Apple: The Notch Is a ‘Smart Way’ to Make the MacBook Pro Screen More Spacious

MacBook Pro 16-inch Mini-LED display

During a recent media interview, an Apple official said that the notch in the display of the new MacBook Pros offered a “smart way” to make the screen roomier and the bezels thinner. The official mentioned that the added screen real estate gives users more room for their content.

The notch on the new MacBook Pros was one of the few last-minute rumors ahead of Apple’s unleashed event last week. As it turned out, the rumor was true and Apple incorporated the front-facing camera and sensors into the notch. While the wider Internet has criticized Apple’s unconventional design choice, the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros do feature 24 percent narrower bezels on the side than the previous generation. Thanks to the notch, the top bezel is 60 percent thinner than the previous generation and measures 3.5mm just like the side bezels.

Speaking about the notch on the Same Brain podcast, Mac product line manager Shruti Haldea said it was a “smart” solution because it gave users more room for content by moving the macOS menu bar out of the way.

“What we’ve done is we’ve actually made the display taller. Like on the 16-inch notebook, you still have a 16.0 active area on the diagonal in that 16:10-inch window, and we just grew the display up from there and put the menu bar up there. We just kind of moved it up and out of the way. So it’s a really smart way to give you more space for your content, and when you’re in full-screen mode, you have that 16:10 window, and it looks great. It’s seamless.”

Yes, we agree that the notch is a prominent design feature of the new MacBook Pros. However, Apple is counting on macOS to help the bathtub notch blend in better during day-to-day use. For instance, the Dark Mode could hide the notch. When apps run in full-screen mode, a black border is added to the top of the display, also hiding the notch. Developers can even program the application’s content to be shown on either side of the notch.

That said, Apple has made significant changes under the hood of the new MacBook Pros. The laptops feature a redesigned chassis, an HDMI port, support for MagSafe wireless charging, and the mini-LED display with ProMotion. Arguably, the biggest change is the inclusion of the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips aimed squarely at professional users. Both the 14-inch and 16-inch variants went up for pre-order last week and will start reaching customers tomorrow.

You can watch the full podcast episode here: