Alongside the MacBook Pro Apple has revealed details of its new processors: the M1 Pro and M1 Max. We cover these processors in more detail here:
Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max chip, but we will discuss them at length below.
Price and availability
The great news is that you will be able to order the 14in MacBook Pro from Monday 18 October, with shipping from Tuesday 26 October. We’re also separately looking at
where to buy the MacBook Pro 16 and Pro 14 (2021) in both the UK and US if you want to see which stores are selling them outside of Apple.
There are two 14in MacBook Pro models: at the entry-level is a 8-Core CPU, 14-Core GPU model with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.
In the US that 14in MacBook Pro starts at $1,999, which is $200 more than the predecessor.
Order one here.
In the UK the the 14in MacBook Pro starts at £1,899, which is $100 more than the predecessor.
Order one here.
There is also a 10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU model with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD.
In the US that 14in MacBook Pro costs $2,499, which is $500 more than its predecessor.
Order one here.
In the UK the the 14in MacBook Pro costs at £2,399, which is £500 more than the predecessor.
Order one here.
This top-of-the-range 14in MacBook Pro is the same price as the entry level 16in MacBook Pro model.
It is also possible to customise a 14in MacBook Pro with Apple’s M1 Max chip. You can choose a Apple M1 Max with 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU for an extra £500/$500 or a 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU for another £700/$700 the top model.
The new 14in MacBook Pro has a brand new design that allows for the larger 14in (actually 14.2in display) while only fractionally increasing the size. The dimensions are now 1.55cm x 31.26cm x 22.12cm compared to 1.56cm x 30.41cm x 21.24cm in the M1 13in MacBook Pro. The 14in model weights a fraction more at 1.6kg rather than 1.4kg.
Other notable changes to the look of the 14in MacBook Pro include the addition of a ‘Notch’ at the top of the screen, this means that Apple can reduce the size of the bezel above the screen. This Notch is where the camera sits – it doesn’t mean that there is Face ID capabilities though. Apple says that the menu has been built around the notch, so, hopefully, it shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of the display, however we expect there to be some backlash against the notch – it’s inevitable.
The keyboard also looks different because Apple has done away with the Touch Bar, which the company all but admitted didn’t suit creative pros in the keynote announcing the product. Physical function keys and a wider escape key replace the Touch Bar, “bringing back the familiar, tactile feel of mechanical keys that pro users love,” as Apple put it.
The other change that will be apparent if you look at the sides of the MacBook Pro is the addition of a number of ports. After years of Apple removing ports in order to slim down Macs it seems that Apple has finally realised that ports might be more important to people than a slim laptop. As a result we have three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port and an improved headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones.
We also see the return of MagSafe. MagSafe 3 offers an updated design and supports more power into the system – which means that fast charge comes to the Mac for the first time. Apple says you can charge up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.
One more thing to mention, though not ports as such: the new MacBook Pro models offer Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.
Of course we can’t talk about the design of the Mac and ignore the screen, which is probably the most noticeable element of the MacBook Pro. Apple states that this is the world’s best notebook display, so prepare to be impressed.
It’s a Liquid Retina XDR display with an extreme dynamic range for, according to Apple: 1,000 nits brightness and 1,600 nits of peak brightness, as well as a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, thanks to which you should be able to see detail in shadows and enjoy deeper blacks and more vivid colours.
The new screen also brings ProMotion to the Mac, as seen in the iPad Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. As with those devices, ProMotion offers an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, which means it can refresh images 120 times a second, but it can also varies the refresh rate to much less than that when it isn’t required, thereby saving battery life.
The screen resolution of the 14in MacBook Pro is 3,024 by 1,964, which means it offers 5.9 million pixels over the 14.2in active area. There are actually more pixels on the 2021 14in MacBook Pro than there were on the 2019 16in MacBook Pro. (The new 16in model offers 7.7 million pixels).
