Tech

MacBook Pro 16-inch first look: Apple’s upgrade is what fans have been waiting for

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch release (Image: APPLE)

If you were hoping to see a new MacBook before the end of the year, you’re in luck.

Apple just announced an all-new MacBook Pro laptop and it’s the upgrade that many have been patiently waiting for.

This latest MacBook Pro brings a bigger 16-inch screen – up from 15.4-inch on the previous laptop design, more power, and a totally-redesigned keyboard that brings an end to the controversial Butterfly-mechanism keys found on previous models.

This new MacBook Pro is available to pre-order today, but Express.co.uk has been lucky enough to get an early glimpse at the machine.

THE NEW SCREEN

The new display is one of the biggest changes to the new MacBook Pro and it’s a very welcome update. Apple has bumped-up the size of the display to squeeze a 16-inch Retina panel into the laptop and it looks pretty spectacular.

Not only do the pixels pop from the display but Apple has finally reduced the size of the black bezels that surround the screen, which were starting to look pretty dated compared to some of its Windows 10-powered rivals, as well as Apple’s own iPhone and iPad Pro ranges.

This not only improves the overall look of the new MacBook Pro, but also means you’ll get a larger screen without the overall footprint of the MacBook increasing too much. It’s worth noting that the size of the MacBook Pro is still slightly bigger than before though, so unless you were using a roomy laptop sleeve or carry case for your current 15-inch model, you’ll likely need to buy a new protective case for your shiny new machine.

While the 16-inch display has a respectable resolution of 3072-by-1920 with a total of 5.9 million pixels, Apple has stopped well short of offering a 4K panel. For those hoping to play – or edit – Ultra HD footage on the road, this will be a little disappointing. That said, macOS looks stunning on the new panel with plenty of colour, contrast and pin-sharp quality.

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch goes on sale later this week (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

THE KEYBOARD

Apple hasn’t had the easiest time with its recent MacBook keyboards.

Its hugely problematic Butterfly keyboard design, which was introduced back in March 2015, is now the standard on all of its recent laptops. Not only is the feel of typing – thanks to the incredibly short travel of the individual keys compared to Apple’s desktop keyboards – not to everyone’s tastes, but the design has been plagued with durability problems that forced Apple to offer an extended warranty on all models.

Apple hopes to put all of this behind them with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which has a new set of keys that’s been inspired by the iMac. This Magic Keyboard – as Apple is branding it – uses a traditional scissor mechanism with 1.0mm travel and an Apple-designed rubber dome that delivers a more responsive and satisfying key press by preserving more potential energy than in previous designs.

Having put it to the new keyboard to the test – to write this first look review, no less – there’s no question that it’s a huge improvement over the previous keyboard design. In fact, typing on this new MacBook is reminiscent of the days before the move to the butterfly design. And that’s something we’re immensely happy about.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch

There’s a refreshed keyboard with new layout (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch

Gone is the Butterfly keyboard with a new typing experience now on this MacBook (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

As well as feeling better under your fingertips, Apple has also made some design changes to its layout, which also feels like a massive improvement.

The Escape button now being ditched from the Touch Bar, being reinstated as a physical button next to the thin OLED touchscreen. And the Touch ID fingerprint now also sits in its own space, which should make it easier to find when touch-typing – something that was tougher when it was integrated into a single glass strip.

Elsewhere, the cursor keys have been tweaked to improve the user experience too. These are now easier to find while touch-typing as the keys are a different shape to the rest of the keys – something that was changed in the move from the previous scissor key design to the ill-fated Butterfly design over the last few years.

It seems Apple has taken the criticism levelled at the Butterfly keys onboard and returned with a new design that fixes all of the issues. Provided the same durability issues don’t crop up with this new design, as they started to do after the first few months of the Butterfly design, this seems to be a complete return to form.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch

The new MacBook features a 16-inch screen (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

THE DESIGN

At first glance, the new Pro looks very similar to the laptops that have gone before it …but that’s no bad thing. Apple’s aluminium design still oozes class and there’s very little that comes close to its premium build quality.

There’s also another bonus of the design as with Apple pushing the new display closer to the edges, you get that bigger screen without the overall size increasing too much. Place the 15-inch and 16-inch side-by-side and you’ll only spot a very minute difference in dimensions.

