Hands-On With Apple's New 16-Inch MacBook Pro

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,423
8,789



With Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro now in stores, we were able to pick one up this morning to take a look at it and provide MacRumors readers with our first impressions on the new machine.

Read on below and watch our video to see our overview and our initial thoughts on the new MacBook Pro.


When you glance at the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, it's difficult to tell it apart from the 15-inch MacBook Pro, because the design is the same general design that Apple has been using for the MacBook Pro for years now.

Apple bumped up the thickness and the weight of the new MacBook Pro, though, and there's a lot of heft here. It feels more dense when toting it around, and the extra weight and size is somewhat noticeable.


The most notable change to the MacBook Pro is the larger 16-inch display with its slimmed down bezels. The new model has a resolution of 3072 x 1920 at 226 pixels per inch, which is an improvement over the 15-inch MacBook Pro. In use, the updated display appears to be somewhat sharper and more vibrant than before, but it's not a huge difference from the 15-inch display and it's probably not the sole reason someone should upgrade.


Beyond the display, there are quite a few attractive new features that set the 16-inch machine apart from its predecessors. A new "Magic Keyboard" has been added that does away with the butterfly mechanism and returns to a scissor-style mechanism that's meant to be more reliable and not prone to failure due to crumbs and small particulates.

We liked the feel of the butterfly keyboard in general, and the Magic Keyboard isn't too far off from that feel. There's minimal key travel, but a solid amount of feedback that provides a pleasant typing experience.


Apple added a physical Escape key to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, an upgrade over the virtual Escape key built into the Touch Bar in previous Macs. Apple's Phil Schiller recently said that not having a physical Escape key was one of the top MacBook Pro complaints, and it's nice that Apple has addressed this issue.

Arrow keys have also been returned to an inverted "T" design, which will also be a welcome change, and the Touch ID button is now a separate button to match the aesthetic of a separate Escape key. Aside from these changes, the Touch Bar is the same. There are also no changes to the Trackpad.

There's a new six-speaker sound system and a three-array microphone setup that we used to record the entirety of our YouTube video. The sound system is impressive for a notebook machine. The speakers are super loud, but sound quality is also noticeably improved. The audio is robust with great clarity and just the right amount of bass.


Battery life in the new MacBook Pro is up an hour compared to the 15-inch model, though we haven't been able to test that out yet. It's using the same Intel processors that were included in the 15-inch models released in May, but the new machine supports up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of storage, which will appeal to pro users.

What do you think of the 16-inch MacBook Pro? Are you upgrading? Let us know in the comments.

We're going to have additional coverage of the 16-inch MacBook Pro coming next week, including a deeper dive into performance, so make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors.

Article Link: Hands-On With Apple's New 16-Inch MacBook Pro
 

Furfural

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2018
1
1
Was given a 2019 15" to replace my 2013 15" as customer replacement unit, but can't say I'm not salty one bit given how much more value the 16" provides.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Barron

aaronhead14

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2009
960
4,240
I would buy this in a heartbeat if it had no Touch Bar at all, and had an SD card slot.

I still feel like Apple cares more about their own hubris than they care about making a product that's convenient to use. A tiny touch screen control, which is slower than function keys, does NOT help speed along my creative work.

And carrying an SD dongle around isn't a convenient way of using a product that should already be portable. The need to carry around so many dongles negates the product's supposed portability.

All that being said, I applaud Apple for going back to a FANTASTIC keyboard design! Thank you, Apple! And thanks for fixing the thermal issues too! VERY awesome!

And the escape key is great! But I still think there's a massive group of Pro users who just don't want the Touch Bar at all. Especially since it doesn't exist for any of the desktop machines, so its existence on the MacBook Pros automatically creates a disparity across the "professional Mac" product line. (Meaning, there's no sense in getting used to using a Touch Bar while on the go if I can't use a Touch Bar when I'm back on my desktop workstation at the office. So it ultimately ends up being something that's just in the way).
 
Last edited:

az431

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2008
1,356
3,789
Portland, OR
I am highly considering getting this MBP instead of the upcoming Mac Pro. I really like what Apple did here. I just wish we could have a way of upgrading RAM and storage without the stupid soldering component strategy.
The only benefit of upgrading your own RAM is saving money buying third-party RAM. But people who can afford a $3k+ computer are unlikely to want to tear open their own computer to save maybe 5% of the purchase cost. On the other hand, those same people place a premium on the slimmest, lightest laptop possible, which is precisely what soldering RAM allows.
 

az431

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2008
1,356
3,789
Portland, OR
I would buy this in a heartbeat if it had no Touch Bar at all, and had an SD card slot.

