2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years.

2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d
Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are believed to deliver a number of significant design changes, such as the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, brighter displays, and more.

After five years of having between two to four USB-C ports only, Apple will renege on the controversial decision and backtrack entirely, adding three different ports back to the MacBook Pro, according to a number of reliable analysts, journalists, and leaks.

SD Card Reader

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said that he believes the new MacBook Pro models will feature an SD card reader:

The upcoming MacBook Pro is an example of Apple's renewed focus on Mac loyalists. The company is planning to bring back an SD card slot for the next MacBook Pros so users can insert memory cards from digital cameras. That feature was removed in 2016, to the consternation of professional photographers and video creators, key segments of the MacBook Pro user base.

Many photographers and videographers heavily rely on SD cards to transfer files from their cameras to a computer for editing and sharing. With the MacBook Pro redesign in 2016, Apple removed the SD card reader entirely, forcing users to resort to a cumbersome adapter or dock to transfer files.

In a research note obtained by MacRumors, analyst Ming Chi-Kuo corroborated Gurman's rumor, agreeing that the 2021 MacBook Pro models will come with an SD card reader.

HDMI Port

Kuo also explained that 2021's MacBook Pro models will feature the return of an HDMI port:

We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have several significant design and specification changes. Some of the practical changes for users are equipping with the SD card reader and HDMI port.

The HDMI port on the MacBook Pro was used to connect to external displays, such as monitors and TVs. While many new monitors offer a USB-C port for direct connection and there are USB-C to HDMI cables, HDMI is still the dominant port for connecting to external displays.

Similar to the SD card reader, the HDMI port was vital to many parts of the MacBook Pro user base. The return of the HDMI port is likely to placate customers with broader technical needs and it will more clearly distinguish the MacBook Pro product line as a series of machines for professionals.

MagSafe Connector

Kuo and Gurman have also both said that the MagSafe charging connector will return to the MacBook Pro this year.

Kuo remarked that "the ‌‌MagSafe‌‌ charging connector design is restored" on the upcoming MacBook Pro models, while Gurman said that the returned ‌MagSafe‌ charging will include a similar design to the previous incarnation of ‌MagSafe‌ on MacBooks.

MagSafe 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature
The return of ‌MagSafe‌ may deliver a number of practical benefits, such as faster charging speeds, according to Gurman. The presence of the connector would also restore its original main selling point dating back to its debut in 2006 on the first-ever MacBook Pro, which was easy connection and disconnection using magnets.

The simple idea behind ‌MagSafe‌ was that if tugged on, the charger would detach quickly and smoothly without causing damage to the ‌port or dragging the MacBook Pro. Better still, charging was easier than with USB-C because there was no need to align and insert a connector deeply into a port thanks to its shallowness and use of magnets. The switch back to ‌‌MagSafe‌‌ is likely to be popular with MacBook Pro owners who have missed the feature.

Port Layout

Stolen schematics from Apple supplier Quanta Computer confirmed Apple's plans to add ‌MagSafe‌, HDMI, and an SD card reader back to the the next-generation MacBook Pro models.

The schematics showed the HDMI port, a USB-C/Thunderbolt port, and an SD Card reader on the right side of the machine. The left side features two additional USB-C/Thunderbolt ports and a ‌‌MagSafe‌‌ charging port, for a total of three USB-C/Thunderbolt ports instead of four as we have today.

The MacBook Pro was last equipped with an SD card reader, HDMI Port, and MagSafe in 2015, so it is surprising to see these features making a comeback after years of absence. Nevertheless, the return of these ports is likely to make amends with some MacBook Pro users who have felt that their needs have been ignored since 2016, and the update will more clearly distinguish the "Pro" machines from the MacBook Air. For more on the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro models, see our "Everything We Know" guide.

