The new MacBook Pro design (yes, there’s a notch)
The MacBook Pro has been redesigned both inside and out by Apple, though it still looks largely the same from the outside (you still get the squared-off design, but now the edges are slightly curvier).
There’s a new keyboard with a full function row at the top, similar to the Magic Keyboard. And, yes, the Touchbar is no longer available. The keyboard, according to Apple, provides a clicky typing experience similar to mechanical keyboards, but we’ll have to wait for a full review to confirm that.
Because the MacBook Pros now have edge-to-edge displays, thick bezels are no longer an issue. The notch, on the other hand, is a disadvantage. It’s impossible to miss. It has a webcam with a resolution of 1080p and ambient light sensors. However, there isn’t any Face ID in there.
For the notch, Apple has increased the height of the menu bar. In addition, if an app is made full-screen, Apple will place a black bar around the notch, effectively hiding it.
The ports are back (and so is MagSafe)
Apple has reintroduced the HDMI port (HDMI 2.0), SD card slot, and MagSafe charging connector to MacBook Pros. In addition, there are three USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports.
M1 goes Pro and Max
Apple has essentially scaled up the M1 chip in two avatars, the M1 Pro and M1 Max, which was already pretty great in the old 13-inch MacBook Pro.
The M1 Pro chip in the base model is an 8-core processor, but all models above it are 10-core. The M1 Max is a ten-core processor (with two high-efficiency cores).
The M1 Pro is two times faster than the M1 chip, and the M1 Max is two times faster than the M1 Pro. And the M1 was already one of the fastest processors available. After the reviews, we’ll know more about the real-world performance, but the M1 Pro and M1 Max are likely to be industry leaders in terms of performance.
In addition, the MacBook Pros now have up to 64 GB of unified memory. The M1 Pro has a maximum storage capacity of 32 GB. And here’s the kicker: the M1 Max processor is available on both the 14 and 16-inch models.
There’s a 32-core GPU option
The GPU is one area where Apple appears to have scaled up significantly. Apple promises performance comparable to leading Windows laptops with dedicated GPUs, despite the fact that Apple’s GPU is built into the processor itself.
This is due to the fact that GPUs are easier to scale than CPUs. You increase the number of cores…and Apple has increased the number of cores significantly. The base model M1 Pro chip has a 14-core GPU, while the rest have a 16-core GPU out of the box.
Additionally, a 32-core GPU option is available. According to Apple, the M1 Max’s 16-core GPU is twice as fast as the M1’s, and the M1’s 32-core GPU is four times faster.
The edge-to-edge screen gets ProMotion and mini-LED
Apple’s Liquid Retina Display XDR is also included in the MacBook Pro. It’s a variable refresh rate mini-LED display. This means the screen can refresh at a rate of 24 to 120 times per second. It has a peak brightness of 1,000 nits that can be increased to 1,600 nits for HDR content.
There’s crazy long battery life
The new MacBook Pros have a long battery life and fast charging. A Thunderbolt 4 port can charge your device up to 50% in 30 minutes. The 14-inch model’s battery life is rated at 17 hours of video playback and 11 hours of web browsing, while the 16-inch model’s battery life is rated at 21 hours of video and 14 hours of browsing.
But these MacBook Pros are expensive
The only drawback to these professional machines is their cost. Apple has reduced the price of MacBook Pros to $1999. You get an 8-core M1 Pro CPU, 14-core GPU, 16GB memory, and 512GB storage for that price.
$2499 gets you a 16-inch model with a 10-core M1 Pro CPU, 16GB of memory, a 16-core GPU, and 512GB of storage.
Because Apple has essentially removed the entry-level models that we hope to see in the next update, these prices are high. For instance, a base 14-inch MacBook Pro with an 8-core CPU, an 8-core GPU, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of storage costs $1299/1399. That market is currently dominated by the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro.
While they’re pricey, you get a lot for your money because Apple designed these machines specifically for professionals. If you’re on a budget, the M1 MacBook Air is a good option, or you can wait for the new MacBook Air update next year.
So, how do you feel about the new MacBook Pros? Are they exactly what you hoped they’d be? Is the notch going to prevent you from purchasing one?