Apple has officially unveiled the new MacBook Pro 16-inch, a larger version of its MacBook Pro line, and it comes with some very welcome upgrades – including a much-needed overhaul of the keyboard.
Previous models of the MacBook Pro have been criticised for having keyboards that are prone to failing, so the news that Apple has indeed ditched the problematic Butterfly switches of older MacBook Pro models for a new scissor design is particularly good news.
The escape key of the keyboard is now a separate key, which will be welcomed by anyone who accidentally hits the escape key on existing models.
The Touch ID button, for scanning your fingerprint to log into the MacBook Pro and for making secure payments, has also been slightly moved to make it easier – and more comfortable – to use.
The new MacBook Pro 16-inch comes with the latest six and eight-core 9th generation Intel processors, which Apple claims delivers over twice the performance than the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
It also offers up to 64GB of RAM, for the first time in a MacBook. Apple has also improved the thermal design of the MacBook Pro 16-inch to make sure it keeps all those powerful components nice and cool while in use.
The graphics capabilities of the new MacBook Pro 16-inch have also been boosted, with new AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics, the first 7nm mobile graphics cards for professionals. These feature GDDR6 video memory up to 8GB, and according to Apple, will provide 2.1 times faster graphics performance with the standard Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch configuration, compared to the previous version.
Meanwhile, if you go for the highest-end option, you’ll apparently see up to 80% faster performance compared to the previous high-end configuration.
Apple has also crammed in a 100Wh battery, the largest one found in any MacBook, which it claims will offer up to 11 hours of web browsing or Apple TV app video playback.
Aimed at creative professionals
Apple’s devices have always been popular with the creative community. Designers, artists and music and video editors often use Macs and MacBooks, and the MacBook Pro 16-inch has gone even further to appeal to content creators.
Anyone working with audio will appreciate the new six-speaker system with ‘force-cancelling woofers’, which bring seriously impressive audio to the laptop by reducing vibrations which can distort sounds. This should mean that you don’t need to plug in external speakers, and will be particularly useful for sound engineers and music producers who work on the go.
The microphone array has also been upgraded, with the built-in mic of the MacBook Pro 16-inch being good enough for podcast recording, again eliminating the need to use any external hardware and reducing hiss by up to 40%.
As well as more powerful components for content creation, the MacBook Pro 16-inch comes with double the SSD storage space for its standard configuration compared to the previous models, with 1TB the minimum. If you need more space, then the 16-inch MacBook can be configured up to a huge 8TB of SSD storage – the largest SSD currently found in a laptop.
At an event in New York revealing the new MacBook Pro 16-inch, Apple showed how the built-in microphone of the new MacBook Pro could compete with the likes of Blue Yeti (makers of popular microphones used by podcasters), and the sound quality was again very impressive.
Of course, the biggest change is the new 16-inch screen size, giving you even more room to work on. While the screen size has increased, the overall size of the new MacBook Pro isn’t the different from the MacBook Pro 15-inch (2019). This is thanks to the new slimmer bezels that surround the screen, allowing Apple to include a larger display without making the laptop too cumbersome to carry around.
The resolution is 3,072 x 1,920, with a pixel density of 226 ppi (pixels per inch), and it is factory calibrated to ensure each screen offers accurate gamma and colors. As with previous MacBook Pros, the screen supports the P3 wide color gamut.
While we liked the MacBook Pro models that came out earlier this year, we did complain that Apple hadn’t done anything radical with the designs, whilst also bemoaning the continued inclusion of the problematic Butterfly switch keyboard. With the new MacBook Pro 16-inch, Apple has addressed those complaints. We can’t wait to get one in for review soon.
The MacBook Pro 16-inch will go one sale today, November 13, from apple.com and in Apple Stores and authorised resellers by the end of the week, with prices starting at $2,399 (£2,399, around AU$3,500).
In India, the new MacBook Pro starts at Rs 1,99,900 and will be available in the coming months through Apple Authorised Resellers.