desktop computer review section for 10 years in New York City. He has worked as a tech journalist since 1994, covering everything from 3D printing to Z-Wave smart locks.
ExpertiseSmart home, Windows PCs, cooking (sometimes), woodworking tools (getting there...)
By now, the fact that Apple is holding a press event on October 23 is old news. It's widely agreed that the long-rumored smaller iPad will finally be unveiled. But it's likely that the iPad Mini isn't the only thing that Apple will have up its sleeve. Expect to see at least one new Mac grace the stage during Tuesday's event.
There are a couple of reasons I'm confident that we'll see new Macs. First off, they're overdue -- Apple refreshed MacBooks last summer, but the desktop models are still running 2011 Intel chips. Secondly, this is a great time for Apple to play spoiler: Microsoft is launching Windows 8 next Friday. It makes plenty of sense for Apple to try to dampen some of that thunder with news for the Mac stalwarts.
Of course, the rumor mill is far from a consensus as to which model will receive an update. Rather than try to predict what Apple might do, following is the status, rumor-based or otherwise, of each Mac system that has not yet received an update this year.
Last update:May 3, 2011 Latest rumor:"Details of redesigned iMac surface in China"
Apple has traditionally updated its flagship desktop line on a fairly regular annual basis. Now approaching 18 months between updates, the iMac is due for a refresh to Intel's new Ivy Bridge CPU family. A Chinese forum post claiming inside information says we'll see a new 21.5-inch iMac soon, followed later by a new 27-inch model. Fans are clamoring for a Retina screen on Apple's signature desktop, though it's unclear if such a large high-res screen will result in an impossibly high price.
Last update:July 20, 2011 Latest rumor:"New Mac Minis said to join rumored iPad Mini debut" 9-to-5 Mac cites unnamed sources in its prediction for a new Mac Mini next week. Right now Apple is 14 months between Mac Mini renewals. That might seem like a lot, but it's only the second-longest gap between models for Apple's slim budget desktop.