Price, specs, release date and more
We’ve been waiting for Apple’s MacBook Pros to get some really professional updates, meaning really useful ports and improved performance, and the new versions seem to fit the bill. Apple on Monday unveiled the completely revised 14- and 16-inch versions of its popular Pro laptops, which ditch the Touch Bar (useful for some, useless for most), sport the ports creative professionals need, and offer new features. miniLED screens. On top of all that, the Pros are powered by the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which promise to kick Intel’s ass. Sure, we’ll put those claims to the test, but on paper at least we’re seriously impressed.
New powerful chips: M1 Pro and M1 Max
First of all, the MacBook Pros run on Apple’s latest chips, the M1 Pro and M1 Max. The two new chips sport up to 10 processor cores (eight high-performance and two efficient), delivering performance 70% faster than M1, according to Apple.
Here’s where they differ: The M1 Pro has a 16-core GPU, which Apple says promises graphics performance up to twice as fast as the M1, with up to 200 GB / s of memory bandwidth, almost three times M1 and 32 GB of RAM. The M1 Pro, based on a 5 nanometer architecture, has 33.7 billion transistors, more than double the M1. According to Apple, the graphics performance of the M1 Pro is up to 7 times faster than the integrated graphics of the GP66 Leopard from MSI.
The M1 Max is even more pro than the M1 Pro, with up to 400 GB / s of memory bandwidth – double the M1 Pro and six times that of the M1. The M1 Max can be configured with up to 64 GB of RAM and has 57 billion transistors. The 10-core processor is the same as the M1 Pro, but the 32-core GPU offers four times faster GPU performance than the M1. Apple said the M1 Max offers the same graphics performance as the Razer Blade 15 Advance, but with 40% less power.
Apple outlined how this performance will play out in real-world use cases. In Final Cut Pro, video analysis for object tracking is up to five times faster than with M1, and ProRes video transcoding is 10 times faster.
Amazing display, notch included
OK, now that you know how awesome the new MacBook chips are, it’s time to talk about design. The revised MacBook Pro, which comes in a 16-inch model and a more compact 14-inch model, is beefier than last year’s 13-inch model. The 16-inch MacBook is 16.8mm thick and 4.7 pounds, and the 14-inch model is 15.5mm thick and 3.5 pounds. You’ll notice that the keyboard doesn’t have a touch bar, which is something Apple really tried to do. Instead, the Pro Keyboard has a row of physical function keys as the universe intended. The new keyboard sits in a black well, surrounded by silver foil with a giant trackpad.
Apple introduced miniLED to the MacBook Pro display, just like the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. MacBook Pros also benefit from the iPad Pro’s ProMotion display, with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. Surrounding the display are side bezels that are 3.5mm thick (24% thinner) and a 60% thinner 3.5mm top bezel. Yes, there is a notch where the webcam sits, which will almost certainly be polarizing. But this webcam is now at 1080p just like on the new iMac, which will make your video calls much better than before.
The 16-inch Pro features a six-speaker sound system with two tweeters and four noise-canceling woofers, delivering 80% more bass, if that’s something you like.
And, perhaps most importantly for the pros, the new MacBooks have ports, all ports. Instead of being limited to USB-C, the Pros sport an HDMI port, Thunderbolt 4 port, and SD card slot on the right, with a headphone jack and two additional Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left side. MagSafe is making a comeback for a truly satisfying charging experience, but you can still charge using USB-C. Apple apparently praised itself at the Mac event for eliminating the need for adapters, which, okay. Using a MacBook equipped with M1 Pro, you can connect up to two Pro Display XDRs, and with an M1 Max MBP, you can connect up to three Pro Display XDRs and a 4K television.
Apple also promises the longest battery life on a MacBook, up to 17 hours on the 14-inch model and up to 21 hours on the 16-inch. You can charge up to 50% in 30 minutes.
The good news is, you can choose your own adventure when it comes to the new MacBook Pro chips. The 14-inch and 16-inch Pros will be available with the M1 Pro or the M1 Max.
When can you buy?
You can order the new MacBook Pro today, and it will start shipping on October 26.
Here’s the important part: The Pro starts at $ 1,999 for the 14-inch version and $ 2,499 for the 16-inch model. These are prices that are hard to bear, although not entirely unusual for high-end laptops, and the performance gains could be impressive enough to justify them.
Last year’s MacBook Pro M1 made the eyes of laptop users a bit bigger. Will the M1 Pro and M1 Max blow up PCs? Intel and AMD surely await benchmarks with nervousness: the market is about to become more competitive than ever.