Apple didn't announce new MacBooks at its most recent hardware event. That means we're expecting Apple to release new MacBook Pros (its higher-end models, to be specific) and give them the M-series chip treatment sometime soon. The neat thing is that it's rumored that these new MacBook Pros will not just be a repackaging of last year's laptops with Apple's M-series chipsets, but they are expected to have a complete redesign. So far there are only rumors and reports to go off of, but here's where the signs are pointing.
They will likely be announced this September.
Rumors of these upcoming M1 MacBook Pros have been churning ever since the first M1 Macs were released in late 2020. It was speculated that Apple would announce them at its spring event (alongside AirTags, M-series iPad Pros, colorful M-series iMacs and an updated Apple TV 4K). When that didn't happen it was then speculated that it could happen at s WWDC 2021 in early June. Now that that hasn't happened, the latest reports from DigiTimes suggest that these next-gen Pros will be announced this September, around the same time that Apple is also expected to announce its next iPhone.
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, the next-gen MacBook Pros are expected to get 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.
The return of the HDMI port and SD card slot.
Apple is very much still committed to USB-C, but the new MacBook Pros could bring back two things that professionals really want: an HDMI port and SD card reader. Both were taken away when Apple made the big push to USB-C several years ago (in 2016, to be exact), but Kuo is predicting that Apple will bring both back to cater towards professional photographers and video creators.
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 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 M-series MacBook Pros. The most recent, entry-level M-series MacBook Pro still has the Touch Bar.
The latest reports suggest that Apple could be skipping out on giving its higher-end MacBook Pros the M1 chip altogether — and instead jump right to a M2 chip. According to Nikkei, Apple has already started production of these M2 processing chipsets. It's unclear what performance and efficiency enhancements this next-generation chipset will have over M1, which is not even a year old, but we could be seeing the first glimpses of the M2 chipset as early as this July (when these MacBook Pros are expected to be released).
The next-gen MacBook Air could be a game changer, too.
The latest report by Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac) suggests that the next-generation of MacBook Airs, which Apple is expected to release in mid-2022, will have a Mini LED display. This is the same display technology that is used in the most recent M1 iPad Pros, which delivers improved contrast and colors (without the worry of burn-in, like OLED). It's likely that this MacBook Air will be thinner and lighter, as well as have Apple's next-gen M-series (M2?) processor.