With the new MacBook Pro 2021, Apple giveth, but it also taketh away. There are more ports, the return of MagSafe and an improved webcam, as well as the advancements unlocked by the new M1 Pro and M1 Max processors.
However, compared to the previous generation’s MacBook Pro, there’s a notable omission: The contextual Touch Bar that sat above the keyboard.
The touchscreen surface, which replaced the physical function keys – which gave users quick access to app specific features and the Touch ID sensor – had sat within MacBook Pro models since 2016.
Five years on, it’s gone from both the MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models and it’s not present within the recent MacBook Air M1 Magic Keyboard either.
In a press release, Apple says the return of the physical function keys and wider escape key “replace the Touch Bar, bringing back the familiar, tactile feel of mechanical keys that pro users love.”
Apparently, Apple feels the Touch Bar wasn’t that popular among users and has decided to cut it from the team. Overall, it does look like a tidier and more traditional solution, albeit a lot simpler.
Elsewhere, Apple has souped-up the MacBook Pro to the max. Longtime users will love the return of the MagSafe charger to the range. It promises a newly updated design that will enable users to supply the MacBook Pro with more power than ever.
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While USB-C cables can be detached easily – and mostly pop right out when you knock the cable – the added security of MagSafe 3 will be a major selling point considering these laptops start at £2,000+. USB-C charging is also available via Thunderbolt 4.
There’s also a HDMI port, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXD card reader and a headphone jack. So, in many ways, Apple is going back to what users loved about the professional MacBook range.
Are you happy to see the back of the Touch Bar? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.