MacBook Pro 2021 rumors: Release date, price, M1X and everything else we know


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

Dan Ackerman/CNET

For those who’ve been holding off on shelling out for a new MacBook Pro out of FOMO or indecision, this fall might maintain the solutions you’ve got been ready for. Simply not but. Apple’s big event in mid-September confirmed off the iPhone 13, Apple Watch 7iPad Mini 6 and updated entry-level iPad. However no new MacBooks made an look. Extra just lately, there’ve been indications that not solely will there be a 14-inch mannequin on the horizon, each it and a brand new 16-inch might sport new, excessive pixel-density screens.

And primarily based on some dependable rumor-mongering, there is likely to be some huge modifications, together with a brand new higher-powered model of Apple’s M1 processor in all fashions, a brand new 14-inch MacBook Professional, new Mini-LED-based screens much 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.

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 extremely seemingly that the corporate will launch new MacBook Professionals or different new Macs at an occasion in mid-October, because it has tended to do over time. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg asserted this in a recent tweet, stating, “There shall be two occasions,” the primary being the iPhone launch. And in his current Energy On e-newsletter, Gurman mentioned he expects new MacBook Professional fashions to debut by the end of this year.

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 have not seen any of Apple’s home-grown silicon in techniques for energy customers. A number of sources agree that there shall be a brand new model of the CPU — and it’s reportedly already in production — for the bigger MacBook (at present a 16-inch display screen model), and presumably for upcoming new desktops. 

There’ve additionally been rumors that there shall 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, break 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 possibility. 


The next-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 lots of sense: In my testing, the M1 chip has carried out virtually identically no matter machine, giving the iPad as a lot energy because the Mac Mini. That does not make sense for consumers of high-end tools, the place choosing a lesser processor can doubtlessly prevent hundreds or the place a discrete GPU could also be important. 

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

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

When will we be capable of purchase them?

Because of chip shortages, you most likely will not be capable of 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 accessible in 2021.

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

Along with an upgraded mannequin of a 16-inch MacBook Professional, we is likely to be in for a 14-inch alternative for the 13-inch MacBook Professional, which might imply a 14-inch display screen that matches into the chassis roughly the identical dimension because the 13 — due to smaller display screen bezels. That follows the same development we have seen in Home windows laptops and the identical method 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 expertise as indicated by the decision rumor beneath, that will clarify a value hike as effectively.

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 costlier display screen expertise and present shortages, I would not be shocked. It makes you surprise if Apple will proceed to supply the M1-based MacBook Professional 13 as a lower-cost possibility. 


We count on 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 screen?

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

MacRumors spotted a reference to new screen resolutions in a late beta of MacOS Monterey: “3,456 x 2,234 Retina” and “3,024 x 1,964 Retina.” The primary would ship virtually the an identical pixel density — 226 ppi — as the present 16-inch MacBook show. Apple at all times 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 robust signal that Apple shall be providing a brand new panel. Alternatively, each resolutions would ship the identical 257 ppi on the 16-inch and 14-inch fashions, respectively. It might be due to a brand new backlight expertise, nevertheless it may be merely that Apple is sourcing its panels from a distinct producer. That huge of a pixel density soar alerts a brand new panel expertise to me, although.

A brand new aesthetic?

Rumors right here range. Virtually each machine 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. However 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 options that the MacBooks may are available vibrant 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 mounted 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 shall be very disenchanted in the event that they change into unfaithful. Additionally, since Mini-LED sometimes generates extra warmth than different backlights, Apple might most likely 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 attainable they’re complicated them with rumors a couple of new model of the current 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 most likely used for videoconferencing greater than many different of its techniques. 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 rumors: Launch date, value, M1X and every part else we all know


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