14- and 16-inch displays. Maybe… mini-LED displays! New, retro-future chic designs. Massively multicore M1X processors. Up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of SSD. And ports… USB-C, MagSafe, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, SD… all… the… ports…
It’s what I’ve been waiting for, what so many of us have been waiting for, and it could be coming as soon as next week’s WWDC keynote…
Let’s do this!
Ok, so, ever since the 2018 iPad Pro, Apple’s been going all-in on this iPhone 5-inspired design language, and after assimilating the iPhone 12 and M1 iMac, it sure sounds like it’s coming for the MacBook Pro next. Biggest visual refresh in half a decade. All squared off edges, extruded round rects, and… flat… just flatter than iOS 7 flat. Flat bottom Macs make the rocking chassis calm down flat.
And… That might leave less space inside, but once Apple rips the Intel and AMD out, and replaces them with their own custom silicon, they won’t need anywhere nearly as much space.
Especially if they’re yoting the TouchBar as well. Which, true confessions, I’ll miss as a way of scrubbing tabs and easily accessing shortcuts, but since Apple hasn’t done anything to improve it in the 5 years post-launch, not haptics, not textures, not anything… well, then, it had its chance, and nature and Apple have selected it for extinction. RIP.
As for the bezels, Apple already Thanos snapped them in half on the big MacBook Pro, taking it from 15- to 16-inches, so remains to be seen if they’ll whitle the casing down now as well — ratio them even further — or just let it be.
But the 13-inch still needs it’s snapping, still needs to be pushed out to 14-inches in the same or similar-sized frame.
Likewise, those displays are already Retina high density, P3 wide gamut, True Tone dynamic white balancing, and the 16-inch can even be manually switched between 48 and 60Hz, so you can better edit 24 frames per second movies as opposed to 30 frames per second TV…
Which is good… but could be better… As in ProMotion adaptive refresh rate on the iPad Pro better… Which can ramp all the way up to 120hz for smoother than buttery… just Gee smooth scrolling, or down to 24hz for static images.
Would Apple go there? Could Apple go there? No rumors yet. But I want it.
Same for mini-LED, the other edge the iPad Pro currently enjoys.
It provides almost OLED levels of dynamic range and contrast without OLED level issues like off-axis color shifting, where it can look all red or blue at an angle, or lack of consistent brightness, where it can look splotchy when there’s a lot of white on the screen. But, it has its own issues like blooming around bright areas, which is especially wicked obvious in the dark.
Still mini-LED seems more practical, available, and affordable at MacBook display sizes…. So the only question is whether or not Apple will have it ready in time for this year’s models or if it’ll be pushed to next?
And whether or not it’ll be on both the 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro? Because on the iPad Pro, mini-LED only went on the bigger, better able to absorb the $100 price bump, 12.9-inch, not the price-held 11-inch.
Same for the sound systems. Right now the 16-inch is the only MacBook Pro with Apple’s top-of-the-line spatial audio speaker system and studio quality mics. Will the 14-inch finally get the same treatment?
And… yeah… those webcams though… Will Apple stick with 720p like the M1 MacBooks, or will they finally find a way to cram a thick-as-in-thicc 1080p sensor like the M1 iMacs into that ultra-thin lid?
For ports, we’re supposed to be getting HDMI, SD, and don’t call it MagSafe anymore back.
The HDMI could be 2.0 like last November’s M1 Mac mini… or maybe 2.1 like the just-released A12 Apple TV 4K. Would the difference be a big deal to you and your workflow or setup?
The SD slot should be SDXC (UHS-II), just like the M1 Mac mini.
And, MagSafe, which will have to look different than the doc Ok tentacle version on the iMac, but could function similarly, transiting Ethernet over USB on the power brick.
But the Thunderbolt ports… the thunderbolt ports… The big hope here is that we’ll be getting more than the two currently supported on all the M1 models. But maybe not as many as the four on the current higher-end Intel MacBook Pros, because HDMI, MagSafe, and SD
That’ll be great for people who love those specific, soon-to-be static locked in hardware ports… not so great for those pro-est of pros who already dongle different with CFExpress or just want to plug in all the TB3 displays and accessories.
Powering these higher-end MacBooks Pro should be a higher-end version of the M1 chip. An M1X, so to speak. Not an M2, because if Apple holds to pattern, M2 would be the next generation of ultra-low power chip for future MacBook Airs and 24-inch iMacs, not the ultra-high performance version we want for these MacBooks Pro and future iMacs Pro.
And I know some people are worried about the numbers, but just remember Apple released an A12Z in the 2020 iPad Pro after releasing an A13 in the 2019 iPhone 11… and it was fine. No one ran head first into a wall and fell down. Twice.
For the last decade, the number in the name has referred to the silicon architecture generation, not the time stamp on the release date. And X or Z has referred to extra cores, which is what it sounds like we’ll be getting here.
Instead of 4 efficiency cores and 4 performance cores like M1, rumor has it there’ll be 2 efficiency cores and 8 performance cores on M1X. Which… Unless Apple feels like they can nudge the frequencies, each core should be the same speed as M1, there’ll just be twice as many pCores to throw at any given multicore workload.
Likewise, Instead of 8 graphics cores like M1, rumor has it there’ll be 16 or 32 core options. Whether that’s 16 for the 14-inch and up to 32 for the 16-inch — or both options for both sizes — we’ll have to wait and see.
Same with RAM and SSD. Up to 32 GB and 4 TB on the 14-inch and 64 GB and 8 TB on the 16-inch, like the current comparative Intel boxes, or… all options for all sizes. I’ll be your huckleberry and guess the former but you’d love to see the latter.
And then I’m just super curious to see what kind of active cooling system and battery sizes Apple throws at these new pros to balance out sustained performance and battery life with the increased performance levels and power draw. Because damn.
And instead of 16 neural engine cores, rumor has it there’ll be… more or just better there as well.
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