Apple and Microsoft’s New Machines Are Shipping with Outdated Hardware

MacBook Pro and Surface Studio Will Run Skylake

Yesterday, Apple unveiled its 2016 refresh of the MacBook Pro. These new machines come equipped with four multipurpose ThunderBolt 3 USB Type-C ports and a headphone jack (laughably, this was not a given prior to the keynote). They feature a revamped implementation of the butterfly mechanism introduced on the twelve-inch MacBook last year. This lineup can very much be seen as an evolution of that device.

On the Windows side, Microsoft announced a twenty-eight inch all-in-one dubbed the Surface Studio. Introduced on Wednesday, the Studio is an ultrathin machine that shares the same 3:2 aspect ratio as its Surface brethren. The Studio takes the best elements of the iMac and Surface Pro and marries them into an exorbitantly expensive (starting price is three large) and svelte package.

Surface Studio [top] and MacBook Pros (Late 2016) [bottom] 

Albeit in different ways, both the Surface Studio and new MacBook Pro are feats of engineering that push their respective product categories forward. Devices this ingeniously thin and versatile must have been in production for a great while, which leads to a major caveat these machines share: they are shipping with outdated processor architectures. 

This isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, as the new seventh-generation Kaby Lake breaks with Intel’s tick-tock upgrade cycle and is merely a stopgap to pacify the market until Cannonlake debuts next year. Modest though the gains in Kaby Lake are, the fact remains that Cupertino and Redmond are asking their customers to pay top dollar for last year’s tech.