The launch of the M1 chip last year was a smash hit. The 13-inch MacBook Pro and 11-inch MacBook Air both boast much better performance and longer battery lives than their Intel predecessors. Now all eyes are on the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch release date, as it’s likely to be the daddy of the laptop industry.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at all of the rumours circulating around the 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro’s release date and specs and present them in an easy-to-digest format.
M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch rumours
- Release date: Q2 or Q3 2021
- Price: NZD$4,999 (USD$2,799; £2,799)
- Touch Bar? No
M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch release date and price
Apple hasn’t announced an official release date for the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch, but rumours (and history) suggests we’ll see the device launch in Q2 or Q3 2021.
How much will the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch cost?
It’s hard to say how much the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch will cost as new and improved hardware changes can change the price dramatically. The current MacBook Pro costs NZD$4,999 (USD$2,799; £2,799).
The M1 versions of the MacBook Pro 13-inch and MacBook Air 11-inch maintained the same price as their predecessors. If we assume that Apple will continue that trend with the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), and its price will be around NZD$4,999 (USD$2,799; £2,799).
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M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch design
Will the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch have a Touch Bar?
According to one of the most reliable Apple analysts in the world, Ming-chi Kuo says one of the most significant possible changes set to arrive with the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch is the removal of the Touch Bar.
The Touch Bar is a divisive feature among users, with many users complaining that there was a lack of physical controls for volume and brightness (and other things).
Apple has stubbornly stuck with its Touch Bar up until now, though.
According to Kuo, the Touch Bar will be replaced with physical keys with the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) similar to other laptops on the market.
Is MagSafe coming to the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch?
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman – a leading Apple analyst who is seldom wrong about Apple rumours – MagSafe will make a return with the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch.
MagSafe has been used with older MacBooks, the most recent being the 2017 MacBook Air. Apple is familiar with the tech, and it’s likely we’ll be seeing it with the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch.
Rumours suggest that HDMI and SD card readers will return as well, though this would buck the recent trend of MacBooks only having USB-C (Thunderbolt) ports.
Will the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch have an upgraded camera?
Historically, Apple is very good at remedying weaknesses in their previous devices. The MacBook Pro has a poor 720p camera which was a sore point for customers.
This area needs improvement, and we expect Apple will make some changes to the camera on the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch.
However, the upgraded M1 MacBook Pro 13-inch and MacBook Air 11-inch laptops didn’t improve the camera staying at a maximum resolution of 720p. This may just be an area that Apple isn’t too concerned about. Preferring instead to champion the progress it’s made in AI image processing.
How good will the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch screen be?
One of the main reasons we believe the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch won’t release until later in 2021 is because (according to Ming-chi Kuo again) Apple is looking to install mini-LED panels on the screen. Kuo has stated that Coronavirus has impacted the installation of these panels and it’s one of the main reasons the release date has been pushed further back into 2021.
These LED panels were first rumoured to be included on the new iPad Pro but Kuo believes Apple has much bigger plans for the panels. He believes that Apple plans to install them on the MacBook as well.
These new screen technology will be able to create a better, brighter image using less power. It’s relatively new tech, and it may raise the price of the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch. However, this laptop was never meant to be a cheaper option.
M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) specs
Will the MacBook Pro 16-inch have an M1 chip?
After the incredibly positive reception Apple’s M1 chip received, there’s no doubt that the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) will have an M1 chip. LeaksApplePro have confirmed that Apple has been working on upgrading the M1 chip, and we will probably see the unnamed “M1X” or the “M2” used in the next MacBook Pro.
The 12 core “M1X” will be a massive upgrade on the M1 chip offering, 8 performance cores and 4 high-efficiency cores (compared to the M1 chips 4 performance cores and 4 high-efficiency cores.) We can expect the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) to be incredibly powerful and fast if it has the M1X chip.
How powerful will the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch graphics be?
Apple has stated that we can expect “higher-performance GPUs” in the new Apple Silicon Macs and reports suggest that Apple’s graphics solutions will be able to meet the capabilities of the current AMD offerings.
Current 16-inch MacBook Pros offer AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB and the AMD Radeon Pro 5600M with 8GB.
If the power of the M1 chip is anything to go by, we can expect Apple will be able to meet their claims and offer powerful graphics solutions with the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021).
Will the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch have Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 6 is still relatively new, but we saw it implemented on the MacBook Pro 13-inch and MacBook Air 11-inch, so we can expect this to come with the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021).
How long will the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch battery last?
If the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch comes with the more powerful “M1X” chip as LeaksApplePro predicts, then Apple will have a job to keep power requirements under control.
FAA regulations state that you aren’t allowed a battery larger than 100-watt hours on a plane, so Apple will not go larger than that.
However, if the M1X is significantly more efficient, we may see a smaller battery that can also extend battery life in the M1 MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021). It all comes down to how efficient the “M1X” chip will be.