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MacBook Pro 2021 could get a big webcam upgrade

MacBook Pro 2021
(Image credit: Intel)

MacBook webcams have been stuck at 720p for quite some time, but according to one leaker that’s set to change with the MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 and MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021 models. 

In fact, it’s not just the MacBook Pro that will be getting the upgrade, the leaker reckons. “The entire Mac lineup” will be getting an upgrade to 1080p, according to @dylandkt, the tipster who correctly called the presence of M1 chips in the 2021 iPad Pro.

Coming off the back of a year where remote working became far more normal due to the pandemic, the clarity of computer webcams and microphones is suddenly all-important. Indeed, in the early days of coronavirus, the best webcams, best microphones and other products for working from home spiked in price as people tried to make their home offices meeting-ready.

While the virus seems, thankfully, to be in retreat in some countries, there are plenty of workplaces that will be sticking to either a fully remote or hybrid setup in the future; indeed, Apple is one such company. Improved Mac camera performance is therefore the kind of upgrade that could sway many people looking to buy the best laptops

If @dylandkt's tweet is correct — and it’s important to view this as a rumor, rather than confirmed at this point — it wouldn’t be the first Mac to have received a 1080p upgrade. The new and colorful 24-inch iMac also got an upgrade to its camera, and it was one of the things we were most impressed with.

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Our senior editor Alex Wawro “had a hard time getting it to deliver a bad image” over the course of his iMac 2021 review. “During the course of several video calls the iMac delivered consistently great image quality, with accurate colors and enough clarity that I could pick out bits of dust and fuzz clinging to my shirt,” he wrote.

Other than the additional expense of a quality lint roller to remove the spectre of HD dust, a similar upgrade for the MacBook Pro would certainly be welcome. Given other rumors around the new MacBooks point to them possibly getting mini-LED screens, more ports, the return of MagSafe charging and the new Apple M1X chip, it could be a substantial upgrade all round.

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro are both on schedule to enter production in Q3, which means they could potentially debut alongside the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch 7 in September. 

That said, the company may be wary of announcing too much at the same time, and may hold the laptops back until October or November in order to give them their own moment in the limelight. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.