3 reasons why now is the worst time to buy a new Apple MacBook laptop

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Apple MacBook Air half open
Apple’s M1 MacBook Air

  • Now is the worst time to buy a new Apple MacBook laptop.
  • Apple is rumored to launch new MacBook Pro and Air models in the coming months.
  • Plus, we may see deals on current MacBook laptops during Amazon Prime Day and over the summer.
  • Check out our guide to the best MacBooks for more Apple laptop buying advice.

Thinking about buying a new MacBook? It’s probably in your best interest to hold off.

Unless you’re in immediate need of a new laptop, there are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to wait before purchasing a new Apple laptop. For one, Apple is expected to announce redesigned MacBook Pro models in the coming months that will come with more powerful processors among other improvements, according to Bloomberg.

Even if you’re eyeballing a MacBook Air or are fine with the current generation MacBook Pro, there are a few reasons why it’s worth waiting.

New MacBook Pros may be coming soon.

MacBook Pro 13-inch 2020

The biggest reason to wait on upgrading is simply because newer MacBook Pro laptops may be launching in the coming months.

Here’s a look at what’s in Apple’s pipeline according to Bloomberg

  • New high-end MacBook Pro (14-inch and 16-inch): Redesigned versions of the MacBook Pro with faster new chips, more ports, and MagSafe charging could debut as early as the summer, the report says. These new MacBook Pros would come in 14-inch and 16-inch variants, making it the first time since 2019 that Apple has introduced a new size option and updated its larger-sized MacBook Pro. The new Apple processor in these laptops is also expected to bring noteworthy gains in performance. The upgraded processor will reportedly come with a new 10-core design with the option for 16 or 32 graphics cores, the report says. That’s compared to today’s Apple M1, which includes eight computing cores and eight graphics cores. 
  • New MacBook Air: The MacBook Air could get an upgrade toward the end of 2021, according to Bloomberg. This laptop will reportedly come with a different new Apple processor that’s meant to be a direct successor to the M1. It’s also said to come with a refreshed design that’s likely similar to the new look we’re expecting to see on the updated MacBook Pro.
  • New MacBook Pro (13-inch): There’s also another smaller new MacBook Pro in the works that will be powered by the same processor as the MacBook Air, says Bloomberg. It’s unclear when this model could launch. 

There might be deals on Amazon Prime Day.

Amazon Prime logo

Amazon’s Prime Day sale is expected to kick off soon, and that usually means big discounts on electronics — including Apple’s MacBooks.

Last year, for example, the early 2020 MacBook Air was available at a $150 discount on Amazon Prime Day. So, even if you’re content with buying a current generation MacBook rather than waiting for the next update, it’s still best to hold off and see what deals might be available. 

Amazon hasn’t announced when Prime Day will take place in 2021, but it’s expected to happen sometime in June. Prime Day typically happens in July, with 2020 (and now possibly 2021) being the exception.

Back-to-school season usually means laptop sales, too.

MacBook Pro and Air

Apple offers discounted pricing for students and teachers year-round, but it usually runs a special back-to-school promotion in the summer.

Product pricing doesn’t usually change, but Apple will typically throw in a free pair of headphones with your Mac purchase during the promotional period. For last year’s promotion, which started in mid-June, Apple threw in a free pair of AirPods with a Mac purchase for qualifying customers. 

Although it’s not technically a new discount, waiting a bit longer before upgrading your Mac could mean you’ll get freebies that wouldn’t otherwise be available if you’re a student.

Regardless, other retailers like Best Buy typically offer back-to-school discounts on laptops over the summer, so it’s worth waiting to see if any MacBooks go on sale. 

 

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Apple’s new iPad Pro is the best explanation for why we’ll never see a touchscreen MacBook

Apple event april iPad pro
  • The iPad Pro feels more like an answer to 2-in-1 Windows devices than Apple’s MacBook line.
  • It’s following the same evolution as hybrid Windows devices, especially when it comes to camera upgrades.
  • The iPad Pro is where we’re seeing forward-looking new tech from Apple, not the MacBook.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Apple’s iPad Pro has always seemed like an alternative to the laptop. After all, it has a laptop-sized screen, it’s designed to work best with a keyboard, and it now supports trackpad input.

But the company took that idea a step further on Tuesday with the introduction of its newest iPad Pro. The updated model comes with Apple’s powerful M1 chip – the same processor that drives its latest MacBook laptops – new mini-LED display technology with improved brightness and contrast on the larger model, 5G support, and Thunderbolt connectivity.

