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The 2021 MacBook Pro 16 may not be the performance upgrade we expect from Apple

The next MacBook Pro 16 may only feature an M1 processor and some minor design changes. (Image source: Apple - edited)
The next MacBook Pro 16 may only feature an M1 processor and some minor design changes. (Image source: Apple - edited)
According to a new report, the next MacBook Pro 16 will feature an Apple M1 chip, not a more powerful next-generation model. Any design changes will be on the minor side too, resulting in the 2021 edition looking basically the same as its 2019 predecessor. Minor changes could include a switch to a flat design and the return of legacy ports though, along with slimmer display bezels for the new model.

It has been over a year since Apple released the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which heralded the end of the evergreen 15-inch model and ushered in the fifth generation of the series. According to recent rumours, the next MacBook Pro 16 will arrive this year and with a redesign that may include an HDMI port and an SD card reader. Additionally, Ming-Chi Kuo has reputedly informed investors that the next MacBook Pro models will have a flat design, likening it to the iPhone 12's.

The MacBook Pro 16 is also expected to make the switch to Apple Silicon, although perhaps not to a next-generation SoC. Instead, DuanRui asserts, Apple will utilise the M1 for the next MacBook Pro 16, currently found in the Mac mini, MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro 13. If that is the case, then we struggle to see how Apple could distinguish the performance of the next MacBook Pro 16 from the current MacBook Pro 13. While the most recent MacBook Pro 13 easily outperforms its Intel-based predecessor, little if anything separates it from the M1-based MacBook Air.

Moreover, DuanRui believes that the next MacBook Pro 16 'basically has the same appearance' as the current model. Seemingly then, adopting a flat design may be a subtle change from the MacBook Pro's current design language. Apparently, the new model will have a thinner bezel though, which may point to an overall smaller footprint.

Even so, a more compact 16-inch MacBook Pro may be a tough sell compared to the MacBook Pro 13 if it does not also offer superior performance. We would expect Apple to include a dedicated GPU at the very least, just to match the horsepower that the current model offers. According to Kuo, Apple will release new MacBook Pro models in the second half of 2021.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 02 > The 2021 MacBook Pro 16 may not be the performance upgrade we expect from Apple
Alex Alderson, 2021-02-25 (Update: 2021-02-25)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj - 3348 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj