MacBook Pro 2021 reportedly entering production soon, new mini-LED iPad Pro on the way

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If you've been holding out for the new MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 or new MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021, we have good news. In his latest investment note, seen by MacRumors, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the new MacBook Pros are still on track for this year.

And based on all of the rumored upgrades for these new Apple laptops, it seems like they'll be worth the wait. Plus, the next iPad Pro 11-inch is tipped to get a mini-LED display. 

2021 MacBook Pro is on track 

According to Kuo's note, the section dedicated to the MacBook Pro explains that Apple is on schedule to begin mass production of both the redesigned 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops in the third quarter of the year, which runs from July to September. 

While a Q3 production could mean the laptops are ready to launch alongside the iPhone 13 in September, Kuo believes that Apple could choose to have a separate event for computer hardware in October or November in order to give the new handsets and Apple Watch 7 some breathing space.

The 2021 MacBook Pro promises brighter and more colorful mini-LED screens, an HDMI port and SD Card slot, the return of MagSafe charging and the removal of the Touch Bar, alongside the latest version of Apple’s M1X chip. That’s a substantial set of changes over the MacBook Pro 13-inch 2020, which launched last year as the first MacBook Pro to eschew Intel in favor of Apple’s own processor.

 2022 iPad Pro to double down on mini-LED 

The second part of the investor note is focussed a little further into the future, looking at the 2022 iPad Pro. Kuo says that the mini-LED screen technology introduced on this year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be available for the smaller 11-inch model next year, as well as returning for the larger version.

That’s great news for would-be buyers, as the mini-LED technology found on Apple’s most expensive iPad packs over 10,000 LEDs into the screen. Combined with 2,500 local dimming zones, you get picture quality that’s just superb – especially with HDR content.

Of course, there is talk that mini-LED is just a stopgap for Apple, with a rumored OLED iPad Air in 2022, followed by OLED iPad Pros in 2023. There are pros and cons to both screen technologies: while OLED has the advantage that each pixel is individually lit, it can’t get as bright as mini-LED.

Still, if these reports are true, it will be interesting to compare the panels of the iPad Air 5 and the 2022 iPad Pro. It could give us an early indicator on whether Apple is right to embrace OLED in the long run or not.  

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.