The rumored next 2021 MacBook Pro could get a feature that will be a boon to professional photographers and video editors in the form of an SD card reader with high-speed UHS-II support.
That’s according to a report from Apple Track, which claims a “trusted source” tipped it off about the fast SD card reader. He also notes that the next-gen MacBook Pro could sport an illuminated Touch ID button and have a maximum of 32GB of RAM.
While we can’t verify the veracity of the Apple Track report, it does tease some interesting nuggets of information for the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is expected to come in 14-inch and 16-inch sizes.
Let’s start with the UHS-II SD card reader. We’ve heard previous rumors that Apple was planning to bring an SD card reader back to the new MacBook Pros, after ditching the slot in favor of USB-C connections in 2016.
This is good news for creative professionals, such as photo and video editors, as it simplifies transferring files from a camera by inserting the SD card into the laptop, rather than leaning over wired connections and slower transfer speeds.
However, a traditional SD card reader can only deliver speeds as high as 100MB/s, while a UHS-II reader bumps that up to 312MB/s, provided you have a card. compatible to go with it. The drives are also backwards compatible, although using a UHS-I SD card means you miss out on the speed boost.
This would clearly be a killer feature for the 2021 MacBook Pro, assuming the information is accurate, especially for creative professionals. Video and image files are notorious for having large file sizes, and a triple boost in speeds would make life much easier when trying to work on location, for example.
MacBook Pro 2021 RAM and Touch ID
Apple Track also reported that the next-gen MacBook Pro will get up to 32GB of RAM. This would be an upgrade over the 16GB of RAM offered by the MacBook Pro M1 with its Apple M1 chip. However, this contradicts a report from Bloomberg suggesting that a 64GB option could be on the way.
When it comes to tasks like handling large RAW photo files or 4K videos, more RAM is better. And while 32GB is nothing to sniff at, it might not be quite the amount some MacBook Pro fans would be looking for.
The 2021 MacBook Pro is expected to ship with the Apple M2 chip or Apple Silicon’s M1X wafer. Both chips have been touted as more powerful versions of the impressive M1 chip, so pairing them with more RAM could make them real pro powerhouses; we’ll just have to wait and see which rumor turns out to be true.
Speaking of rumours, it’s also been claimed that the next-gen MacBook Pro might get a mini-LED display to boost screen brightness and contrast over the standard LCD panels in current MacBooks. Such improvements could be a boon for creative professionals after color-rich and bright displays.
Given that the 2021 iPad Pro has a mini-LED display, bringing the tech to MacBooks isn’t a huge leap in the imagination. We just hope Apple opts for thinner display bezels so MacBook Pros maximize display real estate without bulking up their bodies.
Finally, Apple Track’s report claims that MacBook Pros will feature a Touch ID button that will be illuminated and backlit for the first time. There aren’t many details on this, although it is claimed that the sensor will be illuminated by “several dedicated LEDs”. It’s not a huge upgrade, but it does lend credence to the idea that the next MacBook Pro will get a proper redesign, rather than a spec refresh.
With the new MacBook Pros slated for a reveal in the fall, we don’t have too long to wait to see what rumors come to fruition. Of course, chip shortages could throw a spanner in the works, and the fall could just see the reveal of the iPhone 13, leaving MacBooks to arrive in 2022. As always, time will tell.