Apple has introduced its new 16-inch MacBook Pro, promising an upgrade in both design and performance. Models will be available in silver and space gray next week, with a starting price of $2,499.
The new Pro is configurable with the M1 Pro and the M1 Max, Apple’s new 10-core processors with eight “high-performance” cores and two “high-efficiency” cores. The M1 Max has double the Pro’s GPU cores (32 to the Pro’s 16) and double the memory bandwidth, as well as 64GB of unified memory (the Pro has 32GB).
The chassis has also received a modern redesign. The device is 4.7 pounds and 16.8mm thick, with a 16.2-inch display. The Touch Bar has been replaced by physical keys, and there’s an HDMI port on the right side in addition to a Thunderbolt 4 port and an SDXC slot, with a headphone jack and two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left. It’s the most connectivity we’ve ever seen from a Mac notebook, according to Apple — the M1 Pro model supports up to two Pro Display XDRs, and the M1 Max config can handle up to three in addition to a 4K TV.
The first MacBook Pro 16 debuted in November 2019. It had a very similar design to previous 15-inch MacBook Pros and was powered by Intel’s 9th Gen processors (which are now two generations old). Reviewers praised its outstanding keyboard and audio, in addition to its power, but moaned about the limited connectivity — there were only two Thunderbolt ports on each side.
There’s a new 1080p camera, which Apple says delivers twice the low-light performance of previous MacBook shooters. A new six-speaker sound system supports Spatial Audio, and a Liquid Retina XDR display delivers up to a claimed 1,600 nits of peak brightness. The enclosure is entirely aluminum, and Apple says the new cooling system can move “50 percent more air” than previous MacBooks with lower (and thus, quieter) fan speeds.
Apple claims the 16-inch Pro will deliver 21 hours of video playback on battery, which is “the longest battery life ever on a Mac notebook”, per the company. Battery results can vary by workload, so we wouldn’t expect most people to see that result — but anything close would be category-topping without a doubt. The MacBook also supports MagSafe 3 and fast charge for easy juicing.
The M1 Pro and M1 Max have big shoes to fill. The M1 chip that Apple announced last November (which now powers the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the Mac Mini, the iPad Pro, and the 2021 iMac) has blown competing offerings out of the water when it comes to processing power, efficiency, and integrated graphics.
But customers have been waiting for Apple to release processor workstation machines, including the 16-inch MacBook Pro and a potential successor to the 27-inch iMac. It’s safe to say that many people are eagerly awaiting this MacBook Pro — not just to purchase for themselves but to see whether the M1 Max will take the laptop market by storm in the same way its predecessor did.