I'm still using a 13" mid-2012 MBP and, until the 2021 rumours about making the MBP great again, had no intention of "downgrading" to a touchbar model.
Besides the advantages of the earlier MBPs mentioned, the mid-2012s are amazingly user upgradeable: my main drive is a 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD, optical drive replaced with hybrid 2TB HDD for music only, RAM maxed out at 16GB, MAC OSX 10.13.6. Boot time: 20 seconds (is that good?)
I've also had to replace the touchpad (under $20) and battery ($30). Swelling of original battery had squeezed trackpad such that clicking no longer worked and trackpad glass cracked.
Magsafe, SD slot and all the other ports are very useful, so being limited to 2 USB-C ports would be unfortunate.
If they actually do this, I might swap my 2019 16GB MBP out. It's a disappointment overall (keyboard, ergonomics) but I do like having one port for charging/connectivity. Seems like the 2012 MBP 15" got everything right and when I put a SSD in mine it was screaming fast.
All the rumors on the 2021 releases are missing the most important info and that is the TB implementation in M1.
The 2020 M1 releases have two TB buses on which you should be able to daisy chain two 4K displays each but cannot. This should not be advertised as TB compliant.
In addition, with a display connected on one TB bus you cannot connect a display on the other TB bus so one external display is the limit on the M1 notebooks and two (HDMI + 1 TB) on the mini.
A true TB implementation should allow 2 4K displays on each bus.
Your wrong about the Touch Bar. It needs to stay, stop knocking it and just use it. It better be on the new ones or I'll have to wait till it comes back. I like the short keyboard movement, don't like that it can stick, they should just fix that issue and keep the short throw. I hate those old clunker keyboards from my old Macs.
I’m still running my 15” mid-2012 MBPr with the 512GB SSD and I’m in the exact same boat. I’ve had no reason to upgrade since mine still runs like a champ, has had no service, and my productivity suite is provided by Apple.
Mid 2016 MBP, Touch Bar, butterfly keyboard, usb-c... awesome, STOP complaining Tom. What I agree with-go back to MAGsafe, thats a requirement, keep Touch Bar, SDS slot must be on a PRO, improve butterfly keyboard don't go back to clunker keyboard