Returning to the notch for a minute, while it doesn’t conceal a Face ID camera, the notch does now include a 1080p FaceTime HD camera – and about time too (after a year and a half of spending most of our time talking to people on video calls).
The new camera doubles the resolution and should dramatically improve low-light performance, we are pretty sure that it will as it is the same camera used on the M1 iMac that launched earlier in 2021. Like that FaceTime camera, this camera system taps into the image signal processor (ISP) and Neural Engine of M1 Pro and M1 Max to enhances video quality while maintaining natural-looking skin tones.
Every video call needs good audio, so it’s good news that Apple has also improved the audio capabilities with studio-quality mics that offer a lower noise floor, which should reduce thermal noise and result in clearer calls.
Apple has also added a six-speaker, high-fidelity sound system that features two tweeters and four force-cancelling woofers. Apple states that this will result in 80 percent more bass.
The sound system also supports spatial audio for a “three-dimensional listening experience”.
14in MacBook Pro Specs
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Apple October event was that rather than calling the successor to the M1 chip the M1X as was widely thought, Apple revealed that there are two chips coming to the MacBook Pro: the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. Actually anyone reading Mark Gurman’s newsletter the day the event before might not have been that shocked as he said as much: suggesting that developer logs had referred to the new chips as M1 Pro and M1 Max.
The 14in MacBook Pro ships as standard with M1 Pro chips – but for those who want the ultimate in power there is a build-to-order option to add the M1 Max chip, so we will discuss what both chips offer below.
Those picking an 14in MacBook Pro have the choice of a 8-core or 10-core CPU. This is the same 10-core CPU whether it’s a M1 Pro (which it is as standard) or an M1 Max (which you can customise your Mac with). Apple claims that this CPU offers 70 percent faster CPU performance than the M1.
In the 10-core version there are eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores.
Apple uses a 5-nanometer process technology, which means it can packs in 33.7 billion transistors on the M1 Pro, which is more than two times the amount in the M1.
Apple claims that compared with the latest 8-core PC laptop chip the M1 Pro delivers up to 1.7x more CPU performance and achieves the PC chip’s peak performance using up to 70 percent less power.
The real difference between the M1 Pro and M1 Max is the graphics capabilities.
The M1 Pro offers a 14-core or 16-core GPU (14-cores on the entry-level). Apple says that this offers up to 2x faster GPU performance compared to the M1. The company also claims the GPU is up to 7x faster than the integrated graphics on the latest 8-core PC laptop chip.
The M1 Max GPU goes even further with 32-cores. Apple claims that the graphics performance is up to 4x faster than M1.
This is possible because Apple has packed 57 billion transistors on to the chip – 70 percent more than M1 Pro and 3.5x more than M1.
As a result the GPU can deliver performance comparable to a high-end GPU in a compact pro PC laptop, according to Apple. All while consuming “up to 40 percent less power”. Apple states that the performance is “similar to that of the highest-end GPU in the largest PC laptops while using up to 100 watts less power.”
Having mentioned the graphics processor it’s worth noting that the M1 Pro adds a ProRes accelerator in the media engine, which should speed up video processing and make it more power efficient. It will also enable playback of multiple streams of high-quality 4K and 8K ProRes video while using very little power.
M1 Max goes a step further, offering two ProRes accelerators which help it deliver up to 2x faster video encoding than M1 Pro. As a result, Apple says, pros can edit up to 30 streams of 4K ProRes video or up to seven streams of 8K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro. That’s more streams than on a 28-core Mac Pro with Afterburner. This is a MacBook Pro after all, so expect pro features.
Professional Mac users will be glad that Apple hasn’t decided to release the 2021 MacBook Pro models with 8GB RAM as standard, as seen in the M1 models. The 14in MacBook Pro will ship with 16GB Unified Memory, and that is upgradable to 32GB, for an extra £400/$400, or 64GB if you opt for a M1 Max chip for an extra £800/$800. Note that only the M1 Max can support the 64GB RAM.
