The long-awaited, long-rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro has officially landed, and it promises to fix all of the gripes that users had with the previous flagship 15-inch MacBook Pros while increasing performance by “up to 80%” for designers, photographers, video editors, and everyone in between.
The point of the 16-inch MacBook Pro seems to be two-fold.
First, Apple wanted to address many of the complaints that users have voiced about the previous flagship 15-inch models: a poorly designed keyboard that broke easily, no escape key, insufficient cooling, and maximum specs that had fallen behind the competition. Second, Apple wanted to try and pack in as much power as possible, putting the top-of-the-line specs of this machine into a league of their own, at least compared to every other Apple notebook ever made.
We haven’t yet had the chance to test this computer ourselves (stay tuned for that…) but Apple seems to have succeeded on both counts.
As the name implies, the latest flagship MacBook Pro comes with a 16-inch Retina Display, making it the largest Retina display ever put in a notebook. With a resolution of 3072×1920 for a pixel density of 226 ppi, brightness of 500 nits, and P3 wide color gamut, it promises to deliver the performance pros have come to expect from Apple’s displays.
The other major improvement to the surface of the computer is the keyboard, which has ditched the much-maligned butterfly mechanism for a specially-designed, ultra-thin scissor mechanism Apple is calling “the new Magic Keyboard.” These keys promise to be everything the old mechanism wasn’t, offering 1mm of key travel, a “stable key feel” and, for those of us who hated these omissions before, an actual physical ESC key and inverted-T arrangement for the arrow keys.
In terms of I/O, the computer comes with four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C connections and a headphone jack.
Cosmetic tweaks and improvements aside, the 16-inch MBP is all about performance, and if you have the cash to spend, this computer can be specced out to be far more powerful than any Apple notebook that came before it.
The CPU options include the latest 9th-Gen Intel Core i7 and i9 processors, all the way up to the 2.4GHz 8‑core Core i9 with a Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz; RAM starts at 16GB and can be configured all the way up to 64GB; storage starts at 512GB and can be configured all the way up to a staggering 8TB; and AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics with up to 8GB of onboard storage. The graphics are particularly interesting, as Apple is calling these GPUs “the first 7nm mobile discrete GPUs for pro users.”
All of this is powered by a 100Wh battery—the largest ever in a MacBook—that promises 11 hours of unplugged “web browsing or Apple TV app video playback.” And the improved cooling system features larger fans and a larger heat sink that promises “significantly more heat dissipation,” allowing the computer to “sustain up to 12 more watts of power during intensive workloads” compared to the previous 15-inch models.
“Our pro customers tell us they want their next MacBook Pro to have a larger display, blazing-fast performance, the biggest battery possible, the best notebook keyboard ever, awesome speakers and massive amounts of storage, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers all of that and more,” says Apple senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing, Tom Boger. “With its brilliant 16-inch Retina display, 8-core processors, next-gen pro graphics, even better thermal design, new Magic Keyboard, six-speaker sound system, 100Wh battery, up to 8TB of storage and 64GB of fast memory, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the world’s best pro notebook.”
The “world’s best pro notebook.” We know a few PC brands that’ll have something to say about that, but one thing’s for sure, Apple has made their flagship MacBook Pro significantly more competitive once again.
Here’s Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro promo video that features several creatives—including adventure photographer Chris Burkard–talking about creativity and how the new Apple notebook fits into their professional workflows:
To find out more about the 16-inch MacBook Pro or configure your own, head over to the Apple website. Just be ready for a little sticker shock…
The base configuration—with a 2.6GHz 6-core 9th Gen Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory—will cost you $2400. Specced all the way up with a 2.4GHz 8‑core 9th Gen Core i9 (Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz), 64GB of RAM, 8TB or SSD storage, and a Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory onboard, you’ll be paying a whopping $6,100!