Apple has more or less confirmed that the new MacBook Pro will be launched on Monday (we got the invitations to the company's Unleashed event last night), and with less than a week to go, several new details about the computer have emerged.
Ross Young, an analyst at Display Supply Chain Consultants, writes on Twitter that the new MacBook Pro is getting a mini-LED backlit screen - and that this is "100% confirmed", according to his sources in the industry. Ross Young hasn't been around long in the Apple rumour mill, but was the first to reveal the exact size of the new iPad mini's screen and has a 100% accuracy rating on AppleTrack, albeit based on just six rumours.
This isn't a huge surprise; mini-LED has been one of the most consistent rumours in the run-up to the MacBook Pro launch. (If you're wondering why this is a big deal, the technology provides better colour reproduction, blacker blacks, higher contrast and greater dynamic range than the backlighting on current MacBooks.) But until now it has been merely a rumour, and its apparent confirmation is an interesting development.
Using the same manufacturers as for the iPad Pro, LG Display and Sharp, Young also expects that the new MacBook Pro models will get a 120Hz screen refresh rate. Whether that includes the ability to adjust refresh rate dynamically to save power when the interface isn't moving (a feature branded as ProMotion on Apple's iPads and iPhones) isn't clear, but it would undeniably be good for battery life.
Rumour-monger Dylan on Twitter has also shared a list of alleged specs for the new MacBook Pro models. The most intriguing highlights are that the new machines may be set to get a better webcam with 1080p resolution (just like the 24in iMac), and that RAM starts at 16GB. And of course the inclusion of an M1X processor.
MacBook Pro 14 and 16:— Dylan (@dylandkt) October 12, 2021
Mini Led displays
Smaller bezels with no bottom logo
Base models will have 16gb of ram and 512gb of storage
Base M1X is the same configuration for both models
Pricing will be similar between 14 and 16 inch
New charging brick
Stock runs low as launch approaches
So much for the specs of the new devices. But we're also getting strong hints about the timing of their launch.
We know, of course, that Apple is holding an event on 18 October. But the company never says what an event is going to be about: it could focus on the new AirPods, or a different set of Macs, or something else entirely.
We reckon, however, that it will focus on the MacBook Pro, because of a clue spotted by 9to5Mac. The site notes that stocks of the current Pro are running low at the Apple Store, which may indicate that an upgrade is imminent. (We can confirm this; we just tried to buy the entry-level version of the 16in model on the UK store, and saw a shipping estimate of "29 Oct-5 Nov", a far longer wait than usual. The entry-level MacBook Air, by comparison, is saying "18 Oct-20 Oct".)
This tallies with Mark Gurman's recent claim that new Pros would be launched later in October. So if you're thinking of buying a new computer, you'd be wise to hold off for a while longer.
Screen sizes are said to be 14in and 16in, with the new 14in being no larger than the current 13in. In other words, the screen goes almost all the way to the edge, something many users have been asking for.
If you want to know more about what's coming, read our regularly updated new MacBook Pro hub. The lowest prices on the new models - along with bargains on the old ones, which are sure to plunge in price - will appear in our guide to the best MacBook Pro deals.