New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, 2.3GHz Intel core i9)

New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, 2.3GHz Intel core i9)
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There are a few other notable updates compared to the 15-inch model — including, yes, the namesake for the laptop itself, the 16-inch screen. But the keyboard and the thermals are the big updates that show Apple is willing to look back in order to move forward. Apple’s new keyboard has a full millimeter of travel (about 0.5mm more than the butterfly keyboard and 0.5mm less than the keyboard on a 2015 MacBook Pro). It’s a big, color-accurate retina screen. I think on the next iteration of this design — which is presumably more than a few years out — Apple should aim a little higher. But OLED and HDR screens on laptops are still relatively rare, and I think Apple was right to nail the basics. Get more New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, 2.3GHz Intel core i9) review.

New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, 2.3GHz Intel core i9)

Pros & Cons – New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, 2.3GHz Intel core i9)

Pros

– Keyboard. It’s fantastic. The key travel has been extended to 1mm, which is about half of the original keyboard found on the 2015 and prior model years. It feels just as good to type on because apple improved the tactile feedback. The keys sort of spring back. The keyboard is quiet and very comfortable to type on. The keys are slightly smaller but do not make typing on them any more difficult. The directional arrows are now properly setup and the physical Esc key is back, making it a breeze to flip through open applications.

– Screen. The difference in size is subtle but noticeable. It’s technically even more dense, but just barely. You won’t notice much difference from recent MacBook Pros but true to Apple, the display is absolutely gorgeous. The 0.6 inch difference in size retains the same logical resolution, so everything should look just slightly bigger which I welcome.

– Processor. The base model has the same chipset as the 2019 15.4″ model. The performance, however, is about 10% better due to significantly improved airflow and larger heatsinks. The issue of heat related throttling has been largely addressed. On the upper model, the machine now comes with 8 cores and serious performance bump. There is literally nothing you can throw at this MacBook that it won’t handle with breeze.

– Graphics. The traditional setup is still here. You have the onboard Intel chipset, which operates when the demand for visual performance is low. You also have a discrete AMD chip which delivers significant improvement over the previous generation. In fact, the base model delivers performance in excess of the upper spec Vega chipset from last year. The leap is extraordinary. As before, the system will automatically choose which graphics card to use depending on demand.

– Sound. In one world, amazing. Imagine Apple took a HomePod and flattened it to fit it in the housing of the MacBook Pro. That is essentially the experience. Bass is pronounced and crisp and treble is sharp. The sound is rich and room-filling. There are six speakers instead of two in the last generation.

-Microphone. Major improvements with three mics instead of one in the previous generation. I use the MacBook to make calls using an iPhone and the sound on the other end is clear and free from background noice. I’ve been told it sounds a lot better than before, but that is of course subjective. On paper, you’re getting better noise reduction and improved sound fidelity.

– Touch Bar. Controversial in the past, I think it may now be the “happy medium” between physical keys and the useful Touch Bar which adapts to the content on the screen. The Esc key is back and on the right hand side you’ll find Touch ID and power button.

– SSD. You’ll love the fact that now base starting size of the SSD has been doubled on both the entry model and the upper model with 512GB and 1TB respectively.

– Gaming. This has to be mentioned. The graphics card offers incredible leap in performance. Modern games that would get 14-16FPS on high setting now perform at 35-40FPS with ease. Same settings. Same games. Huge improvement. It’s now possible to play AAA games on the MacBook Pro with reasonable performance and high visual settings.

– Productivity. This machine is a beast. I use the full Affinity suite and do some limited video editing. In addition, I have multiple productivity programs open, over a dozen Safari tabs, two email clients, and dozens of other apps, such as CRM, task managers, notes, etc. Everything runs smoothly.

– Value. Yes, value. This expensive laptop brings the best value in the lineup of the 15.”4 (now 16″) offering to date. If you carefully look at the costs of truly compatible Windows offerings, you’ll find the MacBook Pro to be competitively priced.

Cons

– Weight. The machine is slightly heavier but I welcome the added bulky. Finally Apple went with functionality over its obsession with thiner and lighter hardware, giving us a machine with proper thermal management, proper keyboard and more. But if you plan on taking it with you places, you’ll feel the extra bulk.

– BTO Updates. The cost of BTO options is still quite high, with the noted exception of the 8GB option on the GPU. You’re still paying a significant premium for each incremental upgrade over the base model.

