2021 MacBook Pro will reportedly lose Touch Bar and bring back MagSafe

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Thought we’d get through the first month of 2021 without a rumour about Apple? Think again as noted industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has weighed in with a report on this year’s MacBook Pro notebook.

If what Kuo says turns out to be true, and they usually in recent years, it looks like the 2021 MacBook Pro could be losing one feature and adding an old one.

First the removal, and this is one we’re not too fussed about as Kuo says Apple is ditching the OLED Touch Bar currently found on most Pro models, replacing them with physical keys. While the Touch Bar had some interesting applications, in general it is not used very often, and even less so if you have your MacBook Pro connected to an external display for remote working, as is my own current setup.

As for the addition, Kuo’s sources indicate that the MagSafe connection is coming back. We recently saw the functionality added to the new iPhone 12 lineup as a means of charging and securing accessories, and it would make a welcome return to the MacBook Pro if this rumour turns out to be correct. The convenience of the MagSafe cannot be overstated, as is the fact that you could actually see how your notebook was charging without having to open it up.

Looking at some of the other elements in Kuo’s report, from a design perspective, the MacBook Pro could be taking inspiration from the iPad and iPhone, both of which have featured more squared off edges and straighter angles.

What is also of interest is the silicon powering these devices, which are said to come in a 14″ and 16″ variant, with Apple’s own ARM-based architecture present and no Intel flavours available. Whether we’ll see something more powerful than the recent M1 offerings, remains to be seen though.

Either way, if you were pondering a new MacBook Pro purchase this year, it may be worthwhile waiting to see what this year’s rumoured notebooks will be sporting.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.