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MacBook Pro 2021: Apple defends Notch as a “really clever” solution

Apple’s sensor recess at the top of the screen is again causing discussions. The so-called “notch” – a notch on the upper edge of the display, stuck behind the camera and sensors – is now integrated into the 14 “and 16” display of the new MacBook Pro, where it divides the macOS menu bar into two halves.

Similar to the introduction with the iPhone X in 2017, the design element offends some users. In contrast to the iPhone, the Mac still lacks the Face ID hidden in the notch, which also triggered criticism.

In an initial reaction, an Apple manager emphasized that the notch does not result in a smaller screen area: The display of the new MacBook Pro has been deliberately designed higher, so that the area with the notch is above the previous display with a diagonal of 16 inches and a 16:10 aspect ratio. The screen diagonal of the MacBook Pro 2021 is 16.2 inches or 14.2 inches.

Photoshop’s menu bar just fits to the left of the notch.

(Image: Apple)

As it were, the sensor notch was moved upwards and “got out of the way”. That is a “really clever way” to create more space for content, stressed Mac product manager Shruti Haldea in an interview with the YouTube channel Same Brain.

In the app full screen mode and during video playback, macOS automatically displays black bars that hide the notch. A compatibility mode should ensure that no app content is unintentionally covered. Developers can also use the space to the left and right of the notch for their programs. This is also possible on iPhones, but is rarely used there.

The new MacBook Pros are available with 14-inch or 16-inch displays.

For applications with a large number of menu entries, however, things can get tight, for example the Photoshop menus just fit to the left of the notch, as screenshots published by Apple show – the manufacturer apparently packs the app menus in macOS 12 Monterey a bit tighter. Even users who use a massive number of status objects or status menus may have to rearrange the order on the new MacBook Pro or use tools such as bartenders that bundle the status menus.

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