Talk to any true Apple fan and they’ll tell you the last great MacBook Pro was the 15-inch model from mid-2015. It had a good array of ports, an excellent keyboard and an SD card slot. There was no butterfly keyboard or Touch Bar to affect. because the former Tumblr developer Marco Arment put it, “It’s designed for us, instead of asking us to adapt ourselves thereto.”

Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro is essentially every creative’s dream machine, with plenty of power and a vastly improved keyboard. The larger screen makes it more useful than the 15-inch model it replaces, and it even has decent battery life for a workstation.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is that the closest Apple has come to recreating the glory of that machine. It’s incredibly powerful, and therefore the company finally listened to complaints about its shallow butterfly keyboards and equipped this model with more-traditional scissor-switch keys. While it doesn’t address every pro-user issue — you are still limited to four USB-C ports and there are not any card slots — it’s handily the simplest MacBook Pro available today for creatives.

16-inch MacBook Pro

Let’s get the apparent differences out of the way first: Its 16-inch screen is noticeably larger. Like many PC makers, Apple managed to suit a bigger display into a similarly sized case by shaving down the bezels round the sides and top. The result’s a gloriously immersive, 500-nit Retina Display which will finally compete with Dell’s Infinity Edge screens. it is a legitimate intensify from the previous model, and a reminder of the glory days of Apple’s 17-inch notebooks.

Then there’s the new Magic Keyboard — which feels more sort of a miracle keyboard. Mac users are complaining about the flat Butterfly keyboards ever since they debuted. While Apple eventually fixed some sound and reliability issues, they never felt great to type on. It always felt like pretend typing on a pane of glass — it isn’t satisfying and barely functional. The Magic Keyboard fixes that issue by going back to the scissor mechanism Apple has been using in its desktop keyboards for years. there is a millimeter of key travel now, and that they aren’t wobbly like they wont to get on older MacBook Pros. as compared, the Butterfly keyboards had a mere half millimeter of travel, and Dell’s XPS 15 offers a rather deeper 1.3 millimeters.

Look at those taller keys. Devindra Hardawar/Eng
I’ve almost forgotten what it had been wish to enjoy typing on a MacBook Pro, but this new keyboard brought me back to my youth of writing on a second-gen MacBook Air. there is a responsiveness that creates the keyboard feel inviting, like it is a world-class instrument waiting to be played. That millimeter of feedback practically makes the notebook desire an extension of my body rather than a tool that annoys me whenever I touch it. Even butterfly keyboard defenders will have a tough time denying that the Magic Keyboard simply feels better, and it can’t reach other MacBooks in time.

Apple even compromised a touch with the Touch Bar: The physical Escape key’s back! and there is a separate TouchID and power button, which makes it easier to seek out without looking. I’m still not completely sold on the Touch Bar’s usefulness, but a minimum of it seems like less of a hindrance to my workflow.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro may be a bit taller and wider than the 15-inch model by a couple of millimeters, and it’s marginally thicker at .64 inches rather than 0.61. It’s heftier too at 4.3 pounds rather than around four. It definitely weighed down my backpack more, and its slightly larger dimensions make it a touch of a chore to suit on cramped cafe tables. But i feel the trade-offs are worthwhile for the sheer power Apple managed to stuff into this machine. it might are nice to ascertain more of a design refresh, but Apple’s unibody aluminum case looks as sleek as ever, so i can not complain much.

Under the hood, you’ve got Intel’s latest six- and eight-core i7 and i9 processors, the latter of which may reach boost accelerates to 5GHz. you’ll also choose from AMD’s Radeon Pro 5300M and 5500M GPUs with 4GB of VRAM. That more-powerful GPU can even be configured with eight gigabytes of VRAM for heavy-duty 3D-rendering work. Apple claims the 5,300M graphics are 2.1 times faster than the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s, which is sensible since it’s powered by AMD’s new rDNA architecture.

Apple is breaking new ground for memory and storage within the MacBook Pro also, with support for up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and eight terabytes of fast SSD storage. Notably, Apple says this is often the most important SSD ever during a notebook, and that we haven’t found any evidence out there to prove otherwise. These are fantastic high-end specs for programmers and artists alike. It wont to be that you simply had to settle with alittle SSD during a modern laptop and carry around a transportable drive for larger files. The 16-inch MacBook Pro gives you the type of storage flexibility you’d expect from a desktop workstation.

Of course, you’ll pay dearly for maxing out those specs. Bumping up to 64GB of RAM is a further $800 while the 8TB of storage is an eye-watering $2,200 extra. These aren’t upgrades meant for average users, but I’d bet huge VFX firms wouldn’t consider about spending $5,899 for a decked-out MacBook Pro to hurry up their workflows.

Our review unit, which featured an eight-core i9 CPU and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics, tore through whatever I put ahead of it. It’s clearly quite I needed for my typical workflow, which mostly involves juggling plenty of browsers, light image editing, Evernote, Slack and Spotify. once I gave it a significant job, like transcoding a 4K movie clip, it leaped into action. HandBrake handled a two-minute clip in only 52 seconds, whereas it took the new 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 a full minute longer. within the Geekbench 4 Compute benchmark, the new Radeon Pro GPU also scored twice the maximum amount because the last-gen AMD hardware. Simply put, this thing screams.

As i used to be benchmarking the 16-inch MacBook Pro, it never felt hot to the touch, and while the fans were noticeable once they spun it, they weren’t annoyingly loud. As a part of the notebook’s revamped cooling setup, the fans can now obtrude 28 percent more air than before, and therefore the conductor covers 35 percent more internal space. All of these improvements and therefore the slightly larger case mean the new MacBook Pro should be ready to withstand heat better than any of Apple’s previous notebooks.

Apple also made a slew of other compelling upgrades to the 16-inch MacBook Pro. a replacement six-speaker setup makes music and films sound great. It’s no replacement for dedicated speakers, but it’s impressive for something beginning of a really thin laptop. There’s also a three-microphone array that Apple is putting against standalone mics just like the Blue Yeti. That’s definitely going a touch too far, but recordings I’ve made sound good… for a laptop mic a minimum of. and there is little or no background hiss. It’s more useful for video chats and shouting at Siri, since pro users tend to be pretty religious about their preferred mics.