To sum up — This is the best MacBook Pro in many years. It’s a well-rounded, powerful machine that brings about incredible performance and value. I would highly recommend it to any Pro.

Price and availability

Perhaps one of the most pleasant surprises about the MacBook Pro 16-inch is its price. Now, don’t get too excited – this isn’t a cheap laptop. Far from it. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is, like other MacBook Pros, a very pricey laptop. But what’s surprising is that the base model starts at $2,399 (£2,399, AU$3,799, AED 9,999) for a 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M 4GB GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

This, you may have noticed, is the same price as the 2019 model of the MacBook Pro 15-inch, which for the same price comes with a 6-core 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor, Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage.

Who is this for – New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, 2.3GHz Intel core i9)?

Buy it if…

You want a workstation laptop that lasts a whole workday
The battery life on the MacBook Pro 16-inch is very impressive, considering the powerful components and larger screen. Depending on the workload, this will keep you going throughout the work day on a single charge – though any heavy video rendering and the like will obviously drain the battery faster.

You want the most powerful MacBook ever
Apple has done an amazing job of improving most aspects of the MacBook Pro with the new 16-inch model, and while it’s not a generational leap in terms of power compared to the 15-inch model, if you’re after the most powerful MacBook ever made, this is it.

You loved everything about the MacBook Pro – but want more
Apple set out to give its customers “more of what they love” with the MacBook Pro 16-inch, and it succeeded. You get that classic MacBook Pro form factor, with not much extra size or weight added, along with a bigger screen, more powerful components, a better keyboard, better speakers and much more.

Don’t buy it if…

You don’t need the power
Part of the reason that the MacBook Pro 16-inch is so expensive is because of the powerful cutting edge components included. That means if you don’t need that amount of raw power (and unless you’re using it for professional video editing, music producing, 3D modelling and the like, then you won’t), you’re better off buying the cheaper MacBook Pro 13-inch, or the MacBook Air.

You’re on a tight budget
The MacBook Pro 16-inch costs the same for the base model as the previous 15-inch model. That’s to be commended, but make no mistake – this is still a very expensive laptop. If you’re on a budget, there are more affordable options out there.

You prefer Windows
If you’re a Windows die-hard and hate all things Apple, then this is not the laptop for you. However, you may want to reconsider – macOS Catalina is not that difficult to get the hang of, after all. Otherwise, there are some good Windows-based alternatives out there.

Key Features and Benefits – New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, 2.3GHz Intel core i9)

A big, beautiful workspace: The MacBook Pro features a stunning 16-inch Retina display. It produces 500 nits of brightness for spectacular highlights and bright whites, while delivering deep blacks thanks to the precise photo alignment of liquid crystal molecules. And the P3 wide color gamut enables brilliant, true-to-life images and video.

Working at the speed of thought: Thanks to a more advanced thermal design, the powerful processor with up to 8 cores and 16 threads of processing power sustains higher performance for longer periods of time – and delivers up to 2.1 times the performance of a quad-core MacBook Pro. So whether you’re layering dozens of tracks and effects, rendering 3D models, or compiling and testing code, you’ll be doing it in no time flat.

More advanced thermal architecture enables faster processing: The thermal architecture in MacBook Pro has been completely redesigned, featuring larger impellers with improved fan blades for optimal airflow and more heat-dispersing fins for more effective cooling. The resulting gain in cooling capacity allows MacBook Pro to deliver up to 12 watts more maximum sustained power.

Bending reality takes bandwidth: The 16-inch MacBook Pro base model is over two times faster than the previous-generation base model, for seamless playback and faster rendering of ultra-high-definition video.

There’s magic in a perfect workspace: The Magic Keyboard features a refined scissor mechanism with 1 mm travel for a responsive, comfortable, and quiet typing experience. The Touch Bar puts powerful shortcuts front and center, and Touch ID provides fast authentication. A dedicated Escape key allows quick switching between modes and views. And the inverted-T arrow keys enable fluid navigation whether you’re flying through lines of code, navigating spreadsheets, or gaming.

Bigger bass, better mic: MacBook Pro has a big voice. The six-speaker sound system produces room-filling wide stereo sound like you’ve never heard from a notebook before. Dual force-canceling woofers dramatically reduce system vibration for a clearer, more natural sound and a half-octave lower range to the bass. And the studio-quality three-mic array rivals professional third-party microphones, for creating superclean podcasts or music recordings on the go.

