The MacBook Pro models come with three USB 4 ports.
Credit: Apple

MacBook Pro 14″ & 16″: The World’s Best Notebook

The highly anticipated 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models are finally here. Apple revamped them with a new eye-catching design, powerful new chips, outstanding performance, and the world’s best notebook display. Sky’s the limit to MacBook Pro’s capabilities, and it’s perfect for developers, photographers, filmmakers, 3D artists, scientists, music producers, and regular users.

“We set out to create the world’s best pro notebook, and today we’re excited to introduce the all-new MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max — a game-changing combination of phenomenal performance, unrivaled battery life, and groundbreaking features. The all-new MacBook Pro adds a breathtaking XDR display, more ports like MagSafe 3, an advanced 1080p camera, and a sensational six-speaker sound system, all in a stunning new design. The new MacBook Pro simply has no equal and is by far the best pro notebook we’ve ever built.” – Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

There’s so much exciting stuff to talk about – from power to looks – so let’s get into it.

The 2021 MacBook Pro models – supercharged performance

The mighty M1 Pro and M1 Max chips mark a huge step forward in the transition to Apple silicone on Mac. Here’s what you’ll get for each model:

14-inch MacBook Pro

  • M1 Pro: 8-core CPU with six performance cores and two efficiency cores / 10-core CPU with eight performance cores and two efficiency cores; 14- or 16-core GPU; 16-core Neural Engine; 200Gbps memory bandwidth
  • M1 Max: 10-core CPU with eight performance cores and two efficiency cores; 16- or 32-core GPU; 16-core Neural Engine; 400Gbps memory bandwidth
  • 16GB unified memory, configurable to 32GB (M1 Pro) or 64GB (M1 Max)

16-inch MacBook Pro

  • M1 Pro: 10-core CPU with eight performance cores and two efficiency cores; 16-core GPU; 16-core Neural Engine; 200Gbps memory bandwidth
  • M1 Max: 10-core CPU with eight performance cores and two efficiency cores; 32-core GPU; 16-core Neural Engine; 400Gbps memory bandwidth
  • 16GB unified memory, configurable to 32GB (M1 Pro) or 64GB (M1 Max)

The powerful processors open a world of possibilities for advanced users. Credit: Apple

Remarkable display

Apple equipped its new notebooks with mini-LED backlighting Liquid Retina XDR displays, which offer better image contrast, backlight control, and a great dynamic range. The full specs include a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 1,000 nits of full‑screen brightness, 1,600 nits of maximum brightness, and a 120Hz refresh rate.

The MacBook Pro come with outstanding displays.
The MacBook Pro displays support the P3 color gamut and True Tone. Credit: Apple

Design and colors

The new MacBook Pros feature a new, lightweight aluminum case design and much slimmer screen bezels that make the device appear smaller and more elegant than previous models. Here are the exact measurings:

  • 14-inch MacBook Pro: 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches; 3.5 pounds
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro: 14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches; 4.7 pounds

Apple has made the FaceTime camera notch the same depth as the menu bar, so it won’t bother you while working. The laptops come in two Apple signature colors: Silver and Space Gray.

Ports and battery life

The MacBook Pro comes with three USB 4/Thunderbolt and an HDMI 2.0 ports, an SDXC card slot, and a headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones.

The new MacBook Pro models come with three USB 4 ports.
Credit: Apple

Apple’s tests revealed a drastically improved battery life for both MacPros:

14-inch MacBook Pro

  • Up to 17 hours of Apple TV app movie playback
  • Up to 11 hours wireless web
  • 70-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery

16-inch MacBook Pro

  • Up to 21 hours of Apple TV app movie playback
  • Up to 14 hours wireless web
  • 100-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery

Front camera and speakers

Apple has finally switched from a 720p FaceTime camera to a 1080p FaceTime HD camera and promises better image quality. However, unlike the similar one found in the 24″ M1 iMac, this sensor is not ultra-wide and does not support Center Stage.

The tech giant steps it up with the audio playback and recording. Packed with a six-speaker system, with four tweeters and two woofers, this slim notebook delivers a crisp sound and 80% more bass than previous models.

With a high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming, the built-in three-mic array allows you to obtain studio-quality recordings.

No Touch Bar to be seen

After coming to life in 2016 to replace the function keys, the Touch Bar has caused mixed reactions. Apple has finally given in to those who aren’t fans of the feature and removed it, bringing back the function keys. However, the Touch ID is still in its usual upper right spot on the keyboard.

Credit: Apple

Pricing and configurations

The M1 Pro MacBook Pro is now available for ordering, with shipments starting next week.

These are the two standard configurations of the 14-inch model:

  • $1,999: M1 Pro 8-core CPU, 14-core GPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD
  • $2,499: M1 Pro 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD

The 16-inch model comes in the following three standard configurations:

  • $2,499: M1 Pro 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD
  • $2,699: M1 Pro 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD
  • $3,499: M1 Max 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD

The new MacBook Pro is an elegant yet extremely powerful piece of tech. With its alluring design and finishes, beautiful display, and boosted performance,  there’s so much left to explore hands-on.