Today Apple announced the all-new Macbook Pros with in-house processors, old ports... and a notch.
The all-new Macbook Pros come in two sizes, 14 and 16 inches and will be powered exclusively by Apple's inhouse M1 Pro or M1 Max chips. which both promise comparable performance to high-end windows laptops with expensive 3rd party graphics cards while using a fraction of the power. Let's take a closer look at the details.
The processors come in five different variants:
M1 Pro 8-Core CPU, 14-Core GPU
M1 Pro 10-Core CPU, 14-Core GPU + $200
M1 Pro 10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU + $300
M1 MAX 10-Core CPU, 24-Core GPU + $500
M1 MAX 10-Core CPU, 32-Core GPU + $700
Each laptop now comes with an XDR display similar to what can be found on the current iPad Pros which includes ProMotion up to 120Hz. The bezels have been shrunk and the screen has been extended upward around the web camera creating a notch similar to the one on current iPhones.
The webcam has finally be updated to 1080p and Apple claims that the lens and sensor have been significantly improved.
Both models can be purchased with 32GB of ram with an M1 Pro and up to 64GB with an M1 MAX.
The new solid-state drives can transfer up to 7.4GB/s which is 2 times faster than previous laptops. For an additional $2400, you can get up to 8TB or storage.
The incredible energy efficiency of these new chips allows for up to 17 and 21 hours of video playback on the 14 and 16inch laptops respectively. This year the battery can also fast charge to 50% in 30 minutes.
Apple seems to have listened to everyone's complaints about dongles and has backtracked on their thunderbolt-only laptops. The new laptops have 3 thunderbolt ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 SD card slot, a headphone jack, and a MagSafe power cable. Don't worry, the laptop can still charge via thunderbolt.
The old Macbook Pros had the best speakers of any laptop I've ever heard but Apple claims to have improved things even further with a six-speaker system and spacial audio.
As always, Apple is pretty ambiguous with their performance metrics but the bottom line is that they are claiming these new laptops are comparable to the most powerful Windows laptops currently available and they are cheaper, smaller, and have far better battery life.
The 14 and 16-inch models start at $1,999 and 2,499 respectively and go up to almost $6000 with customization.
As you probably know, I love my iPhone but Apple computers drive me crazy. The last Macbooks were the most frustrating computers I've ever used. We never had the right dongle and when we did they would always fail to work at the most important moment. Although I wish Apple had included a single USB A port, I'm happy with the HDMI jack alone because that dongle is the one that always failed me the most. I still use SD cards, so the included SD card reader is a huge plus. The return of MagSafe is nice, but charging with USB C is more convenient to me. The TouchBar is gone, but that always seemed like a gimmick to me anyway. Some people are going to freak out over the notch but I don't think it will bother me. I don't see the notch as an intrusion on the screen, I the screen extending beside the camera. It's like free extra screen real estate I wouldn't have had. I'm also in love with the 120hz screen on my new iPhone 13 Pro and I can't wait to see it on a laptop.
I love my Windows computers but this laptop does excite me. I'm going to buy one and give it a shot and let you know my thoughts in a couple of weeks.