Apple’s 2017 MacBook Pro Refresh To Bring Kaby Lake And 32GB RAM Option

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According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the limitations surrounding the MacBook Pro’s support for greater than 16GB of RAM will be lifted this year. Apple is expected to adopt Kaby Lake processors (months after the PC community quickly embraced them), and at the same time offer a 32GB RAM option.

This will likely be a build-to-order option for the MacBook Pro, but it’d be a welcome addition for mobile professionals. Interestingly, Kuo says that the 32GB option will apparently be limited to the larger 15-inch model, and will not be available on the 13-inch model. Apple is expected to begin production of the new Kaby Lake-equipped MacBook Pro family during the third quarter.

The reception to the all-new 2016 MacBook Pro family was uncharacteristically icy (from Mac enthusiasts and the press) due to a number of design decisions that Apple made. The company continued its thinness crusade, which meant that full-size USB ports and HDMI was chucked in favor of Thunderbolt 3 for connectivity. Battery capacity was also reduced significantly across the board.

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Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller responded to the heavy criticism of the 16GB limit shortly after the new MacBook Pro was announced, writing in an email to a customer:

To put more than 16GB of fast RAM into a notebook design at this time would require a memory system that consumes much more power and wouldn't be efficient enough for a notebook. I hope you check out this new generation MacBook Pro, it really is an incredible system.

In am interview, Schiller said he was taken aback by the criticism:

There has certainly been a lot of passionate dialogue and debate about the new MacBook Pro! Many things have impressed people about it, and some have caused some controversy. To be fair it has been a bit of a surprise to me. But then, it shouldn’t be. We took a bold risk, and of course with every step forward there is also some change to deal with. Our customers are so passionate, which is amazing.

The 12-inch MacBook, which was first introduced in 2015, will also get a specs upgrade, although it will likely retain its svelte outward appearance. It too will gain Kaby Lake processors and will double the amount of maximum configurable RAM from 8GB to 16GB.