What's your next dream Mac? [Poll]

What's your next dream Mac? [Poll]

The Mac is doing great these days, not only growing faster than the PC market as a whole, but growing where the PC market pretty much isn't. The craziest thing about that is this — Apple hasn't even introduced new consumer-level Macs for a while. Last year's new Mac Pro aside, all we've gotten lately is spec bumps on the existing favorites. Part of that is due to Intel's continued delays of the next-generation Broadwell chipset, but whatever the reasons it feels like the already successful Mac line could get even more successful when new models start to hit the stage. So, here's the question — which next-generation Mac are you most looking forward to?

The fabled Retina MacBook Pro, whether it's a beefed up MacBook Air or a slimmed down Mac Pro, seems to be hit hardest by the Broadwell delays. We keep hearing it's coming but it still hasn't arrived. It would have higher density than the current 13-inch MacBook Air, but likely at the expense of its tremendous battery life. It would be lighter than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro, but likely at the expense of its sheer power. Could it be the best balance of both worlds?

The iMac has also been rumored for a Retina upgrade, be it to 2x or to 4K. That would certainly be a dream-machine for a lot of photographers and designers. Apple typically puts new panel technology into iMacs first, but depending on cost and yield, could we see that trend reverse an Apple release a 2x or 4K Thunderbolt display first this time? It would certainly match in numbers and price points with the new Mac Pro...

If the opposite of Retina holds more appeal for you — no display at all! — then a Mac mini upgrade has likely been on your wish-list for a while now. It's the machine that's seen the least love lately, and doesn't even have a Haswell option yet, never mind PCIe Flash storage, Thunderbolt 2 ports, and all the other modern bells and whistles.

Then, of course, there are the flights of pure fancy, like ARM-based MacBook Airs, running iOS, with multitouch displays, that can detach into iPad Air...

Which next-generation Mac have you been dreaming of? Vote up top and let me know why you voted the way you did in the comments below!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

What's your next dream Mac? [Poll]


Retina Air would be great, but very curious how battery life would be compared to the regular resolution of the current models.

I'd rather a iMac 4K display cause I would like to use it to see every detail on my drawings 3D modeling etc. though some kind of MacBook/iPad hybrid (not quite Air/iPad Air but like Pro/iPad) but that maybe asking a lot

It's tricky. Looking at the panel market, high quality 4k panels (and a 2x 27" iMac or TB display would be even more than 4k) still go for more than $2.3k, and that's only the panel. The cheaper 4k displays all compromise on something (gamut, refresh rate, viewing angles etc.). So, we look at either something extremely expensive, or something below current standards. I guess the device everybody would want (somewhat affordable and high quality) is still not in the cards there. A Retina Air with acceptable battery life will have to wait because of Intel...

Somehow the recent MBA and MBP price cuts / spec improvements make me believe that we won't see much in terms of Macs for most of the rest of the year.

Yet somehow the quality 24" 4K panels that are in the Dell UP2414Q are probably under ~$400 to Dell, and I've seen then sell for $500 at some places.

None of the above.. I wasn't that impressed with 4k when I looked compared to what I have..

I actually want a rMBP 15" with better video card.. something closer to the 780M in the iMac.. and something that doesn't turn into an egg cooker while using that video would be nice.. I'm not after 4k video.. my LG 34UM95 UltraWide HD 3440 x 1440 is awesome sauce.. and doesn't require that much more overhead than a Thunderbolt Display at 2560 x 1440.. even has Thunderbolt ports..

Going 4k seems like you're just increasing your video card requirements w/o really much return for the massive overhead. I'd rather have a video card running on an ultra wide 1440p screen with room to run .. games.. design, etc...

I said "4K iMac" because it's the only iMac option, but I don't give a rat's behind about whether it is 4K or "Retina," and unless you are a video or photography professional, neither should you.

My hope is that if Apple does go higher resolution, that they offer it as a value added option, because I need a new iMac and I don't relish paying many hundreds of dollars more for some marginal increase in screen quality.

