Apple adds more ports and a notch to 2021 MacBook Pro

Eric Abent - Oct 18, 2021, 1:05pm CDT
Apple adds more ports and a notch to 2021 MacBook Pro

For a while, the MacBook’s disappearing ports were something of a meme among the I/O enthusiasts of the world. However, with today’s new MacBook reveal, Apple has reversed course, announcing that it’s actually adding ports to the new MacBook Pro. In addition, it looks like the display on the 2021 MacBook Pro is taking a design cue from modern iPhones, picking up a notch it can call its own.

The ports on the new MacBook Pro may not be able to challenge the port-heavy laptops of yesteryear, but there’s still some good stuff here. On the right side of the device, we’ll see an HDMI port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and an SDXC card slot. In addition, we get two more Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones on the left side. While the headphone jack departed iPhones years ago, it looks like we’re still getting one on the 2021 MacBook Pro.

Apple says these port selections are enough to connect two Pro Display XDRs on the M1 Pro-based MacBook, while the M1 Max-based MacBook will connect to three Pro Display XDRs and a 4K display. In addition to those ports, the new MacBook Pro will feature a MagSafe 3 port for charging.

If you look closely at the main image at the top of this article, you’ll also see that the MacBook Pro display has a notch for the first time. Of course, iPhone users are already well familiar with the notch, but Apple decided to employ it in the MacBook Pro to cut back on the borders around the display while still providing a space for the front-facing camera.

It’s certainly a little strange at first, though the presence of a notch does give a nice space for the menu bars in apps and Finder to nestle into. We’ll find out if the notch is a distraction or if the smaller borders around the screen make a noticeable difference soon enough, as the new MacBook Pro will be launching in 14-inch and 16-inch varieties next week.


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