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8 reasons why Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro is so much better

The 16″ MacBook Pro is finally announced and Apple is calling it the world’s best pro notebook. This isn’t just a bigger MacBook Pro. Apple has made some significant improvements and here are the 8 key reasons why it is better than the MacBook Pro 15.

Larger and higher-resolution Retina Display

For starters, the MacBook Pro 16 comes with a 16″ IPS display that pushes 3072×1920 pixels resolution with a density of 226 ppi. As a comparison, the MacBook Pro 15 had a 15.4″ screen which is also an IPS panel but it pushes a lower 2880×1800 pixels resolution at 220 ppi. Like the new range of MacBook Pro models, it also has 500 nits of brightness with True Tone technology and a P3 wide colour gamut.

A proper keyboard

One of the most common complaints with the previous MacBook Pro was the butterfly keyboard. Apart from the lack of key travel, there are a lot of complaints of non-registered presses and some even have an issue of double-entry. As a result, Apple has even offered free keyboard replacements.

On the new version, they are going for a new Magic Keyboard that uses a redesigned scissor mechanism. It also provides 1mm travel for a more satisfying typing experience. As usual, you also get a Touch Bar at the top but I’m happy that Apple is finally putting a physical ESC button on the top left corner. Even the directional keys have been replaced with a more traditional inverted-T arrangement.

Also retained are Touch ID on the top right corner and a Force Touch trackpad, which is still one of the best trackpads you can find on a laptop.

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More RAM and Storage options

Since this is a “Pro” mobile workhorse, the new 16″ MacBook Pro allows you to customise up to 64GB of RAM and up to 8TB of SSD. That’s double than the MacBook Pro 15 which maxes out at 32GB RAM and 4TB of SSD. The RAM is now faster too at 2666MHz versus 2400MHz on the previous model.

In terms of processor, it runs with at least a 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processor and you can upsize to a 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz.

Improved Cooling

Another major improvement is its thermal design which is essential especially if you have a Core i9 processor on board. It has larger impellers with improved fan blades and they have also fitted a larger heatsink to disperse heat faster. According to Apple, the improvements will allow the MacBook to perform at higher performance for extended periods of time.

More powerful graphics

The 16″ MacBook Pro now comes with an AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics and you can spec it up to the Radeon Pro 5500M version with 8GB GDDR6 RAM.

If you compare the MacBook Pro 16 with a Radeon Pro 5500M to the MacBook Pro 15 with a Radeon Pro 560X, you can expect 90% faster motion generator render performance for Final Cut Pro X and 75% faster effects render on Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Studio. For Fortnite and Rise of the Tomb Raider, Apple says you can experience 90-95% faster game performance.

6 speakers and “studio-quality” mics

The MacBook Pro 15 already has a pretty good pair of stereo speakers and Apple is turning things up with a total of 6 speakers with force-cancelling woofers on the Pro 16. It even has support for Dolby Atmos playback.

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In addition, they have also enhanced the triple-camera mic array which now has a 40% reduction in hiss and improved signal-to-noise ratio that claims to rival popular professional-grade digital microphones.

11-hour battery life

With the bigger screen size, Apple has increased the battery with a 100Wh lithium-polymer unit which now boasts up to 11 hours of web browsing or Apple TV movie playback. As a comparison, the 15″ version had an 83.6Wh battery and it is rated to last up to 10 hours on a single charge.

With all that power, the new MacBook now comes with a more powerful 96W USB-C power adapter versus the 87W version that came with the MacBook Pro 15.

In terms of dimensions, it is barely a cm longer and wider than the 15″ version and it is slightly thicker by a mere 0.52cm. Overall, it still manages to weigh 2.0kg, which is 170g heavier than the 15″ version. You still get a total of four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the Macbook with two ports on each side.

Same price as MacBook Pro 15

With the introduction of the MacBook Pro 16, Apple has also discontinued the MacBook Pro 15, making this 16″ version the only bigger screen option. With all the improvements made along with a larger screen, Apple has still managed to retain the same starting price as the MacBook Pro 15 at RM10,499 for the base model with a Core i7 processor. What’s interesting is that it now comes with a minimum of 512GB of SSD, which is double of what you get previously on the 15″ model.

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If you want to step up, the Core i9 version with 1TB of SSD is going from RM12,199 and it is also the same starting price as the previous MacBook Pro 15 with Core i9 processor and 512GB SSD.

The new MacBook Pro 16 is already listed on the Apple Malaysia online store, however, you can’t order it at the moment. What do you think of the MacBook Pro 16? Let us know in the comments below.

Alexander Wong