The Apple event on October 18 is expected to see the reveal of a whole new look for the new 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, with long-standing rumors pointing to a flatter look, the death of the TouchBar and the return of the MagSafe refill. .
With that, of course, comes a slew of welcome internal upgrades that promise to make the large 16in model and smallest 14in MacBook Pro the best laptops you can buy. Assuming the price isn’t too outrageous.
But in the last 48 hours, a new rumor has gathered steam that some say will cost the new MacBook Pros serious styling points: a camera notch. Could Apple really introduce such a controversial design feature to its MacBook lineup as it tries to remove it from the iPhone 14?
Here are the arguments for and against.
MacBook Pro notch: the case for
There is photographic evidence (blurry)
On Weibo, @ AnyTurtle999 posted this photo in the comments discussing the notch rumor.
Yes, it’s fuzzy and it’s hard to tell if it’s genuine, but if that is, it shows the FaceTime camera, microphone and an ambient light sensor enabling TrueTone.
Resolutions seem to match
Another clue that the notch rumor might be accurate comes from the macOS Monterey beta, where MacRumors spotted resolutions of 3,024 x 1,964 for the upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro and 3,456 x 2,234 for the 16 inch model.
So what? Well, if you subtract 74 pixels from the height of each, you get the same 16:10 aspect ratio that is found on all of Apple’s other current MacBooks. This means that the additional 74 pixels could explain the new notch.
It wouldn’t be as obvious as on the iPhone
People object to the notch on the iPhone because it obviously eats away at the screen, but that probably wouldn’t be the case with macOS. This is because the operating system has a black bar at the top of the screen, which could easily hide the camera segment.
It might not even be present when you’re watching movies or playing games: The supposed mini-LED screens on the new MacBooks might just tint the entire area black to make it look like part of the bezel.
MacBook Pro Notch: The Case Against
The late timing of the rumor is suspect
The main reason for skepticism is timing. This rumor surfaced at the very last minute and has not appeared in any previous analysis of Apple’s usual leak suspects: not a glance from Ming-Chi Kuo, Jon Prosser, or Mark Gurman.
This is inconclusive in itself, as even the most established leakers are missing things or getting it wrong (see the Apple Watch 7 square rumor), but a reason for caution nonetheless.
Without Face ID, why bother?
The reason all of Apple’s flagship handsets since the iPhone X have a notch is to house the complex technology required for the company’s Face ID authentication technology.
No one – not even supporters of the notch rumor – is suggesting that the new MacBook Pros will have Face ID, so why wouldn’t something smaller be enough?
Other laptops have managed to house a notch-less 1080p camera
Rumor has it that Apple will be upgrading the webcam on the MacBook Pro, which certainly makes sense now that we’re all working from home more. Some of the best laptops you can buy have 1080p cameras, but they all manage to fit them into (admittedly thicker) bezels. Surely there must be some other way?
So, will Apple explain a MacBook Pro notch when it launches, or is it just a hoax? We don’t have long to find out. You can tune into the Apple event on Mondays at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT to find out for yourself and keep it locked to Tom’s Guide, where we’ll be there for you with all the news and analysis.