The moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Today, Apple drops the all new, totally revamped MacBook Pro with the snazzy new M1 Pro and M1 Max chip. Available respectively in both 14-inch and 16-inch, these MacBook’s are designed with performance and capability in mind, packaged in a new aluminium design to optimize internal space for a higher performance and new features. We got our hands on the new MacBook last week and wanted to share our thoughts, in case you’re considering an upgrade.
What’s most notable on these new notebooks? Off the cuff, a larger screen real estate on a Liquid Retina XDR display, faster performance from the aforementioned M1 Pro and M1 Max chip, more advanced features like a higher quality camera and audio system, the removal of the touch bar, and the controversial return of an array of ports. Essentially a MacBook that can finally work as hard as you want it to, managing larger workflows with sustained performance.
In terms of design, the MacBook Pro raises the bar with new thermal architecture, a Liquid Retina XDR display that delivers even the tiniest details in higher resolution, a new level of colour precision, and a super-fast refresh rate of up to 120Hz through ProMotion technology. Physically, the keyboard has been redesigned in a double-anodized black well, doing away with the touch bar on the previous model and adding key highlights for dictation, do not disturb, and spotlight. Additionally, Touch ID is here to stay and they’ve dropped the previous four Thunderbolt 4 ports down to three to make room for the addition of the SDXC card slot, bringing back the HDMI port and fast charging connectivity through MagSafe 3 (which unfortunately won’t be compatible with older MacBooks). Note, you can also charge via any of the Thunderbolt 4 ports you just won’t be getting as fast a charge as you will via MagSafe 3.
There is also a 1080p FaceTime HD camera with twice as much low-light performance and video capabilities, so you don’t have to worry about firing up that ring light to look your best on video calls. In terms of audio, they’ve added a high-fidelity six-speaker sound system that features force-cancelling woofers and a studio-quality three-mic array to reduce feedback, block background noise and provide a better listening experience with purer mids and highs and deeper bass.
The battery performance has also been overhauled with a lithium-polymer battery with 100 watt-hours of capacity to deliver fast performance regardless of whether you’re plugged in or not. The 14-inch model offers 17 hours of video playback and 11 hours of wireless browsing while the 16-inch model levels up with 21 hours of video playback and 14 hours of browsing. Apple also introduces a rearchitected battery which makes fast charging from 0% to 50% in thirty minutes possible.
Let’s pull back for a moment and take a look under the hood to see what makes these new MacBook’s tick. For starters, the power-efficient M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are built with industry-leading 5nm process technology with more CPU and GPU cores, meaning they’re capable of more memory bandwidth, more on-package unified memory for a totally professional experience. Essentially it’s a more powerful yet efficient chip that uses less power, and runs the same experience whether using battery or plugged in.
In terms of environmental footprint, the MacBook is designed with Apple’s ambitious 2030 carbon-neutral goal in mind made with totally recycled aluminum enclosure, 100% recycled rare earth elements in magnets and virgin wood fiber from responsibly managed forests. In a world when it often seems everything is trying to kill you, it’s worth mentioning the new MacBooks are also free of many of those pesky harmful substances that slowly leach out of your electronics during their lifespan.
Whether you’re a photographer, filmmaker, developer, musician, scientist or 3D artist, the new MacBook Pro’s make it possible to crush out hours on hours of projects without hating the experience, worrying about lag, battery life, or pinwheeling ever again. Both MacBooks will be available starting Tuesday October 26th with the 14-inch starting at $2499 CAD and the 16-inch at $3149 CAD.
In our eyes, there’s no better option for remote working no matter what your profession, the new MacBook Pro is a laptop that works as hard as you want to.