I really love all my Apple products just as they are today. But, a retina screen would definitely make my iMac better.

You know what's my dream computer? An iPad Air. But, there's a couple things I use a truck for, and iMac is awesome for those things.

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AMEN!!! I came on the Mac scene right after these were discontinued. Coming from a 17.3" HP, this is the only thing missing. I can't always work around my external display and that extra couple of inches makes all the difference with multitasking.

I'm still holding out for my MacBook / iPad hybrid. :) But it has to be able to do *everything* I want it to do. I need the full *nix-based OS X when I need it, and I want iOS when I want it. ;)

And hell, if I can run iOS apps *inside* OS X when it's in OS X mode that would be pretty fantastic Apple. :D

Edit: I am willing to pay a fair (near what the combined price for a MacBook / iPad is) for this magical device filled with rainbows and unicorns.

I don't really expect it to happen but it would be amazing. I bought a MBA instead of a Surface Pro because of development needs. My life really is easier with an OS that is as close as possible to a Unix/Linux core.

+!. Having linux and the shell is the reason I use a Mcabook Pro for development. For Windows projects I just start up Parallels.

Retina macbook air is okay ... But i would like to see macbook pro with retina display with a bit higher resolution ... And a little bit higher spec's ...

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Then it wouldn't be a Retina display :p
Specs are already great. The next gen models will be even better.

Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SOKP 4.4.2

My vote is for a Mac Mini. I hope to see a stellar upgrade this September. Been waiting a long time ....

Mac Mini and fresh iMacs are probably coming in September, depending on what Apple plans to introduce with aTV we could also get Thunderbolt 4K Displays. And that's it for 2014 because they have to introduce iPhone 6 (& 6C ?), iWatch, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Pro.

More storage at at an affordable price. I'm need local files. Don't give me dropbox or icloud. My dream mac is like an air with at least 500GBs-1TB standard. That's my biggest issue with all the macs they gouge you for memory and storage.

Good thought, but the architecture of the mini would choke faster CPU or GPU. Also, the CPU&GPU are the majority of the cost in the Mac Pro. Also cooling Xeons & workstation GPUs is difficult, the tiny chassis of the mini wouldn't allow proper cooling.

What about a "Mac Medium"?! Mac Pro chassis, mobo/daughter boards, "thermal core" & connections but with i7 instead of Xeon & desktop GPUs instead of workstation? I would also accept "classic" SATA SSD & non-ECC ram.

As long as the next Mac Mini checks off that wishlist I'll be happy. It would be nice if the soon to be announced Mac Mini had broadwell, but that's not Apple's fault.

Either way, I voted for Mac Mini. My 2010 Mac Mini is really hurting these days, and it's sole purpose in life is iPhoto & iTunes. (Upgraded RAM & SSD)

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Mac Mini!!!!! Where are you????

I'm good with the current size and shape. Don't mess with that because there are those who have rack mount solutions in place for these as they are used as servers.

--Add PCIe capability to it (that's fine), but I can continue to live with SATA-III SSD.
--I actually use BOTH drive bays currently in my 2011 model, but having two PCIe slots would be a performance boost (awesome).
--A better graphics chipset option so that we can play games at higher frame rates and resolutions (AMD or NVidia) which would also support UHD.
--Latest Intel processors
--Support for 32gb ram or 64 (for those folks who need this) << Makes for a great DB server

On a "like to have" note. Perhaps offer it in two colors (same as iPod Classic: Black or Silver).

Okay, I'm done.

Not 'next dream Mac' - first Mac. Have a retina iPhone and a retina iPad, Windows laptop needs replacing, Apple has won me over, want a MacBook Air (with parallels to run a few Windows programs) that doesn't have a worse screen than my iPad.

I would like them to make their top of the line MacBook Pro par with gaming. Even if there aren't lot of gaming on Mac OS we can bootcamp. I am going to sell my MacBook Pro because I can't run any of the games I play on high. And because of that the gem is not as fun to play.

