The natural march of progress pretty much guarantees an update to Apple’s MacBook family during 2018. Popular online benchmarking site Geekbench has spotted an unreleased MacBook Pro passing through its digital doors, suggesting at least one new model is on the way.
The benchmark tells us that the notebook packs an Intel Core i7-8559U Coffee Lake CPU that’s not available in other products. We’re looking at a 2.7GHz quad-core chip with 8MB L3 cache that can turbo boost to 4.5GHz.
The chip scored 4448 in single-core and 16607 in multi-core tests, assuming this listing hasn’t been doctored. The single-core score is, strangely, on par with the 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro which hits 4600 in the same test. But last year’s dual-core laptop only does 9500 in the multi-core department.
With these scores, the 13-inch 2018 rival might match the performance of last year’s 15-inch Pro.
The question now is if Apple will give any new MacBook machines a platform at a key event. Given the developer community was gathered at WWDC, one of the key moments was rejected. Apple’s March event placed an educational focus on the iPad (and relegated talk of macOS machines to ‘that big box the teachers use’). Even the updates to macOS announced at WWDC were either cosmetic or to provide support for iOS.
With macOS 12 Mojave working through the various beta stages, any update to the Mac range – including the benchmarked MacBook Pro – would likely be held back until the full release which on the current timetable is expected in September.
Would Apple take time and focus away from the expected iPhone X updated in early September on what could be little more than a spec bump for the deskbound computers? Given how previous events and reveals have biased heavily towards iOS, I think that Tim Cook and his team will keep the focus on the smartphone platform, and leave the ‘announcement’ of the new macOS machines to a quiet press release and a few updates to the product page.
And that approach leaves a gap in the market that the likes of Microsoft can exploit with its Surface range.