Everything we know so far about 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro updates with Apple Silicon

Apple impressed the industry with its MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and M1-chip Mac mini last fall. Now we look forward to an even more exciting round of pro hardware with so-called 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro upgrades. Here is everything we know so far.

Ports, galore!

When Apple redesigned the MacBook Pro in 2016, it went all out for USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 and literally replaced all of the I / O with those ports. Several models included 1, 2 and 4 USB-C ports for charging, transferring data and using dongles to adapt the new ports to more practical I / O such as SD, HDMI and USB-A card readers.

Five years later, Apple is expected to provide professional users with what they have been asking for since the 2016 MacBook Pro: more ports! Currently, the redesigned MacBook Pro is expected to retain USB-C ports for Thunderbolt 3, but revive MagSafe charging, HDMI, and a built-in SD card reader. If true, this would free up all Thunderbolt 3 ports for fast data transfer and eliminate the need for essential adapters currently relied on by MacBook Pro users.

The new machines are also expected to feature a full keyboard and no Touch Bar like the MacBook Air.

Did you say 14 inches?

Oh yeah, the 14-inch revision of the long-rumored MacBook Pro line. Apple slightly modified the screen and body of the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro to create a 16-inch version in the latest revision. Since then, rumors have circulated of a natural upgrade to the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro that would reduce the bezels around the screen and increase the screen real estate to 14 inches. Unlike the 16-inch MacBook Pro, this never happened in the Intel era, but it is completely on the table for a new version of the Apple Silicon chip.

Speaking of screens …

A 0.7-inch rise isn’t the only screen change rumored for the upcoming MacBook Pro revision. Apple is rumored to be planning screen-type changes for new Mac notebooks for the first time in years. Both models currently use high resolution LED-backlit LCD screens with IPS technology or in-plane switching. Supply chain reports indicate that the rumored 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro displays will be Apple’s first laptops to switch to a new mini-LED technology.

Mini-LED is exactly what it sounds like. Smaller LED components are used for the backlight. This means that brightening bright pixels and attenuating dark areas can be much more accurate. In turn, this allows for higher contrast ratios, deeper blacks, and generally less halo effects.

A new style

Apple avoided introducing new designs to the MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Air (in addition to removing its fan) for the first round of Apple Silicon computers. Various sources expect that to change when the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro updates drop. Our best rumor-based description so far is something more like the current design of the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPhone 12. Hard right angles are expected to remain, but the tops and bulbous bottoms are expected to flatten out to create depth. uniform.

There’s a lot to look forward to in the next round of MacBook Pro updates. From a noticeable increase in screen size on the smallest model, more ports for both models, a new screen type for a higher contrast ratio, and a revamped design. For the first time since 2016, these should please the crowd, unless your heart is set on Face DNI and built-in cell phone. Both of these features don’t appear to be on the cards for 2021.

Still, that’s before mentioning the switch from Intel to Apple Silicon for the first time on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Based on the performance and battery life of current M1 chip computers, any further advancement in performance from a successor chip is sure to impress. As for the timing, rumors point to the second half of this year for announcements and product availability.

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