New MacBook Pro and MacBook Air said to arrive this year with massive upgrades

MacBook Pro 16-inch back
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Apple will reportedly release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models as early as this summer, according to a Bloomberg report citing "people familiar with the matter." 

The report says new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will launch with redesigned chassis, magnetic MagSafe charging, and more ports including additional Thunderbolt inputs along with an HDMI port and SD card slot. Not mentioned is a USB Type-A input. They will also come with up to 64GB of RAM instead of maxing out at 16GB like the current MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

New MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

The new MacBook Pro models could launch as early as this summer, arriving before a new MacBook Air, low-end MacBook Pro (a refresh of the current model with M1) and a Mac Pro desktop. Among these wholesale changes in Apple's computing fleet is a new higher-end Mac mini desktop and a larger iMac, new versions of products that already use the M1 chip.  

According to the report, Apple will launch these laptops and desktops with a new in-house chip that "greatly outpaces the performance and capabilities" of the M1. On the laptop side, the processors will come in two flavors called Jade C-Chop and Jade C-Die. Both chips have eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficiency cores for a total of 10 compute cores; one will have 16 graphics cores while another variant will have 32 GPU cores. 

As Apple explained when it launched the M1, the performance cores are used for intensive tasks like photo and video editing, 3D rendering and engineering tasks. The energy-efficiency cores take care of everyday jobs, like web browsing or streaming music, without eating up as much energy. 

The MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro are planned to be released as early as the end of this year with an updated M1 processor. The chip will use the same number of cores (eight CPU, seven GPU) as the current one but with faster performance. The graphics cores will go from either seven or eight to nine or 10 in the new version. 

New Mac mini and Mac Pro

Also in the works is a more premium Mac mini that will use the same chip as the next MacBook Pro. It will have four ports instead of two, making it the high-end version of Apple's compact desktop in the same way the four-port MacBook Pro is a more capable version of the two-port model. Bloomberg says the Mac mini could be delayed or canceled but will eventually launch to replace the current Intel model. 

Shaping up to be the most powerful Mac is a redesigned Mac Pro with a chip that uses either 20 or 40 computing cores, comprised of 16 or 32-high performance cores and four or eight high-efficiency cores. Graphics cores could max out at 64 or 128 cores. The desktop has reportedly been in the works for several months and will look like a small version of the 2019 model.

Bloomberg says Apple will be ready to complete its move away from Intel as early as 2022 though the Cupertino giant will continue to use an Intel part that powers the USB-C and Thunderbolt ports.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.