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


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple's new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with improved "XDR" displays with mini-LED backlighting. Impressively, both new MacBook Pro models have up to 3x brighter displays compared to the previous-generation models, although the increased brightness is likely limited to HDR content.


The new MacBook Pro models achieve up to 1,000 nits sustained full-screen brightness and up to 1,600 nits peak brightness, according to Apple's tech specs, whereas the previous models were listed as having up to 500 nits of brightness. In line with Apple's Pro Display XDR, though, it's likely that the increased brightness is limited to HDR content, as the Pro Display XDR is limited to up to 500 nits of brightness for SDR content.


Here is how Apple describes the display:
The best display ever in a notebook features Extreme Dynamic Range and a million to one contrast ratio. HDR content comes to life in photos, video, and games — with refined specular highlights, incredible detail in shadows, and vibrant, true-to-life colors. Each display is factory calibrated and features pro reference modes for HDR color grading, photography, design, and print production.
Apple also said the new MacBook Pro displays have an impressive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and support for one billion colors.

Like the iPad Pro, the new MacBook Pro displays feature ProMotion, allowing for an adaptive refresh rate between 24Hz and 120Hz. This can result in smoother appearing content while scrolling, watching videos, and playing games.

The display improvements are part of several upgrades to the new MacBook Pro, alongside next-generation Apple-designed M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, up to 10 hours longer battery life, the return of an HDMI port, SD card slot, and MagSafe, and more. The notebooks can be ordered now and will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores October 26.

Update: Apple has since confirmed that the new MacBook Pro displays indeed have a peak brightness of 500 nits for SDR content.

Article Link: New MacBook Pros Have Up to 3x Brighter Displays for HDR Content
Last edited:


macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
I want 1000 nits for regular content. Why limit it at 500? That would be so useful for viewing content outside.

My guess is that would require cooling behind the panel (like in the Pro Monitor they sell), I don't think these panels are made to sustain 1000 nits the entire time, that is just peak brightness for the brightest spots for a specific amount of time. To be fair to Apple, that is a great display, 1000 nits is very bright, my current PC has 500 nits brightness and it is the best I have had, I even keep it at 90% most of the time.

Edit: Someone commented that even the Pro HDR display they sell peaks at 500 nits in SDR.
Last edited:


macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2016
What if you don’t want more brightness? I’m already desperate for a dozen more levels between the lowest brightness and blackout on my 2019 MBA for evening use. Whereas “not bright enough” has never been a problem.
These machines are marketed towards video content creators and since HDR is a dominant topic these days and needs brightness more than anything else, that's what they're aiming at.

If what you want is not about battery life, then you could try ND-filters to reduce the brightness.
  • Like
Reactions: sydneysider88


macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2008
I hate that SDR is still limited to 500nits on all of apples miniLED displays, I was really hoping this would be the first computer I wouldn’t have to squint at outside. Especially now that their 13 pro OLED can do 1000nits for SDR. Guess I’ll have to wait another couple years :(

Especially considering HDR content on macOS is nearly impossible to find. I really hope all the streaming services port their iPad apps to mac ASAP

Return Zero

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2013
Can only scratch my head over "1600 nits peak with 39% screen coverage (XDR)". Marketing BS reached a new level.
I'm confused as to what you think is wrong with this claim. This is how HDR specs are almost always presented and measured. There is always a peak number for highlights (often multiple numbers for variously sized highlights/windows) and a sustained full-screen number.


macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2009
I dunno. Apple's 'tech specs' pages for the Pro Display XDR and the miniLED iPad Pro both call out max HDR brightness and max SDR brightness separately. The page doesn't do that for the new MBPs - just a flat 1000 nits sustained. I hope that means it's 1000 nits for everything, but I won't hold my breath.


macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
Let me guess, HDR is forced on like on the iPads… I just love having my iPad at peak brightness to watch a night scene and still be unable to make out what’s happening just as much as I love having the black level jump to a nice mid blue every time a subtitle enters the screen. HDR on LCD screens is a hoax. Also makes nighttime viewing an awful experience.


macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2016
Folks, the picture in this article is for the Pro Display XDR monitor. Not the Liquid Retina XDR Display in the MacBook Pro. Don’t get confused.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
maybe i'm a minority but i like the touchbar... especially for inserting my commonly used words into emails, etc.

will the 'new' function keys have the same ability?
Of course, the words will just pop up out of the keyboard!

No, no they won't. In my opinion it also didn't make as much sense as on a phone. Most people typing aren't looking at the keyboard to see 'words' pop up to begin with
  • Like
Reactions: cotasm and JetLaw
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.