MacBook Pro 2021: finally all problems solved

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The era of the Touch Bar and USB-C hubs is over. Apple tonight announced the MacBook Pro 2021 with an all-new design, vastly improved screen, returned ports, and super-fast M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. We list everything about the MacBook Pro 2021 release.

New look, old connections

The 2021 MacBook Pro is the model’s first major redesign since 2016. It now features the same flattened edges you see on other recent Apple products. It has also become somewhat thicker, partly due to the content of these edges: you will find all kinds of connections here that had previously disappeared. MagSafe has returned as MagSafe 3, as well as HDMI and an SD card reader. So you will no longer need USB-C hubs for most of the devices you connect.

Also interesting: the Touch Bar has disappeared with the new design. Instead, the function keys have returned, in a bigger form than ever. Although the keyboard has become larger as a result, the trackpad is not significantly smaller. That’s because the MacBook Pro 2021 is a bit deeper than the previous model, which means there is extra space.

Totally new display

The MacBook Pro screen has also been redesigned. It now has much thinner bezels, giving the smaller model a slightly larger screen of 14.2 inches. The aspect ratio is also slightly different: it used to be about 16:10, and is now about 3:2. In addition, there is now a so-called ‘notch’, or a notch at the top of the screen. This includes the 1080p camera module, just like on the iPhone X and newer.

But there is also innovation within the borders. The MacBook Pro 2021 has a so-called mini LED screen, which we saw earlier with the iPad Pro 2021. With this screen technology, you have many small lighting zones behind the screen, which can be turned on or off individually. This gives you a much better contrast and higher brightness (1000 nits).

In addition, there is now support for ProMotion, which makes the screen refresh twice as fast (120 Hz). This makes everything on your screen feel smoother. At the same time, ProMotion uses less power for the screen, because the refresh rate is automatically reduced where possible.

M1 Pro: an M1 with extra muscle power

The MacBook Pro 2021 is powered by a new processor: the M1 Pro. This is a faster version of the M1 that Apple announced last year. This is also the first time that the larger 16-inch model has made the switch to an Apple Silicon processor.

The M1 Pro has 10 cores, 8 of which are so-called performance cores. The other two are weaker efficiency cores, which are intended to perform simple tasks without using a lot of energy. With the M1, the distribution is very different: it has 8 cores, of which only half are performance cores. The M1 Pro is also available as an 8-core variant in the 14-inch model.

Faster GPU and more memory

In addition to the larger amount of fast cores, the M1 Pro has a much improved video chip. It now has up to 16 cores, where the M1 only had eight. As a result, the new MacBook Pro has twice the graphics power, which makes a big difference, especially for video editing and 3D programs. Unlike with M1, you can also control multiple external screens with M1 Pro.

You can also get more RAM on the new MacBook Pro. The M1 Pro has 16GB of memory as standard, and you can expand it up to 32GB. This memory is also much faster than with the M1.

M1 Max: the superlative

There is also another option: the M1 Max chip. Yes, two new processors at once: Apple is going ‘all out’ this year.

The M1 Max is an even more powerful chip than the already super fast M1 Pro. Just like the M1 Pro, it has 10 cores, standard 32GB (even faster) memory that is expandable up to 64GB, and up to 32 graphics cores. This makes it the most extreme version of the M1 architecture. So this is the chip for those who want ultimate performance.

MacBook Pro 2021 release and price

The MacBook Pro 2021 replaces the existing Intel variant and can be ordered from today on Apple’s website. There are many options with different amounts of cores. We have listed them all:

MacBook Pro 14.2-inch:

  • M1 Pro – 8-core CPU and 14-core GPU: from €2249
  • M1 Pro – 10-core CPU and 14-core GPU: from €2479
  • M1 Pro – 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU: from €2519
  • M1 Max – 10-core CPU and 24-core GPU: from €3209
  • M1 Max – 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU: from €3439

MacBook Pro 16.2-inch:

  • M1 Pro – 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU: from €2749
  • M1 Max – 10-core CPU and 24-core GPU: from €3439
  • M1 Max – 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU: from €3619
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