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At this point, it’s all but certain that we’re about to see the biggest upgrade to Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup in well over a decade, thanks to an even more powerful new “M1X” Apple processor, and an entirely new design, but now it looks like there’s going to be even more to look forward to.
An early 2020 rumour suggested that Apple was working on bringing mini-LED screens to as many as six new devices, including the 14-inch MacBook Pro, but so far, the new display technology has only graced the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that was released this past spring. Even the smaller 11-inch iPad Pro didn’t get a display upgrade. It was also rumoured to come to the iPad mini 6, but in reality, it simply gained the Liquid Retina display from the iPad Air.
Rumours of which Macs and iPads will get the mini-LED treatment have been all over the place, and when they get that diverse, it’s hard to know which ones to trust. Maybe Apple does eventually plan to bring mini-LED to everything, but even if so, it’s going to be a while before we get there.
This past spring it wasn’t even clear if the next-generation MacBook Pro models would be getting mini-LED, as reliable sources disagreed, with some suggesting that Apple could be saving the more impressive screen technology for next year’s MacBooks.
With both new MacBook Pro models expected to be shown off on stage in less than six days, more solid information has begun to appear, with at least one analyst staking his rather considerable reputation on the MacBooks not only including new display technology, but featuring the same faster “ProMotion” 120Hz refresh rate that was first introduced on the iPad Pro back in 2015.
The details come from display analyst Ross Young, who has previously shared accurate predictions on iPhone display technology, including Apple’s plans to abandon 120Hz displays in last year’s iPhone 12, along with their arrival on the iPhone 13 Pro this year.
As an analyst who focuses specifically on display technologies and the supply chain behind them, Young has a much more accurate finger on the pulse of the industry than many other general analysts, and his sources have reliably informed him that the new MacBook Pro will feature identical mini-LED display technology to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro from earlier this year, as the same suppliers are providing the panels for both.
While Young says his information is “100% confirmed,” he may not be so certain about the 120Hz refresh rate. In a subsequent Tweet, Young instead says, “we believe they will also be 120Hz refresh.”
We think that’s a pretty safe bet, though, since the 12.9-inch iPad Pro already offers a mini-LED display with refresh rates between 24Hz and 120Hz. The iPhone 13 Pro offers similar refresh rates using LTPO OLED technology, although it can actually go even lower, right down to 10Hz, to maximize battery life.
It’s safe to assume that Apple will go to at least 120Hz, so if anything, it’s conceivably possible that the new MacBook Pro could offer an even faster display. This would allow it to compete with some of the highest-end gaming laptops out there, many of which offer refresh rates of 144Hz, 240Hz, or even 300Hz, and show off what the M1X is capable of.
Driving these extremely high refresh rates requires a powerful GPU, and the M1X is expected to feature an unprecedented level of graphics power, with as many as 16 GPU cores.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]