Apple, today, announced its new 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models, which bring a substantial redesign, improved hardware and new Apple silicon in the form of its new M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets. Some of the more welcomed additions for photographers and videographers include new Liquid Retina XDR displays, the addition of an SD card slot and HDMI port, and the absence of the Touchbar, which is now replaced with Apple’s standard function key array.
The new 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models can be configured exactly the same way, with Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets (more on those below). So, rather than focusing on the differences, let’s look at the shared components.
The most obvious change for these new models is an entirely redesigned housing, which is made of 100% recycled aluminum and, for the first time in what seems like an eternity, actually adds more I/O options instead of removing them. After years of being limited to Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 ports, both the 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models offer three Thunderbolt 4 ports, one HDMI port, one SD card reader, a 3.5mm audio port and, for the first time in the Thunderbolt era, a MagSafe connection. Aside from the obvious quick-release nature of the new MagSafe 3 connection, it also offers up to 96W fast charging for the 70-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery inside.
|An illustration showing the Liquid Retina XDR display design inside these new MacBook Pro models.|
Both devices feature Liquid Retina XDR displays, which can render up to one billion colors, feature a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and offer sustained brightness of 1,000 nits (1,600 nits peak). The displays also feature Apple’s ProMotion display technology, which offers variable refresh rates at up to 120Hz. For times when you want a consistent framerate, such as when editing video, you can lock the framerate as well.
The 14″ MacBook Pro features a 14.2″ display with a resolution of 3024 x 1964 pixels (5.9M total pixels, 254 ppi), while the 16″ MacBook Pro features a 16.2″ display with a resolution of 3456 x 2234 pixels (7.7M total pixels, 254 ppi). One thing you’ll notice is the notch at the top of the display. Like the past few iPhone generations, this notch houses the front-facing cameras, but, unlike Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices, these MacBook Pro models lack the company’s Face ID camera, which seems like a strange omission considering how long it’s been found in the company’s other mobile devices.
As impressive as the externals are, the real update in these devices is the processing power inside. Both the 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models can be configured with Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets, the second-generation Apple silicon meant for macOS computers.
The new M1 Pro chipset features a 10-core CPU design (eight performance cores and two efficiency cores), a 16-core Neural Engine and up to 16 GPU cores. There are also dedicated engines for encoding and decoding various video formats, including H.264, HEVC and ProRes codecs. The M1 Pro can be paired with up to 32FGB of unified memory, supports up to two Pro Display XDR monitors, features 200GB/s memory bandwidth and is capable of playing up to 20 4K ProRes 422 streams at once.
The M1 Max chipset features the same 10-core CPU and 16-core Neural Engine design, but can have up to a 32-core GPU design and 64GB of unified memory. It features 400GB/s memory bandwidth and has two ProRes accelerators, which Apple claims can support streaming up to 30 4K ProRes 422 streams or up to seven 8K ProRes video streams at once. The M1 Max also supports up to four external displays (Apple used the example of having three Pro Display XDR monitors connected, as well as a 4K TV).
The new 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models can be configured with up to 8TB of SSD storage with read speeds up to 7.4GB/s and feature an updated thermal design that can move up to 50% more air over the internals compared to the previous MacBook Pro design. Battery performance has also been improved. Apple claims the 14″ model offers 17 hours of video playback while the 16″ model offers up to 21 hours. Apple specifically referenced Lightroom Classic performance and says the new chipsets double the battery life while using Adobe’s post-processing software compared to previous MacBook Pro models.
Other features include an updated three-microphone array, improved speakers, 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking and Bluetooth 5.0 technology.
The base 14″ MacBook Pro model starts with an 8-core CPU, a 14-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory and 512Gb of SSD storage for $1,999. The base 16″ MacBook Pro model starts with a 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory and 1TB of SSD storage for $2,499. CPU, CPU, memory and storage configurations can be upgraded for an additional cost. If you’re wondering what a maxed-out 16″ MacBook Pro looks like (10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 64GB unified memory and 8TB of SSD storage), it’ll set you back a cool $6,099.
Orders start today and units will start shipping next week. You can configure and order your MacBook Pro computers on Apple’s online shop.