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Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro features a new chip, better screen, and a camera notch

The new MacBook Pro also removes the infamous Touch Bar.

both sizes of 2021 mac macbook pro models
Image: KnowTechie

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Apple’s Event today was all about the newly redesigned MacBook Pro range. The rumors were right, with both 14- and 16-inch versions of the MacBook Pro being added to the range. Apple also announced a bunch of features that weren’t in the rumors, so read on.

Both models add a notch to the screen, and those screens now support ProMotion with refresh rates up to 120Hz. They’re also mini LED, and XDR, which can sustain 1000 nits of brightness or 1600 nits of peak brightness. That notch holds a 1080p camera with a larger image sensor and 2x better low light performance.

Apple’s also added a six-speaker sound system that supports spatial audio, with two tweeters and four woofers; and a studio-quality, three-mic array.

2021 macbook pro specs
Image: Apple

The Touch Bar is gone, replaced by physical F-buttons again, and Apple actually added ports this time around. Now you get three Thunderbolt 4 ports, MagSafe, an SD card slot, and HDMI. Oh, and the 3.5mm headphone jack is still there, and can now support high impedance headphones.

And yes, the cooling system has been redesigned to move 50 percent more air at low speeds, but you’ll probably never hear the fans based on my use of my M1 MacBook Pro.

2021 macbook pro
Image: KnowTechie

The new MacBook Pro models are powered by one of two redesigned ARM-powered Apple chips, both built on the 5nm process the previous M1 chip was on:

  • M1 Pro: Twice the transistors of the M1 chip. Eight high-performance cores, two efficiency cores, 16 GPU cores. Twice the graphics performance of the M1 chip. 200 GB/s memory bandwidth, up to 32GB of memory
  • M1 Max: 10 core CPU, 32 GPU cores, GPU is four times as fast as the M1. 400 GB/s memory bandwidth, up to 64GB of memory

That level of power still gives you tons of battery life, up to 21 hours on the 16-inch model and up to 17 hours on the 14-inch model thanks to the high efficiency of the ARM cores. You can pick up to 8TB of SSD storage, expect to empty your wallet for those though.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 and the 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,499. You can order today, with availability next week, both in silver and space gray. Oh, and the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro is still staying in the lineup.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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