Apple is reportedly planning two major changes in the 2021 edition of the Macbook Pro laptop. According to a research note by TF International Securities analyst, Ming-chi Kuo, 2021 will mark the first major redesign of the Macbook Pro since it was launched back in 2016. Kuo reported that Apple will be dropping the Touch Bar from the next version of the Macbook Pro, while also bringing back the MagSafe charging port. Of course, the laptop will also run on the new ARM-based M1 chip, which Apple unveiled late last year. The company has said it will be fully transitioning to the new M1 chips on its laptops and PCs over the next two years.
According to the reports, the OLED Touch Bar will be replaced by a row of physical function keys, something many Apple users have asked for a while now. The change will likely make Apple more friends than enemies. While the company had marketed the usefulness of the touchbar initially, critics and users alike, have found little usefulness from it. Kuo also said the 2021 edition of the Macbook Pro will have a wider selection of ports, meaning you’ll need fewer dongles with this device.
Further, the reports indicate that the new Macbook Pro will be available in 14-inch and 16-inch variants, both running on an ARM processor. The devices are expected in the third quarter of next year and Apple should be ready with a new version of the M1 chip too, by then. According to Kuo, the new Macbook Pro will use a heat pipe, like the one seen on Apple’s current Intel-powered Macbook Pro.
This could mean two things. Either Apple is expecting that much more power from the next version of the M1 chip, or the company wants to provide extra thermal headroom in order to provide sustained performance for longer. The primary difference between the M1-powered Macbook Air and Macbook Pro right now is the fact that the Pro has a fan built in, which allows the processor to remain at higher clock speeds for longer periods. Using better cooling techniques could allow high performance clock speeds to be sustained for longer.
The Macbook Pro, of course, is targeted towards the creator community so sustained performance is the order of the day.