Friday , March 5 2021

Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro laptops: new M2 chip, and MagSafe is back

Apple plans to upgrade MacBook Pro laptops this year with much faster processors, updated monitors and the return of its MagSafe magnetic charger, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.

The new laptops are planned to come in two screen sizes: a 14-inch model with code name J314 and a 16-inch version internally named J316.

Both will use next-generation versions of Apple’s internal Mac processor, upgraded with more cores and improved graphics, the person said, asking not to name them because the products have not yet been announced.

Make room for the M2

These devices mark Apple’s first high-end laptops to move away from Intel components. The company updated its base 13-inch MacBook Pro with its own M1 chip in November, for wide positive reviews.

In addition to the more powerful chips, Apple also plans to enhance the displays in its new MacBook Pros with lighter panels with higher contrast, the person said.

The new Macs will be similar to current versions, albeit with minor design changes. Apple plans to launch the new MacBook Pros by the middle of the year.

An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

MagSafe is back

A big change for the new computers will be how they charge. For the past five years, Apple has relied on USB-C ports for both power and data transfer on its laptops, making them compatible with chargers from other manufacturers.

But the company is now bringing back MagSafe, the magnetic power adapter that means accidentally ripping the power cable simply disconnects it from the laptop instead of the entire computer.

It was a favorite feature of the company’s portable PC lineup, which was first introduced in 2006 and finally breathed new life into its latest lineup of iPhones.

Returning to MagSafe with the next MacBook Pros will also allow these laptops to charge faster, the person said. The connection will be similar to the elongated pill shape of the older MagSafe port.

Despite moving USB-C to charging, Apple will still include more USB-C ports on its future Macs.

In developing its next set of Mac laptops, Apple has also tested versions that remove the Touch Bar from its laptop keyboard.

The Touch Bar, introduced as part of the latest MacBook Pro redesign in 2016, transforms the top row of keyboard function keys into a touchscreen strip that can display a variety of information and a changing set of controls to to adapt to apps and tasks.

Some professional users have said that they found that control scheme less convenient than physical keys

Apple also plans to make a revamped MacBook Air, but that is not expected to be released until long after the next MacBook Pros.

New desktops on the way

In addition to the new laptops, Apple is aiming for a reboot for its iMac and Mac Pro desktop and a cheaper external monitor.

The iMac redesign will be one of the biggest visual updates for any Apple product this year, according to people familiar with the company’s route map.

The new iMac models will reduce the thick black edges around the screen and eliminate the large metal king area in favor of a design similar to Apple’s Pro Display XDR monitor, with a flat back that extends away from the curved back of the current iMac,

Powered by next-generation versions of Apple’s Mac processors, the all-in-one systems will arrive in two versions – codenamed J456 and J457 – to replace the existing 21.5-inch and 27-inch models later this year. , said the people and asked not to identify because the products are not yet advertised.

Although much of the computer industry focuses on laptops, the iMac remains an important part of Apple’s portfolio.

The first iMac, launched in 1998, has been described as helping bankruptcy to Apple and paving the way for it to eventually become the most valuable company. The all-in-one desktop line is also key for professionals and consumers looking for large screens at relatively affordable prices.

Return of the Cube

Apple is also working on a few new Mac Pro desktops, their most expensive Macs not included with a screen, people said.

One version is a direct update to the current Mac Pro and will continue to use the same design as the version launched in 2019. Apple has discussed continuing to use Intel processors for that model instead of going for its own chips.

However, the second version will use Apple’s own processors and be less than half the size of today’s Mac Pro.

The design will have a mostly aluminum exterior and may evoke nostalgia for the Power Mac G4 Cube, a smaller version of the Power Mac, an earlier iteration of the Mac Pro.

As part of its revamped Mac desktop efforts, Apple is beginning early development of a cheaper external monitor to sell alongside the Pro Display XDR. Apple’s current monitor debuted in 2019 and costs US $ 5,000 – in front of factoring in the US $ 1,000 stand.

The cheaper monitor would have a screen that is more focused on consumer than professional use and would not have the brightness and contrast ratio of the top-tier offering. Apple last launched a consumer monitor called Thunderbolt Display in 2011 for $ 999, but discontinued it in 2016.

This article is published under the license of Bloomberg Media: the original article can be viewed here

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