Apple announces new 14-inch and 16-inch Macbook Pro

Apple has unveiled new redesigned Macbook Pro models with 14-inch and 16-inch displays, and several internal performance options. Spoiler alert – they’re all pricey.

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A slew of new announcements came from Apple’s ‘Unleased’ event, but it was all dwarfed by the announcement of the long-awaited new Macbook Pro models. Since the launch of the previous generation Macbook Pro with Touch Bar, many creatives and Apple die-hard bemoaned the new design. It removed many of the things that should make it a ‘Pro’ device, like MagSafe charging, enough usable ports and the SD card slot.

Both the 14-inch and 16-inch Macbook Pro models have the same hardware options – a choice between the new M1 Pro or M1 Max chipset, RAM and storage configurations.

The chassis has a new design, which we’re happy to see. The new aluminium shell allows 50 percent more air into the body to keep those powerful new chips cool. On the front, two major changes stand out.

First of all, Apple has jettisoned the Touch Bar (to the joy of all Apple fans) and replaced it with a fully functioning (pun intended) ‘Function’ row above the usual keyboard layout. Secondly, the displays are now fully worthy of the ‘Pro’ moniker. Yes, the displays have a strangely large notch in the middle to house the upgraded 1080p webcam. Strangely it doesn’t come with Face ID, so we would think the notch could be a lot smaller. The displays appear to be a big upgrade, though. Apple says the display on the new MacBook Pro is 34% thinner on the side and 60% thinner on the top. Lighting up the new display is the mini-LED technology from iPad Pro. Interestingly, the new 2021 MacBook Pro models also support the 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate and 1,600 nits of peak brightness.

The microphones and speakers also receive a big bump in performance. The microphones have an “even lower noise floor,” according to Apple. They have also included a new high-fidelity six-speaker sound system that includes two tweeters and four force-cancelling woofers. Due to the increase in chassis size, the speaker system can generate about 80 percent more bass than before.

As mentioned, the port situation has also been rectified. The new 2021 MacBook Pro comes with HDMI, SD Card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB C ports (supporting Thunderbolt 4), and MagSafe (although you can also charge through the USB C ports). There’s improvement in the display support as well. You can now connect up to two Pro Display XDRs to a MacBook Pro with M1 Pro whereas you can connect up to three Pro Display XDRs and a 4K TV to a MacBook Pro with M1 Max. On the wireless connectivity front, the 2021 MacBook Pro features Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.

The base variant of the 14-inch 2021 MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip has been priced at $1,999. The 16-inch model starts at $2,499. That being said, the full-blown top of the line 16-inch model with the X1 Max chipset sells for $6,000. It’ll start shipping on October 26th and the shipping dates for some models have already slipped to December.