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Apple's New MacBook Pros Use M1 Pro, Max and Have More Ports

MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has a new range of high-end MacBook Pros running on its M1 Pro and M1 Max silicon, with a new design and more ports. Designed to compete with the best ultrabooks and premium laptops, the new line was announced during Apple's online "Unleashed" event today and will come in 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch models.

The MacBook Pro 14-inch starts at $1,999, while the 16-inch costs $2,499. They're available for pre-order now and will be available on Oct. 26. It's 16.8 mm thin and 4.7 pounds for 16-inch, and 15.5 mm and 3.5 pounds on the 14-inch model. As with prior models, they are made of anodized aluminum.

The keyboard is getting full-height F keys, just like the Magic Keyboard, while the force-touch trackpad will remain.

macbook pro

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)


But what will matter most to many pros are the new ports. One side has HDMI, Thunderbolt 4 and a full-sized SD card slot. The other slot has a 3.5mm headphone jack and two more Thunderbolt 4 ports. MagSafe is also back for charging. MagSafe 3 delivers more power, but you can also charge over Thunderbolt.

With M1 Pro, you can connect two 4K monitors, while M1 Max will allow up to three 4K monitors at a time.

There's a webcam notch on the screen, which will fit into the menu bar. It's unclear how that will look for pros with tons of icons.

macbooknotch

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)



The 16-inch laptop has a 3456 x 2234 resolution, while the 14-incher packs 3024 x 1964 resolution. They also support dynamic refresh rate in ProMotion, going up to 120 Hz. Apple is also using mini-LEDs with local dimming zones for up to 1000 nits of sustained brightness and 1600 nits of peak brightness.

The new design is Apple's first major change in years. It debuted the design still seen on today's 13-inch Pros back in 2016, when the Touch Bar was introduced. (There were some changes, like a new keyboard that replaced the butterfly switches, as well as the addition of a physical Escape key next to the Touch Bar, but it has largely stayed the same.) It also brings back the MagSafe connector for charging, which was a longtime favorite feature of pre-2016 Mac owners.

The camera is finally going to 1080p, explaining the notch, though FaceID wasn't mentioned. Apple is promising better light, sharper images and more natural skin tones.

The 16-incher has six speakers, with two tweeters and four woofers. The previous 16-inch Pro had the best laptop speakers I ever heard, so I look forward to testing these. Both have spatial audio for Dolby Atmos support.

The new M1 Pro silicon uses a 10-core CPU with 8 high-power cores and 2 high-energy cores, as well as 16 GPU cores, while the M1 Max goes up to 32 GPU cores. Because it has a display engine that supports multiple displays, it will have a unique advantage over the original M1 Macs. Notably, the starting 14-incher, at $1,999.00, has a 14-core GPU, not all 16-cores. 

macbook pro speakers

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)


Apple is promising huge boosts over the Core i9 and Radeon Pro 5600M in the prior 16-inch laptop, though that was from two years ago. Still, that's impressive for a single system on a chip. Apple is also promising 5x machine learning performance.

On the 14-inch model, Apple says it's 3.7 times faster for CPU and as much as 13x faster with the M1 Max than the prior 13-inch Pro. It's unclear if Apple was comparing to M1 or Intel-based systems. Apple will also go up to 64GB of unified memory on both sizes of MacBook Pro. Apple is promising up to 7.4 GBps read speeds on its SSDs.

Apple is claiming up to 17 hours of video playback on the 14-inch MacBook Pro, and up to 21 hours of video playback on the 16-incher. For the first time, it supports fast charge for 50% battery capacity in 30 minutes.

These Macs will run macOS Monterey, will launch on October 25, a day before the laptops.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex. among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • truerock
    What would be cool is if you could buy an adapter for the MagSafe port that made it into a Thunderbolt 4.0 USB-C port.
    Then you could use any Thunderbolt 4.0 charger.

    I like MagSafe. In fact, I would perfectly OK with all of the Thunderbolt 4.0 USB-C ports being MagSafe ports with adapters to USB-C.

    *I was just thinking about this.
    It would be nice if some kind of MagSafe port became the universal port replacing all USB ports and all other ports (ethernet, charger, etc). Even 120v wall outlet plugs - literally, every imaginable external data and/or electrical connecting port.
    I'm thinking standardizing all charging ports to MagSafe would be great - both ends of the cable - every lamp, printer, camera, refrigerator, washer/dryer...
    Reply
  • PapaCrazy
    I don't see a notch, I see a big middle finger pointed at all their customers and third party develops. That's not their screen space. It belongs to whatever app is running on the system. You can't get away with the same stupidity on a PC that you can get away with on a closed-system phone. I just can't believe their egotism right now.
    Reply
  • SiliconMage
    I had thought that way myself, but the alternative is cutting off the top quarter inch of the display and shrinking it to get rid of the notch.
    Seems that the solution they came up with is ok, by spreading some menu stuff across both sides.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    If this was truly for professionals, it should still come with a standard USB-A port so people can insert a standard USB thumb drive or hard drive to transfer files to each other. It looks silly dangling a usb drive off an adapter.
    Reply
  • ajpaolello
    gggplaya said:
    If this was truly for professionals, it should still come with a standard USB-A port so people can insert a standard USB thumb drive or hard drive to transfer files to each other. It looks silly dangling a usb drive off an adapter.

    I suppose Apple has a case to be made at this point that a lot of professional equipment has switched over to USB-C, unlike when Apple first unveiled the all USB-C port design. Still, with all the ports they did put in it does seem silly to omit the USB-A.

    I agree that the notch seems rather silly. I get it was to add more screen space but especially on a device of laptop size, you'd think we could find some other alternative. I'm just curious as to how fullscreen stuff will work.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    PapaCrazy said:
    You can't get away with the same stupidity on a PC that you can get away with on a closed-system phone.

    I think Apple could get away with anything it wanted. I've met many Apple customers.

    That, and this separation of a Macintosh from a closed-system is probably unwarranted. If Apple don't want you doing it, you ain't doing it. It's usually called a "walled garden" which is not a synonym for an open system.
    Reply
  • truerock
    gggplaya said:
    If this was truly for professionals, it should still come with a standard USB-A port so people can insert a standard USB thumb drive or hard drive to transfer files to each other. It looks silly dangling a usb drive off an adapter.
    I don't own any USB-A port flash drives.
    I only own USB-C flash drives.
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    "starts at $1,999" - Good lord.
    Reply