For the year 2021, Apple has released two new MacBook models. The new MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch models have all-new looks, but they also bring back some old favorites. The new MacBook Pro series, which starts at $1,999, has a fresh new M1 Pro or M1 Max system-on-a-chip (SoC), depending on your needs (and wallet size). The new 14in and 16in MacBook Pro models feature a number of returning favorites, including an increase in ports – including the return of MagSafe – and physical function keys in place of the Touch Bar, in addition to boosting the 13in model to 14in while shrinking the bezels and increasing the pixel density of the display. Furthermore, the arrival heralds the end of Intel-based MacBooks, which have all been phased out.
There’s also the M1 Pro and M1 Max, Apple’s two top-end processors that power Apple’s Pro-level laptops’ high-end experience, with Apple claiming industry-leading performance even when not attached to a power source.
Although the debut date for the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) isn’t until Tuesday, October 26, Apple has already released a lot of information on the device, including specifications and pricing, so keep reading to find out all we know so far.
Here’s all you need to know about the revamped 14in and 16in MacBook Pros, including when they’ll be available, how much they’ll cost, and what the new features are.
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) design
The 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021 has received a modest but important change, as has been speculated for some time.
Apple states that the 100% recyclable aluminum chassis improves airflow over the previous 16-inch Pro, and that the bezels bordering the screen have been reduced by 20%. The top bezel has been reduced by about 60%, but it doesn’t include the new notch Apple has added around the camera. That’s right: the MacBook Pro’s display now sports an iPhone-like notch, just as the rumors said.
Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, one HDMI port, one SDXC card slot, and a MagSafe 3 port will be included in the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), as well as a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, Force Touch trackpad, and a 140W USB-C power converter (you can still charge through USB-C if you like). There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack.
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) camera and audio
A brand-new 6-speaker configuration with 4 tweeters and 2 woofers supports spatial sounds beneath the keys. The new versions have studio-quality microphones with a reduced noise floor on the audio side. As a consequence, calls and audio recordings are clearer.
On the latest MacBook Pro models, Apple improved the camera. Both have a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, which doubles the resolution and improves low-light performance over prior generations. The camera also has a strong image signal processor (ISP) and the M1 Pro and M1 Max’s Neural Engine for improved video quality. Users seem crisper with more natural-looking skin tones as a result.
The MacBook Pro Touch Bar is no more starting with the 2021 models
The contentious Touch Bar has been replaced by a considerably more conventional row of function buttons at the top of the keyboard. Despite the more powerful components and somewhat bigger screen size, the display was able to achieve dimensions of 0.66 x 14.01 x 9.77 inches (1.68 x 35.57 x 24.81cm), which is nearly the same as the previous model’s 0.64 x 14.09 x 9.68 inches (1.62 x 35.79 x 24.59cm).
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) display
For the first time, the MacBook Pro comes with a Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED technology, similar to the iPad Pro. The display has a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and can offer up to 1,000 full-screen, continuous brightness and 1,600 nits at peak brightness. Meanwhile, the display’s adjustable refresh rate of up to 120Hz is provided by ProMotion technology.
The new 16-inch model has a 16.2-inch active area with 7.7 million pixels, the biggest on a Mac laptop ever, while the 14-inch model has a 14.2-inch active area with 5.9 million pixels. Further, on both the top and sides of the display, there are narrower boundaries.
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) performance
Along with the new MacBook Pro models, Apple introduced two new M1 variants: the M1 Pro and M1 Max, which was likely the greatest surprise of Apple’s “Unleashed” October presentation. The M1 Pro has a CPU with up to ten cores, including eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores, as well as a GPU with up to 16 cores. As a consequence, the M1 Pro has up to 70% faster CPU performance and up to 2x faster GPU performance than the M1. The M1 Pro additionally supports up to 32GB of fast unified memory and has a memory bandwidth of up to 200GB/s, roughly three times that of the M1.
The M1 Pro is Apple’s successor to the incredibly powerful M1 processor, and it boasts more CPU cores, GPU cores, a stronger Media Engine, and memory bandwidth than the M1. Apple is touting M1 Max-equipped 16-inch Macbook Pros as the ultimate mobile video workstation, despite the fact that the M1 Max is more powerful than the Pro.
The M1 Pro includes a 10-core CPU (8 performance cores, 2 efficiency cores), a 16-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine, according to the specifications. The M1 Max (which costs $1,000 more to install in a new 16-inch MacBook Pro) has the same 10-core CPU as the M1 Max, but it has a 32-core GPU and twice the memory bandwidth. It also includes a memory bandwidth of up to 400GB/s and 64GB of rapid unified memory. It also has two video encode engines and two ProRes encode/decode engines, making it a video editing behemoth. Clearly, if you deal with graphically demanding applications, this is the model to acquire.
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) battery life
Because of the enhanced power efficiency in the M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs, the new MacBook Pro 16-inch model should last a long time. Both CPUs are expected to outperform the regular M1 and equivalent laptop chipsets in terms of performance per watt.
The 14-inch model can play video for up to 17 hours, while the 16-inch model can play for up to 21 hours. The former boasts the longest battery life of any Mac laptop to date.
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) release date and price
Apple’s website is already taking orders for the 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021, with a starting price of $2,499. It will be available for purchase on October 25. You have two color selections, as usual: Silver or Space Gray.
The $2,499 entry-level model comes with an M1 Pro processor with a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16 GB of unified memory, and a 512 GB SSD, while a 1 TB SSD is possible for $2,699.
If you need more power, a $3,499 model with Apple’s new M1 Max processor, the most powerful piece of silicon Apple has ever put in a MacBook, is offered. It has a 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 32 GB of unified memory, and a 1 TB SSD.
Returning to the introduction event, Apple was quick to emphasize how much faster the new MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) is than the previous model, thus Apple will rely on the enhanced speed and screen to explain the higher price.