Apple MacBook Pro 14″ and 16″ models were just announced with new Apple M1 Max and M1 Max ARM-based SoC chips. The laptops offer a significant performance boost, long battery life, 120Hz Liquid Retina XDR displays with thin bezels, 1080p front-facing camera, physical function keys, and more connectors such as HDMI, SDXC card reader, and three Thunderbolt 4 ports. The laptops can be pre-ordered now from $1,999.
Apple initially announced the move of the Macintosh platform to its own ARM-based chips in June 2020 during the WWDC presentation. The first Apple Mac computers with Apple silicon followed a few months later. In November 2020, Apple announced a 13″ MacBook Pro and MacBook Air as well as a new Mac Mini, all equipped with Apple’s own M1 ARM-based chip. Over the past year, Apple M1 computers became fairly popular among creators because of the nice combination of power efficiency, long battery life, and small dimensions. Many third-party software companies such as Adobe or Blackmagic Design also introduced M1 versions of apps to best utilize the new ARM-based architecture.
As anticipated, during today’s online event, apart from the music-related news such as the new Voice Plan for Apple Music the new colors of the HomePod mini, and the AirPods 3, Apple announced new MacBook Pro 14″ and 16″ models. Let’s take a look at the new highly anticipated machines.
Today, Apple announced not one, but two new ARM-based chips – Apple M1 Pro and Apple M1 Max, the Max being more powerful out of the two. Apple M1 Pro features up to:
32GB of unified memory
200GB/s memory bandwidth
while the Apple M1 Max offers up to:
64GB of unified memory
400GB/s memory bandwidth
Both chips also offer a neural engine, 5nm technology, and ProRes acceleration core for multiple streams of high-resolution video. The 10-core CPU features 8 high-performance and 2 high-efficiency cores to offer more battery life during less CPU-intensive tasks. The chips should also play H.264 and H.265 video streams faster and more efficiently.
The M1 Pro supports up to two external displays and the M1 Max supports up to four external displays and according to Apple, it should be powerful enough to smoothly play up to 7 streams of 8K ProRes video.
The chassis design is a bit different with rounded edges and no tapered body. Apple claims that the chassis has been made out of 100% recycled aluminum. As anticipated, the keyboard now has a full-height physical function key row instead of a touch bar. The keyboard uses mechanical keys with new keyboard shortcuts. The touchpad in MacBook Pro has been significantly better than any other laptop so I do not expect it to be different.When it comes to battery life, the 13″ M1 Apple silicon models set a new efficiency bar last year. The new MacBook Pro models continue in this manner. According to Apple, the 14″ MacBook Pro offers up to 17 hours of video playback while the 16″ model offers up to 21 hours of video playback. The laptops support Fast Charge.
Apple will offer the new MacBook Pro models with up to 8TB SSD with up to 7.4GB/s read speeds. There is no doubt the price tag for the 8TB model will be massive.The new 16.2″ (3456 x 2234 pixels, 254 ppi) and 14.2″ (3024 x 1964 pixels, 254 ppi) Liquid Retina XDR displays support ProMotion so the refresh rates are available up to 120Hz. The rate changes dynamically to save battery when a high refresh rate is not needed. The displays feature the Mini LED technology with a sustained brightness of 1,000 nits, peak brightness of 1,600 nits, and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.
Both models got new displays and this change is visually perhaps the most noticeable on the new MacBook Pro. Apple further slimmed down the display bezels to an impressive 3.5mm on the sides and at the top and the front-facing camera now has a notch – similar to the iPhones.
Another great news about the new MacBook Pro includes connectivity – after years of “USB-C only policy” Apple goes back to offering multiple ports – say bye to the annoying dongles. Well, not completely, but for the most part. On the right side, there is now an HDMI port, one Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) port, and an SDXC card slot. On the other side, there is a 3.5mm audio jack, two more Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, and a MagSafe 3 connector for charging. The charging is, however, still alternatively available via the USB-C port too if needed. This applies to both models. For Ethernet, you will still need to use a dongle, but the ports situation has now become much better and you should finally be able to leave the house without an adapter (unless you still use USB-A devices …).
Both new MacBook Pro models can be pre-ordered today and Apple says they will start shipping next week. The price of the new Apple MacBook Pro 14″ starts at $1,999 and for the 16″ model it starts at $2,499.