Apple uses fast unified memory, which is beneficial because of the way it is shared by the CPU and GPU. For the M1 Pro Apple claims to deliver up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth, which is nearly 3x the bandwidth of M1.
The M1 Max offers an even higher-bandwidth and boasts up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth. That is 2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1. That’s why 64GB RAM is possible with the Max.
Apple explained that the latest PC laptops top out at 16GB of video memory and claimed: “Having this huge amount of memory available is game-changing for pro workloads.”
Battery life and power efficiency
The M1 Pro and M1 Max also offer industry-leading performance per watt and incredible power efficiency, according to Apple. What this translates into is 17 hours of video playback for the 14in MacBook Pro – that’s seven more hours than the predecessor. (The 16in MacBook Pro offers 21 hours – 10 hours more than the last generation).
Apple also claims that the 2021 MacBook Pro deliver “the same level of performance whether it is plugged in or using the battery.”
The company also says that because power use is managed so efficiently there is less heat generated, which means the fans run quietly and less often, allowing for longer battery life.
If you want to read what we wrote about the MacBook Pro based on the rumours then read on…
Apple has big plans for the MacBook Pro in 2021 with a
redesign expected to turn the 13in model into a 14in MacBook Pro and a new version of the 16in MacBook Pro.Apple is set to hold an event on Monday 18 October (which you can watch above) and we expect the new MacBooks to be unveiled then.
There are many more new features coming to the range, including a more powerful version of Apple’s M1 chip – the M1X – and new mini-LED screen technology.
Plus just a few days before the event a rumour emerged that Apple would include a notch in the MacBook Pro screen, not for Face ID but so that the bezels could be thinner allowing for a larger screen. See the
MacBook Pro redesign section of this article for more information.
In this article we will look at the rumoured 14in MacBook Pro, discussing when the new MacBook Pro is coming out and all the rumours about the specs and features of Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro.
We also have a separate article covering rumours about the
new 16in MacBook Pro, which may use an even more powerful version of the chip inside the new 14in model.
14in MacBook Pro: Rumors
Monday 18 October
It doesn’t look like we will have long to wait for the new MacBooks to launch. Apple has revealed that it will be holding an
event on Monday 18 October and it seems pretty certain that the new MacBook Pro will be the star of that event.
There has been a lot of speculating that the new MacBook Pro was coming soon. Writing in his
Power On newsletter just before the September Apple event, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman wrote that the new MacBook Pro ”
should still be launching in the coming weeks. Apple typically does its major new Mac introductions in October. So stay tuned.”
On the weekend before the
launch of the iPhone 13 Gurman wrote that the new MacBook Pro models with mini-LED screens and M1X processor are ready to end up on store shelves “within a few weeks”. He also made some other observations about the inclusion of
MagSafe and the
In response to a question on Twitter, Gurman answers that he expects that the new MacBook Pro and a new iPad mini will be presented at a second Apple event.
There will be two events, and I’d expect the latter to be Mac + iPad. iPhone/Watch Tuesday.
It certainly looks like Apple is gearing up to launch the new MacBook Pro models. Code in the seventh beta version of macOS Monterey indicates that there will be two new screen resolutions coming, likely to be the 14in and 16in MacBook Pro models (more on the
screen resolution below).
Steve Moser (who writes for MacRumors) spotted the new resolutions and tweeted the below:
Found these resolutions in the latest macOS beta. Hopefully this means future MBPs will ship with a native 2x Retina resolution instead of a scaled resolution.
The inclusion of these new resolutions in the beta does seem to indicate that the new MacBooks could arrive around the time of the
new version of macOS, which is also expected in October.
There is even more evidence that new MacBook Pro models are coming soon: Apple has listed two new Mac models with the Eurasian Economic Commission. The ECC database lists two new Macs: A2442 and A2485. It is likely that these listings represent new
16in MacBook Pro models. Read more here:
Apple registers new Mac models in database.
