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Apple’s new MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 could bring the most significant upgrades in years to a notebook that could use a facelift. And now we’ve learned that a special Apple event is planned for 10 a.m. PT on Monday, October 18th, at which we expect new 2021 MacBooks to be announced.

We anticipate a fresh design centered on flatter edges, thinner display bezels, additional ports, and the new M1X CPU. In addition, we may see the return of MagSafe charging and the demise of the Touch Bar.

The current MacBook Pro M1 has already received high marks from us, but there is still potential for development. So a next-generation MacBook Pro is an enticing idea, one that may see Apple compete with the superb Dell XPS 13 for a spot on our best laptop list.

With that in mind, here’s what we’ve learned so far and what we hope to see from the MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021.

MacBook Pro 2021 14-inch news (updated October 13)

  • Apple’s MacBook Pro 2021 is expected to have a 120Hz mini-LED display, similar to the iPad Pro.
  • Apple will have a special event on Monday, October 18 at 10 a.m. Pacific, and given the event’s theme of “Unleashed,” we expect to see new MacBooks with an updated M1X CPU. Tune in ahead of time to Tom’s Guide for all the latest news as it happens!
  • According to a leaked image, the MacBook Pro will undoubtedly be powered by a new M1X CPU and will be available in 512GB SSD / 16GB RAM configuration.

MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 rumored release date

It appears that the new MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 release date will be announced soon. And a 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021 should be included.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the new MacBook Pros will be available in the coming weeks, maybe at an Apple event in October.

According to a different rumor from Digitimes, the MacBook Pro 2021 release date may be pushed back due to a global chip scarcity. According to the publication, the laptop will be available in the fourth quarter.

MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 M1X chip

Since the initial ARM-based Apple Silicon processor was dubbed the Apple M1, the next generation of this chip is expected to be dubbed the M1X. The rumored Apple M2 CPU is now expected to power the next-generation MacBook Air, which is expected to be unveiled in 2022, with the chip focusing on efficiency rather than raw power.

What distinguishes these chips from the M1? According to Bloomberg’s Gurman, the M1X processor will be “a more graphic-intense and professional-focused M1 chip” with “two variations: both with 10 CPU cores (eight high-performance and two high-efficiency) and either 16 or 32 graphics cores.”

According to another source, Apple is working on a 20-core Apple Silicon CPU for its 2021 Macs. This is a major improvement over the company’s current 8-core (4 high-performance, 4 high-efficiency) CPUs.

The 20-core device would feature up to 16 high-performance cores, while Apple is said to be testing models with only 8 or 12 high-performance cores active. Any faults uncovered during production might influence the decision to disable cores.

Another rumor claims that Apple has ordered a new M2 processor for use in its next-generation MacBooks. It is planned to use a 4-nanometer process node, which will result in a greater improvement in performance but not at the expense of power efficiency. That chip might be the previously rumored 20-core model or something else different.

According to one report, the future MacBooks may get a software boost as well, with a probable new high power mode in the current edition of macOS 12 Monterey. This would provide extra performance when needed, even when unplugged.

MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 display

Yes, this model appears to be the end of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, as Kuo and Gurman’s rumors only mention 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros for 2021.

It’s unclear whether Apple will modify the chassis of the smaller MacBook Pro to accommodate the larger display, or if the bezels will be trimmed to allow for additional screen space. According to Gurman, the latter is the goal for the MacBook Air 2021.

According to the newest rumors, the MacBook Pro 2021 would include a 120Hz refresh rate mini-LED display, which would be a significant upgrade from the present MacBook Pros’ 60Hz LCD panels and Retinal displays.

If the leaks and rumors are true, the switch from LCD to mini-LED screens will result in brighter and greater contrast displays on the next-generation MacBook Pro. A refresh rate of 120Hz would also make browsing across web pages and apps, as well as working in production software, feel considerably smoother than before.

Two new display resolutions were discovered during a thorough dive into the newest macOS Monterey beta. We may assume that these are for the MacBook Pro 2021 14-inch and MacBook Pro 2021 16-inch because they have never been seen before. The values specified were “3456 x 2234 Retina” and “3024 x 1964 Retina,” and while we don’t know which resolution matches the reported next-generation MacBook Pro, both translate to roughly 250 pixels per inch density, making the panels sharper than prior MacBook Pros.

MacBook Pro 14-inches 2021 Price

This is all dependent on whether or not the $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 from last year remains available. If this is the case, the 14-inch MacBook Pro will most likely start at roughly $200 to $300 more. However, if the current 13-inch MacBook Pro is discontinued, we expect Apple to maintain the $1,299 entry-level price.

