Apple is adding a notch on the display of its new MacBook Pro models. It’s a cut-out that will house the camera system, much like how Apple moved to a notch design for its iPhone X launch in 2017. The surprising addition of the notch comes in the new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch models, both of which are equipped with updated Apple M1 silicon inside.
Both the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are completely redesigned, and the bezels have been trimmed down thanks to this notch. The bezels at the side are 3.5mm — that’s 24 percent thinner than before — and up top, it’s 60 percent thinner. The macOS menu bar now wraps around the camera, and it seems to look a lot better with dark mode enabled so the notch isn’t as noticeable.
The camera inside this notch is now improved, too. It’s 1080p with a wider aperture and a larger image sensor that should provide better low-light performance. Apple is using computational video on this webcam, including noise reduction, machine learning-based face detection, local tone mapping, auto white balance, auto exposure, and smart HDR features.
Yet despite all these improvements, it’s still just a regular webcam and Apple hasn’t added Face ID here. Apple justified its move to a notch on the iPhone X with the introduction of Face ID, but the notch here appears to be more about shrinking display bezels.
The 14-inch is also 120Hz with HDR support, so you do get a big jump in fluidity for the notch. Apple is also adding an SD card slot, HDMI port, and more hardware improvements.