“Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical. It doesn’t work. It’s ergonomically terrible.” These famous words of Steve Jobs come from the MacBook Pro launch event in October 2010. A lot has changed since then, but Apple hasn’t released a touchscreen notebook yet. A new report from Bloomberg suggests that could change in the medium term. As sources around Apple report, the company is currently testing touchscreen MacBooks that could come onto the market in 2025. Other leaks, on the other hand, suggest a start already next year.
Apple MacBook Air 2022 M2 / MacBook Pro 2022 M2
The touchscreen MacBook project is currently in the early stages of development. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman expects the OLED MacBook to be one of the first Macs to launch with touchscreen capabilities. The Apple notebook will retain the same basic MacBook design but with added touchscreen capabilities.
Apple has often conducted internal tests with prototype touchscreen notebooks in the past. According to a 2016 interview with Craig Federighi, these prototypes were seen as a compromise. MacBooks would already have precise multi-touch trackpads and keyboards, so touchscreens wouldn’t make sense.
15 inch Apple MacBook with M2 Ultra chipset
According to a second tip from a credible insider, Apple is also planning a MacBook Pro with an M2 Ultra chipset. On the other hand, the first generation M1 Pro chipsets worked pretty well in the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros. They support 8 to 16 CPU cores, 24 to 32 GPU cores and up to 32 GB RAM, so there is actually enough performance. The M1 Max, on the other hand, has up to 64 GB of RAM.
So far, the M1 Ultra can only be configured in Mac Studio PCs, where it is cooled by a large, slow fan. In fact, there are two paired M1 Max fused into one SoC. Therefore, 20 CPU cores and up to 64 GPU cores are not a problem. Following the same logic, you get twice as much RAM with a maximum of 128 GB. But the question is how Apple can get such a large CPU into a notebook with such small dimensions and still cool it efficiently.
The answer could come from chip supplier TSMC, which recently manufactured the first 3 Nm processors in its state-of-the-art chip factories. Apple was already among the first customers for the 5 Nm and 7 Nm chipsets and is therefore a special partner for the Taiwanese. It is obvious that the Californians will be the first to have access to this technology. According to TSMC tests, a processor in 3 Nm instead of 5 Nm needs 35% less power with the same performance. An M2 Ultra would also produce correspondingly less heat and Apple could build a much more compact cooling solution.