Thunderbolt 3: Thunderbolt 3 combines ultra-high bandwidth with the ultra-versatility of the USB-C industry standard to create one revved-up universal port. It integrates data transfer, charging, and video output in a single connector, delivering up to 40Gb/s of throughput for twice the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2. MacBook Pro is equipped with four ports, so you can do all of that from either side. Existing devices are easily connected with a cable or adapter. And Thunderbolt 3 is reversible, so no matter how you plug in, it’s always right side up.

Manufacturer Items Included: Apple 16″ MacBook Pro (Late 2019, Silver), 96W USB Type-C Power Adapter, USB Type-C Charge Cable (2m)

What are the upgrades

Speaker details like that often end up just being marketing gobbledegook, but not here. The laptop gets super loud and has great stereo separation. It still won’t fill a room like a Bluetooth speaker, but it will impress anybody who sits in front of it.

Apple also has improved the microphone — it’s now a three-mic “studio” array. It certainly sounds better than most microphones — including Microsoft’s “studio” mics on the Surface Laptop 3. It’s less hissy and a little less echoey to my ears. But despite Apple’s claims, it still doesn’t stand up to a dedicated USB microphone like a Blue Yeti.

Specifications

Processor BrandIntel
Processor TypeCore i9
Hard Drive Capacity1 GB
Processor Core Type8-core
ManufacturerApple
Product LineApple MacBook Pro
Processor Speed2.3 GHz
Manufacturer Part NumberMVVK2LL/A
Wireless TechnologyIEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n
RAM Memory16 GB
Operating SystemmacOS 10.15 Catalina
Battery Life11 hours
Modelwith Touch Bar
Screen Size16 in
BrandApple
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)9.70 x 14.10 x 0.64 Inches

New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, 2.3GHz Intel core i9) Review

Design

Now the footprint of the MacBook Pro 16-inch is bigger than the 15-inch, with dimensions of 0.64 x 14.09 x 9.68 inches (1.62 x: 35.79 x 24.59cm) versus the 15-inch’s 0.61 x 13.75 x 9.48 inches (1.55 x 34.93 x 24.07cm; W x D x H), but it’s not enough to be that noticeable. It’s certainly impressive.

So, how did Apple manage this? On opening the MacBook Pro 16-inch, the answer is evident, with the bezels that surround the screen much thinner than previous models. Not only has this allowed Apple to fit a larger screen into the new MacBook Pro without drastically increasing the overall size of the laptop, but it makes the new MacBook Pro look and feel a lot more modern. It also ensures that all your attention is directed on that gorgeous screen.

The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition’s screen is definitely the one to beat at the moment when it comes to pro laptops. It’s an OLED screen that’s factory calibrated and absolutely stunning. Not only does it beat the MacBook Pro 16-inch when it comes to resolution, but it’s also a touch screen as well.

Apple has made sure that image quality remains high, as it has also upped the resolution to 3,072 x 1,920. The result is a beautifully crisp display that looks sharp and vibrant. It’s not quite as pixel-packed as the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition’s screen, which has a 4K resolution of 3,840 x 2,160.

Does that matter on a pro device? Well, one of the big selling points of the MacBook pro 16-inch, when we spoke to Apple, was how it runs macOS Catalina, which allows you to use an iPad as a second screen using the Sidecar feature. There are a number of creative apps that allow you to use the iPad along with the Apple Pencil stylus to control the apps via touch.Advertisement

This is a great way of allowing creatives to interact with their tools in an intuitive way. However, it also requires an iPad – which is an additional expense. If the MacBook Pro came with a touchscreen, that wouldn’t be an issue. As Razer has shown, it’s indeed possible to include a touchscreen without compromising image quality – though there is a hit when it comes to price.

The keyboard has also been tweaked, thankfully replacing the Butterfly switches of previous models with the Scissor switch found in the popular iMac Magic Keyboard. 

This should eliminate the problems that the Butterfly keyboards experienced (where keys became ‘stuck’ or unresponsive when dust or other debris found their way between the keys) – and in a recent teardown of the MacBook Pro 16-inch, iFixit found that Apple no longer includes a protective membrane underneath the keys, which it included in other recent MacBooks in a bid to fix the issues the Butterfly switches were encountering.