I still feel like Apple cares more about their own hubris than they care about making a product that's convenient to use. A useless touch screen control, which is slower than function keys, does NOT help speed along my creative work.

And carrying a stupid SD dongle around isn't a convenient way of using a product that should be portable. The need to carry around so many dongles negates the product's supposed portability.
You don't need to use the Touch Bar, and a one-ounce dongle doesn't "negate ... portability."

But feel free to avoid it based solely on principle.
 

Metrosey

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2019
70
43
Give me x8 PCIE lanes and integrated TB3 connector please Apple, for the eGPU community ha. In all seriousness, if the RX 5500M is good enough for 3440x1440p High settings, eGPUs might not be needed. However, I don't think this will be the case.
- - Post merged: - -

OK I LOL at the “space grey stickers”

Reminded me of the Simpsons classic
As Smithers runs towards it yelling "but she's got a new hat colour, I want it I want it I want it. Ha.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,009
97
If I'm not mistaken, you're not able to select a perfect 2x scaled resolution on the new 16" MBP. Does that make a difference? On other retina Macs not using 2x resolution is quite good, but a perfect 2x still seems noticeably sharper.
 

aaronhead14

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2009
960
4,240
You don't need to use the Touch Bar, and a one-ounce dongle doesn't "negate ... portability."
Read my post again.

Yes, dongles do indeed negate portability. The point of having something that's portable is to have something that doesn't need to be tied down to a bunch of dangly crap that makes it annoying to use on a lap or on an airplane.

And sure, I don't "need to use the Touch Bar" but you know what I do need to use? The function keys.

And even if I liked the Touch Bar, the problem is that it exists only on the MacBooks, and not on any of the desktop Macs. So there's no sense in even getting used to using it while I'm on the go if I can't use it when I'm back using my desktop at the office. It causes too much disparity between my portable Macs and my desktop Macs, so it ultimately just gets in the way.
 
Last edited:

UglyCowboy

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2017
23
68
I'm typing this on a MBP 16 at an Apple store. The keyboard is definitely much improved. Even though the 1mm of travel is still on the low side it provides enough cushion so that typing doesn't feel like banging on concrete.

I was close to pulling the trigger on a near maxed out config but decided to wait. For close to $6K I plan on using this laptop for 6+ years. I can't imagine using a laptop without wifi 6 in 2026. I consider it a given that Apple will do a refresh with Intel's 10th gen Comet Lake CPU the summer which includes wifi 6 and LPDDR4. A config with 64GB, or even 32GB, of RAM will definitely have improved battery life using LPDDR4 compared to the current DDR4. Given the high cost of my config and the length of time I plan to keep it it's definitely worth waiting another 6 to 7 months. Also, this will give Apple enough time to iron out the inevitable bugs from the near first gen product.
 

cppguy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 6, 2009
555
809
SF Bay Area, California
But people who can afford a $3k+ computer are unlikely to want to tear open their own computer to save maybe 5% of the purchase cost.
I agree, but the 32GB RAM upgrade can cost as much as 17%, not 5% more (400/2399*100). Or 14% more with the more expensive $2799 model. I assume most people are going to upgrade the RAM before upgrading anything else.
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
2,840
2,846
Yes, we all have our wish list, but I think Apple did a great job bringing back a portable Mac worth buying.

This Mac gives me hope Apple hasn’t lost the plot on their user base. (And it’s not just the Mac. The iPhone getting thinner and thinner when all of us were worried about battery life, charging at bars and cafes during the day, which showed an Apple that cared more about their internal design aesthetic and inward facing hubris than care for customers.)

I am hopeful we will see a turnaround with Apple in 2020. These new keyboards and thermal changes cannot come to the rest of the lineup fast enough. Especially the Air which most people use, particularly in enterprise.
 

reallynotnick

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2005
872
283
If I'm not mistaken, you're not able to select a perfect 2x scaled resolution on the new 16" MBP. Does that make a difference? On other retina Macs not using 2x resolution is quite good, but a perfect 2x still seems noticeably sharper.
Of course you can, why do you think you wouldn't be able to?