On Monday, the 18th of October, Apple at its ‘Unleashed’ event launched the new MacBook Pro models. These models are based on the company’s new silicon called the all-new M1 Pro and M1 Max. The much-awaited MacBook Pro series offers 14- and 16-inch display options. It also comes as the biggest update to the line-up in five years since the existing design was introduced back in October 2016. The new Apple silicon powering the MacBook Pro (2021) series is claimed to deliver up to 3.7 times faster performance as compared to Intel’s Core i7 available on the existing 13-inch MacBook Pro. The new M1 Pro and M1 Max come as upgrades to the M1 chip that the Cupertino company introduced the previous year.
The Apple MacBook Pro (2021) models in 14-inch and 16-inch sizes. It comes with an all-new design. This design forgoes the unimportant Touch Bar and brings back an SDXC card slot as well as an HDMI port. The other major change on the designing front is the addition of a notch. This notch is there to help reduce bezels and provide more screen real estate to users. Along with that, it also offers a 1080p FaceTime webcam. Apple has, however, not provided Face ID. It is unlike its top-end iPhone models that have a notch to accommodate the facial recognition technology.
Apple claims that while the 14-inch MacBook Pro model gives a 14.2-inch active area with a total of 5.9 million pixels. Along with that, the 16-inch variant has a 16.2-inch area with 7.7 million pixels. There is also a Liquid Retina XDR display under the hood that uses the mini-LED technology. This was previously available on the iPad Pro. The new display technology is claimed to deliver up to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. There is also an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz using Apple’s proprietary ProMotion technology.
Along with the design-level changes and the upgraded display technology, an upgraded silicon powers the MacBook Pro (2021) series. This comes in two distinct versions — M1 Pro and M1 Max. The M1 Pro chip includes up to a 10-core CPU with eight high-performance cores. It also contains two low-performance cores, along with up to 16-core GPU. Apple claims that the new chip is capable of delivering 70 percent faster CPU performance and up to two times faster GPU performance as compared to the existing M1 chip. The M1 Pro also includes a ProRes accelerator in the media engine to enhance on-device video processing.
On the other hand, Apple claims that M1 Max is the world’s most powerful chip for a pro notebook. It has the same 10-core CPU as M1 Pro. However, it doubles the GPU with up to 32 cores for up to four times faster GPU performance than M1. There is also up to 400GB per second of memory bandwidth. This is two times that of M1 Pro and nearly six times that of M1. Apple has also provided up to 64GB of unified memory to attract professionals and 3D artists alike.
The new MacBook Pro models also include a six-speaker sound system. This sound system has two tweeters and four force-canceling woofers. There is also Dolby Atmos and spatial audio support for a surround sound experience while on the go. The MacBook Pro (2021) models are designed for faster performance. Therefore, Apple has provided better thermal management on the new machines. The company claims that there is an advanced thermal system that can move 50 percent more air than the previous generation. This will happen even at lower fan speeds.
On the battery life front, the 14-inch MacBook Pro (2021) is rated to deliver up to 17 hours of video playback on a single charge. On the other hand, its 16-inch counterpart delivers up to 21 hours of video playback. Apple assures the to-be users that if they use the new MacBook Pro models, developers working in Xcode will be able to compile up to four times as much code and photographers on the go will get up to two times the longer battery life. They will get this in the Adobe Lightroom Classic when editing images.