MacBook Pro 2021 M1X could launch in August, claims leaker

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The 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) with Apple's new M1X chip is one of the most hotly-anticipated Apple products of the year, and now a known leaker who's been right (and wrong) in the past says it could arrive as early as this August.

The release of a new 16-inch MacBook Pro is a big deal because it's one of the last MacBook models still awaiting an Apple silicon upgrade. Now that we've seen what the inclusion of M1 can do to boost the performance of hardware like the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 and the MacBook Air with M1, it's hard not to get excited about what improvements Apple could make to the venerable 16-inch Pro.

MacBook Pro M1X possible release date

This week, LeaksApplePro published a tweet claiming to have heard from a source that Apple plans to release "at least one model" of new MacBook Pro in week 31. If that's accurate, it's likely referring to the 16-inch MacBook Pro; but it could also refer to the long-rumored 14-inch MacBook Pro that many expect Apple to also release this year.

As far timing goes, LeaksApplePro claims week 31 refers to the number of weeks in 2021 (rather than say, Apple's fiscal year, which ends in September) and thus puts the potential launch week of the new MacBook Pro(s) as August 2nd through 8th. 

There's good reason to be skeptical of all this prognosticating, though: LeaksApplePro disclaims the prediction in the original tweet, noting that "this is likely to be changed due to the volatility of chips supply. It'll probably be moved forwards or backwards, but this is the 'date' as for today." We should also point out, as WCCFTech has, that this leaker hasn't always been right, further casting doubt on a summer release.

New MacBook Pros: What we're looking for

There are lots of MacBook Pro 16-inch upgrades we'd like to see Apple make: slimmer bezels, a mini-LED display like that on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021, and an M2 chip, which are reportedly in production.

We would hope to see similar features in a 14-inch MacBook Pro, and we expect it to debut at a price of no more than $200 to $300 above the 13-inch Pro's price tag, which currently reads $1,299. It's very possible we could see both a new 16-inch and 14-inch Pro released in the latter half of this year. 

If you want a reason to believe in this latest LeaksApplePro, it supports earlier rumors suggesting Apple would release both laptops at the same time. However, the global chip shortage seems quite likely to make any such plans much trickier to execute.

Alex Wawro
Senior Editor Computing

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.