Don’t get us wrong, this is a large laptop. However, it’s still perfectly portable and you won’t have any issues popping it in your bag. The only other thing to mention is that Apple is sticking with its USB-C ports with two on either side.

This means you will still need a bag full of dongles to connect your external devices and plug in your memory cars. It does, however, mean that you can charge the MacBook from any side which is definitely a big bonus of these ports over the ageing MagSafe connection.

However, you’ll want to avoid trailing your charging cable around the house, airport, or office too much – as the lack of MagSafe means you’re pricey new Pro can still be ripped off the desk and thrown to the floor as a passing dog, child, or day-dreaming colleague trips over the wire.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch

Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

THE SPEED

Apple’s new MacBook Pro is now powered by the latest 6-core and 8-core Intel i9 processors. To boost things further, you can configure the machine with up to 64GB RAM to make every task appear silky smooth.

Helping performance even further is a more advanced thermal architecture. Thanks to larger impellers with more blades, new fans improve airflow by 28 percent keeping things cooler and helping to make sure the MacBook runs to its full potential more of the time.

If you’re concerned about storage on your Mac then this last model should ease the stress with it now configurable to feature a whopping 8TB of internal memory – double what was available on the previous generation.

We’ve not had a full chance to fully put the MacBook through its paces but from what we have seen so far this appears to be a very capable machine.

THE BATTERY

Apple has boosted the battery in the new MacBook Pro and that should mean a few extra hours of life are coming to your lap. With a giant 100-Wh battery inside, users should see a big boost to performance with Apple claiming the new MacBook Pro can last for around 11 hours.

We’ve been running a video test on our model and it’s performed pretty well with over three hours of playback only making 40 percent dent in the battery – that certainly seems better than the current 15-inch model, which was by no means a battery life champ.

We’ll be running more conclusive tests in the coming weeks so watch this space. To refill this monster battery, Apple has had to rethink its charger but with some clever design has managed to increase the performance of the power pack without making it any bigger.

It’s not quite the same iPhone 11 Pro-level of fast-charging we’ve seen on some rival laptops, but the new charger does manage to refill the hefty new battery cell to around 60 per cent in an hour.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch

There’s some very good audio inside the new MacBook Pro (Image: APPLE)

THE SPEAKERS

If you want a laptop to belt-out some tunes then this could be the device you’ve been waiting for. Apple has packed a six speaker sound system with force-canceling woofers inside this laptop and the result is mightily impressive.

Place this new Apple laptop against some of its rivals and you’ll realise just how good it sounds. And it’s not just listening to this Mac that has been improved as the new Pro also gets studio-quality microphones for those who want to record audio on their laptop.

WHAT’S MISSING

The new MacBook Pro is an impressive machine and ticks-off many of the complaints about the previous generation – not to mention ditching the awful keyboard that caused so many reliability headaches.

That said, there a few things we would’ve expected to appear in a dramatic update to the MacBook Pro line – something that only happens on this scale a few times every decade. That includes the industry-leading FaceID facial recognition from the iPhone and iPad lines. Given the position of a laptop screen when using it, the category seems perfectly suited to unlock as soon as you open the lid and it recognises your face.

Next up, although the battery does refill pretty rapidly there’s no official fast charging claim and, as we mentioned earlier, you’ll still have to contend with a bag full dongles if you want to connect anything to this machine. Given that it’s marketed at professionals, that means you’ll need a cable for your DSLRs, video cameras, external monitors, SD cards, the list goes on… and each of these is sold separately from Apple.

One final thing to note: you really need to make sure you spec this laptop to your needs before you buy as upgrading anything inside the new MacBook Pro isn’t easy.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch

The new MacBook remains portable despite its bigger screen (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Apple is back with a very accomplished new laptop. We’ve only had a few hours with the new MacBook Pro, but the signs are hugely promising.

This new machine gets so many of the updates that Apple fans have been asking for and it arrives at a price that, whilst still expensive, hasn’t been increased. For the same money you’d have to spend to get a 15-inch MacBook Pro last week, you’ll now get a bigger screen, vastly-improved keyboard, better battery life, and more processing power.

We still need to complete our tests before giving the 16-inch MacBook a final rating, but from what seen so far this new Pro looks set to correct all of the niggles that have gone before it.

We’ll be bringing you a full review in the coming weeks so watch this space.


Source link

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
Close