Macbook pro 16 inch

16 inch macbook pro review

Hi guys this is the review of the latest 16 inch macbook pro.

We have the maxed out brand-new 16 inch macbook pro which i’ve been using over the last few days. so, it’s time for my 16 inch macbook pro review.

I’m going to tell you what happened in the quick unboxing and then I’m gonna go through all of the new features compared to my 15-inch MacBook Pro and more importantly go over with my opinion on this 16 inch macbook pro.

If you are looking at buying the new macbook pro 16 inch at the end of this review you will be sure whether you should buy the 16 inch MacBook pro with your hard-earned cash or save it for a possible second generation or something completely different and of course the brand new macbook pro actually.

so, for that further ado let’s get straight to it. To the juicy bit of today’s review very quickly. 

Macbook pro 16 inch specs

  • CPU: 9th gen Core i7, 9th Gen Core i9.
  • RAM: 16GB (up to 64GB)
  • Storage: 512GB to 8TB.
  • GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M (4GB), Radeon Pro 5500M (up to 8GB)
  • Display: 16 inches (2072 x 1920 pixels)
  • Battery: 100-watt-hour up to 11 hours.
  • Size: 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.64 inches.

16 inch macbook pro overview 

let’s touch on what we have here with an upgraded 2.4 gigahertz 8 port 9th generation, Intel Core i9 processor with turbo boost up to 5 gigahertz.

I’ve also maxed out the round to 64 gigabytes as well as upgrading the graphics to the AMD Radeon Pro 5500 M and I’ve upgraded the SSD to 2 terabytes.

16 inch macbook pro review

I’ve not maxed it right out to 8 because quite frankly I don’t need that much.

But, I thought I would upgrade the rest I plan to use this 16 inch MacBook Pro for a lot of different heavy-duty tasks. So, let’s pump it up.

If you want to save a couple of hundred on that I’d personally focus more on upgrading the RAM and graphics than the actual processor.

Before, we touch on all the new features and how they’ve affected everyday use for me.

let’s look at what’s the same. so we’ve got the same two color options space grey and silver with the same metallic Apple logo but a matte black option would be nice.

but I’m pretty sure every tech head says that about everything and still companies tend to struggle to produce.

Macbook pro 16 inch

We’ve got a headphone jack and the same four type C ports on 16 inch macbook pro. So, it’s still dongle City.

Many people slay Apple for doing things a bit differently or a little bit early for the rest. The market is kind of actually ready for those changes to be worthwhile.

The disappearance of the headphone jack for example.

But, the market does tend to catch up the sale of wireless headphones and earphones is now a huge market.

but, I can safely say with this. Apple got it wrong what are we now three nearly four years on from that first decision.

People are still frustrated around with dongles for SD cards and HDMI cables. But, it’s not a deal breaker for me.

but, in an effort to simplify. They’ve actually made it more complicated, more frustrating and it’s just one more thing you have to worry about. especially, when traveling. 

We’ve still got the same gigantic trackpad which is as ever excellent, responsive, customizable and haptic feedback is just on point with its pressure-sensitive drawing and multi-touch gestures.

It is again brilliant for the creative minded. so, answer what’s new well of course the first place to start is the design of this 16 inch MacBook Pro.

Design

At first glance, the 16-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t look all that different from the 15-inch MacBook model.

That in itself is a remarkable achievement, considering the larger display of the new 16 inch MacBook Pro.

The footprint of the MacBook Pro 16 inch is bigger than the 15-inch MacBook by dimensions of this laptops.

but it’s not enough to be that noticeable. It’s certainly impressive.

16 inch macbook pro review

So, how did Apple manage this? On opening the MacBook Pro 16-inch, the answer is evident.

With the bezels that surround the screen are much thinner than previous models.

This allowed Apple to fit a larger screen into the new 16 inch MacBook Pro without drastically increasing the overall size of the laptop.

It also makes the new MacBook Pro look and feel a lot more modern.

It also ensures that all your attention is directed on that gorgeous screen.

And the screen – it really is a beauty. It’s the largest display on a MacBook since the MacBook Pro 17-inch was discontinued way back in 2012.

It’s clear that Apple has heard feedback from its pro users that want a larger display, even at the expense of portability, and has acted.

We’re glad it has. Even with the larger display, Apple has made sure that image quality remains high.

As it has also upped the resolution to 3,072 x 1,920.

This results in a beautifully crisp display that looks sharp and vibrant.

It’s not quite as pixel-packed as the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition’s screen, which has a 4K resolution of 3,840 x 2,160.

The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition’s screen is definitely the one to beat at the moment when it comes to pro laptops.

It’s an OLED screen that’s factory calibrated and is absolutely stunning.

