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.
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.
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.
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.