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Apple has never catered to gaming. I tried to use my 2006 Mac Pro as an all-in-one entertainment center, with bootcamp games; upgraded GPU. It was such a terrible pain in the ass. I know that GPUs & drivers are better now, but the GPUs in Macs are never top of the line, and usually one generation behind. And usually "workstation" GPUs, vs gaming GPUs. Also, true gaming laptops are VERY expensive. I know a guy with a $6,000+ laptop, and it's about 3" thick. I have a Razer Blade Pro 2013 for work (AutoCAD, etc) it has a 765m & i7-4700 and even it can't really handle BF4 above "medium". And that's at 1080p. Retina MBPs have more pixels = much more GPU power needed to drive all those pixels.

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I honestly think a MacBook Air with an IPS screen, slightly better graphics, support for dual monitors and that doesn't overheat would be a pretty perfect computer. The Air gets way too hot when gaming. I hate the viewing angles but don't mind the resolution of the screen. The graphics are descent but no where near dedicated. I don't expect integrated to be as good but just a little closer would be nice. And I hate only being able to run one external monitor. An extra Thunderbolt port or HDMI/DVI port would be such a huge deal for me.

If all of these things were true I could probably get rid of my desktop altogether.

I would rush out to buy a macbook air tomorrow if it had a retina display and a touchscreen. After using an ipad for so long now, it is really difficult to go back to a laptop and have to use a touch pad. I think the macbook air with retina and touchscreen could easily replace my need for the ipad.

MacBook Air with retina display would be the best new Mac product to have and has the most realistic chance of Apple making happen.

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Actually none of these. I ave the latest rMBP and love it. I have no idea what the future will hold but I hope it doesn't involve a touch screen like Windows essentially requires these days. That why I have an iPad

Forget the Macbook Air Hybrid iPad Air. Give me the super light Macbook Air with retina display and touch screen. Apple doesn't even need to think of making some useless hybrid device like Microsoft. The Macbook Air with retina and touch screen will eliminate my need for my desktop and my iPad Air. I will still need the 5.5 inch iphone/tablet to carry with me 24/7.

I voted for a Mac mini, as it is the product line that most needs to be refreshed that had a opening in the poll. It's a simple request - A Mac mini in the current form factor with a new CPU. I don't want the Mac mini to go the way of the other Apple offerings with non-upgradable RAM or storage. I don't want a Mac mini with the only storage options being solid-state drives. A second Thunderbolt port would be nice, though. I might even be willing to accept all of the above in a 13" model, though I know that, this, too, is not going to happen.

As for options not included in the poll, I want a real MacBook Pro. I don't need the Retina display and, again, I don't really need my only storage to be a SSD that I can not replace or upgrade. A unibody 15" with a Haswell CPU a second Thunderbolt port and discrete graphics (preferably nVidia) would be nice. I would also like to be able to replace and/or add more RAM in the future if my needs change. I realize that Apple is not going to do this, but if I am dreaming, I might as well dream big!

Thinking way outside the box, I want a Macbook Pro with an expandable display. I want the screen real estate of a 15+ inch display in a 13" body. Folding displays are being shown at
CES and other shows, so hopefully it will happen soon.

Really hoping for a lightweight, 12-inch laptop with retina screen. I think we'll get it, and with a new design which looks more like an iPad (curved edges, options for silver or space grey, lightweight form factor with no fan etc.). They'll call it the Macbook Air 2.

I think we will get an iPad Plus, too - 12-inch tablet with a keyboard cover similar to the Microsoft Surface. But it won't be a hybrid which also runs OS X, it will just be a big iPad which uses new iOS functionality for split-screening and multitasking to take advantage of the bigger screen (and probably more RAM). I'd bet money it will be called the iPad Plus, now that we have the iPhone Plus.

So there will be two 12-inch devices, one running OS X and one running iOS. The iOS device will be cheaper and start at 16GB (which everyone will say is ridiculously not enough storage, but the 64GB version will be the most popular choice at $ 100 more); the OS X device will start at 128GB and cost at least $200 more (proper keyboard, faster processor, more RAM etc.).