For a few years now, Apple has maintained the same pricing for its entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro at roughly $1,299, a price cut from the prior $1,799 figure. Tipster Luke Miani, on the other hand, predicts that Apple will sell an M1X-equipped 14-inch MacBook Pro for $1,799.

MacBook Pro 14-inches 2021 Specs

More memory and storage are on the way. The Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro has a maximum storage capacity of 4TB and 32GB of RAM, and Apple is likely to equal those figures, as the 14-inch MacBook Pro 2021 would fill that position in the range. However, the next-generation MacBook will have higher entry-level specs; according to tipster Luke Miani, Apple will ship the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro 2021 with an M1X chip with a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, plus 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, with the option to upgrade to a 32-core GPU and 32 GB of RAM.

Those specifications were supported by a recent leak allegedly revealing a DVT (design validation test) unit that described the MacBook Pro as having an M1X processor, 512GB NVMe SSD, and 16GB of unified RAM.

Expect a slightly higher-resolution screen, up from the current entry-level MacBook Pro’s 13-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel specifications.

According to another rumor, the 14-inch MacBook Pro will include a 1080p webcam, SD card reader, three Thunderbolt USB C ports, an upgraded MagSafe port, and an HDMI port.

MacBook Pro 14-inches 2021 design

So, here’s where things get really interesting — with the MacBook Pro’s much-needed overhaul.

We’re glad to see the additional speed and an inch of screen, but Kuo adds that “the new models cancel the curving shape of existing models’ top and bottom parts and adopt a flat-edged form factor design akin to the iPhone 12.” This design language was introduced with the iPhone 4, and it can also be found in the iPad Pro and iPad Air. According to Gurman’s assessment, “the new Macs will look similar to the existing models, although with slight design tweaks.”

We also have some exciting news for those who want more ports. According to Gurman, Apple will upgrade the USB-C connectors in the MacBook Pro 2021 by reintroducing the magnetic MagSafe charging port. This cable, which was dropped when the 2016 MacBook Pro moved to USB-C charging, snaps off with a bit of tension since it connects largely by magnets rather than a port-head being deeply seated in the entrance point. This shift was also reflected in Kuo’s most recent report. Apple will retain USB-C connections in the MacBook Pro, although they may not be powered.

HDMI is also rumored to be making a comeback. So, is the USB-C adaptor period coming to an end? We’ll see what happens. One of the most interesting rumors, though, is the reappearance of the SD card reader. Apple removed it from MacBooks in 2016, choosing instead for an all-USB-C port lineup. That wasn’t ideal for photographers or video editors, but Apple appears to be reconsidering that decision by including a fast UHS-II SD card reader.

The SD memory card reader will be back in the MacBook Pro, according to Gurman. This is a triumph for both professional photographers and USB-C hub detractors. According to Kuo, the MacBook Pro 2021 would have “more forms of I/O, and most consumers may not need to purchase additional dongles.”

Gurman and Kuo also claimed that the MacBook Pro’s OLED Touch Bar display strip will be removed. Apple looks to be finally conceding that this panel isn’t being used as much as the firm would like. Separate analyst research by Display Supply Chain Consultants supports the allegation that the Touch Bar is on its way out. According to the research, “Touch Bars continue to be the #3 application with an 18% unit share and 1.2 percent revenue share in Q1’21.” “When Apple begins to roll out the 10.9″ AMOLED iPad, we expect tablets to outnumber Touch Bars.” Furthermore, our sources indicate that Apple may discontinue the Touch Bar in the future.”

MacBook Pro 14-inches 2021 touch screen

We’re sorry, but no rumors about a touch screen in the MacBook Pro 2021 have surfaced. And, while some may want one, Apple’s track record shows that it isn’t interesting.

In 2010, Steve Jobs, then-CEO of Apple, termed touch-screen computers “ergonomically horrible,” adding, “We’ve done tonnes of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn’t work.”

And when macOS Big Sur released a significantly revamped macOS with wider buttons in 2020, Apple stuck to its guns. “We had developed and evolved the appearance for macOS in a way that felt most comfortable and natural to us, not remotely contemplating something about touch,” Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, told an interviewer.

MacBook Pro 14-inches 2021 Outlook

There’s a lot of speculation surrounding the MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. However, based on rumors and leaks, the next-generation MacBook Pro is promising, and if it delivers on even a subset of the above rumors, we may be looking at a very amazing laptop.

And it’s a good thing because Windows laptops have been on a roll lately, making Apple’s MacBooks look less appealing than they once did (if you ignore the M1 power Apple brought to the table). However, a redesigned MacBook Pro with a larger display and bespoke silicon power might see Apple return with a bang in the fall.

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