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  • Lawrence Ng

The New MacBook Pro Might Come With a Notch, Memoji Capabilities

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

In Apple's "Unleashed" event happening on 18 October 2021, two new MacBook Pros, a higher-end Mac mini and the AirPods 3 are expected to be unveiled. A last-minute rumour about the new MacBook Pro laptops, which might come in 14-inch and 16-inch models, reveals that the devices might include a notch at the top of the display that could eat into the macOS menu bar.

According to a Weibo user in China, the notch has a size "similar to the iPhone 12". However, Twitter user @DuanRui said that the rumour might be a joke.

Credit: MacRumors

Meanwhile, a Reddit user who reportedly spoke with supply chain sources stated a similar claim. This user's Reddit post shared that the MacBook Pros will have a standard-sized notch rather than the smaller ones seen in iPhone 13 models. The new MacBook Pros' notch might not contain a Face ID TrueDepth camera like on the iPhone and could instead house a 1080p webcam, a True Tone sensor and a microphone.

1080p cameras are not very common in most laptops, which still use 720p cameras. Tech columnist Owen Williams explained why the majority of laptops come with a 720p webcam module.

"Most laptops, like the MacBook Pro, use a 720p webcam module built by a company called Micron, which requires about 7mm of space to fit all of its components. As screens have become bigger, resulting in less "empty" space in the surrounding bezel, fitting in even a 7mm camera has become difficult. Dell, for example, needed to work directly with webcam manufacturers to build a 2.5mm camera module for its latest laptops to squeeze it in — which provides even worse quality than the larger modules," wrote Williams.

It's possible to get a 1080p camera on the upcoming MacBook Pro models because there is a notch, which could allow for a camera with a larger sensor and a thin bezel, maintaining the sleek design of the laptop.

If the rumours of the MacBook Pro having a similar camera to the iPhone 12 are true, there is a possibility that it might also come with an SL 3D sensor for depth estimation, which can emit light to measure the distance between your device and multiple objects and surfaces in front of it. The detailed depth information will enable photo and video effects.

With the depth sensor, you might be able to enjoy a cleaner bokeh and a cleaner key out of your background. As a result, you can expect better-looking video calls as the camera can better separate you from your custom background.

Macbook Pro SL 3D Webcam Memoji
A Memoji will add some fun to video calls

Aside from that, the technology could allow you to create an animated Memoji that uses your own voice and mirrors your facial expression on the MacBook. Once you have recorded your Memoji, you will also be able to send your animated Memoji to others via Messages, Mail and some third-party apps. At the moment, live animated Memoji only works on FaceTime and we do hope that Apple will soon allow it to be on other video call apps like WhatsApp, Zoom and Google Meet.

Credit: 9to5Mac

As for the display of the new laptops, they might come with resolutions of 3024 x 1964 and 3456 x 2234. These are odd sizes comparing to the usual 16:10 screens, which normally has a 3840 x 1600 resolution. The extra pixels on the new MacBook Pro could potentially be the size of the camera notch.

There are also rumours that the MacBook Pro 2021 will be the first Mac to boast a 120Hz refresh rate, which is quite exciting considering that the base MacBook Pro 2020 model had a refresh rate of up to 60Hz. What's great about a 120Hz refresh rate is that it allows for buttery smooth graphics that can improve your gaming and content consumption experience.

It's also possible that Apple's new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will be powered by Apple's M1X chip, an Arm-based processor.

The M1X could outperform the M1 chip that debuted in 2020, considering that the former has ten CPU cores while the latter has eight. Aside from that, the M1X has 16 or 32 graphics cores versus seven or eight in the M1.


Written by Sophia Lopez


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