Apple's flagship laptop will reportedly come in 14- and 16-inch variants with a new design
Apple is to announce a pair of new MacBook Pro laptops with the company's own processors and screen size options of 14 and 16 inches, reports claim.
The news comes from the reliable sources of Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman.
First, Kuo released a new research note, cited by MacRumors, claiming a redesigned MacBook Pro is on the way, with 14 and 16 inch screen options and a flat-edged design described as being similar to the iPhone 12. If true, this will be the first significant design change for the MacBook Pro in five years.
Kuo also claims the laptops will ditch the TouchBar, an OLED touchscreen display that Apple's Pro laptops use instead of regular function keys on the top row of the keyboard. Pictured below, the TouchBar has struggled to justify itself, with many users preferring physical keys to the sliver of touchscreen.
The renowned analyst, who has a strong track record for Apple news, also believes the new MacBook Pro will see the return of MagSafe, the magnetic charger connection. Apple used MagSafe on the previous generation of MacBook Pro, where the cable would detach if tripped over instead of pulling a laptop to the ground.
The new laptops will reportedly lose Apple's TouchBar above the keyboardApple
MagSafe was retired when MacBooks switched to USB-C for their power connection, and was revived in 2020 as a magnetic wireless charging connection for the iPhone 12. It is thought that the new laptops would feature a new MagSafe port that allows for faster charging than is possible with USB-C; Kuo says more port options will be offered, and some buyers may not need to purchase a dongle or dock to connect multiple devices.
Kuo also believes the laptops will have no Intel processor option – hardly a surprise given Apple's current transition to its own M-branded processors. It is likely that these computers would have a more powerful version of the M1 chip used in the current MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.
The research note was followed hours later by a Bloomerg report also claiming a new MacBook Pro is due later in 2021. The report agrees with Kup on a redesign and the return of MagSafe, but is less certain on the demise of the TouchBar, merely saying Apple has tested a version without the display.
Bloomberg says the new laptops will have "brighter, higher-contrast" screens and an Apple processor with more power and improved graphics over the M1. The report agrees with Kuo on the reinstating of a MagSafe charger, but with USB-C ports alongside instead of the potential of other connections mentioned by Kuo.
As for when these laptops might arrive, the current 16-inch MacBook Pro was released in November 2019. That was 429 days ago, according to the MacRumors buyers guide, and the average time between MacBook Pro updates is 322 days, suggesting a new model is due soon. Only once since 2014 has Apple waited for more than 429 days before releasing a new MacBook Pro.