Apple formalizes its 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro, equipped with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips


Apple has, as expected, lifted the veil on its new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros during its October 18 keynote. This new vintage brings many changes, starting with the presence of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

Back only a few weeks after its back-to-school conference, Apple has decided to strike hard by unveiling new AirPods, as well as new MacBook Pros. The arrival of a new Apple-branded laptop series was expected, even more so since Tim Cook confirmed Mac’s transition to ARM architecture. Almost a year ago, the MacBook Air and some MacBook Pro (13 inches) inaugurated this passage by acquiring the M1 chip. After months of waiting, Apple confirms its ambitions with the presentation of two new models: the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro, equipped with the brand new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

MacBook Pro: Apple rethinks its flagship laptop © Apple

A wind of change is blowing on the MacBook Pro that the Cupertino company has “Completely redesigned”. Before looking at the guts of its machines, it is clear that Apple designers have not rested to come up with a new design. The most visible changes concern the borders that the manufacturer has chosen to refine (3.5 mm) and the appearance of a notch at the top of the screen. Like the iPhone, it can accommodate a 1080p (Full HD) camera or the “More efficient ever integrated on a Mac laptop” to replace the aging 720p sensor. The presence of a notch in passing requires some software adjustments and Apple ensures that macOS has been designed to manage it. On the other hand, Face ID technology is still not in the game.

A notch for the mini-led screen

To accompany this new design, Apple confirms the rumors and offers Liquid Retina XDR screens. These panels, like on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, use mini-LED technology and offer up to 1,000 nits of “stable” brightness, with peaks of 1,600 nits and 1,000,000 contrast: 1 for HDR content. While the adoption of the mini-LED on MacBook Pros was expected, this screen technology is rare on mainstream computers that are turning more to OLED. It nevertheless imposes itself on televisions in 2021 and the Californian giant has decided to take advantage of its qualities such as high maximum brightness, better contrast or even precise colors.

Thanks to the efforts made by the manufacturer, both models include a screen “More spacious” than that of the previous generation. The 16 ″ MacBook has a 16.2-inch screen and displays 7.7 million pixels (3456 × 2234 pixels) while the 14 ″ MacBook Pro has a 14.2-inch screen displaying 3024 × 1964 pixels (5 , 9 million pixels in total). In the game of comparisons, Apple insists that its smallest model has more pixels than the previous 16-inch MacBook Pro.

These displays also support ProMotion technology with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz.

M1 Pro and M1 Max: the revolution continues

There are plenty of novelties, but arguably the biggest change is inside. Apple knows it is expected following its decision to abandon Intel chips in favor of in-house SoCs. After a promising first attempt called M1, the giant has designed two new chips named M1 Pro and M1 Max to deliver more power. Engraved in 5 nm, they are larger than the SoC M1 and this is explained by the desire to offer ultra-fast solutions. Apple mentions a processor part (CPU) offering performance up to 70% better than that of the M1 chip while the graphics circuit (GPU) is announced as being “Twice as fast” for the M1 Pro and “Up to four times faster” for the M1 Max.

The M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max chips © Apple

The two chips have indeed a different approach to accompany its high-end machines intended for professionals. The M1 Pro chip claims the right balance between performance and energy efficiency while the M1 Max wants – as its name suggests – to push the limits in terms of power. The latter can manage up to 64 GB of unified memory (400 GB / s of memory bandwidth), against 32 GB (200 GB / s) for the M1 Pro.

The difference between the two is not in the CPU (10 cores with 8 high performance cores and 2 low power cores) and not only on the side of the number of GPU cores (32 for M1 Max, 16 for M1 Pro). The M1 Pro concentrates 33.7 billion transistors, against 57 billion for the M1 Max, i.e. 70% more than its little sister 3.5 times more than the M1. While waiting for the first returns and tests, the Cupertino company is true to its reputation and is full of praise for this SoC that it considers the chip ” the most powerful “ for pro laptops and “The most remarkable” that he ever conceived. Note that both versions have 16 cores for the Neural Engine.

More extensive connectivity to support the return of MagSafe © Apple

This owner’s tour wouldn’t be complete without taking a look at the connectors. The Californian giant is responding to the criticisms of recent years by making its MacBook Pros more versatile. Both models are entitled to three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SDXC card reader, an HDMI port and a headphone jack. We also remember the return of the MagSafe charger and the promise of a fast charging solution. For the first time on Mac, Apple talks about the possibility of recharging the battery up to 50% in 30 minutes thanks to a 96 W power adapter (USB-C).

In terms of autonomy, the presence of new chips and macOS Monterey must offer 17 hours of video playback for the 14-inch model and 21 hours for the 16-inch version. Fans of the brand will also have noticed the presence of a new Magic Keyboard in black anodized aluminum. These MacBook Pros also abandon the Touch Bar, which has never really been unanimous, to offer function keys and a larger Esc key. These are also backlit.

The new keyboard of the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 ″ © Apple

Note in passing that the SSD housed inside the MacBook Pro claims read speeds of up to 7.4 GB. Already renowned for its performance, the SSD of Apple’s latest “pro” laptop is designed for 8K and RAW photos. In fact, the firm seems to have abandoned the PCIe 3.0 SSD to adopt a PCIe 4.0 SSD.

Pricing and availability

The MacBook Pro is revolutionizing and the 14-inch version is available in two versions. The first offers an M1 Pro chip with 8 CPU cores and 14 GPU cores, with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. This starting configuration comes with a 67 W charger and therefore does not benefit from fast charging. , but the 96 W charger is still available as an option. Count 2,249 euros for this MacBook Pro.

The second 14-inch model carries this 96 W charger and its configuration revolves around an M1 Pro with 10 CPU cores (and 16 GPU cores), 16 GB of unified memory and a 1 TB SSD. It will cost 2,749 euros to get hold of this machine.

The 14 ″ and 16 ″ MacBook Pros join the Apple Silicon Mac family © Apple

As for the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple offers no less than three basic versions. The first uses an M1 Pro (10 CPU cores / 16 GPU cores) flanked by 16 GB of unified memory and a 512 GB SSD. It is entitled to a 140 W USB-C power adapter to take advantage of the fast recharge.

The second model is strictly identical to the first, but it offers more storage via its 1TB SSD. It is billed at 2,799 euros, against 2,749 euros for the base model. Finally, a third machine can integrate the M1 Max chip by default. The latter offers 10 CPU cores and 32 GPU cores, 32 GB of unified memory and a 1 TB SSD. This 16-inch MacBook Pro is priced at 3,849 euros.

The 14-inch model has dimensions of 31.26 x 22.12 x 1.55 cm for a weight of 1.6 kg. The 16-inch variant does not evolve compared to the range of 2019 under Intel with 35.57 cm in width, 24.81 cm in depth and 1.68 cm in height. Its weight varies between 2.1 kg for the M1 Pro model and 2.2 kg for the M1 Max version. These models are already available for pre-order with availability set for October 26.

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