Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch)

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Apple’s new M1 Pro MacBook Pro is a glorious beast of a machine but for those of us who don’t need a video editing and graphics workstation on the go, it’s also a bit of overkill. Plus, it’s just way too expensive.
 

$2,427.93

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Price history
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Price history for 2021 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, Apple M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - Silver
Latest updates:
  • $2,427.93 - May 11, 2022
  • $2,415.93 - May 5, 2022
  • $2,419.00 - April 29, 2022
  • $2,249.00 - April 28, 2022
  • $2,349.00 - April 16, 2022
  • $2,479.00 - March 23, 2022
  • $2,445.94 - March 21, 2022
  • $2,449.00 - March 21, 2022
Since: December 7, 2021
  • Highest Price: $2,499.00 - December 7, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $2,249.00 - April 28, 2022
Last Amazon price update was: May 28, 2022 9:55 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
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Last updated on May 28, 2022 9:55 am
Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch)
Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch)

Description

The new M1 MacBook Pro is finally here. And while the fully specced M1 Max model may be dominating the headlines; I think it’s arguably a lot more important to see how the base level MacBook Pro performs. If you spend the least amount of money you can on a new MacBook Pro, what’s the experience going to be like?

1

KEY FEATURES

Model NameMacBook Pro 16” 2021 (M1 Pro chip or M1 Max chip)
Display Screen16.2” Liquid Retina XDR display
CPU & GPU10-core CPU & Up to 32-core GPU
Memory8TB Maximum configurable storage
Video capability1080p at 60, 50, 30, 25 and 24p
Battery LifeUp to 21 hours battery life
Weight4.7 lb. Weight
Release DateOctober 25, 2021
2

PERFORMANCE

For months, the Apple rumor mill suggested the 2021 MacBook Pro would receive either an “M1X” or “M2” SoC. In reality, the company announced two new Apple silicon products, the M1 Pro and M1 Max.

The first Apple silicon, the M1, announced in 2020, was already an impressive piece of hardware and lives on in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and other devices. The M1 Pro and M1 Max each build off the M1 to make a great product even better.

The M1 Pro, which is in my 14-inch MacBook Pro review unit, has a dual-chip architecture that will support up to 32GB of unified memory and a bandwidth of 200GB/s. This is three times the bandwidth found on the M1. In addition, the M1 Pro offers up to a 10-core CPU with eight performance cores and two efficiency cores, up to 16-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. The M1 Max also includes a 10-core CPU. However, you also get up to 32-core GPU, 64GB of unified memory, and 400GB/s memory bandwidth.

The translation? The M1 Pro and M1 Max are both blazing fast and, in many respects, too powerful for most Pro customers. And yet, it’s still great to see Apple push things to these levels for those who need these types of resources on a Mac laptop.

M1 Pro and M1 Max scale the amazing M1 architecture to new heights — and for the first time, they bring a system on a chip (SoC) architecture to a pro notebook. Both have more CPU cores, more GPU cores, and more unified memory than M1. Along with a powerful Neural Engine for supercharged machine learning and upgraded media engines with ProRes support, M1 Pro and M1 Max allow pros to do things they never could before.

With ProMotion technology for adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz, the 2021 MacBook Pro never takes a breath when doing basic tasks. When web browsing, for example, scrolling up and down a page is fast and smooth. This seamless movement is duplicated in word processing and spreadsheet apps and when watching videos on iTunes, Apple TV+, and YouTube.

Of course, a MacBook Pro is expected to do much more than basic computing. These are the machines most often used for photography, video, or other professional-grade creative work. From Cinema 4D to Final Cut Pro to Adobe Photoshop, there was nothing my entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro couldn’t handle, which proves that real creative experts will also have no problems, especially with even better specs. The new laptop also exceeds when performing music-related tasks with apps like Logic Pro.

3

HARDWARE and DESIGN

For months, we’ve heard Apple was finally going to move beyond the 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new 14-inch version, officially measuring 14.2-inches, provides an excellent middle ground, although it’s a shame the company didn’t reconsider and offer a 15-inch model again.

