The wait is over: new 16-inch MacBook Pro official with new Magic Keyboard, up to 64 GB RAM and 8 TB of SSD storage
Apple has officially launched its new 16-inch MacBook Pro hopefully bringing to an end an unsightly saga over its butterfly keyboard fiasco. Once touted as ‘revolutionary’, the butterfly mechanism has been discarded, at least from the larger Pro model. As is Apple’s way, the keyboard picks up the “Magic Keyboard” moniker signaling that it uses the same design approach as its standalone wireless desktop keyboards bearing the same name. Apple claims it is the best ever keyboard on a MacBook Pro with 1mm of travel for improved typing comfort.
As rumored, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is properly professional in every way and is the latest product of the new "Pro Workflow" team at Apple also behind the new Mac Pro. Starting with the display, the new design takes 16-inch narrow-band LED backlit IPS LCD panel right to the edge on the sides with a relatively narrow bezel remaining top and bottom. This is factory calibrated providing 100 percent coverage of the P3 color gamut while it also produces 500 nits of brightness. Its resolution of 3072 x 1920 display delivers a slightly higher 226 ppi (up from 220 ppi) with a 60 Hz refresh rate.
As had been hoped, Apple has finally broken through the 32 GB RAM ceiling to over pro users up to 64 GB of onboard RAM, although this will need to be pre-configured at purchase. SSD storage starts 512 GB but can be ramped all the way to an incredible 8 TB, the largest SSD yet offered in any notebook on the market. The Touch Bar is also revamped and, as rumored, picks up a physical ESC key and a separated Touch ID key leaving the Touch Bar slightly shortened. Apple has also stuck to its guns in the way of ports by leaving the new model with four Thunderbolt 3 ports only, with no HDMI or other ports leaving users to continue suffering the dongle life.
Although the chassis continues the familiar look of the outgoing 15.4-inch MacBook Pro it replaces, Apple has completely redesigned the thermal system delivering a 28 percent increased airflow that has also been enhanced with the inclusion of a 35 percent larger heatsink for the CPU. Speaking of which, Apple has fitted the device with the same ninth generation hexacore and octacore chips from the relatively recent 15.4-inch MacBook Pro refresh earlier this year. However, the improved cooling system should help to see the new 16-inch model deliver much better sustained performance as it previously suffered from substantial throttling.
The GPU side also gets an overhaul and now comes fitted with AMD’s new 7 nm-based 5000 series discrete graphics. These come in configurations starting at 4 GB through to 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM in Radeon Pro 5300M, 550M and 5500M guises also delivering an uplift in performance of up to 80 percent over the superseded model. The sound system of the 16-inch model has been completely overhauled with a new six-speaker configuration including a new subwoofer designed to reduce vibration while it also pics up a “studio-quality” three-mic array.
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro is available now and starts from US$2,399 and comes either silver or space gray.