Related Roundup: 14 & 16" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Related Stories

hyper 7 in 2 hub macbook pro

HYPER's 'DUO PRO' 7-in-2 USB-C Hub Debuts for New MacBook Pro Models

Monday December 6, 2021 8:00 am PST by
HYPER today announced the HyperDrive "DUO PRO," a 7-in-2 USB-C hub designed specifically for Apple's latest high-end MacBook Pro models, launching on Indiegogo with the first shipments set to go out in January. The HyperDrive DUO PRO features a Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 port capable of data transfer at 40Gbps, 100W PD, and 6K 60Hz video, an HDMI port with support for 4K 60Hz displays, a 5Gbps...
2021 MBP Profile Feature Yellow

New MacBook Pro Models Include HDMI 2.0 Port Instead of HDMI 2.1

Monday October 18, 2021 2:54 pm PDT by
Apple in 2016 removed all of the ports from its MacBook Pro models except for Thunderbolt ports, a design that persisted for years -- until today. The newly announced 2021 MacBook Pro models include an SD card slot and an HDMI port alongside three Thunderbolt ports. As noted in Apple's technical specifications for the new machine, the HDMI port is unfortunately not top of the line -- it is...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

Apple to Unveil 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro With Unchanged Design Next Month, Claims Original MacBook Pro 'Notch' Leaker

Tuesday February 15, 2022 4:07 am PST by
Apple will next month debut its latest M2 Apple silicon processor in a refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro model that will have no major design changes, according to a previously reliable source with close links to Apple's supply chain. Based on the new information seen by MacRumors, the upcoming 13-inch MacBook Pro retains the same design as the current version, including the Touch Bar, but...
2021 MBP Profile Feature Yellow

The New MacBook Pro Has More Ports – But Not All Users Are Happy

Wednesday November 10, 2021 3:03 am PST by
With its latest high-end MacBook Pro models, Apple restored the MagSafe charging port, HDMI port, and SDXC card slot, but not all users are happy. While there seem to be few complaints about the return of MagSafe charging, especially since the option to charge via Thunderbolt 4/USB-C continues to be available, most dissatisfied users seem to be focusing on the HDMI port and SDXC port. The ...
2021 macbook pro ports

Here Are All the Ports on the New 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday October 18, 2021 6:01 pm PDT by
While all MacBook Pro models released in the last five years featured only two to four Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack, that changed this week with the introduction of the redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. Following years of complaints about a lack of ports, both sizes of the new MacBook Pro feature several ports that Apple had removed in 2016, including an HDMI ...
m1x feature dark blue

Shaky Rumor Claims Redesigned MacBook Pros Will Feature 'M1X' Chip and Remove the Front Logo

Friday May 21, 2021 7:27 am PDT by
A questionable report is today claiming that Apple's next-generation MacBook Pro models will feature an "M1X" chip and remove the "MacBook Pro" logo from below the display. The report from 9to5Mac says that "a source with a decent track record," iOS developer Dylandkt made the claims. According to Dylandkt, "Apple's planned name for the MacBook Pro chips" is the "M1X."The M1X is an extension ...
MagSafe 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Why Is Apple Bringing Back This Old MacBook Pro Feature?

Thursday June 3, 2021 3:05 am PDT by
Apple is expected to bring back the MagSafe connector on this year's redesigned MacBook Pro models to facilitate a number of useful features, including faster charging speeds, according to recent reports. ‌MagSafe‌‌ first debuted in January 2006 when Apple launched the first-ever MacBook Pro. The ‌‌MagSafe‌‌ port featured a rectangular design with five holes, which corresponded to an ...
Ports 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1 copy

Stolen MacBook Pro Schematics Confirm Apple's Plans to Add More Ports and Remove Touch Bar

Wednesday April 21, 2021 10:31 am PDT by
Schematics stolen from Apple supplier Quanta Computer outline Apple's plans for the next-generation MacBook Pro models that are expected in 2021, and clearly confirm plans for additional ports and a return to MagSafe. MacRumors saw the schematics after they were leaked online, and some of them feature the logic board of the next-generation MacBook Pro. On the right side of the machine,...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...