We know the MacBook Pro will adopt a new heart in the form of a custom ARM-based processor, but now it looks like the upcoming laptop could get a full-blown makeover.
We wouldn't normally read into rumors about MacBook redesigns, after all, Apple has been content to release the same chassis year after year. But this one is different as it comes from respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a convincing track record when it comes to predicting Apple products.
- Best MacBooks in 2021
- MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro: Which should you buy?
- MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review
As spotted by Mac Rumors, Kuo says the upcoming MacBook Pro 2021 could take design elements from the iPhone 12. More specifically, it could abandon the curved edges for flatter, squared-off ones, similar to those found on the latest iPhone 12 models.
"In terms of casing design, the new models cancel the curvy design of existing models' top and bottom parts and adopt a flat-edged form factor design similar to the iPhone 12," Kuo said.
If Apple does go this direction, the MacBook Pro would echo the iPad Pro and iPad Air, both of which have flat edges. Now, you might be thinking, "Doesn't the MacBook Pro already have flat sides?" And you'd be correct — where many laptops have rounded edges, the MacBook flaunts straight lines. However, the top and bottom of the notebook are slightly convex, having just the slightest outward bulge, and the corners are rounded.
That could change with the upcoming model if it adopts a flat, square top and bottom panel. Of course, it's possible that Apple sticks with the same aging design. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman wouldn't be surprised; he says the MacBook Pros will "look similar" to other current models after receiving only "minor design changes." It's not clear if the updates proposed by Kuo would fall into this category.
MacBook Pro 2021 specs and features
Regardless, we know for sure that the MacBook Pro will receive plenty of under-the-hood updates, including a refreshed Apple Silicon chip. Apple is expected to finally update the 16-inch MacBook Pro along with the 13-inch MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt ports though the latter could expand to a 14-inch display.
Other rumored changes include the possibility of a miniLED display, which would deliver a brighter screen with higher contrast than the current ones. Apple is also said to be having a change of heart with the Touch Bar and could replace the divisive feature with standard function keys. MagSafe charging could arrive along with more ports and the return of the SD card reader.
If you've followed Apple over the years then this all might sound strange to you because, at least based on recent rumors, the company is listening to customers, and could backtrack on ideas that haven't panned out. As crucial as these updates could be to regaining goodwill after the Butterfly keyboard debacle, they could also make the upcoming MacBook Pro one of the best laptops ever released.
Stay in the know with Laptop Mag
Get our in-depth reviews, helpful tips, great deals, and the biggest news stories delivered to your inbox.
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.