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MacBook Pro 2021 will reportedly kill Touch Bar, revive MagSafe — and offer more ports

MacBook Pro 16-Inch
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A redesigned MacBook Pro could see Apple bring back the much-loved MagSafe charger and ditch the divisive Touch Bar at the same time.

This news comes from long-time Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) and corroborated by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, both of whom have such a redesigned MacBook Pro tipped for a release in the third quarter of 2021. 

This is big news, and not just because the MacBook Pro’s design has stayed the same since the launch of the Touch Bar in 2016. MagSafe was one of the MacBook’s better selling points, but it vanished when Apple switched all the ports to USB-C. 

A new MagSafe arrived with the iPhone 12 last year, but it was a very different beast — relying on Qi wireless charging rather than the break-away power cables of the old MacBooks.

The only question is how different the MacBook’s MagSafe will be compared to the iPhone 12’s version. According to Gurman, it will be similar to the pill-shaped design of the old MagSafe connectors, and will connect to the MacBook’s charging port. 

MacBook Pro 2021: Now with more ports

According to Kuo, the new MacBook Pro’s loss of the Touch Bar will see the return of physical keys, and he also believes there will be a wider range of ports to reduce the need for dongles. 

That’s right, maybe your next MacBook won’t insist on doing everything through USB-C, though it will still be present in some form. He also predicts that the new MacBooks will be available in 14-inch and 16-inch options, and won’t be available with Intel chips. The latter is understandable given the impressive performance the Apple M1 chip delivers compared to old Intel MacBooks

Gurman adds that the machines will launch around mid-2021, will offer brighter screens, minor design changes, and a next-gen M-Series chip with extra cores and enhanced graphical capabilities.

He also promises that the MacBook Air will be getting a similar treatment, but not until long after the launch of the redesigned MacBook Pro. That’s about all we know right now, though we’ll no doubt be hearing more about the reportedly incoming MacBook Pro range soon. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.