MacBook Pro redesign coming later this year will boot the divisive Touch Bar

Apple is set to launch a major redesign of the MacBook Pro later this year, according to two prominent analysts, both of whom have strong reputations in the field.

The design overhaul is set to be wide-ranging in its scope. According to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it will feature squared-off edges much like the iPhone 12, the return of MagSafe magnetic charging and a wider variety of ports, Apple Silicon chips with no Intel options, and the removal of the Touch Bar. There will be two size options: 14 inches and 16 inches, with the former replacing the current 13-inch model. Both sizes will come out in the third quarter of 2021.

The Touch Bar has been a divisive inclusion since its debut in 2016. Although there are apps that can improve it, the Touch Bar has never really found its purpose. According to Kuo, it will be replaced by traditional function keys, which will surface on a MacBook Pro for the first time in five years.

Apple has stuck resolutely with USB-C (and nothing else) on its MacBooks for years, but Kuo’s report says changes are coming to the port layout. Not only will the magnetic MagSafe charging port apparently make a return, but Kuo says there will be a larger range of ports for your peripherals, meaning less need for MacBook adapters and dongles, although he does not go into detail about what the ports will be.

Better processors and displays coming soon

Kuo is not the only analyst to shed some light on the upcoming MacBook Pro. Reporter Mark Gurman, whose Apple rumor track record is even stronger than Kuo’s, has also chimed in, saying the new MacBooks are due out in mid-2021.

Gurman goes into a bit more detail on the next-generation Apple Silicon chips the new Macs will be outfitted with. He claims that the new chips will have “more cores and enhanced graphics.” This follows a previous report that claimed Apple was working on its own chips with as many as 32 cores. Apple’s M1 processor has received a near-rapturous reception, so it will be interesting to see what else the company has in the works.

The report from Gurman backs up a few of Kuo’s claims, namely that Apple is considering ditching the Touch Bar, bringing back MagSafe, and offering a wider selection of ports. Gurman also adds a few other details of his own, namely that the upcoming MacBook Pro models will feature improved displays with “brighter, higher-contrast panels.” Apple’s Macs already come with excellent screens, so this will be good news for anyone who needs the utmost in display quality.

Finally, Gurman offers a tidbit on future MacBook Air models, claiming Apple has a redesigned version of the lightweight laptop up its sleeve. He notes, however, that this is not expected to come out until “long after” the MacBook Pro redesign.

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