Designed for those who push the limits of the possible, the new MacBook Pro is by far the most powerful laptop Apple has ever created. With an immersive 16-inch Retina display, ultra-fast processors, next-generation graphics cards, the largest battery capacity ever seen on a MacBook Pro, a new Magic Keyboard and considerable storage capacity, this is the portable pro par excellence. Ready to meet the needs of the most demanding users.
What’s new on this new MacBook? In reality, the machine unveiled by Apple is very similar to the 15-inch model we have known since 2016. No major change in design, although some additions are welcome. We are thinking in particular of the borders around the screen – which were clearly starting to show signs of competition, which are now much thinner, but not borderless either. This screen takes up the good points of its predecessors, including the brightness, the faithful colorimetry or even the True Tone, but we notably gain an inch compared to the old model. Thinner borders require, the chassis practically does not move, although it is slightly larger (0.5 cm in length and 0.8 cm in width) and heavier (+200 grams).
In terms of performance, this new MacBook Pro is clearly Apple’s most powerful portable machine. We find, depending on the configuration chosen, latest-generation 6-core Intel Core i7 or 8-core i9 processors, accompanied by 16 GB of configurable entry-level RAM up to 64 GB of RAM, and an AMD Radeon graphics card Pro 5500M. On the storage side, there are 512 GB from the start (well!) And up to 8 TB of optional SSD. Finally, there are new and improved speakers and more efficient microphones.
A “new” keyboard
Above all – and it was probably the most awaited change by users – Apple finally abandons its butterfly keyboard introduced with the 12-inch MacBook in 2015, infamous for its disastrous reliability, and replaced it with a more traditional scissor keyboard . Physically, the difference is barely noticeable, and this new 16-inch MacBook Pro uses more or less the same type of keyboard as the latest Magic Keyboard from the firm, rather flat keys but at the stroke superior to butterfly keyboards. Above all, the countless problems with blocked keys should (finally) become ancient history. Above this keyboard, there is always the Touch Bar, with a nice little addition since the Esc key is no longer included in the touch bar but (re) becomes a physical key.
The surprise of the sound system
In addition to the screen and keyboard, Apple has also improved the sound system. The MacBook Pro 16 “has no less than six speakers: two tweeters, responsible for reproducing the highest frequencies, and four woofers, responsible for reproducing the lowest frequencies. The woofers are divided into two pairs, one in the corner lower left and the other in the lower right corner.
Each member of a pair works in opposition to the other: the vibrations are almost completely canceled, the distortions are completely canceled, and the bass is deeper. Never has a MacBook Pro, never a laptop, sounded so good. The sound is balanced and precise, the volume sufficient to sound a large room, the stereo separation (and the simulated spatialization Dolby Atmos) is almost convincing.
A very cool cooling system
Which brings us to the energy question, and its during the thermal question. The MacBook Pro 15 “suffered from enormous heat dissipation problems: it could cool the processor or the graphics card, but not both at the same time, even by restricting their performance. Without particularly thickening the machine, Apple has enlarged by one good third the surface of the radiators and heat pipes, and widened the extraction camouflaged in the hinge to increase the air flow by 28%. Thus, the MacBook Pro 16 “can collect up to 12 W additional.
The results are spectacular: while we were used to seeing the processor of the MacBook Pro 15 “touch the 100 ° C mark, that of the MacBook Pro 16” rarely exceeds 95 ° C, even when the graphics card turns fully in the same time. As is now our custom, let’s start by saturating the processor. The fans gradually increase in speed, and the temperature reaches 95 ° C. After about twenty minutes of effort, the processor is a little less warm, but the fans only run at half speed!
To conclude, this machine isn’t just “more”, it’s probably the best we can do in this format. No other machine directly competing offers a more powerful processor and a more powerful graphics card and more RAM and more storage and a screen with the same colorimetric characteristics and a 100 Wh battery and very fast and very versatile inputs / outputs. Apple has pushed the concept to its climax.