The 14in MacBook Pro has been rumoured for some time. In 2020 TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo even suggested that the 14in MacBook Pro would be here by the end of 2020, but he later changed his forecast – indicating that Apple’s plans had been pushed back to 2021 because the company wanted to use mini-LED displays in the new models and there were problems with supply due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Then a May 2021 Bloomberg report indicated that a redesigned 14in MacBook Pro and a new 16in MacBook Pro could debut in the summer of 2021, so we were hopeful that the new MacBook Pro models would appear at
WWDC 2021 on 7 June. However, the event came and went with no hardware announcements at all.
newsletter in July (subscription required) Gurman further emphasized that Apple will launch new MacBook Pro models between September and November this year.
Dylandkt, which had previously published information about tech launches that later proved to be correct, has also indicated that the new MacBook Pro, in both 14in and 16in sizes, will launch during the fourth quarter of the year, probably in late October or early November.
Macbook Pro 14 and 16 are definitely coming Q4 of 2021. Either late October or early November.
2.0GHz Intel Core i5 Quad-Core with 512GB SSD, £1,799/$1,799
2.0GHz Intel Core i5 Quad-Core with 1TB SSD, £1,999/$1,999
These are already expensive when compared to the M1 MacBook Pro models introduced at the end of 2020. They cost £1,299/$1,299 for the 256GB model and £1,499/$1,499 for the 512GB model.
It’s comforting to note that both MacBook Pro’s that are coming this fall will have the same chip and the same performance. It’s definitely a win for those who like to opt for the smaller size but expect a notable increase in price for the 14 inch over the 13 inch.
While Mac users are usually prepared to spend a bit more, if the 14in MacBook Pro costs more than £1,799/$1,799 we will be surprised if people rush to purchase it.
14in MacBook Pro redesign
Both analyst Ming Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman have indicated that we can expect an extensive redesign for the 13in MacBook Pro.
As per a January 2021 report, we can expect
significant design changes including: a flat-edged iPhone 12-like design; no Touch Bar; the return of MagSafe charging; and more ports – including a SD slot.
Kuo adds that the 14in laptop will use a similar heat pipe system to the 16in MacBook Pro, which should increase the thermal headroom and enable better performance.
One rumour that came in just days before the anticipated launch suggested that the MacBook Pro might have a notch. Twitter user DuanRui, who from time to time Tweets rumors from credible Chinese social media accounts, published an image of a screen component showing a camera recess at the top:
It is said that although there is notch, there is no Face ID, and Touch ID is still being used.
As the tweet indicates, this is not so that Apple can add Face ID to the MacBook but rather so that it can make the screen bigger. Another way that Apple will be able to reduce the size of the bezels and fit in a larger screen is by dropping the MacBook Pro logo.
This idea was presented by Apple leaker
told 9to5Mac that Apple will drop the MacBook Pro logo from the below the screen. That site reports that he said: “Focusing on the Macbook Pro 14 inch and 16 inch models, the design will be similar to the iPad Pro with flat edges. The bezels will be reduced and the bottom ‘Macbook Pro’ logo will be removed”.
Dylan later highlighted this in a tweet on 12 October in which he outlined his expectations for the launch:
MacBook Pro 14 and 16:
Mini Led displays
Smaller bezels with no bottom logo
Base models will have 16gb of ram and 512gb of storage
Base M1X is the same configuration for both models
Pricing will be similar between 14 and 16 inch
New charging brick
And if an Apple patent is to be believed, a future MacBook Pro could go retro with a
When the 16in MacBook Pro launched in November 2019 (
16in MacBook Pro review) it benefited from a bigger screen made possible by reduced bezels (you can see the difference in the image above: the old model is on the left). Following the arrival of that model there have been rumours that Apple might replace the current 13in MacBook Pro with a model with a bigger screen.