Not only does it beat the 16 inch MacBook Pro when it comes to resolution, but it’s also a touch screen as well.

Macbook pro 16 inch

Does that matter on a pro device? Well, one of the big selling points of the 16 inch MacBook pro, when we spoke to Apple, was how it runs macOS Catalina.

Which allows you to use an iPad as a second screen using the Sidecar feature.

There are a number of creative apps that allow you to use the iPad along with the Apple Pencil stylus to control the apps via touch.

This is a great way of allowing creatives to interact with their tools in an intuitive way.

However, it also requires an iPad – which is an additional expense.

If the MacBook Pro came with a touchscreen, that wouldn’t be an issue.

As Razer has shown, it’s indeed possible to include a touchscreen without compromising image quality – though there is a hit when it comes to price.

The keyboard has also been tweaked, thankfully replacing the Butterfly switches of previous models with the Scissor switch found in the popular iMac Magic Keyboard. 

Macbook pro 16 inch

This should eliminate the problems that the Butterfly keyboards experienced (where keys became ‘stuck’ or unresponsive when dust or other debris found their way between the keys).

In a recent teardown of the 16 inch MacBook Pro, iFixit found that Apple no longer includes a protective membrane underneath the keys.

Which it included in other recent MacBooks in a bid to fix the issues the Butterfly switches were encountering.

By not including the membrane, it appears that Apple is confident that the new keyboard of the 16 inch MacBook Pro will not have these problems.

The Scissor switches also allow the keyboard of the 16-inch MacBook Pro to have a decent amount of travel when the keys are pressed.

While still keeping the MacBook Pro as slim as possible.

16 inch macbook pro

The result is immediately apparent the 16 inch MacBook Pro’s new keyboard is a joy to type on, and a much more responsive and satisfying experience.

When moving back to the older MacBook Pro 15-inch’s keyboard, it felt rather flat in comparison.

We couldn’t wait to get back to using the newer keyboard. For anyone who does a lot of typing, the new and improved keyboard of the MacBook Pro 16-inch will be a huge selling point.

Further tweaks to the keyboard include shortening the Touch Bar and including a physical Esc key again.

This might not be a big difference for a lot of people, but for many especially coders this will be a welcome change and again shows that Apple has been listening to the requests of its customers.

The Touch ID button, which allows you to log into the MacBook Pro or authorize Apple Pay payments, has also been shifted slightly so it’s easier to find.

16 inch macbook pro review

The directional keys have also been changed, and are now back in their classic ‘inverted T’ layout.

Again, it’s a more intuitive layout that lets people hit those keys without having to look, and it’s been a long-requested feature for some people.

These are all very welcome changes to the design, which shows that Apple has been listening.

These changes improve the performance and usability of the MacBook Pro, without radically changing the look or feel of the laptop.

However, there is one thing about the 16 inch MacBook Pro that we really wish Apple would change and that’s the port selection.

Once again, Apple has seen fit to only include four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports and an audio jack.

Now, those ports are perfectly fine for regular users who have modern peripherals with the right connectors.

However, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is a laptop aimed at professionals, and the lack of ports is frustrating.

Many people have older peripherals that they rely on for work that won’t plug into the Thunderbolt 3 port without an adapter. 

16 inch macbook pro ports

Having a standard sized USB port along with a memory card reader, for example, would make the MacBook Pro 16-inch a much more versatile device for professionals.

Instead, you’ll need to buy an adapter to plug those devices into the MacBook Pro.

It’s an added expense, and not a particularly elegant solution. It’s a remnant of Apple’s ‘form over function’ ethos that was popularized.

You can forgive consumer-orientated products like the MacBook Air or iPhone 11 for sacrificing ports and features in a bid to look as thin and sexy as possible.

but with a prosumer device like the 16 inch MacBook Pro, it continues to feel like the wrong choice.

There are an increasing number of MacBook Pro competitors, like the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition, which offer a much wider selection of ports.

It’s a shame that Apple appears unwilling to budge on this, as it’s the one area where the MacBook Pro 16-inch doesn’t feel like an improvement over what’s come before.

16 inch macbook pro display 

The 16 inch MacBook Pro has an IPS panel with a native resolution of 3072 by 1920 and 226 pixels per inch and you’ve got 500 nits peak brightness.

so, it’s not as bright as some of the latest flagship smartphones. Which are up near the thousands and over. but, for laptop displays it does a good job.

Macbook pro 16 inch

If it’s really bright outside you may struggle a little bit and even though as stated it is an IPS panel.

In terms of image contrast you can get some incredible deep blacks and bright whites.

We won’t get bogged down with the precise photo alignment of liquid crystal molecules.

