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Apple's New MacBooks Will Be Game-Changers. Here's What We Know So Far

Apple's upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are expected to be getting the M1 chipset and a huge redesign. Here's what we know so far.

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Apple released the first Mac computers with its M1 chipset — specifically, a new MacBook Air, a new Mac Mini and new 13-inch MacBook Pro — back in November 2020. These were all "entry-level" Mac computers, however, so if you want one of Apple's high-end 13-inch MacBook Pros or its 16-inch MacBook Pro, those are still only available with an Intel chipset, for now.

Apple is expected to give its higher-end MacBook Pros the M1 treatment later this year, and the new high-end MacBook Pros are rumored to not just be a repackaging of last year's computers with Apple's fancy new chipsets, but also a huge redesign.

So far there are only rumors and reports to go off of, but here's where the signs are pointing.

They'll sport an even bigger edge-to-edge display.

The upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are going to look different from any other MacBook. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known Apple analyst, Apple is expected to give them an even larger edge-to-edge display. The body size of the new computers is expected to remain roughly the same, but the bezels will shrink and the screen should be even larger.

MagSafe power is coming back.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple is going to bring back the beloved MagSafe charger to its upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. The MagSafe power connection was built into all Apple laptops from 2006 to 2016 — and people loved it. They loved the fact it made a strong enough connection to power a laptop, but was quick enough to release if you or somebody tripped over the cable. Plus, it made a wonderful snap sound every time it connected to your laptop.

The advantage of the new MagSafe power connection is that it supposedly will charge the new MacBook Pros even faster, (which is similarly true with the iPhone 12's MagSafe charging system). Plus, you'll get the quick release ability and snapping sound that made MagSafe so beloved in the first place.

USB-C ports aren't going anywhere...

The return of a MagSafe charger doesn't mean that Apple is getting rid of USB-C. These upcoming MacBook Pros are still expected to have a number of USB-C ports — most likely 4 (two on each side) — for connecting all of your other devices, just like the current 16-inch MacBook Pro. You likely shouldn't expect any of those ports to be USB-A given that Apple has made it pretty obvious that it believes USB-C is the port of the future.

But the Touch Bar is, so say your goodbyes.

The Touch Bar has been one of the MacBook Pro's most polarizing features since it was introduced in late 2018. Some people love the Touch Bar because it's is completely unique, looks beautiful and is super customizable. Others hate it because it eliminates the very useful function keys — including the Escape key (until recently) — and it's not compatible with a lot of apps.

According to Bloomberg, It looks like Apple could be set to kill off the much maligned Touch Bar and bring back the traditional row of function keys on its upcoming higher-end M1 MacBook Pros. The most recent, entry-level M1 MacBook Pro still has the Touch Bar.

They might take a little longer than usual to come out.

Apple has traditionally released new higher-end Macs in the spring — usually around March — but given the pandemic and the more substantial design changes, the latest rumors aren't rumored to be announced (and released) until later in the year. Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that these next-gen MacBook Pro will be released in July 2021.

(That said, Apple is expected to announce new iMacs this spring after clearing its inventory and discontinuing the iMac Pro. These new M1-based iMacs, which are expected to have a near bezel-less design and potentially Face ID, could be announced as early as March 23. )

Nostalgic new colors?

Apple is expected to release a redesigned M1 iMac alongside the new M1 MacBook Pros and, according to Jon Prosser, a reliable tech leaker, they'll be available the same five colors as the newest iPad Air: silver, space gray, green, sky blue and rose gold. This would make the first time that the iMac has been available in more vibrant colors since the original iMac G3 with their colorfully transparent shells. Given that these new M1 iMacs will be more "entry-level" devices, it's probably safe to say that the M1 MacBook Pros won't be available in these same colors. But you never know!

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