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Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) review

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Apple’s MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) is a premium notebook that cannot be beat. This exceptional notebook has redefined the definition of a professional notebook. It was released alongside its smaller brother, the MacBook Pro14-inch (2021), in Oct 2021. The successor to 2019’s 16-inch MacBook Pro has been completely redesigned. It also receives an amazing boost in power and some great new features.

The new Pro models have the same hardware as the Pro, and the M1 Max chips. This means that there is very little difference in their performance. They are not identical. The 16-inch model is larger and has a higher resolution. It also has a longer battery.

 

You may prefer portability for your notebook, so take a look to our MacBook Pro14-inch (2021), review. It will most likely suit your needs better. If you are looking for more screen real estate or longer battery life, the MacBook Pro 16 inch (2021) might be the right choice.

 

The larger model, Apple’s flagship MacBook is, the MacBook Pro 16 inch (2021) starts at $2,499 (PS2,399 AU$3,749). This includes the M1 Pro chip, which has a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU and 16GB unified memory, as well as 512GB SSD storage.

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Upgrade to the M1 Max chip with a faster CPU and 32-core GPU for $3,499 (PS3,299 / AU$5,249)

 

(Image credit: Future)

Spec Sheet

TechRadar received the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), configuration for review.

CPU: Apple M1 Pro (10-core)

Graphics Integrated 16 Core GPU

RAM: 32GB Unified Memory

Screen 16.2-inch (3,456 x 2,234 Liquid Retina XDR) (mini-LED with 1,000 nits sustained luminosity, large color P3 gamut and ProMotion technology),

Storage: Flash Drive 512GB

Ports: 3x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI, SDXC card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, MagSafe 3

Connectivity: Bluetooth 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Camera: FaceTime HD webcam

Weight: 4.7 pounds (2.1kg)

Size14.01×9.77×0.66 inches (35.57×24.81×1.68cm); WxDxH)

The MacBook Pro 14 inch is a lot cheaper, starting at $1,999 / PlayStation1,899 / AU$2,999 if you get a model with M1 Pro chips. The M1 Pro has an 8-core CPU, and a 14-core GPU. The 14-inch model will cost you $2,499 / PS2,399 / AU$3,749. It has a 10 Core CPU, 16-Core GPU Pro chip, 16GB unified memory, and 1TB SSD storage.

You can configure both sizes, so you could get a 14-inch model with M1 Max. A 14-inch model with the 10-core CPU, 32GB memory, 1TB SSD and 32GB GPU will set you back $3,299/AU$4,949. This is $200/PS100/AU$300 less than the comparable 16-inch model. This is a good price for a larger screen.

The 2019 model, which includes Intel hardware and an AMD Radeon Pro graphic card, started at $2,399 (PS2,399 AU$3,799). This includes a 6-core Intel Core i7 CPU, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It’s slightly more expensive than the 2016 model, but many people find the price increase justified due to the upgrades Apple made to the design, performance, and design of the MacBook Pro 16 inch (2021). There will likely be many people who upgrade from the 16 inch 2019 model and opt for the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

(Image credit: Future)

The biggest design change in the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), is the screen. The display is now Liquid Retina XDR with mini-LED technology. It can deliver up to 1,000 nits continuous, full-screen brightness. The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), which is capable of up 1,600 nits peak brightness and a 1,000,000 to1 contrast ratio, is even better.

This display supports P3 wide color gamut coverage, and smoother gradients with one billion colors. The best part is that the display has a 120Hz refresh rate which makes it the fastest MacBook Pro 16 inch display.

The bezels surrounding the screen have been reduced for a modern look. Apple has increased the screen size from 16 inches to 16.2 inches with the new model. The MacBook’s 3,546×2,234 resolution provides 7.7 million pixels, which Apple claims is the highest ever.

(Image credit: Future)

This screen is a significant upgrade to the MacBook Pro 16 inch (2019)’s screen. It was a 16-inch, 3,072×1,920 Retina LCD display with backlit LED that produced up to 1,000 nits of sustained brightness and 1,600 peak brightness. It covered a large color P3 spectrum.

The screen of the 14-inch MacBook Pro is 14.2-inches in size, and has a lower resolution (3024×1964). This actually means that both the new MacBook Pros’ screens have identical pixel densities (254 PPI) so they offer the same image quality. The choice of screen size is up to you.

The 16-inch model has a bigger screen, which many people will be more comfortable using. However, the overall dimensions for the MacBook Pro 16 inch (2021) are larger than those of the MacBook Prom 14 inch (2021). The dimensions of the MacBook Pro 16 inch (2021) are 0.66 x 13.01 x 9.77 inches (1.68×35.57×24.81cm), roughly the same size as the 0.64x 14.09x 9.68 inches (1.62x: 35.79×24.59cm), dimensions of the previous model.

This laptop is perfect for those who want a lightweight and slim laptop. Apple also has the MacBook Air M1, 2020. While it can’t match the MacBook Pro 16-inch in performance, it is lighter, thinner and cheaper. This would be a better investment for many.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is larger than the 14-inch MacBook Pro. This means that Apple’s achievements aren’t as impressive as the 14-inch model. It packs a lot of power in a smaller and lighter body. This may seem unfair for the MacBook Pro 16 inch (2021), but it’s still a powerful laptop designed for work.

But, being chunky has its benefits. The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), which is a welcome addition, has extra ports. This is something that many of us have been begging Apple to add to its professional laptops for some time.

(Image credit: Future)

The new MacBook Pro 16 inch has three Thunderbolt 4 ports and one HDMI port. It also features an SDXC card slot and a MagSafe 3. port. There’s also a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Force Touch trackpad and a 140W USB C power adapter. You can charge it via USB-C, if desired. A 3.5mm headphone socket is also available.

Apple had limited the ports on its previous MacBook Pros to just a few USB-C slots. While this made the laptops more slim and sleek, it was not much of a benefit to professionals who use them to connect peripherals like cameras, monitors, memory cards, and other devices. They would need to buy a USB adapter.

(Image credit: Future)

The new MacBook Pros have many additional ports that we are very happy with. It means that you don’t need to bring a adapter or dongle with you when you take your camera to the computer. Anyone using the MacBook Pro 16″ (2021) to present can hook it up via the HDMI port directly to a projector/TV.

It is great that Apple listens to customers and includes them in its products, despite its tendency to place form over function. Although it results in a heavier and bulkier laptop, professionals who want a powerful laptop that they can use wherever they are without needing to plug in additional hardware will find it worth the price.

However, one design choice that has proven controversial is the addition of a visible notch around the webcam, which runs down to the menu bar. There are several apps that can hide this notch.

The notch is visible, but not very elegant. However, it will fade away over time, as we discussed in our 14-inch MacBook Pro Review. Apple claims that the notch is necessary due to the increased webcam resolution (now 1080p) and slimmed-down surrounding bezels.

While the notch may be visible in the menu bar’s menu bar, it has been moved higher. It now occupies the same area as the thicker bezels on older MacBook Pros. The result is that you have more screen space. If the price is worth it, we will gladly pay. We are sure that many people will feel the same way after using the new MacBook Pro 16 inch.

This is why these notch-hiding apps are a little confusing to us. They move the menu bar down the screen and then black out the area around the notch. This reduces the screen real estate and makes it appear that the MacBook Pro 16 inch has an old-fashioned, ugly bezel. The notch is not something you want to do.

The 16-inch model’s notch and large dimensions will not make it a popular choice, especially since the 14-inch model has similar performance, but a smaller size.

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