By not including the membrane, it appears that Apple is confident that the new keyboard of the MacBook Pro 16-inch will not have these problems.

The result is immediately apparent: the MacBook Pro 16-inch’s new keyboard is a joy to type on, and a much more responsive and satisfying experience. When moving back to the older MacBook Pro 15-inch’s keyboard, it felt rather flat in comparison. We couldn’t wait to get back to using the newer keyboard. For anyone who does a lot of typing, the new and improved keyboard of the MacBook Pro 16-inch will be a huge selling point.

The Scissor switches also allow the keyboard of the 16-inch MacBook Pro to have a decent amount of travel when the keys are pressed, while still keeping the MacBook Pro as slim as possible.

Further tweaks to the keyboard include shortening the Touch Bar and including a physical Esc key again. This might not be a big difference for a lot of people, but for many – especially coders – this will be a welcome change – and again shows that Apple has been listening to the requests of its customers.

The directional keys have also been changed, and are now back in their classic ‘inverted T’ layout. Again, it’s a more intuitive layout that lets people hit those keys without having to look, and it’s been a long-requested feature for some people.

The Touch ID button, which allows you to log into the MacBook Pro or authorize Apple Pay payments, has also been shifted slightly so it’s easier to find.

These are all very welcome changes to the design, which shows that Apple has been listening. These changes improve the performance and usability of the MacBook Pro, without radically changing the look or feel of the laptop.Advertisement

Now, those ports are perfectly fine for regular users who have modern peripherals with the right connectors. However, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is a laptop aimed at professionals, and the lack of ports is frustrating. Many people have older peripherals that they rely on for work that won’t plug into the Thunderbolt 3 port without an adapter. 

However, there is one thing about the MacBook Pro 16-inch that we really wish Apple would change – and that’s the port selection. Once again, Apple has seen fit to only include four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports and an audio jack.

Having a standard sized USB port along with a memory card reader, for example, would make the MacBook Pro 16-inch a much more versatile device for professionals. Instead, you’ll need to buy an adapter to plug those devices into the MacBook Pro. It’s an added expense, and not a particularly elegant solution. It’s a remnant of Apple’s ‘form over function’ ethos that was popularized by Jony Ive.

You can forgive consumer-orientated products like the MacBook Air or iPhone 11 for sacrificing ports and features in a bid to look as thin and sexy as possible, but with a prosumer device like the MacBook Pro 16-inch, it continues to feel like the wrong choice. There are an increasing number of MacBook Pro competitors, like the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition, which offer a much wider selection of ports.

It’s a shame that Apple appears unwilling to budge on this, as it’s the one area where the MacBook Pro 16-inch doesn’t feel like an improvement over what’s come before.

BENCHMARKS

Here’s how the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Cinebench CPU: 3,157 points Graphics: 122.31 fps
Geekbench 4 Single-Core: 5,375; Multi-Core: 28,332
Geekbench 5 Single-Core: 974; Multi-Core: 6,035
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 11 hours and 41 minutes

New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, 2.3GHz Intel core i9) Performance review

Sadly we didn’t get to play with that version – instead we’ve reviewed the high-end base configuration, with a 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD. This is still an incredibly powerful device, and one that many people will go for if you need a laptop for video editing. For many others, it’s wildly over-specced for their needs.

The MacBook Pro 16-inch is the most powerful MacBook ever made – especially if you splash out on the fully-loaded option. It’s pricey, but with an 8-core Intel processor, 64GB RAM and 8TB SSD, you’ll not get another laptop quite like it.

In day-to-day use, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is again a joy, with macOS Catalina feeling quick and smooth, with apps loading in a flash. At all times, you know you’re working on a very capable laptop, and during our time with it, we didn’t see it stumble when it came to performance.

So, the MacBook Pro 16-inch makes short work of the benchmark tests we threw at it. The processor is similar to the one in the 15-inch model we reviewed, but clocked slightly lower. Also, the new graphics card means this is a formidable laptop when it comes to graphics rendering – and it means it can push the higher resolution without any degradation in performance compared to the 15-inch model.

As a workstation, then, the performance of the MacBook Pro 16-inch is very impressive, though owners of the 2019 model of the MacBook Pro 15-inch shouldn’t feel the need to upgrade: the performance increase isn’t that big. But that’s not too surprising, considering how recently the 15-inch model was launched. But for people who have been holding out, this is the definitive MacBook Pro to get.

