MacBook Pro 2021: All the last-minute rumors we’ve heard ahead of today’s Apple event


Two issues we anticipate to vanish this go-round: the 13-inch MacBook Professional and the Contact Bar.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

In case you’ve been holding off on shelling out for a new MacBook Pro out of FOMO or indecision, Apple could quickly maintain the solutions you’ve got been ready for. The corporate introduced its next event, slated for Monday Oct. 18, with an invite theme of “unleashed,” indicating we’re lastly going to listen to about Apple’s high-performance programs. (This is how to watch Apple’s October event live and what we expect to see.)

As we get all the way down to the wire, Rumors sign that not solely is a 14-inch MacBook Professional mannequin on the horizon, each it and a brand new 16-inch could sport new, excessive pixel-density Mini-LED-based screens, together with a brand new higher-powered model of Apple’s M1 processor just like that of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the return of much-missed connectors and the ditching of the not-much-loved Touch Bar.

The upcoming bulletins comply with Apple’s big event in mid-September the place the corporate confirmed off the iPhone 13Apple Watch 7iPad Mini 6 and updated entry-level iPad

Learn extra: No Macs at the Apple iPhone 13 event, but the year isn’t over yet

When will the brand new MacBook Professionals be introduced?

It is nearly a on condition that the corporate will launch new MacBook Professionals and presumably different new Macs subsequent week on Oct. 18. This jibes with Mark Gurman’s assertion in a latest Power On newsletter that he expects new MacBook Professional fashions to debut someday this month. He beforehand speculated the brand new fashions would arrive by the end of this year.


Apple’s “Unleashed” invitation to its occasion on October 18.


A extra highly effective Apple M1X (or M2) CPU?

That is just about a given. Apple’s M1 CPU has made it so far as the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Professional, 24-inch iMac, Mac Mini and iPads, however to this point we’ve not seen any of Apple’s home-grown silicon in programs for energy customers. A number of sources agree that there will likely be a brand new model of the CPU — and it’s reportedly already in production — for the bigger MacBook (presently a 16-inch display model) and presumably for upcoming new desktops. 

There’ve additionally been rumors that there will likely be two variants of the new chip, each with 10 cores (eight high-performance and two vitality environment friendly), however with totally different built-in graphics core configurations: 16 or 32. In distinction, the M1 has eight cores, cut up equally between efficiency and energy saving, and both seven or eight graphics cores. Doubling or quadrupling the variety of cores guarantees considerably higher efficiency that, together with the tight integration with MacOS, might rival the efficiency of a discrete AMD GPU. And it is unclear whether or not a discrete GPU stays an choice. 


A better-power model of Apple’s M1 chip could also be on the horizon.


Having two variants (with rumors of future variations with much more core choices meant for the Mac Mini and Mac Professional) makes plenty of sense: In my testing, the M1 chip has carried out nearly identically no matter system, giving the iPad as a lot energy because the Mac Mini. That does not make sense for patrons of high-end tools, the place choosing a lesser processor can doubtlessly prevent 1000’s or the place a discrete GPU could also be important. 

The 2 variants might clarify why guesses in regards to the title of the brand new CPU, M1X or M2, have not tipped conclusively towards one or the opposite. 

As for Intel choices, we started listening to predictions that there wouldn’t be Intel versions of the MacBook Pros as early as final January — and there have not been any indications on the contrary thus far.

When will we be capable to purchase them?

Because of chip shortages, you in all probability will not be capable to get one proper after they’re introduced. Earlier this month there have been reports that the shortages would at least delay shipments till across the finish of October or early November. And people delays are unbiased of the roadblocks to producing the Mini-LED-based screens, which may result in only a limited volume of laptops out there in 2021.

A brand new measurement, however at a better beginning value?

Along with an upgraded mannequin of a 16-inch MacBook Professional, we may be in for a 14-inch alternative for the 13-inch MacBook Professional, which might imply a 14-inch display that matches into the chassis roughly the identical measurement because the 13 — because of smaller display bezels. That follows an identical pattern we have seen in Home windows laptops and the identical strategy Apple took when it transitioned from the 15-inch to 16-inch MacBook Professional fashions. If the 14-inch makes use of a brand new panel know-how as indicated by the decision rumor under, that might clarify a value hike as properly.

