Apple introduced the new M1 MacBook Pro in November 2020, but the new model does not include design changes. That will change in 2021, with rumors suggesting that Apple will have a major refresh in the design of the MacBook Pro.
The 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models coming in 2021 will feature the most significant design update to the MacBook Pro line we’ve seen since 2016, and the updated machines will also address complaints that consumers have have had with the MacBook Pro for years by returning older features that include MagSafe, more ports and physical function keys.
The rumors in this guide were received by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and BloombergMark Gurman, both often give an accurate picture of Apple̵
Apple has updated the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The 14-inch model will replace the current 13.3-inch model, while the 16-inch model will replace the existing 16-inch version that is available.
For the updated 14-inch model, the overall body size is likely to remain similar to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, with the increase in display size coming mainly from the reduction of the top and side frame of the machine.
The current 13-inch MacBook Pro
However, there may be a slight increase in physical size. When Apple went from a 15.4-inch MacBook Pro to a 16.1-inch MacBook Pro, the physical sizing went from 13.75 x 9.48 inches to 14.09 x 9.68 inches, and we could see something similar with 14 -inch MacBook Pro.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro
Both new models on offer are expected to have some remarkable design changes. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the new MacBook Pro models will feature a flat-edged design that is “similar to the iPhone 12” without curved edges like the current models.
Gourmet confirmed Kuo’s report, but his information suggests that the flat-edged design may not deviate too much from the current design. He says the improved models will “look similar” to the current models, but will include “minor design changes,” so we’ll have to wait to see how significant these changes are to the overall design.
The updated MacBook Pro models will use the same heat pipe design used by the current 16-inch MacBook Pro model. Apple redesigned the heating system of the 16-inch MacBook Pro by increasing the size of the heat pipe, adding heat pads and increasing the size of the radiator by 35 percent.
This new thermal system will allow for increased computing power, thanks to improved airflow and heat management, proving the good performance of Apple’s silicone chips, which are expected to be included.
Even if the chassis updates are smaller in scale than Kuo did, there are other work changes that will make 2021 a major update refresh. Kuo believes that Apple will add additional ports to the MacBook Pro models, although he did not specify which ports they could be.
Apple introduced a new MacBook Pro design in 2016 that removed all ports except the USB-C ports and the 3.5mm headphone jack, but previous models from 2012 to 2015 included a MagSafe connector, ports Thunderbolt, USB-A ports, HDMI port, SD card reader and 3.5 mm headphone jack.
With the machines of 2021, we could see the return of some of these long-discontinued ports. Most ports will likely continue to be USB-C as Apple switches to USB-C in years, but there may be additions such as an SD card slot or HDMI port.
Given Apple’s focus on USB-C and the slim design of the MacBook Pro line, we’re unlikely to see a return to USB-A, but Kuo said the new machines will have enough ports so most users may not have you need to buy additional keys. ”
The Gurman report mentions the inclusion of USB-C ports, but does not mention other types of I / O.
Along with the additional ports, the new machines are expected to return MagSafe to the Mac line. The aMagSafe connectors were used on MacBook Pro models from 2006 to 2016, when Apple replaced the MagSafe connector with a USB-C port, but now we seem to be returning to the MagSafe design.
Both Kuo and Gurman expect the new MacBook Pro to be equipped with “MagSafe” for charging purposes, with the “MagSafe” charging port different from the other included USB-C ports.
The MagSafe in the new MacBook Pro models is expected to be similar to the MagSafe 2 connectors and ports used before 2016, allowing quick release of the magnetic connection, which prevents damage to the computer and cable when the cable is pulled.
MagSafe’s charging functionality is expected to allow faster charging speeds than are available with USB-C, and as Apple moves to new charging technology, we can expect upcoming MacBook Pro models to come with a cable for charging MagSafeщ and accompanying power adapter.
No touch strip
Apple introduced the Touch Bar in 2016 on the Mac, providing a small OLED display where the physical function keys used to be located. Apple had big plans for the Touch Bar and envisioned it as an adaptive mini-display that offered customizable controls and various application-based features, but the Touch Bar never seemed to cope with consumers.
Kuo says the Touch Bar will be removed in the 2021 MacBook Pro models and will be replaced with physical function keys. Gourmet has confirmed that Apple has tested versions of the MacBook Pro that do not have a Touch Bar.
Gourmet believes that the new MacBook Pro models will have display improvements in the form of “brighter panels with higher contrast”, and in previous rumors Kuo suggests that the updated machines will be the first Mac with mini-LED displays, noting significantly improvement in display quality.
Given that Kuo does not mention mini-LED technology in its latest report, it is possible that the functionality of the mini-LED will be delayed until later.
If Apple switches to mini-LEDs for the 2021 MacBook Pro models, the displays could use somewhere around 10,000 LEDs, each less than 200 microns in size. Mini-LED technology will allow for a slimmer and lighter design, while offering many OLED-like benefits, such as improved wide color gamut, high contrast and dynamic range, and more true blacks.
The initial 13-inch MacBook Pro already has an M1 chip, and in 2021 all new MacBook Pro models will receive Apple’s silicone chips. Apple is not expected to release MacBook Pro models with Intel chips, completely removing Intel chips from the line of laptops.
Apple is working on Apple’s higher-end silicon chips, which have up to 16 powerful cores and four efficient cores that would destroy any Intel processor in terms of performance. New GPU technology is also under development, with Apple designing 16- and 32-core GPU options, some of which can be used in the new MacBook Pro models.
The new MacBook Pro models are expected to launch in the third quarter of 2021.
We have more about current MacBook Pro models and upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro models in our special 13-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro.