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New MacBook Pro to get rid of controversial Touch Bar and revive beloved MagSafe charging port, reports claim

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Andrew Griffin
·3 min read
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Apple is planning new MacBooks that will bring a complete redesign, according to reports.

The company is planning to get rid of some controversial features like the Touch Bar, and bring back beloved ones like the MagSafe charging port that allows the computers to disconnect if there is a tug on their power cord.

But in addition to the changes in the technology included, the new computers will have an overall redesign that will bring flat edges more akin to the squared off design of the iPhone 12.

That is according to an initial report from reputed Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo that was then echoed by another similar article in Bloomberg.

All of Apple’s new computers will include its own chips, which introduced late last year in the new MacBook Air, Pro and Mini. While that brought vastly improved speeds and performance over the previous Intel chips, the computers themselves were unchanged on the outside.

Apple has said that it will be transitioning its entire line over to its own Apple Silicon chips, and those new computers are expected to receive more significant design changes when they arrive.

The new versions of the MacBook will not come with the option to have Intel chips instead, the report suggests. If they were swapped out for the existing larger MacBook Pros, that would mean all of Apple’s laptop sizes will be transitioned to the new chips.

The new computers will come in 14-inch and 16-inch versions, according to the report. It will also get rid of the curved design on the top and bottom of the devices and instead swap it for the flat edges, it suggests.

Mr Kuo also reported that the MagSafe connector design would be restored. It is not clear exactly what that would mean: Apple has swapped its laptops to USB-C ports in recent years, which are standardised connectors and cannot have the same magnet design as Apple’s old MagSafe chargers.

It may be that Apple would use an entirely new way of charging the computers. The new iPhones include a charging technology that is also called MagSafe, and so the computers could conceivably borrow that same magnetised charging puck.

Apple is also said to be removing the OLED Touch Bar that is present in the higher-end MacBook Pro models, and which has proven controversial among some users who argue that it is better to use the older, more traditional hardware function keys. Apple included the Touch Bar in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, which uses Apple’s chips.

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The computers could also include more and different kinds of ports, which will get rid of the need to use so many dongles, the report suggested. In recent years, Apple has swapped almost entirely to USB-C in its computers in the name of simplicity, but that has meant that users are forced to carry a host of converters if they wish to plug in other kinds of accessories.

The bigger MacBooks will also se the heat pipe design from the existing 16-inch MacBook, rather than the technologies found in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and Air, the report suggests. That should allow the computer to better get rid of heat and so should increase performance, the report suggested.

Mr Kuo also indicated that Apple is testing a new “vapour chamber thermal system” for the iPhone 12. Such technology is already used in a range of competitors and allows the phones to expel heat more efficiently, allowing the device to keep cooler and run faster.

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