MacBook Pro 16-inch M1X Chip: Everything We Know so Far

The M1 MacBooks has absolutely smashed the records set by any Intel-powered MacBook in terms of performance while offering better efficiency and battery life. However, Apple doesn’t stop there! Recently, there are rumors of a new chip, the M1X, in the upcoming MacBook Pro. So, here is everything we know about the MacBook Pro 16-inch M1X chip.

Apple Silicon M1X: Most Powerful Apple Processor Leaked

Since the latest MacBook and Mac Mini both feature the M1 chip technology, Apple has reportedly been working on advancing its own chipset by creating the new M1X.

MacBook Pro 16-inch M1X Chip leak

According to @LeaksApplePro the M1X, the next generation of the famous M1 chip, is set to debut in the new 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2021. Considering the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the flagship MacBook right now. So, it makes sense that Apple would use this opportunity to introduce an ever better chipset in this model.

Even though the 2020 M1 MacBooks already offer vastly improved and impressive battery life. According to this leak, things are about to get even better now. “If you think M1 is fast, you haven’t seen M1X”.

The next 16-inch MacBook Pro will come with the new M1X processor that will be even more powerful than the current M1 present in the latest MacBook models. Apparently, Apple’s biggest improvement here is the upgrade in cores. While the M1 chip can offer amazing performance with only 8-cores, the M1X is said to come with 12-cores (8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores).

However, we aren’t expecting any big design changes here because the current 16-inch MacBook Pro design is relatively new and doesn’t need any refreshing. On top of that, with the launch of the M1X, we might see double efficiency and battery life in the new Mac, just as it did with the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro and Air.

Related article: M1 Chip Outperforms GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and Radeon RX 560

No Touch Bar on MacBook Pro 2021

Recently, a new report from Bloomberg has shown some interesting news about Apple’s plan for the 2021 MacBook Pro. Apple is believed to be planning to bring back the SD card slot for its next MacBook Pro model. This is good news for most users, especially Video creators and photographers who have been asking for this since it was removed in 2016. With this update, Apple allows users to insert memory cards from digital cameras.

On top of that, the heavily criticized Touch Bar will be removed in order to make room for the SD card. For years, many MacBook Pro users have considered this feature as an “unnecessary addition” to the keyboard. The report also mentioned Apple’s plan of integrating Face ID and cellular connectivity on the future Macs.

MagSafe Charging for 2021 MacBook Pro & New MacBook Air Design

Besides the 2021 MacBook Pro leaks, there are some changes to the next MacBook Air are mentioned here. The next MacBook Air is expected to be redesigned with an even thinner and lighter design than the current M1 model.

Moreover, the company is also looking for a way to reduce the dimensions of the new Air. And, this might end up with smaller bezels surrounding the MacBook Air display. Additionally, there are rumors that the new Air molder might be ready to launch in the second half of 2021.

The return of MagSafe in the next MacBooks will also mean a faster charging rate. However, the connector will still look similar to the capsule-shaped design of the older MagSafe port. Plus, despite moving away from USB-C for charging, Apple will still include multiple USB-C ports on its future Macs.

Like the 2021 MacBook Pro, Apple will include the MagSafe charging technology and cellular connectivity support on its next MacBook Air. From all the leaks so far, it is clear that 2021 is going to be a big year for Apple in terms of Mac releases. The company will change its entire Mac lineup and launch them with features that consumers have long asked for this year.

14-inch MacBook Pro Could Feature Brighter Mini-LED Displays & Thinner Bezels

A recent report from Digitimes claims that Apple will release the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays as early as July this year. Meanwhile, we also received the same information from Ming-Chi Kuo, who claimed that Apple would launch its new 2021 MacBook Pro later this year. 

The new MacBook Pro will feature brighter Mini-LED displays, a new Apple Silicon M series chip. Even though there might not be a total design refresh, rumors say Apple will add an HDMI port and SD card reader for this model. Furthermore, the company might also replace the MacBook Pro’s iconic Touch Bar with physical function keys. Like before, the new MacBook Pro will feature a larger display with no increase in overall footprint.

Well, it looks like Apple finally decided to please Mac fans. In fact, many users have expressed displeasure since the company removed essential connectivity features like HDMI ports, SD card readers, and USB-A ports. Hopefully, the new 2021 MacBook Pro will be different.

We think Apple could launch the new 14-inch MacBook Pro in September with the rest of the lineup. But, unlike iPhones, the launch timeline for the Mac doesn’t follow any pattern. While the Apple M1 Chip has already received lots of good responses and shattered every benchmark, we expect the next M1 generation to be even better and faster.

Mini-LED Screens in the Next MacBook & iPad Generation

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, Apple is moving across to mini-LED displays for their Mac models in 2021‌. He said that the product research and development for mini LED remain unaffected by the pandemic.

Back in December 2020, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also released a research note about the rollout of Apple silicon. The document said that Apple will release a redesigned 14-inch MacBook Pro in the second half of the year. Even though the Mini-LED technology costs more to implement, Apple might offset the cost because Apple is using its own silicon, according to Kuo. This means we will not see an increase in the starting price.

