What do Apple's 2021 M1X MacBook Pros need to be counted a success?

How to download and install macOS Big Sur beta to your Mac
How to download and install macOS Big Sur beta to your Mac (Image credit: iMore)

As time ticks away and we trundle through October day-by-day, it's surely only a matter of time before Apple invites us all, virtually, to a MacBook Pro event. A MacBook Pro event that's been rumored for a long time. And one that has the potential to delight and disappoint in equal measure.

If all of the rumors are true, Apple is going to announce new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with a special new mini-LED display apiece. Inside, we're expecting a fancy, blazing-fast M1X chipset, too. And yes, they'll support more RAM if those same rumors are true. Whatever Apple calls the new chip, expect it to be based on iPhone 13 A15.

In terms of design, a flatter, angular shape is expected similar to that of current iPhone models, while the return of HDMI and an SD card slot are also being spoken of. The same goes for the return of MagSafe or, at least, some version of it.

All of this sounds pretty sweet, right? But whether we get all of this remains to be seen. My question is this — how much of this needs to come to pass in order for the new MacBook Pro to be considered a winner? Or more accurately, what would you live without while not being too disappointed?

For me, well, I'm not too sure. I'm not too fussed about the arrival of mini-LED if I'm being absolutely honest. I like the idea of smaller bezels though, so maybe that isn't the one to go.

Faster chips? I'm a sucker for a fast CPU and being able to configure globs of RAM is something that truly makes a Pro Mac something that's a cut above the others, like the M1 MacBook Air in this case.

Macbook Air M1

Macbook Air M1 (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What about ports? I don't need any sort of SD card slot, so that could go. And the days of plugging into a monitor via HDMI are long gone for me, too. But I think I'm the odd one out there and I know photographers and videographers would be very upset if that didn't materialize. So we better keep that around.

The design? Nobody really says the old one was bad, apart from the Touch Bar of course. And that's said to be going the way of the dodo anyway.

So where does that leave us? Nowhere, really. It turns out that everything that's rumored for a new M1X MacBook Pro is pretty great and everyone, in some way or another, will benefit from the changes we've been promised by the leakers. If we get what we've been hearing about for so long it'll surely be the best Mac — or portable Mac — we've ever seen.

This brings us to the elephant in the room — Apple Watch Series 7. If everyone got the MacBook Pro rumors as wrong as they got the Apple Watch rumors, we could be in for a rough time.

Fingers crossed the watch was the one-off, not the new rule.

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.