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Hands-on review: A month with the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

13 Jan 2020

All die-hard Apple fans have spent years dreaming of the 16-inch MacBook Pro and now it is finally here. By making a MacBook with a 16-inch Retina display, a new Magic Keyboard, 6 and 8-core Intel processors, new storage options and new sound system, Apple basically answered all of our requests.

The Screen

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The new 2019 MacBook Pro is rocking a 16-inch Retina display that has a total of 5.9 million pixels. That is a lot of pixels! The screen looks absolutely stunning with its sharp details. The Screen has 500 nits of brightness and P3 wide colour gamut. This means that you will experience true to life colours in all images. This can be mostly seen when watching nature documentaries or when editing landscape pictures. This allows creators to edit their videos and images to a new standard of accuracy.

The Screen of the MacBook Pro was designed with content creators in mind. The display’s refresh rate can now be adjusted to match that of the content’s frame rate. This will allow content creators to edit their videos shutter free from refresh rates mismatches.

The Magic Keyboard

A lot of people didn’t like the Butterfly Keyboard that was introduced a couple of years ago. Apple finally listened to its customers and created a brand-new Magic Keyboard inspired by the keyboard that ships with the iMac and iMac Pro. The New Magic Keyboard utilises the scissor mechanism to enable 1.0 mm key travel. This provides for a much more satisfying key press.

The new keyboard also has a dedicated Escape key that is not a part of the touch bar. While that was not something that bothered me personally, I know that my developer friends were really missing it. The new Magic keyboard also has an inverted-T arrangement for the arrow keys. All of these changes combined created the perfect MacBook Pro keyboard we have all been longing for.  

The top of the keyboard houses the Touch Bar and Touch ID sections. The Touch bar is one of the best things that apple has added over the years. It is very well designed with the way it adapts to the application in use. It gives you editing tools, shortcuts, important commands, emojis, etc... right when you need them. It took me a while to get used to it when it first came out, but once I did, it became an essential tool that speeds up my workflow.

 

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The Touch ID also has a separate dedicated button in the top right corner. The Touch ID uses the Apple T2 Chip to securely recognise your fingerprint. This allows users to quickly unlock their laptops and authorise payments with one click rather than enter their passwords each time.

Performance

A Pro Screen and a Pro Keyboard are useless if the performance is not up to standard. The MacBook Pro passes all performance tests with flying colours. Apple has thought of every single performance problem that could come up and made sure the MacBook Pro 16-inch has a built-in solution. The MacBook can have up to an 8-core i9 processors with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHZ. That, combined with the new advance thermal architecture provided by the new fans and large impellers with more blades, means the MacBook Pro 16-inch is able to sustain up to 12 more watts of power during intensive workloads.

A lot of people will ask, but what do all of these numbers actually mean for daily users? Well, these numbers mean that the new MacBook Pro can process well-threaded filters in Adobe Photoshop up to 70% faster, import RAW images with Smart Previews in Adobe Lightroom Classic 60% faster, it can process codes faster, open multiple 4K streams and edits them faster, allow 2.1x more plug-ins in Logic Pro, and much more.