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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Following the last-minute rumor that Apple's upcoming new MacBook Pro models could feature a notch at the top of the display, much of the online discussion has involved concerns that such a notch would encroach on the active screen area, potentially eating into the macOS menu bar.

mbp-flattened-with-notch.jpg
MacRumors concept render of notched MacBook Pro display

However, it's worth noting that Apple has explored ways of including a notch in a MacBook Pro display that would avoid ingression into the main screen area, make the notch appear seamless against a black strip, and potentially allow for additional information to be displayed to the user that would also free up menu bar space in the main 16:10 display.

For example, an Apple patent filed in 2019 with the U.S. patent office, titled "Electronic Device Display With Extended Active Area," describes, among various embodiments, a laptop computer featuring a main rectangular screen and two "extended regions" between the screen and an inactive border, wherein "the first and second rectangular extended regions are on opposing sides of the camera."

Specifically, the laptop's "first and second rectangular extended regions display icons on a black background while the main rectangular region displays a rectangular picture."
"The first and second extended regions may be located on opposing sides of a camera or other electrical component in a protruding portion or island-shaped portion of the inactive region. Icons or other information may be displayed on a black background in the extended regions, giving the display a continuous unbroken appearance."
Such an implementation could potentially add system status information in a black strip above the macOS menu bar, but that would of course require a significant adjustment to the way the menu bar operates on these new Mac models in the final release of macOS Monterey, and there's been no evidence of that so far.

The notch rumor, while seemingly sketchy on its own, has gained some traction since Friday, initially due to a discovery by MacRumors of screen resolutions that will feature in the redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.

In the macOS Monterey beta, MacRumors uncovered potential display resolutions of 3024x1964 and 3456x2234 for the rumored 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. When subtracting 74 pixels from the height of both, the resulting 3024x1890 and 3456x2160 resolutions work out to an aspect ratio of 16:10. All of Apple's current MacBooks feature a 16:10 aspect ratio, leading to speculation that the extra 74 pixels could be for a notch.

The possibility that Friday's rumor may have substance to it has further been bolstered by an alleged photo of a MacBook Pro screen with a notch that was originally shared by a Weibo account.

Apple is hosting a virtual event on Monday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, with rumors widely suggesting the event will be focused on redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with a faster version of the M1 chip, brighter mini-LED displays, MagSafe, and additional connectivity.

Article Link: Apple Patent Offers Sketch of Possible Notch Implementation in New MacBook Pros
 
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Mr. Dee

macrumors 68040
Dec 4, 2003
3,360
5,491
Jamaica
What they might do is split the global menu bar into two sections separated by the notch. So, you will have a long pill shaped File menu on the left then a pill shaped status bar on the right.

Apple will say this frees up more screen real estate, you get Face ID and unifies the Mac and other iOS device experience.
 

DrDVil

macrumors newbie
Jan 23, 2021
12
47
Am I missing something?

According to the text in the patent the screen at both sides of the notch are not part of the main screen area, will be always black and are only used to display information (e.g. clock , battery status, etc.). So you can free space in the main screen area! So it seems like the menu will be below the notch, as usual, and the notch will not interfere with the normal screen.

So I don't see the problem at all! and since the new MacBook Pros are supposed to use mini led, the background of the extended region can be made pitch black!

Seems like a good use of otherwise unused space, if is implemented as described in the patent.
 

UBS28

macrumors 68020
Oct 2, 2012
2,349
1,686
Am I missing something?

According to the text in the patent the screen at both sides of the notch are not part of the main screen area, will be always black and are only used to display information (e.g. clock , battery status, etc.). So you can free space in the main screen area! So it seems like the menu will be below the notch, as usual, and the notch will not interfere with the normal screen.

So I don't see the problem at all! and since the new MacBook Pros are supposed to use mini led, the background of the extended region can be made pitch black!

Seems like a good use of otherwise unused space, if is implemented as described in the patent.

That is pretty much the only way to make the notch work, by not using that part of the display your screen real estate.
 

Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68020
Mar 28, 2010
2,320
5,951
That will make a lot more sense, should it come to fruition.
Essentially it would be a dynamic menu bar that scales vertically depending on how much space is required. There might even be a setting in Monterey that allows the user to choose between a dynamic layout or a fixed height (in which case, any menu bar items that can't be visible because of the notch would be made visible by a button, like in Bartender).
 
I am hoping this notch only applies for the redesigned 14" MBP and not for the 16" MBP.

Then I will simply grab the 16" MPB in that case.
I have a feeling it will be applied to both as it’s going to be a flagship design. It will be spread all across.

Apple, I’m waiting for Apple Watch with a notch :)
 
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ginkobiloba

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2007
571
1,538
Paris
If the notch is located in an additional screen estate area where the right icons of the menu bar will sit above the menu bar of the app, then it could work. In fact it's the only way it could work. No graphics/video pro users would accept a notch eating an area where a full screen image would be. ( Rich Instagram influencers that absolutely need a 3000$+ MBP to post their private island vacations photos might accept it though)
 
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