Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

terminator-jq

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 25, 2012
682
1,361
Back when Apple first announced the creation of their Pro focused product development team, I immediately started anticipating what this team would do to put the “Pro” back in MacBook Pro... I’m a pretty “Pro” user myself as I use my laptop for: 3D modeling, animation, mobile game design, web design and some music production. I’ve had a 2016, 2017 and most recently the 2019 15”. All of which were OK... but definitely left more desired. Then comes the 16” and now I can really see and appreciate the value of that Pro focused product development team.

If I could use one word to describe the 16” it would be: Balance. IMO a laptop and especially a Pro focused laptop should be balanced between: Power, Battery and Portability. A lot of windows laptops will have a lot of power but sacrifice portability and battery while others will sacrifice power for extra portability and battery. Apple got this one right! The 16” has the perfect balance of decent CPU and GPU power, great 11 hour battery life and a case that is not too thick nor too heavy. Value is another word that can be used to describe the 16” which is something I thought I’d never say for an Apple laptop. The base 16” offers a great CPU, 512gb of storage and for once a decent GPU! All together, these components lead to a base $2400 model that is actually more than enough for Pros. I could write an entire essay on how good this laptop is but here is a list of some highlights that I’ve noticed over the past few days:

1. Even the base GPU is fantastic: By now we know the Navi 5300 can outrun the Vega 16 and for some task even the Vega 20. In my test the GPU handled my 3D modeling, animation and setting up a new level in unity without ever making me reach for my more powerful eGPU. Everything was just smooth. In fact, at this point the only time I’d use my eGPU is if I need the extra VRAM. Sure it’s not a RTX 2070m but this is a laptop so I need a gpu that has good power but won’t kill the battery or create a bunch of heat.

2. The keyboard is amazing: I may be in the minority in saying I didn’t really mind the butterfly keyboard. My 2019 15” felt good enough and it never really bothered me. That being said, the new 16” is just a joy to type on. The keys just feel great to press. Like it’s almost satisfying lol! And to make it better, it’s also very quiet. Great keyboard! Perfect amount of travel for a laptop.

3. The new thermals work: One if my biggest complaints with the 2019 15” was the heat. That thing got hot and it got hot fast! This ultimately led to throttling which led to stuttering. The 16” can get warm with intense task but it handles it a lot better and it takes much longer to get to that point. I’ve also never seen any noticeable slowdown even when it gets warm. This means I can work for much longer at peak performance.

4. The screen is great: In a lot of reviews the screen seems to be taking a backseat. Not too much of a surprise since it’s not “that much” larger. But in day to day use, that small .6” difference actually is an improvement. And the slimmer bezels give the illusion that the screen has grown more than it actually has.

5. Those speakers...: I never really understood that saying “I can’t believe my ears” until now... I’m failing to even come up with words on how great those speakers are. It’s just insane. I wish I could say more but I just can’t think of any way to do it justice.

There will always be a better product. As the 16” model was rolling through the production line, Apple was already working on the next upgrades for the 2020 version. In years past, that has always given me some amount to buyers remorse. This time is different though. The 16” is just an all around great product. Even when newer better versions come out, I can still see myself being happy and content with this one for at least a few years. And that in itself shows how great this thing is. It may not be the full redesign we wanted. In reality it’s a half step up from the still fairly new 2019 15”... but that half step was just what was needed. Great job Apple!
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,438
43,346
I think Apple hit it out of the park with the 16" The 2016 model was probably the weakest in terms of design/durability and each year Apple improved it. The 2019 (15") was solid, but the 16" is even better
 

Jimmy James

macrumors 603
Oct 26, 2008
5,488
4,067
Magicland
It seems like they’ve responded with what users actually want and need even more so because they were badly under fire. I like how this is shaping up and am hoping to pick up a revised and improved 13/14” next year.
 

FrankySavvy

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2010
1,583
756
Long Island, NY
Honestly - I have loved the look of the Unibody design ever since it debuted in 2008. 2012 was the next revision with a thinner body and retina display. 2016 was a more dramatic evolution with a much thinner frame and the introduction of the Touch Bar. Now it's about evolving - I think this 2019 model is a perfect evolution. You really couldn't ask for much thinner/lighter - its just all about en edge to edge display at this point and internal specs and they are so close!

I think we really won't see much of a design change until 2022. In 2020 you will see this design evolution move to the 13.3" MacBook Pro and then filter down to the Air in 2021. Then finally refresh the lineup again in 2022.
 

dan9700

Suspended
May 28, 2015
3,347
4,824
Screen is not noticeably bigger and bezels at top ruin it, it should have had more screen not bezel, and the speakers loose a lot of high end in favour of low, the gpu even 5500 8gb isn’t anywhere near gaming reach it’s just slightly better than vega 2 and over all benchmarks are showing small change, wait till next one when we have new cpu and better GPU
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
14,610
20,752
Screen is not noticeably bigger and bezels at top ruin it, it should have had more screen not bezel, and the speakers loose a lot of high end in favour of low, the gpu even 5500 8gb isn’t anywhere near gaming reach it’s just slightly better than vega 2 and over all benchmarks are showing small change, wait till next one when we have new cpu and better GPU
Bezel complaints. Come on man.
As for gaming, this isn’t a gaming rig.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,438
43,346
Screen is not noticeably bigger and bezels at top ruin it,
I disagree. I visited my local apple store and the screen is gorgeous

the gpu even 5500 8gb isn’t anywhere near gaming reach it’s just slightly better than vega 2 and over all benchmarks are showing small change, wait till next one when we have new cpu and better GPU
The 5500 is more then up to the task for what's available on the Mac. Also as noted if you want to play games then buy a gaming rig
 
  • Like
Reactions: motulist

terminator-jq

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 25, 2012
682
1,361
If you want a laptop built for gaming then Razer and Alienware have you covered... but you will loose out on battery life and/or portability which kinda defeats the main purpose of having a laptop.

Like I said in my original post, I think Apple got a perfect balance of power, battery and portability with this model. The GPU may not be the best there is for gaming (though I doubt anyone is buying a Mac primarily for gaming anyways) but it sure has more than enough power for content creation.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.