Some reviewers have argued there’s not much of an overall size difference between the 13-inch and 14-inch models. This is true only with the height, which is 0.61-inches on both models. Beyond this, there’s no denying the 14-inch model provides a much larger screen area than the smaller model. There’s also the weight difference. You can feel the 1/2 pound difference between the models, although the increased depth and width are less noticeable.

I haven’t had a chance to experience the 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro, but I’ve heard the overall size difference between it and the 2019 model is less noticeable beyond the weight. The newer model is 0.4 pounds heavier.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro measures 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches compared to the 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches found on the 13-inch model. The 2021 16-inch model is 14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches versus the 14.09 x 9.68 x 0.64 inches found on the previous model.

Once you move beyond size and weight, the 2021 MacBook Pros are noted for having slimmer bezels. It’s a considerable improvement and (finally) allows the product lineup to match the look found on competitor products.

The slimmer bezel has led to a somewhat controversial change. For the first time, the MacBook Pro has a notch like the modern iPhone series before it. Of course, all buyers won’t accept the MacBook Pro notch. And yet, during my testing, it hasn’t bothered me in the slightest.

This feeling almost certainly has to do with how macOS Monterey handles it. Many apps (but not all) already adapt to the notch to make it less noticeable. Better still, there’s already a free third-party solution, TopNotch, that hides it completely.

Once you move beyond size and weight, the 2021 MacBook Pros are noted for the slimmer bezels. It’s a vast improvement and (finally) allows the product lineup to match the look found on competitor products.

Though some might not like the look, the notch has many more positives than negatives. The menu bar is higher on the screen because of the reduced bezels, thereby giving apps more room below. And thanks to design trickery, the notch goes away whenever you view a full-screen video or use full-screen mode.

4

DISPLAY

The actual display technology used in these MacBook Pros are nearly perfect for most users. I really don’t like throwing around words like that very often. But from an engineering standpoint, these displays are marvelous. We got a taste of this technology in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that was released earlier this year.

This is now a mini-LED backlit panel that’s going to provide better contrast, dynamic range, and brightness than we’ve ever gotten on a MacBook Display. And mini-LED technology is what allows for watching true HDR content. This display can get as bright as 1000 nits sustained and supports up to 1600 nits of peak brightness for HDR content. That’s insanely bright compared to the 500 nits of maximum brightness on the previous models.

The fact that Apple was able to fit a display capable of all this inside this thin of a chassis is incredible. And that’s in addition to the fact that it’s not only a 3.5K resolution display, but also capable of a 120Hz refresh rate. This display has Apple’s ProMotion technology that was first introduced on the iPad Pro. Some users have reported that it’s not very noticeable. But I notice it every time I navigate the general UI. Just moving the cursor around or scrolling through folders in the menu is notably smoother. And it only makes the already fantastic display experience so much better. 

When you combine the high-resolution, insanely high brightness figures, the smoothness and efficiency of ProMotion and the Wide Color Gamut support. The best way to describe this display in one word is excellent. The displays on these new Pros are going to make every other laptop display seem pretty lackluster in comparison, with a few exceptions.

5

BATTERY

Most rate the strength of a laptop battery by how long it works between charges. Another variant is determining how big a performance hit there is when moving between A/C to battery power. Apple silicon has positively affected both of these measurements on this year’s MacBook Pro, although it’s more noticeable on the larger of the two models.

This year’s 16-inch MacBook Pro offers 21 hours of battery life compared to the paltry 11 hours between charges on the Intel-based 2019 model. By contrast, the 14-inch version offers 17 hours of video playback versus the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s 20 hours.

Seventeen hours is nothing to sneeze at, especially when considering the final Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro only offered 10 hours between charges. And yet, it’s somewhat a surprise the bigger version provides better battery life.

No worries, however. Remember the MagSafe 3? It provides fast charging where 30 minutes is all you need to gain 50% of battery life. To achieve this, owners of the base 14-inch model will need to purchase a 96W-or-higher charger, which is $20 more than the 67W USB-C Power Adapter that comes with this variant. (It’s $79 when purchased separately.) The 16-inch model comes with a 140W USB-C Power Adapter.

