Apple adding ports back to MacBook Pro is like a new dawn for the notebook

16-inch MacBook Pro vs. 13-inch vs. Air
16-inch MacBook Pro vs. 13-inch vs. Air (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

Today saw a fresh round of rumors courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. No, Kuo wasn't talking about an iPhone. Or an iPad. He was talking about the MacBook Pro lineup and what they believe will be the return of not just one port, but two.

Yes, a MacBook Pro refresh is set to see the return of the HDMI port and SD card slot. And the world rejoiced.

In a new research note seen by iMore, Kuo says Apple plans to launch two new MacBook Pro models in the second half of 2021, both with an all-new design and increased connectivity. Kuo states Apple will bring back the SD card slot and HDMI interface, echoing previous reports. The report also states the new Macs will have USB-C as well as high-speed USB 4.0 upgrades.

We can only assume that we will also see a next-generation Apple silicon implementation as well, taking the powerhouse M1 and improving upon it. The result could well be a new dawn for the MacBook Pro family. One that could see it being the kind of machine people lust after once again. The powerhouse we've been waiting for. Especially at the 16-inch end of the lineup.

Things haven't been great for MacBook Pro fans in recent years. We saw machines with power-hungry Intel CPUs that needed to be put into a fridge to run properly. We also saw the arrival of the Touch Bar, something that's thought to be on its way out this year. Not to mention the farce that was more than a couple of horrendous keyboards. Oh, and Apple's pro machines lost all of the ports pros want, if not need, as part of the "improvements."

But things are looking up. As mentioned, the Touch Bar is expected to be nixed soon. The keyboards are, thankfully, already fixed. The ports seem to be coming back and Apple silicon not only makes Macs run faster than anything Intel can manage, but it does it without toasting laps in the process.

If Kuo is indeed right – and he might not be – this next MacBook Pro refresh could be the start of something beautiful. It could be the return of the MacBook Pro notebooks we actually want to buy. Not just those that we have to buy because they run Final Cut Pro etc.

Bring it on. My wallet is ready!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.