Apple may finally be bringing an integrated SD card slot to its upcoming 2021 models of its MacBook Pro laptops, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in a move that would restore the popular port standard to the company’s computers.
The MacBook Pro lineup hasn’t offered an SD card slot since Apple removed the feature in its 2016 redesign, which excised all the ports from the laptops in favor of four universal USB-C ports. This forced many professional users — who rely on the popular memory card format to import photos and videos to their computers for editing — to turn to much-reviled dongles to get the same functionality.
The news comes after an earlier report from Gurman that originally detailed some of the changes that Apple was planning for the upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch designs. These changes include removing the controversial Touch Bar interface in exchange for physical function keys; offering a more squared-off design that’s in line with the recent iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPhone 12 lineups; adding brighter displays; and bringing back Apple’s magnetic MagSafe chargers. That’s all in addition to the biggest change, which will see the high-end laptops move from Intel’s processors to a more powerful version of Apple’s in-house, ARM-based M1 chipset.
Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo corroborated those reports by claiming that the new laptops would offer additional ports, but today marks the first confirmation of the SD card slot specifically.
The news of the SD card slot’s return actually comes as an aside in a larger report on Apple’s planned refresh for a “high-end” MacBook Air model, which is said to offer similar MagSafe and processor benefits as the new MacBook Pros. Unfortunately, though, there’s no mention of the SD card slot being offered on the upcoming Air refresh — just a pair of USB-C ports.