We’ve suspected for months that Apple is working on something big for its MacBook Pro line, including an all-new MacBook Pro 14 and a revamped MacBook Pro 16, but all we’ve had to go on are leaks and analyses from journalists and tipsters. Until now, that is, as it appears Apple has accidentally spilled the beans itself ahead of its rumored October event.
As first spotted by MacRumors, the latest beta of Apple’s upcoming Mac operating system, MacOS Monterey, includes references to two display resolutions that are not used by any current Macs. Nestled among resolutions for existing Macs in the System Information app, including the 5K iMac’s 5120 x 2880 and the MacBook Pro 13’s 2560 x 1600, are two more: 3024 x 1964 and 3456 x 2234.
These resolutions are not used by any existing Macs, either in native resolutions or in scaled options that users can set themselves. In other words, it seems Apple is working on something new.
Based on what leaks have suggested about Apple’s Mac plans — that it will release two new MacBook Pro models at once, both with improved mini-LED displays — there’s a good chance that these two new resolutions correspond to the new MacBooks.
Encouragingly, the pixel density of these mystery Macs — around 257 pixels per inch (PPI) — represents a step up for the MacBook Pro 13 and MacBook Pro 16 they are going to replace. The former’s existing 2560 x 1600 resolution offers 232 PPI, while the MacBook Pro 16 is slightly lower at 226 PPI. With higher pixel densities, the new MacBook displays should look much crisper in use.
And it’s not just image sharpness the new panels will improve. According to numerous sources, Apple is planning to outfit the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 with mini-LED screens, which will bring increased contrast and color reproduction. We’ve already seen the effects of this display tech in the M1 iPad Pro, and its deployment in the MacBook Pro range could help propel Apple’s laptops back to the top of the screen quality charts.
While this inadvertent leak appears to reveal what’s coming for Apple’s MacBook Pro models, we should find out for sure in about a month’s time. Apple is widely expected to host an October event where it shows off its new MacBooks to the world, complete with new chassis designs, the return of MagSafe, and much more. So there’s not long to wait to see if Apple inadvertently spoiled its own party.