New MacBook Pro: Top Business FeaturesThe MacBook Pro is reportedly set to get its biggest update in four years. / Credit: Jeremy Lips

New features coming to the MacBook Pro will give business users a boost. Apple’s professional-grade laptop is set to get its first big update in years, with a reveal set for sometime this fall, according to new reports. Expected upgrades include beefed-up security, a more commuter-friendly design, speedier performance and a productivity-boosting touch screen strip above the keyboard. 

While we wait for Apple to reveal more information about the new MacBook Pro, here’s a rundown of what to expect. 

The new MacBook Pro is expected to include a Touch ID sensor that will let users log on using their fingerprint, similar to the sensor that has been included on the last few iPhone releases. It’s sure to provide a nice day-to-day security boost for workers who want to keep their laptop locked down, without the necessity of fussing with a cumbersome password. And Apple’s fingerprint sensor is among the best on the market, reliably reading fingerprints with one quick touch.

Confirmed hardware details for the new MacBook Pro are still scarce, but reports indicate that the system will receive a healthy performance upgrade over the current model, which hasn’t changed much in the last four years. The new version is expected to run on Intel’s 7th-generation Core processor, which should provide a nice boost for general speed and stability. Meanwhile, the rumored inclusion of a new AMD graphics card could make the new MacBook Pro a powerhouse for graphically intensive tasks like 3D modeling and video editing.

The MacBook Pro has always been the clunkiest option in Apple’s laptop lineup. And compared to modern workstation notebooks that have been released in the last year or two, it’s not very commuter-friendly. Fortunately, rumors indicate that the new model will be thinner and lighter than any previous iteration, which is good news for anyone who needs to lug a laptop back and forth between home and the office.

Probably the most interesting rumor around the new MacBook Pro involves the inclusion of a new touch strip with adaptive function keys, located above the keyboard. The panel will reportedly offer up context-sensitive shortcuts, depending on which program you’re using at the time. For example, it might display cut-and-paste buttons if you’re working in Microsoft Word, or photo- and video-editing commands if you’re using Adobe software.