After years of dismay, the Macbook Pro series has just received the professional upgrade it deserves, with first-hand reports recommending the notebook for creators and professionals of all kinds with a big 16-inch display, improved thermals and a better keyboard.
Rather unceremoniously announced by Tim Cook on Twitter after a speculative buildup to its US release, the 16-inch Macbook Pro will start at US$2399, with global distribution by the end of the month.
Apple also announced the arrival of its previously announced Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, coming to the US in December, for US$5999 and $4999 respectively.
According to the Apple Australia website, the 16-inch Macbook Pro will start at $3799 for the 6-core version and $4399 for the 8-core model and will arrive sometime at the end of the month.
Pros — you asked for it. And it’s here. pic.twitter.com/e0rsV18AKH
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) November 13, 2019
However, following the release of the acclaimed 2015 Macbook Pro (which The Verge claims was the last one anyone liked), Apple appeared to steer its focus away from the Mac lineup towards the booming smartphone market and its iPhone series, letting its flagship notebook and professional workstation, the Mac Pro, fall by the wayside.
What followed were four years of lacklustre releases and supposedly new features that left Apple users wanting, or even outright question why (see the backlash after the removal of the 17-inch Macbook Pro).
Then it happened, Apple announced the refreshed Mac Pro, bringing back the tower design and adding a professional-grade monitor, leaving fanboys giddy over the idea that the maker of the iPhone might actually fix the dreaded, and now replaced 15-inch model.
We’re inspired by the things pro customers create every day with the Mac. Thrilled to introduce the world’s best pro notebook that delivers on what they have been asking for — and more. https://t.co/wVmdVptnBY
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) November 13, 2019
The 16-Inch MacBook Pro addresses nearly every issue with the previous generation model from the internal thermals, to the keyboard (and its layout), while adding immense configurability for the machine with up to 64GB of memory, up to 8TB of SSD storage and a 100Wh battery for 11 hours of life, which is right on the limit of allowances for air travel.
And yes you did read that correctly, Apple has introduced the first notebook with an 8TB SSD storage, the largest ever in a laptop.
Of course, the typical AMD Radeon graphics have all been included which promise to deliver on average 1.8 times the render times for video editors, 1.6 times faster performance in video games and 1.4 times improvement during game development.
Probably the most significant improvement is its “More Advanced Thermal Design” which Apple says enables the system to run at higher power for sustained periods of time, which was a constant issue with the previous generation model where internal temperatures caused thermal throttling to occur.
Though Apple had released a firmware update to alleviate the issue, many Macbook Pro users were left extremely frustrated with the limitations placed upon their professional laptop by poor design and foresight.
Thankfully Apple has listened to the criticism and has genuinely stepped up with its thermal design that includes a 35% larger heat sink and 28% more airflow.
Be sure to check out all the upcoming reviews for the 16-inch Macbook Pro where I’m sure every one of them will be ready with their thermometers.
Another point of concern from the previous-gen model was the butterfly key switch design which was notorious for collecting all matter of dust and desk crud, as well as being severely prone to failure.
Apple has decided to take a step back and bring in its scissor design key switch from its wireless Magic Keyboard, which deliver a more stable feeling and 1mm of key travel.
The keyboard also brings back the missing ESC key (thank goodness) and adds an inverted “T” arrangement for the arrow keys.
Something else that Apple manages to beef up was its speakers, which the company is calling a “Higher Fidelity Audio Experience” that utilises Apple-patented force-cancelling woofers to reduce unwanted vibrations that distort the sound.
Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing pretty much outlines everything Apple ‘pro customers’ want in their next Macbook Pro in the press release, and from the looks of things, they’ve nailed it.
Whether or not the Macbook Pro 16-inch model will hold up to the rigours of testing it will be put through around the world is yet to be seen, but you have one hopeful Apple Fanboy excited about the promise of a Macbook that genuinely deserves the Pro moniker.