Also, we predict that Apple is currently developing six mini-LED support products. Here is the list of the devices that are likely to get this Mini-LED screen upgrade: 

  • 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌
  • 27-inch ‌iMac Pro‌
  • 14.1-inch MacBook Pro
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro
  • 10.2-inch ‌iPad‌
  • 7.9-inch ‌iPad mini‌

What is a mini-LED Display?

Basically, the traditional LED-backlit displays can only have anywhere from several dozen to several hundred LEDs. And, as the name suggests, mini-LED means more space for more LEDs on your screen. Therefore, a mini-LED display features over a thousand full-array local dimming (FALD) zones. Here are some major advantages of the mini-LED tech:

  • Higher contrast ratio
  • Better brightness levels and color accuracy
  • Deeper blacks
  • Power-efficient
  • Less prone to burn-in than OLED
  • Inorganic Gallium nitride (GaN) won’t degrade over time like OLED

However, this is not the first time it has been rumored that Apple will launch its new MacBook or iPad model with a mini-LED display. But, this time we have reliable info from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Plus, the guy also claimed that the iPad Pro will be Apple’s first product with a mini-LED display. So, there are more reasons to expect a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro that comes with a mini-LED display in 2021.

On top of that, there are many rumors about Samsung’s new tablets with mini-LED displays coming this year. Meanwhile, MSI will also release a new notebook with the same display tech. So, there is no doubt that Apple will adopt the mini-LED display and add it to its new MacBook and iPad lineup.

Even though the iMac was mentioned here, it is still likely that Apple is planning to add the mini-LED display on this model in the near future as well.

MacBook Pro 16-inch M1X Chip Potential Release Date

Alongside the above leaks, Ming-Chi Kuo also mentioned the M1X chip release date as the “second or third quarter of 2021“. Also, the upcoming models might include redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

Update: Many recent reports point out that not only the 16-inch MacBook Pro but also other versions will also feature a chip that has more processing cores and enhanced graphics than the M1. Also, the new devices might share a design that mirrors the iPhone 12.

Plus, there are also many rumors about a new 24-inch iMac or a smaller version of the Mac Pro that may come out this year. But, since the 16-inch MacBook Pro was last updated in 2019, it makes sense that 2021 would be the year of change for this flagship model.

Memory and SSD

Like the previous models, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro SSD will range from 256GB to 1TB for the entr. For the 16-inch models, you will still start with either 512GB or 1TB. And, there are SSD upgrade options to 2TB or 4TB for the 13-inch MacBook Pro or 8TB for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. In addition, we believe the new 16-inch MacBook Pro starting price will remain the same (around $2,399 to $2,799).

Should I Wait for the M1X MacBook Pro 16-inch or Buy The M1 MacBook Pro?

The answer to this question will mostly depend on your use case. The 2020 MacBook Pro M1 is only available with a 13-inch screen. This screen size is too small for some people, especially those who work in graphics designs, arts, and filmmaking.

If the screen size is all that matters to you, better to wait a few months and enjoy more power for a larger display. Whether it is the 14-inch or the 16-inch laptop that comes first, the screen for sure will be more comfortable to work on.

There are other aspects to consider when thinking of waiting for the M1X MacBook and the price should be a big one. The 2020 M1 13-inch MacBook is not necessarily cheap but greatly discounted at the moment. That being said, the new 14-inch and 16-inch will for sure be pricier than the base price of the 2020 Apple laptop. If you are on a budget, seize the promotion on the 13-inch MacBook, as it is still a great machine, and you will make good use of it.

Lastly, choosing which device for you depends on how soon you need to have a new computer. While it is expected for the M1X MacBook to be released this spring, the reality is that it might take longer. If you need a laptop right now, the best you can do is set the time you are willing to wait for the new M1X MacBook. If the time comes and there is no official announcement by Apple, then hop on the 13-inch MacBook, and get the job done.

A Big Webcam Upgrade

According to Dylandkt, an iOS developer and a leaker, the next MacBook Pro will feature a 1080p FaceTime camera and so will the entire Mac lineup. Also, it’s worth mentioning that Dylandkt is well known for providing accurate leaks when it comes to Apple devices. In fact, he previously predicted the addition of the M1 chip to the 2021 iPad Pro. So, there is a high chance that we will see a 1080p webcam on Apple’s upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

For now, we just know that the 24-inch iMac is the only Mac that features a 1080p webcam. And, Apple still continues using the 720p camera for its latest ‌M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. However, thanks to the M1 chip and its powerful image signal processor, the image quality on these models has been slightly improved when compared to the old devices.

While an upgraded 1080p camera might not be the main reason to convince anyone to upgrade to the new MacBook Pro, it would definitely be a welcome improvement

The Bottom Line

If the details about the number of cores are true, then this really is one hell of a chip. The only questions we have are whether the M1X name will come as rumored, and when it might arrive. 

After all, if the M1X is really that powerful, Apple might want to pick a name that reflects the boost in its power. For the M1X release date, we believe it could be any time between January and October 2021, or even later this year given that the Covid-19 is still going on out there.

Let us know what you think about the new M1X chip in the comments!

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