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MacBook Pro 2021 models may borrow a feature from the new iPad Pro — and ports are coming back

iPad Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

The rumors regarding both a new 14-inch MacBook Pro and a refreshed 16-inch MacBook Pro have been swirling for some time now. And with Apple's 'Spring Loaded' event behind us, the rumor mill is ready to move back to Apple's forthcoming laptops.

Today we saw new evidence from a Trendforce report indicating that both laptops will feature mini LED displays, while schematics allegedly stolen from an Apple supplier, seem to confirm that these laptops will feature the return of a number of ports that have been long missing from Apple's laptops (via MacRumors).

The mini LED display rumors will come as no surprise, yesterday we saw the new iPad Pro 2021 launch with a mini LED panel on the 12.9-inch model that Apple is calling "Liquid Retina XDR." Marketing language aside the display sounds amazing and going all the way back to March of last year Ming-Chi Kuo predicted it would find its way into the 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

It's a safe bet that Apple will keep the XDR branding rolling on these displays. Although the technology used in the Pro Display XDR and the new iPad Pro differ, it seems that Apple is focusing on the brightness and the one million to one contrast ratio as the defining features of an XDR display.

Perhaps even more exciting than a gorgeous new display is the thought of not having to carry around quite as many dongles with your Apple laptop. The second rumor making the rounds has lots to say there. While they haven't released the actual schematics, MacRumors reports that they show an HDMI port, USB Type-C/Thunderbolt and an SD card reader on the right side. On the left, are two more USB Type-C/Thunderbolt and a MagSafe charging slot.

Every time we hear about the 14.1-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro, it sounds like wish fulfillment for fans of high-end Apple laptops. But given the varied sources that continue to confirm these details, it is hard not to believe them. Both laptops are expected to arrive in the second half of 2021, but a firm release date is one thing we don't have for these laptops yet.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.