Apple might put a touchscreen and Touch ID in MacBook Pros with rumored fall refresh

The 13-inch and 15-inch Pro laptops might be slimmer and lighter thanks to USB-C.

13-inch Retina MacBook Pro 2015
Credit: Roman Loyola

The most exciting Apple product launch of 2016 might not be the iPhone 7, if rumors prove true. Cupertino is reportedly prepping a major MacBook Pro refresh for the 13- and 15-inch models that will blow your mind.

The MacBook Pro is in need of an upgrade, and according to reputable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a huge overhaul is coming this fall. The two MacBook Pros will be thinner and lighter, like the 12-inch MacBook, and will feature Touch ID and an OLED touchscreen bar on the keyboard to replace the top row of keys. Expect USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 in the new Pros, too, 9to5Mac reported.

That’s not all. Apple is also working on a 13-inch MacBook to complement its super-thin 12-inch Retina model. No word yet on what pricing would look like for the refreshed laptop lineup, and it’s unclear if the MacBook Air will see any big changes (but our fingers are crossed for a Retina display one day).

Why this matters: As everyone knows, the MacBook Pro is a behemoth because of all those ports. If Apple makes the move to USB-C, which seems likely after the 12-inch MacBook’s debut, the Pro could finally be a little slimmer and a little lighter while still packing in Pro-level power.

What seems a little less likely is the mini-touchscreen planned for the keyboard. It’s unclear why Apple would want to replace the function keys with a touch display—I’ll believe this one when I see it. A Touch ID sensor would be a welcome addition for unlocking a MacBook, and perhaps for using Apple Pay to shop online. Apple is reportedly working on a way to unlock a Mac using Touch ID on an iPhone, but putting a sensor right on the MacBook Pro would be a much more seamless experience.

We’ll have to wait for fall to see Apple’s big MacBook Pro plans come to life, but we’re expecting Mac and OS X-related announcements at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco in just a few weeks.

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