The announcement served as yet another sign that the iPad Pro is indeed Apple’s answer to the 2-in-1 Windows laptops that have dominated the PC industry over the last decade. It reinforces the idea that we’ll probably never see a touchscreen Mac, because that’s exactly what the iPad Pro has become.

The iPad Pro is following a similar path as new Windows laptops

Many of the upgrades we’ve been seeing on Windows laptops in recent months are also present on the new iPad Pro. These include better microphones and cameras for conference calls, thinner and lighter designs that run on processors based on the same basic architecture as those in our phones, and 5G integration.

Just look back to some of the most interesting laptop announcements from this year’s CES conference for evidence. Lenovo’s new IdeaPad 5G laptop, for example, comes with 5G and runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx processor. That chip is built on the ARM architecture that’s commonly found in the processors that power smartphones and tablets, similar to Apple’s M1 chip.

HP’s Elite Dragonfly Max, meanwhile, comes with a 5-megapixel camera and four wide-range microphones that use artificial intelligence to optimize audio – an upgrade that was clearly intended for the work-from-home era.

Apple now has its own take on how to improve video conferencing as it relates to the iPad Pro. The tablet comes with a new feature called Center Stage, which leverages the iPad Pro’s new wide-angle front camera and machine learning to automatically keep you in the shot as you move. Since it runs on M1, it also uses Apple’s image signal processor, which greatly improves color and brightness as I found when reviewing the MacBook Air.

Of course, some of the additions on the newest model address the iPad Pro’s shortcomings when compared to laptops. The 2021 model comes with Thunderbolt support, for example, which enables support for more powerful accessories like faster storage devices.

And now that the iPad Pro runs on M1, there’s a chance that app compatibility between Mac and iPad will become easier to manage since they’re powered by the same chip architecture.

The iPad Pro is Apple’s vision for the future of computing

It’s unclear whether the iPad Pro has been a hit for Apple in terms of sales because the company doesn’t specify those details in its earnings reports. But what has become clear is that the iPad Pro is Apple’s vision for the future of the personal computer, despite the fact that it’s not technically a laptop.

It’s the iPad Pro, not the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, that includes new sensors like Apple’s Lidar scanner, a new 12.9-inch display that’s brighter and packs in more pixels per inch, and features such as Center Stage. The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro were among the first computers to launch with Apple’s M1 chip, but the iPad Pro feels like the first computer that was really designed to take advantage of it.

The MacBook Air and Pro are excellent laptops, but they feel antiquated in some respects. Unlike modern Windows machines, they lack qualities like flexibility, touchscreens, nearly borderless displays, and facial recognition technology, just to name a few. The iPad Pro, however, has all of those features and more.

I don’t know that most people will be willing to give up their MacBooks for an iPad Pro just yet. And Apple doesn’t want you to; it’s clearly very invested in its Mac lineup. But I do think the iPad Pro is the device to keep an eye on if you really want to understand Apple’s perspective as it relates to the future of computing.

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Apple’s latest computers are being targeted by a new type of malware – and 30,000 machines are already infected

apple m1 chip
Apple’s M1 chip is the target of a new type of malware.

In November 2020, Apple unveiled a sleight of new computers that were powered by the company’s first-ever in-house silicon: The Apple M1 chip.

By early 2021, it looks like Apple’s line of new computers has already been breached by a malicious set of software nicknamed “Silver Sparrow.” Just shy of 30,000 of Apple’s new computers have already been infected, according to the security firm Red Canary, primarily in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Germany.

The infected machines range from the Mac Mini desktop to the latest version of Apple’s laptops. Both the latest MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are powered by M1 chips.

Notably, security researchers have yet to observe the Silver Sparrow malware actually doing anything harmful. 

“Though we haven’t observed Silver Sparrow delivering additional malicious payloads yet,” Tony Lambert, an analyst at Red Canary intelligence, wrote in a blog post. “Its forward-looking M1 chip compatibility, global reach, relatively high infection rate, and operational maturity suggest Silver Sparrow is a reasonably serious threat, uniquely positioned to deliver a potentially impactful payload at a moment’s notice.”

Though viruses are uncommon on Apple’s computers, a variety of other malicious software impacts Macs. The best way to protect yourself is to use free software from companies like Malwarebytes, which scans your computer and quarantines harmful software.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider