In Depth

MacBook Pro 16in 2019: reviews, new features, tech specs and prices

New range-topper is Apple’s largest laptop since 2012

After months of rumours and leaked images, Apple has now taken the wraps off a new 16in version of its MacBook Pro. 

The Cupertino-based tech giant has dropped the long-standing 15in laptop from its MacBook Pro range, replacing it with a new model that’s bigger, more powerful and built to run the new macOS Catalina operating system from the get-go. 

The 16in MacBook Pro is the second-largest laptop Apple has ever made, beaten only by the 17in MacBook Pro that was discontinued in 2012. It sits above the 13in MacBook Pro, which was updated earlier this year. 

With the 16in MacBook Pro arriving in stores imminently, here’s everything we know about Apple’s new range-topper:

Reviews

The move to a larger 16in panel while retaining a similar form factor to the older model appears to be a hit with the critics. 

“The slimmer borders makes content pop more, whether you’re editing video or binge watching shows”, notes Tom’s Guide. That’s because the larger panel brings a boost to screen resolution, making revealing even more detail in movies and TV shows.

Professional users will be glad to hear that they can now change the refresh rate of the display, the tech site adds. This means that video editors working on footage running at 24fps can lower the display’s refresh rate to 48Hz for a more accurate representation of the final edit. 

Another major change is the redesigned keyboard. The new version is similar to the Magic keyboard that comes with Apple’s desktop computers, says Macworld, as opposed to temperamental butterfly system on the old 15in Pro. 

It’s “a definite improvement” and is “very comfortable to type on,” the Apple news site says. 

Factor in a welcome boost in performance and an improved speaker system, and the MacBook Pro 16in shapes up as “one of the best laptops on the market”, hails TechRadar

But, as is often the case with Apple’s previous offerings, the tech site argues that the 16in Pro’s high price tag and limited connectivity “may stop some folks from upgrading.”

What’s new?

As the name suggests, the revamped range-topper now comes with a 16in display as opposed to the 15in screen on the outgoing model. Apple, however, hasn’t simply stretched the screen and increased the size of the laptop’s aluminium casing. 

The 16in model gets the same Retina display as the existing MacBook Pro lineup, though the resolution has been upped to 3,072x1,920 with a pixel density of 226 ppi, Engadget reports. The bezels along the top and sides have been “trimmed” by 25% and 34% respectively, too. 

The device itself is “marginally” taller, longer and thicker than its predecessor, though it’s barely noticeable, the tech site says. Users may, however, detect the slight increase in weight from 4lbs to 4.3lbs (1.8kg to 1.9kg).

Another key feature on the 16in MacBook Pro is the new “Magic Keyboard”, which replaces the controversial - and temperamental - “butterfly mechanism” on the firm’s older laptops, The Verge says. 

The new design reverts back to “good old reliable scissor switches” and now comes with a dedicated escape (Esc) key in the top left-hand corner, the tech site notes. The Touch Bar has been carried over to the new model, though it’s slightly smaller than before, and is “still flanked by a fingerprint sensor on the right.”

There’s also a new six-speaker system with “force-cancelling woofers,” bringing “seriously impressive audio to the laptop by reducing vibrations which can distort sounds”, adds TechRadar

And the specs?

The 16in MacBook Pro gets Intel’s ninth-generation processors, available in either six or eight-core configurations, says Ars Technica. Top-spec i9 models top out at 5GHz with Turbo Boost, which is “a modest bump over the 4.8GHz in the prior model”.

But it’s the graphics chip that has seen the biggest change, the tech site claims. The 16in model can be specced with AMD’s Radeon Pro M5500 and up to 8GB of GDDR6 video ram, boosting performance by 80% over the old 15in laptop.

Like the previous generation, the 16in MacBook Pro comes with four Thunderbolt 3 inputs, which double up as USB-C ports, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

How much does it cost?

Despite having a larger screen than its predecessor, Apple hasn’t inflated the price of its range-topping MacBook Pro. 

The laptop carries a price tag fo £2,399, which includes 512GB of solid-state storage and 16GB of ram. That figure rises to £2,799 for the top-spec model, doubling the storage and boosting processor performance.

As with Apple’s existing MacBook range, there are a host of optional extras customers can choose to add even more performance to their laptop. For instance, increasing the storage to 8TB will add £1,980 to the price tag, while 64GB of ram costs an additional £720.

Orders are open now, with deliveries due to get underway on 26 November.

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