We’ve heard a few interesting details about the new M1X 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2021, including the return of MagSafe, the removal of the TouchBar, and maybe even an upgraded version of the M1 chip, known as the M1X at this stage. Based on all the rumors and leaks we’ve heard so far, here’s everything we know about the next 16-inch MacBook Pro.
M1X 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021 release date and price
So far Apple hasn’t made any official announcements about future MacBooks or their release date, but word is that the Macbook Pro 16-inch 2021 will release sometime in Q2 or Q3 of 2021.
Well known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman both expect a new refresh of MacBooks to arrive later this year, available in both 14 and 16 inch options.
Kuo expects the new MacBooks to arrive sometime in Q2 or Q3, while Gurman reported that Apple was planning a release for the middle of the year. A recent DigiTimes report also mentioned the mid-2021 launch window, pointing to a Q2 debut.
Rumors haven’t touched on how much we can expect to pay for the new machine, though the current 16-inch MacBook model starts at $2,399.
MacBook Pro 16 inch 2021 design
The biggest change set to come to the 2021 MacBook Pro is the loss of the TouchBar. According to Ming-Chi Kuo the TouchBar is being replaced by a set of physical keys – presumably like the ones found on other laptops and pre-2016 MacBooks. This will be a welcome change for many people.
According to Kuo this model will include a larger range of ports. This decision has been partly made to reduce the need for dongles, and it will also be the first time since late 2015 that a new MacBook has had anything other than USB-C.
The biggest news is that the MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021 is set to see MagSafe return to the MacBook for the first time in several years. We already saw a version of MagSafe launch with the iPhone 12 however it’s design different from traditional MagSafe options we’ve seen prior. The iPhone 13 is rumoured to feature an improved version.
We’ve been hearing lots of rumors that the next iPad Pro will come packing a mini-LED display, but according to Ming-Chi Kuo that’s only the beginning of Apple’s plans.
Apple’s plan is reportedly to have multiple gadgets rocking mini-LED screens, including iPads, iMacs and MacBook Pros. There are a lot of advantages to having mini-LEDs, which use clusters of tiny LEDs instead of the single larger one used by LCD displays.
The nature of display means it can offer deeper colors and blacks, better contrast, higher brightness, all while being more power efficient. In other words it’s a much better image, but with a fraction of the power consumption.
The iMac is almost guaranteed to have a mini-LED option in the very near future, especially given their benefits for professionals, but the fate of the 16-inch MacBook Pro is less clear. After all, mini-LED is still quite new, and thus expensive tech.
But the MacBook Pro was never intended to be a budget device. If any MacBook is going to get a mini-LED display this year, there’s a very good chance that it’s this one. And it would give us the brighter screen promised by Gurman.
There’s not as lot that we know about the specs of the MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021, but Ming-Chi Kuo has already predicted that it won’t have an Intel CPU. Instead it will feature Apple Silicon, which is no surprise given how much better the M1 chip performed when compared to 2020’s Intel-based MacBooks.
Of course it’s not clear whether the 16-inch MacBook will come with the same M1 ARM-based chip, or if there will be an upgrade chip currently named “M1X”.
According to LeaksApplePro the M1X will debut on the next MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021, and will pack in 12 cores: comprised of eight performance cores and four high efficiency cores.
That’s a big step up from the eight cores in the original M1 chip, which is made up of four efficiency and high performance cores. In other words, the M1X is shaping up to be one absolute beast of a chip. That’s provided Apple can keep power requirements under control.
Whatever changes Apple makes to the Mac lineup in 2021 will undoubtedly be game changing, just like we saw with the M1 release late last year. Apple silicon has proven to be a very effective upgrade to the previous Intel generation, so we are excited to see what Apple has in store for the future of Mac computing.
We’re hoping the M1X 16-inch MacBook Pro is announced some time in Q2 2021, perhaps at Apple’s annual WWDC event in June.