The latest MacBook Pro is actually only around 2% larger than the 15-inch MacBook Pro that it has replaced.
Apple has finally got with the times to slim the bezels down, affording an extra inch of screen space. The display is 3 072 × 1 920, and while it’s a bit of a shame not to get a full 4K panel for this price, that’s the only complaint we have about it. It’s sharp, it’s vibrant, it has good viewing angles, and it comes with Apple’s True Tone tech, which makes it more comfortable on the eyes than your standard blue-tinted screen. While 16 inches isn’t a revelation over 15, there’s no doubt that you just feel like you have a little bit more space for windows and tools. Inside, you get the largest battery you will find on any laptop for the foreseeable future: 100 Wh is the maximum allowed on a plane, and that is what you have got here, good for 10 hours of general use, Apple claims. As a reminder that this really is a ‘pro’ machine, its fast storage and six-core processor can handle 8K video, or advanced image processing, or giant music projects, no problem… Its AMD graphics are pretty decent too, even by basic gaming standards, with 4 GB of VRAM.
For the die-hard Apple laptop fans, the most important change is in the keyboard. From using a ‘butterfly’ hinge design on the keys, which proved disastrously unreliable, Apple have switched back to the classic ‘scissor’ hinge. It feels great. It’s one of the nicest we’ve used, in fact. It still has the Touch Bar at the top – a tiny strip of screen that always threatens to feel useful, but never quite follows through – including fingerprint security. All told, it is an extremely slick and powerful machine that’s hard to resist. In terms of specs, it falls well short of Dell’s XPS 15, which offers a sensational 4K OLED screen and a lot more power. But specs aren’t everything. Using MacOS and its apps are still a big deal for the fans.
Other laptops easily beat it on specs, but Apple’s appeal has always been about the whole package. It’s a superb all-round work machine, but still almost impossible to justify at the price.
i7 (9th gen), 16” screen, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD storage, 4 × Thunderbolt ports, 142 × 70 × 8 mm, 150 g, R44 000