MacBook Pro M1 More port variety and the return of MagSafe

MacBook Pro M1 More port variety and the return of MagSafe

Ever since the 2016 redesign that ushered in the Touch Bar and the butterfly keyboard, Apple has stuck resolutely to USB-C in its laptops — to the exclusion of all other port options. That may soon change.

Multiple reports have suggested that Apple is going to loosen the USB-C stranglehold and allow a smidgen more port variety in the 2021 MacBook Pro. Kuo is touting an increase in the “types of I/O” available and, tantalizingly, suggests that “most users may not need to purchase additional dongles.”

Specifically, he believes the HDMI port is going to make a comeback. Gurman believes that the SD card slot is making a return for the first time since it was removed in 2016, which will certainly please photographers and videographers who otherwise would need an adapter or the cloud to transfer their work to their Mac.

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The increase in a port variety means an apparent return for a much-loved MacBook feature that was first ditched with the 12-inch MacBook in 2015: MagSafe. This handy tech magnetically attaches the charging cable to your Mac, meaning it quickly snaps loose if the cable gets yanked, preventing your expensive laptop from falling to the ground and getting smashed.

According to industry rumors, Apple is going to reintroduce MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro and have it work using a pill-shaped port, much like its old incarnation. Given how popular MagSafe was — and how much we have missed it since it was ditched — this is a welcome change of heart from Apple.

Interestingly, in April, a huge leak revealed exactly what Apple is planning for the ports — and it turns out Kuo and Gurman were right. According to 9to5Mac, hacking group REvil apparently managed to steal technical specifications from Apple supplier Quanta, and among the documents — which are now being used to blackmail Quanta — is a drawing showing the port arrangement on an upcoming MacBook Pro model.

It depicts an HDMI port, USB-C slot, and SD card reader all on the same side of the device. Also among the documents was a list of ports and connectors that included MagSafe alongside HDMI and the SD card slot. The MacBooks in these files use the code names J314 and J316, which according to Gurman refer to the upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.

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