Round the Outside, Round the Outside, Round the Outside
MacRumors: Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports
The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" with no curves like current models. It will be the most significant design update to the MacBook Pro in the last five years.
For my money, it's self-explanatory why they would do this.
Both MagSafe and other ports hinge on having the vertical real-estate around the perimeter of the product. Apple has been reticent to put ports on surfaces that aren't flat, and has been (let's call it) interested in keeping the products as thin as possible.
Look at the current MacBook Pro head-on, and a significant portion of the thickness is tapered, leaving only the minimal edge on which to put ports. (For all we know, this is why most all ports were removed in the first place.)
As noted, laptops do need to not be complete bricks, lest you're unable to pick them up off a table without maddeningly pushing them around first. But there are ways to either beef up the rubber feet that still exist, or provide a slight bevel or less pronounced tapering to the side. (Or maybe they realized it wasn't going to kill them to make the thing a millimeter thicker and keep the current form factor, but that's not the current topic.)
It's also possible that, due to the iPad Pro and recent iPad Air that have the same flat-edged design and unlike the new and old flat-edged iPhones are too big to "wrap around to pick up", Apple's just going to use the same radius and go for it the way it is.
As for all the other features: Assuming this thing comes out and has an M2/M1X in it, I'm there. This 16" MacBook Pro is relatively speaking barely unpacked at 14 months, but the combination of voting with one's wallet to mark a step in the right direction and getting what appears to be a significant improvement in performance, battery life, thermal ergonomics and utility is very tempting. Chucking the Touch Bar and the Intel chips should provide enough savings to drop pricing to merely exorbitant.