Which is what Apple refer to it as. but, all you need to know is this display is pretty excellent for those of you out there looking for a laptop for editing images and videos.

Colors are very true to life due to its p3 wide color gamut and I’ve been editing my recent YouTube videos on it and it’s been great to have that accuracy.

Speaking of editing, the render and export times have been pretty good as well not day and night from the older 2017 15 inch.

but, it certainly is a little bit noticeable the combination of larger impellers new fan blades and a slightly thicker chassis as well as the brand new AMD rain Pro graphics have meant creating content on this MacBook Pro has been much easier.

Of course many of you may argue that a more powerful Windows laptop or PC might be better for video editing etc.

but, for me its Mac OS and more importantly its Final Cut Pro.

16 inch macbook pro display

I just simply can’t get enough of it and I know people talk about the ecosystem or the walled gardens of Apple being a negative.

but, even though I use Android smartphones a lot possibly more than the iPhone.

I also do have that iPhone and often I transfer photos and videos. so features like airdrop etc are a god send.

If you want to connect a second screen using the iPad pro for example completely wirelessly for a seamless second space with pretty much no lag.

16 inch macbook pro review

Whatsoever, so again this is another reason why people like that Apple experience.

While we’re on performance here are some of the benchmarks for your viewing pleasure if you want the hard core numbers. 

Performance

The MacBook Pro 16-inch is the most powerful MacBook ever made especially if you splash out on the fully-loaded option.

It’s pricey, but with an 8-core Intel processor, 64GB RAM and 8TB SSD, you’ll not get another laptop quite like it.

16 inch macbook pro performance

Sadly we didn’t get to play with that version instead we’ve reviewed the high-end base configuration, with a 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD.

This is still an incredibly powerful device, and one that many people will go for if you need a laptop for video editing.

For many others, it’s wildly over-specced for their needs.

So, the 16 inch MacBook Pro makes short work of the benchmark tests we threw at it.

The processor is similar to the one in the 15-inch model we reviewed, but clocked slightly lower.

Also, the new graphics card means this is a formidable laptop when it comes to graphics rendering and it means it can push the higher resolution without any degradation in performance compared to the 15-inch model.

In day-to-day use, the 16 inch MacBook Pro is again a joy, with macOS Catalina feeling quick and smooth, with apps loading in a flash.

At all times, you know you’re working on a very capable laptop, and during our time with it, we didn’t see it stumble when it came to performance.

Macbook air

We’d like to also point out that even under load, the MacBook Pro 16-inch kept impressively quiet.

We’ve used other laptops including some MacBooks that make an awful lot of noise when the hardware gets taxed and the fans kick in.

It’s a testament to the new thermal design Apple has made, allowing the MacBook Pro 16-inch to remain cool.

We also didn’t notice any throttling issues (where the CPU speed is lowered to prevent overheating, which impacts performance) during our time with it something some previous MacBook Pros have suffered from.

As a workstation, the performance of the 16 inch MacBook Pro is very impressive, though owners of the 2019 model of the MacBook Pro 15-inch shouldn’t feel the need to upgrade.

The performance increase isn’t that big. But that’s not too surprising, considering how recently the 15-inch model was launched.

But for people who have been holding out, this is the definitive MacBook Pro to get.

However, the performance of the 16 inch MacBook Pro shines in other ways as well especially media playback.

We’ve covered the screen quality enough, but it really does make videos and photos look phenomenal.

The new built-in speakers are also excellent.

Speakers

There are six speakers in the MacBook Pro, with Force Feedback-enabled woofers.

This allows the MacBook Pro to produce bass sounds without extraneous vibration causing unwanted distortion.

The results are superb, with incredibly clear sounds coming from relatively small speakers.

If you’re used to tinny sounds pumped out of weak laptop speakers, you’ll be seriously impressed with the sound quality of the 16 inch MacBook Pro.

It was loud enough to fill a decently sized room without distortion. 

Macbook pro

Music sounds fantastic, but watching movies and TV shows is also a highlight, with a wide soundstage and clear stereo separation that can trick you into thinking you’re listening to two external speakers positioned far apart from each other.

There’s also a pretty decent virtual surround effect as well. We were very impressed!.

While music producers and film editors will still probably want to hook up external speakers or headphones, it does mean if you’re on the move.

You could easily make do with the MacBook Pro 16-inch’s speakers without having to carry additional equipment around with you.

16 inch macbook pro speakers

These are easily some of the best speakers we’ve heard on a laptop. Apple has done a great job here.

The new mic array in the 16 inch MacBook Pro is also much improved.

We were impressed with the clarity and quality of recorded audio, and like the speakers, it means if you’re out and about without an external microphone, settling for the built-in mics is no great hardship.

