Fourteen is the new thirteen.
“The 14-inch model will replace the current 13.3-inch model…”
—MacRumors, February 26, 2021
Other Apple-enthusiast sites are predicting the same thing, based on analyst and media reports.
While it’s only a prediction at this time, it’s not a shocking one because:
Apple did it in 2019: Apple killed the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro in 2019. Its replacement, the 16-inch MBP, is almost the same size. Apple only had to make the chassis slightly bigger to accommodate the larger display.
PC makers already doing 14-inch: The new HP Spectre x360 14* has a chassis about the same size as the current 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro. But the display is slightly taller because HP uses a 3:2 aspect ratio compared to the 16:10 (8:5) on the MBP. The Spectre x360 also weighs slightly less than the MacBook Pro despite having a larger display.
13.3-inch laptop size is long in the tooth: the 13.3-inch display size has been around forever. It makes sense for Apple, PC makers, and display manufacturers to move on. Dell, for instance, has moved on to a 13.4-inch display size for its XPS 13.
Thin bezels are in: With ultra-thin display bezels now the norm, it’s easier to squeeze a 14-inch display into a 13.3-inch chassis.
Aspect ratio: As mentioned above, getting a larger display into a smaller chassis can, in combination with thinner bezels, be facilitated by changing the aspect ratio, i.e., make the display less wide but taller.
HP Spectre x360 14 (left) is actually less wide than the 13-inch MacBook Pro M1.
Other features expected and/or rumored on the 14-inch MacBook Pro:
*The HP Spectre x360 14 uses a 13.5-inch display, so HP rounds up the advertised display size to 14. That’s the opposite of current “13-inch” laptops which round down the 13.3-inch display to 13 for marketing purposes.
I use both an HP Spectre x360 14 (OLED) and a 13-inch MacBook Pro M1.
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I was a founding member of CNET news and hardware editor at CNET, a contributing technology reporter for the New York Times, and a reporter and editor at the Asian Wall