MacBook Pro 16-inch | Hands-on review

The new MacBook Pro 16-inch has just dropped, if you haven’t heard about it, it’s because it’s been discreetly added to the Apple Store. There are a few updates that make this a suitable upgrade for some people but perhaps not for everyone. Take a look at our in-depth review below.

Design

Design-wise, the new MacBook Pro 16-inch is very similar to its predecessor. They both share the same classic aluminum finish, they both have the force trackpad and speakers on each side of the keyboard. It is also possible to get the new model in space gray and silver finishes. The trackpad has now changed slightly with an independent escape key and Touch ID sensor.

Size-wise, the new MacBook Pro 16-inch is definitely larger than the older model, but only slightly. You won’t be picking it up feeling a difference, despite it actually being taller, wider and heavier. Realistically we’re talking about a few millimeters and around 200 grams which are hardly noticeable. If you’re buying this laptop, it’s not for its size; it’s for its performance.

Performance

Performance is the main concern for most MacBook Pro users. The new MacBook Pro 16-inch can be considerably faster than the previous model depending on the specs you choose. The MacBook Pro 16-inch starts with a 2.6GHz 6-core 9th generation – Intel Core i7 processor with a turbo boost of up to 4.5GHz. Whereas, with the upgraded version, paying a bit extra, you can get a 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor with a turbo boost of up to 4.8GHz. There are also some improvements to memory, but the main difference is you can get up to 8TB of storage. If that sounds like way too much for you, then the base model has 512 GB of storage which is already double of the previous model.

Despite the new MacBook Pro 16-inch coming with 16GB of DDR4 RAM which is the same as the older model. The new model has a clock speed of 2666MHz, whereas the older version had 2400MHz.

The new MacBook Pro 16-inch still has the same screen as the resolution as the 15-inch model. But, it also has a new three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming.
Apple has also added an extra hour to the battery life of the MacBook Pro bringing it 16-inch bringing the total battery life up to 11 hours. On top of that, it also has enhanced sound quality with a high-fidelity six speaker sound system.

Keyboard

This is one of the more subtle changes to the new MacBook Pro 16-inch. The keyboard looks similar to the old one but with a massive difference. The Keyboard has been completely redesigned after so many problems with the butterfly mechanism used in all of the most recent MacBooks. Apple has returned to the more reliable scissor mechanism, which not only means that your keyboard will not fail you, but it’ll also do it more quietly. A huge plus for someone like myself as I type a lot and refuse to do it on a macbook for that very reason!

The classic “Magic Keyboard” features a rubber dome, with 1mm of key travel which allows you to type without driving other people mad! In general, it’s a more comfortable typing experience and dust getting stuck under your keys will no longer be an issue. The arrow keys have also returned back to their old 2015 design. It’s refreshing to see a big company like Apple take a step back and realise some of their previous designs were more effective.

Display

Even though the new MacBook Pro 16-inch has is only slightly larger than the older version. It still manages to fit a 16-inch screen with a resolution of 3072×1920, which means it has a higher density panel at 226 PPI. The last generation MacBook Pro had a 15.4 inch display with a resolution of 2880×1800 at 220 PPI. It can reach up to 500 nits with a wide color gamut (P3) and True Tone technology. This adapts the color and intensity of the display to match the ambient light so that images appear more natural.

The Verdict

The MacBook Pro 16-inch is mainly worth it if you need to take your office with you. There’s some new features which are a nice addition but not worth splashing out for an upgrade if you dont need them. We have to remember that this is a “Pro” product and made with pros in mind. If you’re MacBook does all the heavy lifting, this is definitely an upgrade worth considering. If you’re going to use it like a desktop, then this MacBook isn’t for you.

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