As is the case with all laptops, these numbers are only estimates and might not get matched in real-world environments. I didn’t specifically clock battery life on my 14-inch unit. However, I did recognize it wasn’t that often when charging was necessary. And even then, the charging time was minimal.

And that performance hit between A/C and battery power? It was non-existent, which is remarkable and something Apple should tout more often.

6

WEBCAM and AUDIO

Video calls are no longer something exclusive to business meetings. Apple understands this, which is why it added the new consumer-geared SharePlay feature on FaceTime. On the hardware side, it is also making moves. For the first time, the MacBook Pro has a 1080p webcam after being stuck with 720p for many years. That same camera is extra special since it uses a wider aperture that lets in more light. There’s also a large image sensor that delivers better performance than previously.

Apple has also added three studio-quality mics that pick up more sounds. The three-mic array uses directional beamforming, which makes your voice clearer and louder. The 2021 MacBook Pro also includes a new six-speaker sound system. Featuring force-canceling woofers, the speakers provide 80% more bass, with the high-performance tweeters offering clearer, fuller vocals. The impressive sounds are most noticeable when using spatial audio, something Apple’s been pushing hard across many devices and headphones.

All these changes are welcome, especially those relating to the webcam and mic. Because headphones are often necessary for many situations, manufacturers and users often see laptop speakers as an afterthought. So Apple’s decision to push the speakers on the new MacBook Pro to new levels is respectable. However, it’s not a reason to select one laptop over another.

7

Should you buy it?

You should buy this if …

You want the latest and greatest

The 2021 MacBook Pro is the best Mac now on the market because of its impressive display, advanced internals, and other improvements. So if you want the newest Mac on the market, this is it.

Need the power

The M1 Pro and M1 Max build upon the already impressive M1. If you’re a professional creator, do your research and decide which SoC is for you. Then, buy the one with the most memory and storage you can afford.

Need ports

Have dongles ruined your workflow? Then, get this laptop and never use a dongle again!

You should not buy this if …

Are on a budget

At $1,999 for the least expensive 2021 MacBook Pro, these are not inexpensive machines. Luckily, short of being a creative who needs the raw power the M1 Pro and M1 Max can provide, you can spend less for a still impressive MacBook Pro.

Don’t need the power

I can’t stress this enough: the M1 on the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air (2020) is still impressive and might be more than enough for what you plan on doing. Therefore, if you live in a work world that’s doesn’t go beyond spreadsheets, Word documents, and web browsing, this year’s MacBook Pro isn’t for you.

Want some color

People love colorful Apple products as the current iPad Air, iPad mini, 24-inch iMac, and iPhone 13 show. So if you have grown tired of silver and space gray, don’t need a Pro device, and can wait, save your money until next year. The next MacBook Air will almost certainly come in various colors and, better still, is likely to include the M1 successor, perhaps called the “M2.”

9Expert Score
Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch
The MacBook Pro with M1 delivers a killer combo of blazing performance and epic battery life, and the one that pro-level music producers have been waiting for even if the design is too familiar.
PROS
  • Physical function keys are back.
  • 1080p cam that makes you look great in video calls.
  • All-workday battery life.
  • Room-filling sound from great speakers.
  • Beautiful, large display with ProMotion.
  • The industrial build feels more durable.
  • More ports! MagSafe is back.
CONS
  • Notch is a distraction.
  • 16-inch model is heavy.
  • Display is too vibrant for color correction while editing video.
  • Too expensive for non-creative types.
  • Wider variety of ports would be welcome.

Price History

Price history for 2021 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, Apple M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - Silver
Latest updates:
  • $2,427.93 - May 11, 2022
  • $2,415.93 - May 5, 2022
  • $2,419.00 - April 29, 2022
  • $2,249.00 - April 28, 2022
  • $2,349.00 - April 16, 2022
  • $2,479.00 - March 23, 2022
  • $2,445.94 - March 21, 2022
  • $2,449.00 - March 21, 2022
Since: December 7, 2021
  • Highest Price: $2,499.00 - December 7, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $2,249.00 - April 28, 2022

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