What it is: Skylake is Intel’s latest processor that should arrive in the fall of 2015.
Most computers today use Intel’s Haswell processors despite the labeling of Core i5 or Core i7. There’s nothing wrong with Haswell processors, but Intel delayed the successor to Haswell called Broadwell, which was supposed to appear in 2014. Instead of arriving before the Christmas shopping season, Broadwell processors have just started arrive in 2015.
That means if you really want a new computer with the latest technology, you should make sure your computer has a Broadwell processor, or just wait a little longer for Intel to (finally) release their Skylake processors. Whether a computer has a Haswell, Broadwell, or Skylake processor may be difficult to identify since computers will simply keep using the generic names of Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7.
If possible, wait for Skylake processors. Of course, you can keep waiting and newer technology will always be on the horizon. However with Skylake processors soon to appear, just time your next computer purchase to take advantage of the latest processors, then keep your computer as long as it keeps working for you.
With each jump in processor families, computers will get more energy efficient (which translates into longer battery life for laptops) and more powerful. Since most people don’t need the absolute latest in technology, just wait for the new batch of processors to arrive and then pick up the previous generation computers for a steep discount.
Since Apple just updated the Mac mini, expect the Mac mini to remain unchanged throughout 2015. The iMac will likely take advantage of the Skylake processors while the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro laptops will likely also hold out for the Skylake processors for the greater power savings. The Mac Pro is also getting older so expect an update to that model in late 2015 as well.
Of course, if you need a Macintosh now, get one. The benefits you’ll get today will be far greater than forever waiting for the latest technology to arrive. The only reason to regret getting a computer now is if you buy a computer with a confusing operating system that’s designed to frustrate you rather than simplify your life.