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New M1X MacBook Pro details leaked by Apple insider

Published Oct 13th, 2021 12:00PM EDT
MacBook Pro 120Hz
Image: Apple Inc.

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The 2021 MacBook Pro refresh appeared in leaks dating back to the beginning of the year. Reports said Apple would deliver a significant redesign this year, with the new MacBook Pros also expected to receive new M-series processors. On top of that, the new MacBook Pros should feature a major display upgrade in 2021. The mini-LED screen that Apple used in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro earlier this year is also coming to the 2021 MacBook Pro models. Now, a last-minute leak from a trusted insider says the new MacBook Pro will receive another display upgrade that users will love: Support for 120Hz displays.

The redesigned MacBook Pro

Recent rumors said Apple would host another press conference this month to unveil the redesigned MacBook Pro. And Apple confirmed the press event earlier this week without explicitly saying it will be a Mac event.

We’ve been calling the new Pro laptops the “M1X MacBook Pro” since June. That’s because Apple used it as a tag for its WWDC 2021, which is where we thought the new laptops might show up. The M1X will be a highlight of the MacBook Pro this year, with leakers teasing significant performance upgrades for the new SoC.

But if this MacBook Pro 120Hz display rumor is accurate, then the screen will also be one of the big selling points.

Aside from performance and screen improvements, the M1X MacBook will also feature a new design. According to rumors, that includes support for more ports (HDMI, SD, USB-C) and MagSafe charging. Also, Apple will introduce a new screen size — 14 inches.

High refresh rate displays are the new norm

Samsung started teasing its 90Hz OLED displays for laptops back in early January. Months later, several PC vendors unveiled new notebooks with OLED displays, while others updated existing models.

Apple was never going to use OLED panels in this year’s MacBook Pro generation. Every rumor out there mentioned the mini-LED displays in association with the redesigned MacBook Pro. The reports say both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros will come with mini-LED screens like the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro. And it so happens that the iPad Pro has been using 120Hz “ProMotion” displays for a few years.

Apple brought 120Hz displays to the iPhone last month. The iPhone 13 Pro models feature 120Hz OLED panels with support for adaptive refresh rates.

MacBook Pro with a 120Hz display

Apple has plenty of expertise with 120Hz displays, especially when it comes to devices that also need to deliver excellent battery life. The M-series chips have terrified Intel because they deliver incredible performance and amazing battery life. And it’s the latter that should help Apple deliver a high-performance MacBook Pro that can support 120Hz refresh rates.

While it makes sense to see Apple move its MacBook Pros to 120Hz displays, the feature hasn’t appeared in most M1X MacBook Pro leaks this year. Display analyst Ross Young dropped the rumor on Twitter. The expert has revealed accurate display information about other unreleased products in the past, including the iPhone 13.

Young said in his remarks that the M1X MacBook Pro will feature a 120Hz mini-LED display.

He doubled down in a separate tweet, indicating yet again that Apple’s first 120Hz MacBook Pro will launch in 2021. Apple’s Mac-centric event will stream online on October 18th at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.

Apple’s rumored new MacBook Pro model lineup

  • 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro
  • 14-inch M1X MacBook Pro
  • 16-inch M1X MacBook Pro

There is a chance Apple replaces the M1 models, but popular thinking is that the M1X MacBook Pros are going to site alongside the M1 MacBook and MacBook Pros that Apple launched.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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