New MacBook Pros with Second-Generation Apple Chips Could Be Announced Next Week

Credit: Apple
What can we expect next from Apple?

With the iPhone 13, iPod Mini, and Apple Watch Series 7 announced at last month’s California Streaming event, Apple can now turn its attention to their October special event and completing the transition of the MacBook Pro to Apple Silicon. But a faster laptop isn’t the only product poised to be at the top of every list during the holiday shopping season.

As filmmakers' work delves into the intricacies (and idiosyncrasies) of Cinematic Mode in the iPhone 13, they should pay close attention to what will likely be announced as this month’s Apple Event. Since June, users have been expecting a MacBook Pro refresh, with not only a transition to Apple Silicon, but to the second generation M1X chip.

Credit: Apple
According to the rumor mill, two new MacBook Pros will likely be announced—a higher-end 14-inch model, and a larger 16-inch model. Both are overdue for an upgrade from their Intel platforms and will join the entry-level 13” Macbook Pro which launched in November.

The MacBook Pros will enjoy the increase in performance that Apple Silicon has provided to the platform, along with better battery life,  mini-LED displays for greater brightness, and improved resolution and contrast.

Many are also hoping that Apple comes to its senses and gives the professional community back access to HDMI ports and abandon the much-maligned touch bar for a return to function keys. 

Along with the MacBook Pro refresh, Apple fans are hoping that there will be an upgraded higher-end Mac Mini, which will also move the higher-end models to the M1X. The talk of the town is that this year’s Mini will be redesigned, with additional ports, a MagSafe power cable, and a plexiglass top.

You can expect that buzzwords will be flying fast and furious, with the claim of “fastest Mac ever made,” and better performance than their Intel cousins. We’ve known that since the first M1 Mac came out last November. But what I think will be interesting is just how much more performance Apple can squeeze out of the M1 from last year. Could we see a modest 10-20% performance? Or can Apple engineers boost to nearly double? Only time will tell.

Other announcements expected include third-generation AirPods with better battery life, a Qi charging connection, and more powerful wireless chips. Also, macOS Monterey will likely be released to the public, and maybe the series 7 Apple Watch will finally ship, since Apple conveniently left out a release date last time around. Not that Apple was being coy about the new watch, but we are in the middle of a global computer chip shortage, and even though it looks to be getting better, one can expect limited quantities at first, whenever the watch ships for the holiday shopping season.

Those there’s no set announced date for the October event, analysts expect the invitations to go out any day, for an expected mid-October event. There is, however, a hint from Apple’s Back to School promotion that seems to suggest the day is on or about Tuesday, Oct. 12. And since Apple has gotten their prerecorded high-end announcement productions down to an art, they can wait until the last minute to let us know.

So pencil it in, and get ready to preorder.     

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1 Comment

This is going to be awesome.

October 6, 2021 at 12:29AM, Edited October 6, 12:29AM