Most trade watchers assume there will be a price hike for the 14-inch model over the 13-inch, beginning at nearer to the highest finish of the latter’s value vary. Given the dearer display know-how and present shortages, I would not be stunned. It makes you marvel if Apple will proceed to supply the M1-based MacBook Professional 13 as a lower-cost choice. 


We anticipate the MacBook Professionals to have Mini-LED backlit shows just like the iPad Professional 12.9 (left).

Scott Stein/CNET

A whizzy new Mini-LED display?

A Mini-LED backlight-based show appears to be one other given and a particularly welcome one: It will permit MacBook Professionals to raised help HDR at larger brightness and with higher native dimming, important for video enhancing or producing content material for the 12.9-inch iPad Professional and its Mini-LED display. Hopefully, it is going to be accompanied by an replace permitting the MacBook Professional to play HDR content in 4K.

Most not too long ago, Ross Younger, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (who correctly described the iPad Mini months earlier than it was introduced), tweeted that Apple would use screens from LG Show and Sharp — “MiniLEDs, 100% confirmed.”

The oxide backplane and Mini LED (however not the 120Hz refresh fee) backlight are two applied sciences utilized by Apple’s Pro Display XDR, which bodes properly for black ranges.

MacRumors spotted a reference to new screen resolutions in a late beta of MacOS Monterey: “3,456×2,234 Retina” and “3,024×1,964 Retina.” The primary would ship nearly the equivalent pixel density — 226 ppi — as the present 16-inch MacBook show. Apple all the time likes to maintain to a given vary for its Retina screens, however the latter differs solely barely from the present 3,072×1,920; that is a powerful signal that Apple will likely be providing a brand new panel. Alternatively, each resolutions would ship the identical 257 ppi on the 16-inch and 14-inch fashions, respectively. 

A brand new aesthetic?

Rumors right here fluctuate. Nearly each system Apple has introduced this yr, from the iPad to the iMac, has adopted the flat-edged profile aesthetic that harkens again to the iPhone 4. Nevertheless it stays to be seen if Apple will undertake that for the MacBook Professional, given its clamshell design. And there hasn’t been a lot traction to solutions that the MacBooks would possibly are available vivid colours a la the iMac 24.

Goodbye, Contact Bar? 

I’ve by no means been a fan of the Contact Bar, particularly as a alternative for fastened operate keys, so I obtain these well-regarded rumors about the deprecation of the Touch Bar and return of actual operate keys with a little bit of chair dancing — and will likely be very dissatisfied in the event that they change into unfaithful. Additionally, since Mini-LED sometimes generates extra warmth than different backlights, Apple might in all probability do with much less want for warmth dissipation close to the show.

Return of previous favorites?

Apple had stripped its MacBook Professionals of connectors lots of people had come to depend on, together with an HDMI connection, SD card slot and MagSafe connector (to not be confused with the MagSafe charger for the iPhone). Some rumors point out that we’re getting these again, together with one other pair of USB4/Thunderbolt ports. Some information has additionally indicated a return of the MagSafe connection, nevertheless it’s additionally doable they’re complicated them with rumors a few new model of the latest filing with the Federal Communications Commission for a MagSafe charger for the iPhone

A 1080p webcam, however nonetheless no Face ID?

As Apple launched an upgraded 1080p webcam first with the 27-inch iMac (and discontinued iMac Professional), then with the 24-inch iMac, it is sensible to combine one into the MacBook Professional as widely rumored, because it’s in all probability used for videoconferencing greater than many different of its programs. However whereas Contact ID is prone to stay, there hasn’t been any welcome phrase about much-requested Face ID (or 5G) since we heard in January that it wouldn’t be included. | MacBook Professional 2021: All of the last-minute rumors we have heard forward of at this time’s Apple occasion


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