Apple Macbook Pro 2021: a huge leap forward

Renovated in everything and never so powerful: the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros promise incredible performance, efficiency, and a great screen

The new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros were the real stars of Apple's October 18 Unleashed event, along with the two new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips on which they're based and far more than the AirPods 3 headphones (and certainly far more than the new colored HomePod minis). The reason is simple: thanks to the two new chips MacBook 2021 promise amazing performance.

As explained by the same Apple, in fact, the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are nothing more than the evolution in scale of the already excellent M1 used on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the new Mac mini and iPad Pro 2021. In practice, an anabolic M1, even in size: M1 Max is about four times larger than M1 standard. To increase are, first of all, the high-performance cores of the CPU: it goes from 4 high-performance cores and 4 high-efficiency of the chip M1 to 8 high-performance cores and 2 high-efficiency of M1 Pro and M1 Max. GPU cores, on the other hand, increase from 8 on the Apple M1 to 16 on the M1 Pro and even 32 on the M1 Max. As a result, M1 Max is the largest chip Apple has ever made, with its 57 billion transistors (3.5 times more than the standard M1). But the chip is just one of the new features in the MacBook Pro 14 and 16-inch 2021.

MacBook Pro 14 and 16-inch 2021: technical specifications

Let's get one thing straight: both the 14-inch and 16-inch versions mount the same hardware, screen aside. So it's possible to get the best chip on both the 14-inch and 16-inch laptops, just as the ports and the rest of the components are identical. The 16-inch model, however, having more space inside comes with a bigger battery.

The new design of the MacBook Pro 2021 is reminiscent of the iPhone 12 and 13, or the iPad Pro 2021. There is even a "notch" on the screen: Apple decided to minimize the bezels, to offer more space, but could not remove the compartment for the webcam (which goes from 720p to 1080p resolution). The Cupertino company ensures that the notch will not bother, because the screen space will be optimized by the operating system MacOS 15.

The Liquid Retina XDR display of Apple's new laptops for professionals uses Mini-LED technology, the same used on the latest generation iPad Pro, which offers a very high brightness (1,600 nits, more than iPhone 13) but also deep blacks and accurate contrasts. On the 16-inch model the screen resolution is 3,456×2,234 pixels, on the 14-inch model it is 3,024×1954 pixels. Recall that 4K is equivalent to 3,840×2160 pixels.

Needless to say how many times faster the new MacBook is compared to the old one: 1X, 2X or 10X leave time to find and Apple uses them only for marketing purposes. But the technical features of the new laptops are undoubtedly "pro" and can be fully exploited, at least in the top of the range configurations, only with very heavy workloads: Apple even talks about the possibility of simultaneously manipulating 7 streams 8K in ProRes, the heavy photo-video format without Jpeg compression, for which the new chips have a dedicated processing section.

At the most surprising, however, is the efficiency declared by Apple for these processors and, consequently, the autonomy that the new MacBook Pro will have: up to 21 hours of video playback for the 14-inch model, up to 21 hours for the 16-inch.

Another thing that will please MacBook Pro aficionados is the long-awaited return of the MagSafe connector and a finally complete set of ports: 1 HDMI, 1 MagSafe, 3 Thunderbolt 4, a memory card reader and a 3.5 mm headphone/microphone jack.

Finally, the audio compartment is very accurate with three microphones and six speakers integrated into the shell. All this in 1.55 or 1.68 cm thick (14 or 16 inches) and 1.6 or 2.1 kilos of weight.

MacBook Pro 14 and 16 inches 2021: prices

The new MacBook Pro 2021 14 and 16 inches, therefore, are "pro" in fact and not just in name and represent a huge leap forward in terms of performance, energy efficiency and screen quality. Prices, as a result, are not low.

It starts at 2,349 euros for the 14-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chip, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD disk. The same model jumps to 3,309 euros with the M1 Max chip. The most expensive configuration for the 14-inch MacBook Pro is priced at 6,759 euros.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD disk costs 2,849 euros, which becomes 3,539 euros with the M1 Max chip. The most expensive configuration for the 16-inch MacBook Pro is priced at 6,939 euros.

All models can already be ordered from Apple's website, with availability starting next week. But the actual delivery time will be much longer: those who buy today, in fact, have an expected delivery window between November 17 and 24.