This doesn’t mean that the dimensions of the current 13in model will change – the thinking is that Apple could produce a 14in MacBook Pro by reducing the bezels around the display. It’s worth noting that the 13in MacBook Pro actually measures 13.3in.
You may have noticed that in his tweet (above) Dylandtk refers to the smaller bezels and no bottom logo. It seems that the words MacBook Pro must be sacrificed to get that larger screen. Read more here:
MacBook Pro launch – more details emerge.
It certainly looks like the screen size is changing: There is code in the macOS Monterey beta that indicates that two new screen resolutions are coming – one of which may well be the 14in MacBook Pro. The two new displays will offer the following resolutions: 3,456 × 2,234 Retina and 3,024 × 1,964 Retina. These resolutions do not correspond to any Macs available to date. The current 13in MacBook Pro offers 2,560 × 1,600 while the current 16in MacBook Pro offers 3,072 × 1,920 pixels. Pixel density will also increase, rising from 226ppi to 250ppi, which would be equivalent to 2x Retina. More here:
Two new screen sizes spied in macOS beta.
The 14in MacBook Pro has been a long time coming. When the 16in MAcBook Pro was introduced back in November 2019 Apple’s Phil Schiller, when asked about the likelihood of a larger display for the 13in MacBook Pro, told YouTube personality Jonathan Morrison: “I wouldn’t draw any extrapolation from [the 16in MacBook Pro] to anything else.” Which some took to mean that there would never be a 14in MacBook Pro, but it dounds like the larger display is coming, at last!
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested for some time now that Apple will add a mini-LED display to the MacBook Pro (and various other products it makes – Apple is already using a mini-LED for the 12.9in iPad Pro).
In that 12 October tweet (above) Dylandkt also confirms that the new MacBook Pro will feature mini LED displays.
There is a quesiton of whether the frame rate rises to 120Hz, as it does with the Pro models of the iPhone 13.
Ross Young, an analyst at Display Supply Chain Consultants, wrote on Twitter on 12 October that the new MacBook Pro is getting a mini-LED backlit screen – and that this is “100% confirmed”.
Panel suppliers are the same between the iPad Pro’s and MacBook Pro’s – LG Display and Sharp. Expecting similar technology – oxide backplanes, miniLED backlights and 120Hz refresh rates. MiniLEDs, 100% confirmed.
As per an August 2021 note, Kuo expects that the launch of a mini-LED equipped MacBook Pro could eventually lead to a significant reduction in the price of the backlighting tech.
Kuo also indicates: “We expect MacBook shipments to grow significantly by 20% YoY, or more in 2021 and 2022, due to the adoption of mini-LED panels, Apple Silicon, and all-new designs.”
One thing we’d love to see on the MacBook Pro is a touch screen. We discuss why it is time for Apple to change its mind and start offering Macs with touch screens here:
Why Apple needs a touch screen Mac. One key reason why we need touch on the Mac: the fact that the Apple Silicon transition should make it possible to use iOS apps on the Mac and iOS means touch…
Whether there is a design overhaul or not it is likely that there will be changes on the inside in terms of processor and potentially storage options. Below we will look at the specs we expect to see inside the new MacBook Pro models.
There were some design changes in the inside of the 16in MacBook Pro that could translate to the new 13in models. There were changes to the internal thermal management – larger heat sink and changes to the fan design, rearranged logic board for better heat dispersal. Probably necessary in part to accommodate the larger 100W battery and the extra 12W power.
To recap, right now you’ll find the following:
13in MacBook Pro
Apple M1 Chip with 8‑Core CPU and 8‑Core GPU. 256GB – £1,299/$1,299, 512GB – £1,499,$1,499
2.6GHz Six-core i7 9th-generation (TB 4.8GHz), AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, four Thunderbolt ports: 512GB, £2,399
2.3GHz Eight-core i9 9th-generation (TB 4.5GHz), AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, four Thunderbolt ports: 1TB, £2,799
In November 2020 Apple updated the two entry level 13in MacBook Pro models, making them some of the first Macs to adopt Apple’s M1 chips. The other two 13in MacBook Pro models in the range remained untouched since their update in May 2020 when they gained 10th generation Intel processors and more RAM.
It’s a safe bet to assume that the two remaining 13in MacBook Pro models (and the 16in MacBook Pro) will be adopting a newer, more powerful version of the M1 – in 2021.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman shared his thoughts on Apple’s next laptop in his
Power On newsletter on Sunday 17 October, just a day before the Apple October Event. Gurman indicated that the new CPU will have ten cores: eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficient cores. (The M1 chip has four high-performance cores and four energy-efficient cores.) Gurman also made predictions about the Graphics cores, mentioned in the Graphics section below.
According to a Bloomberg
report in May 2021 (see
Apple to overhaul entire Mac line up) the new Macs will feature “processors designed in-house that will greatly outpace the performance and capabilities of the current M1 chips,” according to sources. The report indicates that these more powerful iterations of the M-series chips will have “more graphics and computing cores”.
There is some debate over whether the new processor in the MacBook Pro will be the M1X or M2. Twitter leaker Dylan suggested in April 2021 that the M1X will be the chip that Apple will use:
M1X is an extension of the M1 that will contain more thunderbolt channels, more cpu cores, more gpu cores, and greater power draw. The M1X will be featured in the Higher end Mac Mini, the Macbook Pro 14 and 16, and a higher end iMac.
He then went on to say in July 2021 that the M1X is reserved for the Pro Macs:
Just wanted to share some details on when to expect the next generation M2 (not the M1X which is reserved for the Pro Mac devices). This processor is on track to release in the first half of 2022 alongside the upcoming colorful Macbook (Air).
The next big question is: Will the 14in and 16in MacBook Pro offer the same M1X chip? That seems like an unlikely scenario to us and according to the Bloomberg report the chips will be different with Apple said to be planning two different chips for the 14in and 16in MacBook Pro models. These chips are codenamed Jade C-Chop and Jade C-Die, according to the Bloomberg report. Both chips will offer eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficient cores – bringing a total of 10. In contrast the current M1 chips offer four high performance and four efficiency cores.
We discuss the various iterations of the M chip family Apple is expected to launch in the coming months in the following video:
The M1 MacBook Pro models that launched in November 2020 offer 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU.
Those hoping for better graphics performance will be pleased to learn that there will be either 16 or 32 graphics core variations for the new models.
In his Power On newsletter just a day before Apple’s October event Gurman indicated that he believes Apple will offer two graphics variants: 16 cores and 32 cores.
Incidentally, the 2.0GHz MacBook Pro that will be replaced by the new models offers Intel Iris Plus Graphics, which are integrated with the Intel processor. Tests show that the Intel-powered MacBook Pro with its internal Iris graphics card had little chance against the M1 MacBook Pro.
In a developer document Apple
said: “The integrated GPU in Apple processors is optimized for high performance graphics tasks”.
The 2.0GHz 13in MacBook Pro on sale now offers 16GB RAM as standard. The M1 MacBook Pro offers 8GB RAM.
For those who require a decent amount of RAM the 16GB limit of the M1 models has been a real disadvantage. The good news is that Apple does seem likely to offer more RAM with the M1X MacBook Pro – although probably no more than 32GB RAM.
Hopefully it won’t only be the 16in MacBook Pro will offer the 32GB RAM option though.
I think there will be 4 variants of the M1X chip for 14,16″ MacBook Pro and Mac mini. Think of it like a grid, combining either 16/32gb of RAM and 16/32 GPU cores. Full explanation in my latest video!
For those concerned that the MacBook Pro won’t offer a 64GB RAM option, Apple claims that its Unified Memory Architecture (UMA) means that it’s not necessary to have as much RAM because all the RAM can be accessed quickly as it is all in the same location as the GPU and CPU, and can be attributed where it is needed.
There is a slim chance of a 64GB RAM option: “The chips also include up to 64 gigabytes of memory versus a maximum of 16 on the M1,” stated a May 2021 Bloomberg report.
There will also be an improved Neural Engine, which will enable the addition of more Thunderbolt ports, according to Bloomberg.
Speakers & Microphone
The 16in MacBook Pro has improved speakers with deeper bass and a noise-cancelling microphone. Will the 14in models gain the same update at some point?
Possibly we may see an improvement, although not on the same level. The improvements in the 16in may not be possible in the limited space of the smaller model: there are three speakers on each side of the 16in MacBook Pro (two of which are woofers). The smaller model may simply be unable to accommodate this: even if the screen is 14in the size of the Mac is unlikely to change significantly.
As for the microphone, the 13in model probably doesn’t need the three-mic ‘studio’ array required by professional creative users.
The 16in MacBook Pro has a 100W battery (which is the biggest battery allowed in laptops before they would be banned from planes). This bigger battery means the 16in model now offers 11 hours of use.
The 13in MacBook models with Intel processors currently offer 10 hours use.
It’s possible that Apple Silicon will make it possible for Apple to achieve more battery life from the smaller models: The 2020 M1 MacBook Pro offers 20 hours battery life – so it looks promising.
No Touch Bar
As we mentioned above, according to a January 2021 investor note from Ming Chi Kuo the OLED touch bar will be removed from the new MacBook Pro and the physical function buttons will be restored.
We’ve never been huge fans for the Touch Bar which we think is more of a gimic than a useful feature so we don’t think that it will be a great loss.
MacRumors, “leaked images of the new MacBook Pro floating around on Twitter also confirm that the device will not feature a Touch Bar.”
The return of MagSafe is also predicted for the new MacBook Pro. Both Kuo and the Bloomberg report in January 2021 (mentioned earlier) state that Apple will be restoring the MagSafe charging connector, which was popular with people who didn’t want their Mac to crash to the ground when they tripped over the power cable. Find out more about MagSafe here:
What is MagSafe.
REvil, who threatened Quanta in the $50 million ransomware attack published the 15 images. We won’t be showing the images here, but can confirm,
via Macrumors, that they show an HDMI port, a USB-C/Thunderbolt port and an SD Card reader on one side and two additional USB-C/Thunderbolt ports and a MagSafe charging slot on the other side.
Further evidence that MagSafe will make a return on the Mac: Apple has revised a document on Magsafe in its support area. Apple replaced the MagSafe charger on the MacBook Pro back in 2016, and hasn’t sold a Mac with MagSafe since it stopped selling the old-style MacBook Air in 2018. By updating the support documents Apple seems to be indicating that MagSafe has a renewed importance for the company. We’d surmise that this means it will be making a return. Read more:
Apple updates MagSafe support doc hinting at return to the Mac.
In an 17 October newsletter Mark Gurman of Bloomberg discusses the return of MagSafe. Gurman says that Apple will market the charger that “disconnects quickly when someone stumbles over the cable”t as “an ecosystem” just like MagSafe on the iPhone 12. Gurman says that the MagSafe speeds will be higher than that of the iPhone 12, which charges a maximum of 15 watts of power.
In the same newsletter Mark Gurman of Bloomberg collaborates reports that the new MacBook will bring the return of the HDMI port and the SD card slot. Gurman indicates that Apple has “even considered reinstalling a USB-A port in the MacBook Pro”, but he says that the old generation connection has not been shortlisted.
Face ID and Webcam
We’d love to see a better FaceTime camera on the MacBook. The MacBook Pro still offers a 720p camera. As a comparison the FaceTime camera (aka Selfie camera) on the iPhone 11 range offers 1080p HD video recording and a 12MP camera. The 24in iMac also offers a 1080p HD camera along with the addition of image processing technology inside the M1 chip.
Apple really needs to up its game with the video camera in the MacBook Pro, something that has become very apparent in this age of video conferencing.