We’d like to also point out that even under load, the MacBook Pro 16-inch kept impressively quiet. We’ve used other laptops – including some MacBooks – that make an awful lot of noise when the hardware gets taxed and the fans kick in. It’s a testament to the new thermal design Apple has made, allowing the MacBook Pro 16-inch to remain cool. We also didn’t notice any throttling issues (where the CPU speed is lowered to prevent overheating, which impacts performance) during our time with it – something some previous MacBook Pros have suffered from.

However, the performance of the the MacBook Pro 16-inch shines in other ways as well – especially media playback. We’ve covered the screen quality enough, but it really does make videos and photos look phenomenal.

The new built-in speakers are also excellent. There are six speakers in the MacBook Pro, with Force Feedback-enabled woofers. This allows the MacBook Pro to produce bass sounds without extraneous vibration causing unwanted distortion.

The results are superb, with incredibly clear sounds coming from relatively small speakers. If you’re used to tinny sounds pumped out of weak laptop speakers, you’ll be seriously impressed with the sound quality of the MacBook Pro 16-inch. It was loud enough to fill a decently sized room without distortion. 

While music producers and film editors will still probably want to hook up external speakers or headphones, it does mean if you’re on the move, you could easily make do with the MacBook Pro 16-inch’s speakers without having to carry additional equipment around with you. These are easily some of – if not the – best speakers we’ve heard on a laptop. Apple has done a great job here.

Music sounds fantastic, but watching movies and TV shows is also a highlight, with a wide soundstage and clear stereo separation that can trick you into thinking you’re listening to two external speakers positioned far apart from each other. There’s also a pretty decent virtual surround effect as well. We were very impressed.

The new mic array in the MacBook Pro 16-inch is also much improved. We were impressed with the clarity and quality of recorded audio, and like the speakers, it means if you’re out and about without an external microphone, settling for the built-in mics is no great hardship. 

We’ve complained about the lack of ports making it difficult to plug in external peripherals into the MacBook Pro 16-inch, but the new speakers and mics, along with improved keyboard and huge storage, means you’re less likely to need to plug things in. Impressive.

Battery life

In fact, Apple has managed the remarkable feat of making battery life longer. By its estimates, it gives around an hour more battery life compared to the 15-inch model, and in our tests we found that to be pretty accurate, with it lasting 11 hours and 41 minutes, with a looped 1080p video at 50% screen brightness.Advertisement

MacBooks have always had impressive battery life, especially compared to Windows laptops, and while you could almost forgive the MacBook Pro 16-inch for having a shorter battery life due to its larger screen and more powerful components – but there’s no need to. 

That’s a huge increase over the 7 hours and 36 minutes the MacBook Pro 15-inch scored in the same test. While the 15-inch model could just about get you through a work day without needing a charger, the 16-inch positively blows past it. Of course, the more strenuous tasks you perform, the faster the battery life depletes, but it’s still a remarkable achievement.

Meanwhile, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition managed just 5 hours and 28 minutes in the same test. No competition, really.

Can you do New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch RAM upgrade or GPU upgrade?

BH Photo and Video offers the same price as amazon for most items and they have all different models to choose from. 16GB 32GB and 64GB memory configurations with each processor and hard drive sizes you want. You’ll pay a premium to upgrade the memory. But now all MacBook pros are not upgradeable after purchase. So buy it right the first time 🙂

Is this good for video editing?

Don’t just max out the specs because someone else (and all of Youtube) told you to. Save yourself some cash and spend it on an external SSD, because you will run out of space fast with editing… I’ve been editing 4K 100mbps 8-bit for a couple years on a 2017 2-core i5 with the intel graphics and 8GB memory… that was the cheapest MacBook pro back then. But that is just the initial editing stage. It slows down when played at full resolution and becomes unplayable once you start color grading. But you don’t need an i9 and 8GB graphics to get over that hurdle. The base model 16″ 2019 is probably about 8x faster overall than my anemic setup. Unless you are editing RAW 10-bit files out of a *very* expensive cinema camera, the base model 16″ macbook pro will do a very good job with video editing. See Max Yuryev’s youtube video from Nov. 16 2019 for a direct performance review; the base model is butter smooth for 4k editing.

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