We’ve complained about the lack of ports making it difficult to plug in external peripherals into the 16 inch MacBook Pro.

But the new speakers and mics, along with improved keyboard and huge storage, means you’re less likely to need to plug things in. Impressive.

Microphone on 16 inch macbook pro

 There’s now a three mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming meaning the audio that gets picked up sounds far more professional.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not a direct replacement for a high-quality dedicated mic.

but, it is good for little bit of capture when a pro mic isn’t available.

You can kind of get away that is possible or more possible than it ever was before. unfortunately, on the downside is the webcam. 

Webcam

The 720p front-facing webcam is still ridiculously atrocious for the time that we’re in.

We’re into the 2020 and still only have a 720p camera at the front is is mind-blowingly bad in my opinion for a laptop.

Macbook pro webcam

The cost between three and four grand.

I just don’t know why they’ve upgraded the mic and not the camera have them both and you could really have a little studio setup just with your laptop.

It does a reasonable job for things like Skype calls etc. but, using it in exchange from idea solar a talking head capture absolutely not. We have a larger battery. 

16 inch Macbook pro Battery life 

 I can confirm apples claim of 11 hours of web browsing is more or less pretty accurate.

When video editing or taking part in other high intensive tasks it does die a lot faster.

but, not quite as bad again as my old 15-inch MacBook pro .

so, it’s not as bad as my old one.

but, it certainly doesn’t fill me with confidence to leave the house and not take my charger with me. if I’ve got a lot of work to do. The keyboard. 

16 inch macbook pro Keyboard 

 The keyboard after nineteen generations of the famed butterfly keys.

We finally have a keyboard which works how it should for a laptop that costs this much money. Apple have said it’s a redesign scissor mechanism.

Others have said it’s a complete revert to a pre butterfly keyboard.

but, in reality it’s somewhere in between. It’s definitely more mushy with one millimetre travel from the clicking abrasive down reluctant keys of last generation.

Macbook pro 16 inch

Meaning typing is a much more comfortable experience as a whole and they’re also a lot quieter as a result.

So, yes they feel more mature than last generation. but, they certainly feel more sturdy as well than many keyboards available to buy right now.

They really have after quite a good few years of really poor keyboards.

Apple has done a very good job with this one. I’m not completely a slating Apple on the last keyboard.

I’ve been using 15 inch macbook pro for about two years and while every now and again.

I do get stuff that goes under the keys and it does limit the travel and sometimes the functionality of the keys have blown out on it and it’s gone away. so, yes it isn’t perfect by any means.

Macbook pro 16 inch

but, I haven’t had quite the problems that other people have mentioned.

People are also raving about the return of the physical Escape key not something that really bothers me either way nor does the separation of the fingerprint scanner from the rest of the touch bar.

which I am as I was when it first came out. not a fan of it just doesn’t really help me out with anything I do on the MacBook Pro.

whatsoever, but there are some of you that have found it how and we’ll find this helpful the beauty of opinion.

You could say the keyboard doesn’t quite look as eye pleasing as before.

but, it’s much more functional something that Apple’s decision-making on approach to design in recent years has been indifferent in certainly for those of you who need a MacBook Pro for typing out lots of documents or Excel spreadsheets etc. 

16 iinch macbook pro pros

  • Solid aluminum construction (what Apple calls “unibody” design)
  • High-quality displays.Superior glass trackpad, best on the market in hardware and software.
  • Fast solid-state storage memory (especially the more recent models)

16 inch macbook pro cons

  • Not at all user upgradeable.
  • Only 4 Usb-c/Thunderbolt ports

Conclusion

These are all a much welcome change Apple have always been accused of being stubborn to the point of creating products that are subsequently worse as a result.

but, this year with this keyboard they’ve done the complete opposite and it’s a welcomed decision and while they may not have said hey we’ve made a mistake here’s the fix they’ve proved.

They’ve listened they’ve altered and it’s great to see Owen hey this MacBook Pro has the Apple t2 security chip and who doesn’t like a bit of Terminator 2 action.

so, all in all as always with Apple products expensive.

but, I think this year I feel there’s much more justification for that high price tag which really hasn’t been there over the last three or four years with their range of MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

Macbook pro 16 inch

so, if you’ve been eagerly waiting and watching and listening over the last few years reluctant to pull that trigger due to all the problems.

yes, you could possibly wait for a second generation 16 inch MacBook Pro in case there are a couple of little issues.

but, I’m more certain than ever it might be time for you to pull that trigger if you’re looking to buy a MacBook Pro.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below are you an Apple fan? are you a MacBook Pro fan? or  you just need a new laptop? and want to know whether to go Mac OS.