This guide highlights everything we might see during the October event based on the rumors we’ve heard so far.
14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models
It’s been two years since the 16-inch MacBook Pro models were last refreshed, and we’ve been waiting for an update for a long time. We’ve been hearing rumors for several months about significantly redesigned 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, making it one of the most anticipated updates of the year.
Apple is expected to introduce new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with a design update that features the same flat-edged look we’ve seen introduced for the iPhone 13, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and the iPad Air. iPad mini, but on the MacBook Pro, don’t expect the new machines to be too different.
The new MacBooks will have thinner bezels and won’t have the wording “MacBook Pro” at the bottom to save space. In a callback to the MacBook Pros of yesteryear, Apple plans to reintroduce the ports missing from the 2016 refresh. We’re expecting an SD card slot and an HDMI port, which will join the USB-C ports and the headphone jack.
The 2021 machines will also see the return of MagSafe and will include a separate MagSafe charging port that is not too different from the MagSafe port used by Apple for machines prior to 2016. MagSafe technology can bring faster charging speeds than those available with USB-C, but specific details are not yet known. As expected, MagSafe will require a new charging cable design and an updated AC adapter.
Continuing the return to a classic design, the 2021 MacBook Pro models will not have an interactive OLED touch bar, with Apple opting for a standard row of function keys instead.
A last-minute rumor from Weibo suggested that future MacBook Pro models will feature a notch at the top that houses the webcam, which could suggest very thin bezels. This notch, the leaker says, will be similar in size to the iPhone 12’s notch.
This rumor may seem implausible, but looking at the resolutions of the two machines, it is not out of reach. MacBook Pro models feature resolutions of 3024 by 1964 and 3456 by 2234, and if you subtract 74 pixels from the height of the two for the assumed notch, the resulting resolutions of 3024 by 1890 and 3456 by 2160 are equivalent to a height ratio. / width 16:10.
All of Apple’s existing MacBooks feature a 16:10 aspect ratio, so a 74-pixel notch could theoretically occur, but it’s unclear how that would work with the macOS interface. The 74-pixel bar at the top could be used for other purposes than a notch, but we’re not sure what. Along with the notch, the same rumor claims that the entire keyboard area of the new MacBook Pro is black rather than just the keys, and the newer machines will be thicker with bigger fans.
When it comes to display technology, Apple is expected to use mini-LEDs, and the MacBook Pro models will be the second Apple devices to offer mini-LED screens after the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Mini-LED technology will allow for a thinner and lighter design, while providing many OLED-like benefits such as improved wide color gamut, high contrast and dynamic range, and truer blacks.
Rumors suggest that 120Hz “ProMotion” refresh rates are also a possibility, although that’s not a sure thing yet. With ProMotion, MacBook Pro models would offer a variable refresh rate. The maximum refresh rate of 120Hz would bring smoother scrolling, gameplay, and other benefits, while at the lower end, a slower refresh rate would save power when high frame rates aren’t. are not necessary, thus preserving battery life.
True 2x retina resolutions also appear to be coming based on display details leaked in a recent macOS Monterey update. The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are expected to feature display resolutions of 3024 x 1964 and 3456 x 2234, respectively.
With the updated 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, Apple will be phasing out Intel chips from the MacBook line. The new machines will be equipped with a faster and more powerful “M1X” chip which builds on the technology introduced with the M1. The M1X is expected to feature a 10-core processor with eight high-performance cores and two power-efficient cores, as well as 16- or 32-core GPU options.
Newer MacBook Pro models are expected to support up to 64GB of RAM, and both may have feature parity due to Apple’s plans to use the same M1X chip for both 14 and 16-inch sizes. Since the two machines will be similar, the price differences between the two sizes will be less pronounced than previous generations. Base models are expected to feature 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage with upgrades available at higher prices.
There is another notable feature that Mac users will be happy to hear about – the webcam improvements. The new machines are said to have an updated 1080p webcam, which would be the first significant webcam improvement introduced in a MacBook. Current models use years-old 720p technology, but the need to improve video quality has grown due to the prevalence of online work over the past two years.
For more on what to expect from the MacBook Pro, we’ve got a dedicated MacBook Pro guide that bundles all the rumors we’ve heard about upcoming machines.
Apple is developing a new version of the AirPods and rumors say they’re good to go, so it’s possible we’ll see an announcement during the October event. That said, we also expected “AirPods” to be introduced in September alongside the new iPhones, which did not happen, so Apple could postpone the launch later in the year as well.
The AirPods 3 are expected to feature a design closer to the AirPods Pro with shorter stems and a redesigned charging case, but they will continue to be available at a more affordable price and will not have high-end features like active deletion. noise . You can find more information on what to expect from AirPods 3 in our dedicated guide.
Apple is working on a high-end version of the Mac mini with an updated design and the same “M1X” chip that should be used in the MacBook Pro, so it’s possible we will see a new Mac mini at the event.
The new machine is rumored to be similar in design to the current Mac mini, but with a smaller footprint and a “plexiglass top” that sits on the aluminum housing. It will feature four Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port, much like current models, but it is expected to switch to the same magnetic power port that Apple first introduced for the past. ’24-inch iMac. .
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said in August that the updated Mac mini will arrive in the “next few months,” which fits well with August. The Mac mini is expected to replace the Intel Mac mini that Apple still sells, and it will be sold alongside the current M1 Mac mini.
MacOS Monterey launch date
iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 all launched in September, but we’re still waiting for macOS Monterey, which Apple continues to beta test.
New versions of macOS often arrive later than other software updates, and during the October event we expect to see a release date. Apple’s next 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will likely ship with macOS Monterey, so the software must launch before them.
In preparation but not yet expected
There are several other devices in development as well, but most of them are slated for 2022. That said, Apple might surprise us or make some early announcements, so we figured these upcoming devices might also be worth a look. be mentioned.
- Macbook Air – Rumor has it that it has a mini LED display, a new Apple silicon chip and several color options, the MacBook Air refresh is expected in 2022.
- ipad air – The next-gen iPad Air may feature an OLED display and pro-level features like 5G connectivity, LiDAR, and new cameras and speakers, but that’s not expected to happen until 2022.
- AirPods Pro – Apple is working on a new version of the AirPods Pro with a rodless design and a new wireless chip, and these could arrive in 2022.
- Bigger iMac – There’s another iMac in the works that has a bigger screen and a faster Apple silicon chip, but little is known about it and it’s not expected in 2021.
- Mac Pro – Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro, one of which will feature a redesigned smaller chassis. The new Mac Pro models will feature premium Apple silicon chip options with 20 or 40 compute cores, consisting of 6 or 32 high-performance cores and four or eight high-efficiency cores. We don’t yet know when the new Mac Pro models will arrive.
How to watch
The “Unleashed” event will begin on Monday, October 18 at 10:00 am PT. Apple will broadcast the event live on its website and on YouTube.
For those who cannot watch, MacRumors will have live coverage of the event both on MacRumors.com and through our Compte Twitter MacRumorsLive.