New MacBook Pro 2021: Release date, price and specs

Return of the Mag!

Apple
(Image credit: Apple)

If you’ve been holding out for Apple's latest line of MacBook Pros, then today has been a very good day, rewarding your patience and showing that good things are sometimes worth waiting for. Indeed, today's October 18 Apple event, dubbed “unleashed,” has given us our first glimpse of Apple's glittering range of supercharged MacBook Pros...and they look to be the most powerful ever, featuring two new blisteringly quick chips and a host of other redesigned features that's sure to win over even more loyal fans.

Given that last year's M1 MacBook Pro models refreshed the devices' internals, users can now finally get their hands on two new MacBook Pros in 14-inch and 16-inch variants that have a visual redesign, as well as an internal one. Following in the footsteps of the redesigned rainbow-colored Apple iMac 24-inch (2021) range that was released all the way back in March, the new MacBook Pros don't just look great, but they have the inner-specs to match those new and beautiful aluminum looks.

New MacBook Pro 2021: 14-inch an 16-inch models

Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's second Autumnal event has roared into view dizzyingly quickly, with the September showcase seeming to be barely in the rearview mirror. That showcase gave us a plethora of new Apple products, including the iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, and plenty of new iPad hardware.

This second event has gone even further than the first: Apple has just unveiled two all-new MacBook Pro models with a notch cutout at the top for cameras. The new MacBook Pro models debut, as expected, in the 14-inch and 16-inch sizes, which had been tipped by various internet speculators over the past year. Design-wise, the new MacBook Pros are thinner and lighter, including thermal capabilities with fans that move 50% more air. Quite frankly, both the machines are jaw-droppingly good looking. This is especially true of the 14-inch model, which appears to be an absolute powerhouse of a machine based on what you can pack into its tiny chassis. 

In terms of battery, Apple says that users will get 17 hours of video watching for the 14-inch model and 21 hours of video watching with the 16-inch model, which would represent serious levels of digital endurance to keep you online throughout the day. As for charging capabilities, each device offers fast charging compatibility, which promises 50 percent of charge in 30 minutes.

New MacBook Pro 2021: Display and Connectivity

Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

Connectivity wise, there's lots of BIG changes. In short: the much-loathed Touch bar has gone. Good riddance! Conversely, the Function Keys are back in town, plus there's an influx of side ports, with an HDMI port, Thunderbolt 4 (three in total), an SD card slot, and a Headphone Jack all reporting for duty. And...MagSafe charging is back, which we couldn't be happier about, as we feel it should never have left the MacBook Pro. It seems Apple has now finally come round to this same line of thinking.

Both laptops sport much slimmer bezels, hyper-attractive Mini-LED displays, and a 1080p camera. The new models feature the company's ProMotion technology found on the iPad Pro and iPhone 13 Pro devices. As had been predicted for some time, too, the Mini LED display technology would have been a glaring omission, but Apple has come through with the goods. 

New MacBook Pro 2021: M1 Pro and M1 Max Chips

Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

In our Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) review, we adored the 2020 update so much that we awarded it the hyper-prestigious five out of five golden stars. Such high praise could in part be attributed to Apple's in-house M1 chip, which overhauled Apple's previous reliance on Intel, and made it a truly stellar choice for anyone needing the extra horsepower when traveling and working. 

Well, now Apple has announced two brand new chips and they look like they will smoke anything that stands in their way. Behold, the all-new M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets, for high-end MacBook Pro laptops. Though we initially tipped the MacBook Pros to contain an upgraded Apple Silicon chip, we thought it might be possibly known as M2 or M1X. That theory has been well and truly blown out of the water with these previously unheard-of chips. Apple says they're “completely reimagined,” and we certainly believe them. 

The  Apple M1 Pro chip contains a 10-core CPU, which Apple says is 70% faster than its current M1 chip. That's a humungous uptick in performance. If that wasn't enough, the M1 Max chip debuts as an even more powerful version of the M1 and the M1 Pro. Boasting a 32-core graphics processor and 57 billion transistors, Apple said its graphics processor "compares favorably to current laptop GPUs, especially when using less power."

Luke Wilson
Luke Wilson

Luke covers all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets)