So Apple finally listens to the pros. A lot of us nearly bought our first MacBook Pro in 2015. It was the first Mac ever personally owned by many of us.
But I convinced myself to wait another year for faster Intel chips and in October 2016, Apple took away almost everything we had all admired about that Mac in one fell swoop.
And what about the comfortable keyboard? Replaced with a too-thin slab that also became a nightmare for many a Mac user over the years, the butterfly switch mechanism so fragile a speck of dust could lay it low.
Apple Finally Listens to the Pros
According to the verge, the handy SD card slot for photographers and videographers, and the HDMI port to easily connect to monitors or TVs? Both axed seemingly in favor of selling us more overpriced dongles.
In the quest for ever-thinner and flashier laptops, Apple had seemingly forgotten why people bought the MacBook Pro in the first place and pros were happy to point that out.
They ridiculed the tiny strip of touchscreen Apple built into the keyboard, decried the relative lack of RAM, the missing ports, and how Apple’s choice of GPU didn’t match up to the Windows competition. I collected a bunch of those thoughts right here at the time, and Michael Tsai has more.
Apple Fully Loaded
According to the verge, On Monday, Apple announced an intentionally thicker (in the case of the 16-inch model) and heavier MacBook Pro filled with ports — including HDMI, the SD card slot, and even the return of the MagSafe charging cable — plus three USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 connectors.
The most capable port around. The new 14- and 16-inch Macs feature up to 64GB of memory, and up to 8TB of the fastest PCI-Express storage on the market, with 7,400MB/sec reads.
They feature a redesigned keyboard with function keys instead of the dreaded Touch Bar, and 120Hz high refresh rate Mini LED screens that might wind up being the best panels you can purchase on a laptop anywhere (they theoretically offer the benefits of OLED without some of the compromises, though we’ll have to test).
Perhaps most impressively, Apple claims that the 32 GPU cores on its new M1 Max chip give it nearly as much power as the Nvidia RTX 3080 high-end gaming-grade laptop chip you’ll find in a similarly priced Razer Blade 15 Advanced.
While the company says the 16-inch model has “the longest battery life ever on a Mac notebook,” but the company’s only talking about playing back video in its own Apple TV app, and doesn’t specify important variables like the brightness of the screen.
Apples Wireless Test
In Apple’s wireless web test (which uses Safari, not Chrome, last we checked) the company says the 14-inch MacBook Pro only manages 11 hours of battery life, far less than the 17 hours it claimed to get from the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 from late last year. (We saw around 10 hours in real-world use.)
The 16-inch MacBook Pro now claims 14 hours of wireless web, which does at least sound like an improvement from the 11 hours that it claimed to see from the 2019 model with its Core i9 chip.