Apple’s “Unleashed” event on Monday is likely to bring what Mac fans have been eagerly anticipating for over a year: redesigned MacBook Pro models with upgraded displays and the return of traditional ports. But that’s just the start. We could see the debut of two more models, all powered by a new Apple M-series processor.
Here are the computers that leaks and rumors say are coming. But we could always be surprised. Again.
Enter the Apple M1X processor
A central theme of the fresh Macs will be Apple’s next processor. This is the second step in moving macOS computers away from Intel processors, coming a year after the first M1-powered Macs landed last November. The next step involves Apple’s second-generation chip. It’s supposedly an improved version of the original, likely dubbed the M1X.
The 10-core processor will pack eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficient ones, according to published reports. For comparison, the original M1 features four high-performance cores and four energy-efficient ones. The M1X allegedly will sport either 16 or 32 graphics cores, depending on configuration. That’s up from eight graphics cores in the M1. CPU-Monkey claims to have gotten a hold of the exact specs.
The M1 Macs blew everyone away with their killer combo of power and efficiency. These enhancements should bring considerable performance gains for regular and graphics-intensive tasks. And that could benefit every Mac at Apple’s October Unleashed event.
Redesigned 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pros
Even if they didn’t come with a faster processor, there’s still be plenty of anticipation for a new round of macOS notebooks, as they’re supposedly getting significant redesigns.
Apple supposedly plans two sizes of pro laptops. One will replace the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, while the other will be the first 14-inch MacBook Pro. These will allegedly be the first Macs with mini-LED displays so they offer higher contrast, blacker blacks, improved brightness and better power efficiency than traditional LCDs. They use thousands of tiny LEDs to provide a backlight that can be illuminated in very specific areas.
And that’s just the start. The redesign includes the return of a built-in SD card reader and an HDMI port. And a MagSafe charger. But no LED Touch Bar. Supposedly, screen size will be the only significant difference between these two, so expect all these ports on both.
A better Mac mini
Apple is redesigned more than its laptops. An upgraded version of the iMac mini might be unveiled at the Unleashed event as well. This will supposedly include double the number of Thunderbolt ports. And a magnetic power cable attachment like the 24-inch iMac.
Apple isn’t one to let the Mac mini go obsolete. Remember that the 2020 Mac mini was one of the first with an M1 chip. So it’s no surprise that all the leaks say the new model will have the M1X processor and an updated design. But exactly what that design refresh entails isn’t clear — the desktop might be smaller than the current one. Maybe.
Perhaps a bigger iMac
Another possibility for the Apple October Unleashed event is a bigger, faster version of the iMac that launched in early 2021. But this remains something of a long shot. Few if any details have leaked out — unusual for a computer that is supposedly going to be unveiled within hours. And a tipster with a reliable history says this desktop won’t launch until 2022.
The iMac supposedly will run the M1X processor, too. It could come with a 27-inch screen like its predecessor from 2020, or 30 inches or even 32 inches.
But there still might be good news for all-in-one desktop fans. The super-slim 24-inch iMac built around the M1 processor released earlier in 2021 might get an upgrade to the M1X.
AirPods 3 at last
Apple supposedly has a new AirPods version ready to go and these might be on the docket for the Apple October Unleashed event, too.
AirPods 3 are expected to be a mix of AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, with shorter stems but no silicone tips. And no active noise cancellation. Alternatively, Apple could just announce its upgraded AirPods via a press release sometime this autumn.
The Unleashed event is scheduled for October 18 at 10 a.m. Pacific time. Check in with Cult of Mac for news and analysis of all the announcements.