Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021, 08:38 Hardware

MacBook Pro 2021 – Only HDMI 2.0, Heavier, Support For High Impedance Headphones

Five years ago, when Apple announced that all of its laptops would be hitting the gym, losing weight, and slimming down, the company removed several frequently used port connections from the sides of its notebooks. Amongst those sorely missed were HDMI and MagSafe. However, both have returned with the latest MacBook Pro, although Apple decided on a slightly older connection than standard for HDMI. The announcement that the MacBook Pro 2021 would be getting HDMI 2.0 and not HDMI 2.1 surprised many. HDMI 2.0 is limited to only 60 Hz on 4K displays, whereas HDMI 2.1 is capable of 120 Hz, as those who own a current generation of the Apple TV likely already know. Similarly to HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt ports can only handle up to 60 Hz, although ProMotion and the device's internal display are capable of 120 Hz.

Weight & Dimensions Increase
The relatively long trend, "always thinner and lighter" that Apple has followed with almost every release until now, seems to be giving way finally. In comparison with 2019's MacBook Pro 16", 2021's variant has grown considerably. Into its big boy shoes. The change in philosophy means a slight weight increase of .4 pounds from 4.3 to 4.7 pounds (relatively minimal, to be fair). That's for the M1 Pro variant at least; the M1 Max comes in at about 4.85 pounds. The tiny increase in weight has also led to a minimal increase in size as the MacBook Pro bulks up with a bit of muscle from 1.62 centimeters to 1.68. These values don't make out any significant difference and are largely hardly recognizable.

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High Impedance Headphones
There are also improvements to the headphone jack, which retains its place along the side of the MacBook Pro. Apple has referred to the new MacBook Pro's audio system as the "best" of any notebook, and the device's 3.5mm headphone jack is no exclusion. High impedance headphones are now officially supported, thanks to the new audio jack. Some headphone manufacturers such as Sennheiser produce premium tier headphones to target customers requiring studio-quality audio. There have also been improvements to the computer's internal audio system, now made up of six speakers and a reworked microphone.

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