It’s surprising to me that Apple managed to sell MacBook Pros for 5 years with a lot of problems. Whether it was the butterfly keyboard or just having USB-C ports, I knew Apple had to change course. The 16-inch MacBook Pro launched in 2019 was the first step, but they knew they had Apple Silicon. In Apple’s Unleashed event, they brought out the GOOD stuff. Enter the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro!
UNLEASH the POWER with Apple Silicon!
Apple Silicon has been a revelation for the PC industry. It basically revitalized Apple’s computers from being mediocre to being the default option for most people. Now, Apple’s unleashing (yeah, you’ll see this a lot) TWO new processors that expand on the M1. We have the M1 Pro and the M1 Max!
The M1 Pro has up to a 10-core CPU consisting of eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores. It also gets up to a 16-core GPU and up to 32GB of unified memory. This alone is a BIG UPGRADE over the M1 (up to 70% faster CPU and 2x faster GPU, in fact). You also won’t have to worry about its RAM since it has fast memory bandwidth is at 200GB/s.
Meanwhile, the M1 Max just builds upon that M1 Pro with the same 10-core CPU, up to a 32-core GPU, and up to 64GB of unified memory! Its GPU is up to 4x faster than the M1. Its memory bandwidth is even higher than the M1 Pro at 400GB/s.
Both of these processors have a custom media engine that can also handle the ProRes video codec. They both have the 16-core Neural Engine for machine learning tasks, a new display engine for handling multiple displays, additional Thunderbolt 4 controllers, and the usual Apple image signal processor and Secure Enclave.
An Amazing Display Despite That Notch
Yeah yeah, there’s a notch on the new MacBook Pro. It may be unnecessary (and I think it is right now). I just think Apple just went for it in case they wanna do something in the future (like Face ID).
Besides that notch, the displays on the new Pro are now Liquid Retina XDR displays! Both the 14-inch and 16-inch models take advantage of displays using the mini-LED technology. That notch also houses the new 1080p FaceTime HD camera that has a larger sensor, a 4-element lens, and a wider f/2.0 aperture. The 16.2-inch display on the 16-inch gives you a 3456-by-2234 resolution with 7.7 MILLION pixels. Meanwhile, the 14.2-inch display on the 14-inch gives you a 3024-by-1964 resolution with 5.9 MILLION pixels. (That’s more than the previous 16-inch Pro at 3072-by-1920 resolution.)
Return of the Ports!
Besides the Touch Bar, the loss of variety of ports in favor of USB-C was a big downgrade. Professionals needed 1 or 2 dongles just so they could get an HDMI port or an SD card reader. With this new MacBook Pro, THEY BROUGHT IT ALL BACK!
We now get all these ports on the 14-inch and 16-inch Pro:
- Three Thunderbolt 4 ports (compared to 4 on recent Intel MacBooks; 2 on M1 MacBooks)
- 3.5mm headphone jack with advanced support for high-impedance headphones (did not specify the impedance)
- HDMI port (only has HDMI 2.0)
- SDXC card slot (doesn’t really specify what class of SD card is supported)
- MagSafe 3 port that can charge a MacBook Pro from 0 to 50% in 30 minutes (using a 96W or 140W USB-C adapter and a USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable)
This is great news for most professionals (some of them use CFExpress cards) who rely on these ports for their workflows.
Goodbye, Touch Bar!
Not gonna talk about this too much, but the new Pros ditch the Touch Bar. It was a good idea on paper, but didn’t really bring a lot of practical use in the long term. We now get a Magic Keyboard that basically has the same layout as the 24-inch iMac’s Magic Keyboard! The keyboard area also gets a black anodized aluminum surface to make the keyboard backlight stand out more.
Pricing and Availability
This is where these new MacBook Pros get really interesting and confusing. So much so that I initially didn’t know how to show it properly in the Apple event highlights post! Here’s what I came up with.
The MacBook Pro comes in two models:
- 14-inch MacBook Pro with a 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display and comes in two standard configurations with M1 Pro. The base model has an 8-core CPU, a 14-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory, and 512GB of SSD storage for $1,999 (P116,990 in PH). A higher-tier model carries the full power of M1 Pro with a 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory, and 1TB SSD storage for $2,499 (P146,990 in PH).
- 16-inch MacBook Pro with a 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display and comes in three standard configurations with M1 Pro and M1 Max. Two of those models carry an M1 Pro with a 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU, 32GB of unified memory, and 512GB or 1TB of SSD storage for $2,499/$2,699 (P146,990/P158,990 in PH). The highest configuration carries the M1 Max with the same 10-core CPU, a 32-core GPU, 32GB of unified memory, and 1TB SSD storage for $3,499 (P206,990 in PH).
You can configure both MacBook Pro models with up to an M1 Max with a 10-core CPU, a 32-core GPU, up to 64GB of unified memory, and up to an 8TB SSD storage. A maxed-out 14-inch Pro will cost you $5,899 (P350,990 in PH). Meanwhile, the 16-inch Pro when maxed-out will set you back $6,099 (P362,990 in PH). Both MacBook Pro models are available to order now, and will ship to customers and will be available in stores on October 26.
Apple’s making it very clear. Unless you need that kind of power on a laptop, you don’t need these MacBook Pros. The M1 Macs just proves that it can do most tasks with ease and even do some pro workflows when you need to. If you’re really after the best laptops that Apple has to offer and you can justify buying one, then these are seriously worth your consideration.
What do you think of Apple’s new MacBook Pros? Are they a return to form, or does the notch really annoy you? Sound off in the comments!