Apple has officially introduced the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 powered by its own developed pro chips – the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. The latest models replace the previous Intel-powered MacBook Pro. This marks a new milestone as the current MacBook lineup are all running on Apple Silicon. According to Apple, this is the world’s best notebook and here are the top 10 things you should know.
New Apple M1 Pro and M1 Max chips
After introducing the M1 on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13 last year, Apple is scaling things up with a more powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max. Apple claims that the new SoCs offer up to 70% faster CPU performance and up to 4x better GPU performance than the current Apple M1.
The M1 Pro is offered with 8-core or 10-core CPU options with either 14-core or 16-core GPU. It also features a 16-core Neural Engine for AI processing and boasts 200GB/s of memory bandwidth. The chip is manufactured based on a 5nm process with 33.7 billion transistors, which are more than double the original M1. Apple claims that the M1 Pro offers up to 1.7x more CPU performance while using 70% less power than the peak performance of the “latest” 8-core PC laptop chip.
For the ultimate power in a laptop, the M1 Max is described by Apple as the world’s most powerful chip for a Pro notebook. This is the largest chip Apple has ever built with 57 billion transistors in a 5nm process. It comes with a 10-core CPU and can be configured with up to 32-core GPU. Apple claims that it offers a similar graphics performance to the highest-end GPU in the largest PC laptops while using up to 100 watts less power. The Max offers up to a whopping 400GB/s of memory bandwidth.
Up to 64GB memory and 8TB SSD
Unlike the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro that max out at 16GB of memory and 2TB of storage, the new MacBook Pro 14 and 16 can be configured with up to 64GB of memory and up to 8TB of storage, just like the Intel-based MacBook Pro 16. The base model MacBook Pro 14 and 16 with M1 Pro come with a minimum of 16GB of memory and 512GB SSD. For the M1 Max, the bare minimum is 32GB of memory and at least 512GB SSD.
Liquid Retina XDR display with 120Hz refresh rate
Besides the processor, the next major update is the screen which uses a mini-LED based Liquid Retina XDR display. Compared to the older model, it boasts double the brightness level at 1,000 nits and has a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. The screen boasts a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio with a billion colours.
The 14.2″ model pushes a resolution of 3,024×1,964 pixels which is more pixels than the previous MacBook Pro 16 (3,072×1,920). Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro 16 gets a 16.2″ display that pushes 3,456×2,234 pixels resolution.
For a more fluid experience, both models get ProMotion technology that offers adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz. These are the first MacBooks to come with ProMotion after it was introduced on the iPad Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro series.
It has a notch with 1080p FaceTime HD camera
Probably the most controversial inclusion is a notch on the MacBook Pro 14 and 16. This is seen as a necessary move to reduce the bezels while having enough space to house a higher-resolution 1080p FaceTime HD camera on the frame. Unlike the iPhone or the iPad Pro, there’s no Face ID for instant unlocking.
Bye-bye touch bar
Almost 5 years since the 2016 MacBook Pro was introduced, Apple is finally getting rid of the Touch Bar. The new MacBook Pro models get physical keys for the top function row and you still get a dedicated Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the top right corner. The backlit Magic Keyboard is accompanied by a large Force Touch trackpad which is still one of the best trackpads you can find on a laptop.
No more dongle life
In the previous generation, the high-end MacBook Pro models come with four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and most power users would have to rely on USB hubs to connect to external displays, card readers and various accessories. In a surprising move, Apple is finally offering multiple ports including HDMI and an SDXC card slot on the right side.
The new MacBook Pro also get three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports and it still retains a 3.5mm audio jack. In terms of wireless connectivity, it supports 802.11ax WiFi 6 as well as Bluetooth 5.0.
Connect up to 4 displays
If you need to work on multiple screens, the M1 Pro powered MacBooks can connect up to two Pro Display XDR monitors capable of 6K resolution. For MacBook Pro models equipped with a more powerful M1 Max chip, you can connect up to three Pro Display XDRs and an additional 4K TV at the same time. Even with all ports full, you can still plug in your wired headphones and copy media files from your camera via the SD card slot.
Another classic feature that has returned is MagSafe 3. It still gets a magnetic quick-release design which keeps your device safe if someone trips over your charging cable. In terms of power, the MacBook Pro 14 comes with either a 67W or 96W power adapter while the MacBook Pro 16 is shipped with a 140W unit.
If you’ve already invested in USB-C cables, don’t worry. It can still charge via the Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports.
6-speaker setup with studio-quality mics
For the best audio experience, Apple brings over its six-speaker system which now supports spatial audio. This time, the same speaker setup can be found on both 14″ and 16″ sizes. Also included is an array of three studio-quality mics that offers high signal-to-noise radio and directional beamforming.
Up to 21 hours of battery life
With the power efficiency of Apple Silicon, the new MacBook Pro boasts better performance and battery life than its Intel counterparts. The MacBook Pro 14’s 70Wh battery is rated to provide up to 17 hours of video playback on a single charge, which is 7 hours longer than the MacBook Pro 13″. Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro 16’s 100Wh battery boasts up to 21 hours of video playback on a single charge, which is the longest battery life ever on a MacBook.
The new MacBook Pro also supports fast charge where you can get up to 50% charge in just 30 minutes.
The MacBook Pro 14 and 16 are coming soon to Malaysia. Apple has already revealed the official local pricing of the new MacBook Pros which starts from RM8,799 for the 14″ model and from RM10,799 for the MacBook Pro 16. The most expensive hardware configuration is the MacBook Pro 16 M1 Max with a 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 64GB memory and 8TB of SSD storage at RM25,199. You can learn more about the MacBook Pro pricing in our previous post.