The good news is that Twitter leaker
Dylandkt is indicating that the new MacBook Pro will feature a much better 1080p camera.
I know a lot people are referencing Linus’s video (which is a great video by the way) but it’s good to note that the upcoming MacBook Pro will actually be getting an updated improved 1080p webcam for the next model and so will the entire Mac lineup.
The iPhone 11 camera is TrueDepth, so it also offers Face ID – something we’d like to see appear on the MacBook range.
At one time it looked like we might indeed get
Face ID on the Mac – the Big Sur beta contained code that hinted that the TrueDepth camera is coming to the Mac, but as yet we have seen nothing like that.
Another thing that the M1 MacBook Pro offers 802.11ax WiFi 6 so it’s a good bet that the same technology will appear in the new model.
What the patents tell us
From time to time Apple files or is granted patents for new technolgies that may appear in a future Mac. We’ve noted a few of these below that could eventually make their way onto the MacBook Pro, although we don’t expect that they will this time around.
No Track Pad
This is a bit less likely than the above, but it is something that Apple has been investigating – and has filed a patent relating to.
US patent 10,942,571 describes a “laptop computing device with discrete haptic regions”. It’s assumed that if this patent was applied the trackpad below the keyboard would be omitted, and the entire area below the keyboard would become a touch surface. A Taptic Engine provides haptic feedback, such as the click feeling during an action. Read more here:
Apple patents MacBook with no trackpad.
This could make it easy to switch between different language keyboards, and those who require a numerical keyboard could switch to that. If you are assuming that this would be uncomfortable to use and strange to type on we are with you, but it seems that haptic outputs could give you the impression that you are typing on a physical keyboard.
The patent, titled: “Configurable force-sensitive input structure for electronic devices”, seems to be designed to avoid the problem with mechanical keyboards, such as Apple experienced with the problematic butterfly mechanism keyboards that suffered costly faults when dust and debris became trapped under the keys.
It does sound a bit like a plan to replace the keyboard with a Touch Bar and given rumours that Apple is set on removing the Touch Bar from future MacBook Pro models it really does sound unlikely that Apple would apply this patent in the real world, but who knows!
Was the new MacBook Pro delayed?
It has been rumoured that Global chip shortages could impact Apple’s new MacBook Pros, with
DigiTimes suggesting that “Chip shortages may defer rollout of upcoming MacBook Pros”.
The main problem with that report is that DigiTimes indicates that the global chip shortages could cause the launch of Apple’s upcoming miniLED-backlit MacBook Pros to be “scheduled in October or even November, instead of the usual September” – Mac launches are almost always during October or November (or at any other time of the year), but never in September.
Perhaps the MacBooks have already been delayed and were actually due to launch in the summer, being pushed back to the autumn. In April 2021 Asian newspaper Nikkei indicated that Apple is one of many manufacturers being
affected by global component shortages and as a result, the new MacBook Pro is facing delays.
In March a Nikkei report indicated that the
MacBook launch had been pushed back to autumn 2021 due to global chip and component shortage, and then a further report in April made a similar claim that the shortage of chips has led to difficulties getting the circuits mounted on the motherboard on the MacBook model.
According to a June 2021 report from the supply-chain news site DigiTimes, production of the new MacBook Pro models had been postponed until the third quarter of this year. Read more here:
New MacBook Pro ‘delayed until autumn’.
Those issues may now have been dealt with. In a July 2021 report to investors Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that
mass production of the new MacBook Pro models was about to start up. Plus, as of August 2021, Apple’s suppliers are said to have begun mass (or ‘volume’) production of the hotly anticipated next-generation MacBook Pro for 2021 in both 14in and 16in screen sizes. According to DigiTimes, citing “sources from the upstream supply chain”, Apple is aiming to reach production of up to 800,000 units a month by the end of November. Read more here:
New MacBook Pro 14in and 16in ‘enter mass production’.