Apple Launches 16" MacBook Pro, Its Most Powerful Yet

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Apple Launches 16" MacBook Pro, Its Most Powerful Yet

Shrinking bezels has been the trend for nearly every device with a screen. Apple did it with the iPhone, then the iPad, and, now, with its flagship MacBook Pro lineup, with the introduction of a brand-new 16" variant. It still looks like a MacBook Pro, which is good, but when you pop it open you will be greeted by a fresh 16" display that encompasses more area on the top half of the laptop. While this is the most eye-catching part of the latest MacBook Pro, Apple took care to modify some key areas—namely, the keyboard. It has a more reliable scissor-switch mechanism for the keys, the Touch ID sensor has been separated from the Touch Bar, and there is a physical escape key(!). Apple has also announced that the redesigned Mac Pro will be available this December.

Apple 16" MacBook Pro (Late 2019, Space Gray)
Apple 16" MacBook Pro (Late 2019, Space Gray)

Ever since moving to the Retina display, Apple has yet to make a laptop larger than 15.4". That all changes with the 16" Retina display on the new MacBook Pro and its 3072 x 1920 resolution. This brings the pixel density up to 226 ppi and offers almost 6 million individual pixels, for incredibly sharp and detailed images. Apple also ensures that each display is calibrated in the factory for accuracy. It will offer a P3 wide color gamut and brightness of up to 500 nits.

As someone who has had issues with the most recent MacBook Pro keyboards, I am very happy to hear about a redesigned Magic Keyboard with only 1mm of travel present in the 16" MacBook Pro. This should feel much more responsive and satisfying while remaining quiet. It even brings back the physical escape key and an inverted-“T” arrangement for the arrow keys. The Touch Bar and Touch ID remain, as well.

This is the most powerful MacBook yet and, with that, Apple has introduced an advanced thermal architecture for keeping the machine cooler for longer. There are larger blades and vents for the fans, increasing airflow by 28%, and a heat sink that is 35% larger. Spec-wise, this should result in a sustained bump of up to 12W of power during intensive processes. As for connectivity, this MacBook Pro isn’t much different from the last, with 4 Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Speaking of power, the 16" MacBook Pro can be equipped with 9th-generation 6- and 8-core processors with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 5.0 GHz, which is 2.1x faster than the quad-core 15" MacBook Pro. Pack this with up to 64GB of memory and you have an impressive portable workstation. Graphics got a bump, as well—the 16" is the first to use AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics based on 7nm architecture. It can be configured with up to 8GB GDDR6 VRAM for dramatically improved performance whether you are editing videos or playing games.

Powering all of this is a large 100Wh battery that provides an additional hour of battery life and falls perfectly under current FAA regulations for air travel. This brings the total up to 11 hours for wireless web browsing or Apple TV app video playback.

Not content to leave it there, the new MacBook Pro boasts extra storage options, with the base models starting with either 512GB or 1TB. Configurations are available up to 8TB, which Apple claims is the largest SSD ever made available in a notebook. Also, the audio experience uses a redesigned six-speaker system and force-canceling woofers to limit vibrations. This creates clearer sounds and deeper bass. The mic array received a 40% reduction in hiss for an improved signal-to-noise ratio. Additionally, the new MacBook Pro will ship with macOS Catalina.

Today is all about the Pros, because Apple has revealed that the redesigned Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR will be available next month, in December 2019. This long-awaited update offers vastly superior performance and incredible modularity, while the Pro Display XDR looks to be among the best professional monitors on the market. To learn more about these upcoming products please visit our original announcement.

Are you ready to upgrade your MacBook Pro? I know I’m excited for the new keyboard and a bit more power. Sound off in the Comments section, below!

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This will be my first Mac computer. I've been hoping that Apple would relent and include touchscreens on the MacBook. Use touch frequently on my PC laptops. But excited to be able to learn the Mac OS; plus I need access to the Mac-only IAC virtual MIDI drivers for a collaborations with other Mac users. Ordering a 2.4 GHz i9, 64 GB, 4 TB config.

I'm ordering one fully loaded! So exciting. Finally a laptop worthy of editing video on.

  • 2.4GHz 8‑core 9th‑generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
  • 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory
  • 4TB SSD storage

Hey Ed!

Please consider that Macbook Pro's do not handle these type of tasks well despite the marketing. It will quickly become too hot and thermal throttle to an unusable level. I have two of them for photo editing and while they are very powerful they don't handle thermal strain at all! Just something to consider, I love OSX and the portability of these machines but maybe not the best bang for your buck! 

I have no doubt that this computer will be up to the video editing task. Barring the fall release/return of the pro mac desktops... This machine has far greater specs that most desktops on the market. 

Hi Ed and Alex,

While MacBooks in general have struggled with sustaining full power due to their compact size, the newer generation processors and redesigned cooling system should greatly alleviate issues. 

Hmmm. I do video editing professionally on Davinci Resolve on a quite old 2012 Macbook Pro without issue. I have no doubt that the new 16" can handle Ed's video editing needs with ease. 

Thanks for the input Ian!

This is most wonderful news; was hoping Mac would start making bigger Laptops like they used to.

Now If only I could afford one....

When do you expect them to ship! Just ordered mine!

We hope to start shipping early next week, though this will be focused on the most common configurations. More specialized or uncommon configurations may have a longer wait time.

It's about time! Not a 17" but I think it's as close as I'm going to get.

At the moment it seems the ~15/16" size seems to be the sweet spot. Personally, though I remember the classic 17" and them being a beast, most bags I find best for everyday carry focus on the 15" size for their laptop pockets. It is a bit more practical.

I just now ordered one with 32gb and expect it to be awesome.

Hope you enjoy it!

One reason that I have held off purchasing a new MBP is that I was waiting for a better feel that I was purchasing a MBP with a processor that did not require software patches to mitigate the Meltdown, Spectre, and possibly other (Zombieload etc.), vulnerabilities in most all the Intel processors manufactured since 2011.  Although there are software workarounds and firmware patches available, I understand they may come with a performance penalty.  (I remember 30% being mentioned for some.)
Do you know offhand if the 9th Generation Intel processors in the new 16" MBP have fixed silicon/hardware to avoid those vulnerabilities?
Thanks for the great article Shawn!  I found it to be very informative!

The 9th Generation has addressed multiple vulnerabilities via hardware changes, though there still remains a few firmware related fixes. This means that the performance hit should be dramatically less than older processors.

Upgrade the keyboard? Abbbsolutley what I've been waiting for myself. I left the typo on purpose cause this is what happens when I press the "b" key once on my keyboard a lot of the time, which is so frustrating.

You are not alone! The "B" key on my MacBook Pro also started acting up. If you haven't yet, Apple is doing free repairs out of warranty for keyboard issues as part of a special program. Check this link:

https://support.apple.com/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks

I went through this a while back and couldn't be happier. What's great is that they don't replace just the keyboard - they replace everything else that is glued to the case as well. You end up getting a new keyboard, new speakers, and new battery as part of the deal. The repair takes less than a week and would cost ~$1200 had Apple not created the program.

I'm excited! But that price tho...

MacBook Pros have always been pricey, but in my opinion totally worth it. These are even better now and I might have to upgrade my current 2016 MacBook Pro to this one.

Is there much difference in processing power between the 16" and the Mid 2019 15" model? I edit video and on the Mid 2019, editing 4k footage is sluggish.

Short answer is yes, however you may not see much of a practical bump depending on exactly what you are editing unless you choose to go with the top-of-the-line model. The new graphics card should help a bit with certain tasks. I always recommend working with proxies on mobile and our video team recently put together a guide on that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Bdf1eQUvU

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