Hands-On With Apple's New 16-Inch MacBook Pro

With Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro now in stores, we were able to pick one up this morning to take a look at it and provide MacRumors readers with our first impressions on the new machine.

Read on below and watch our video to see our overview and our initial thoughts on the new MacBook Pro.


When you glance at the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, it's difficult to tell it apart from the 15-inch MacBook Pro, because the design is the same general design that Apple has been using for the MacBook Pro for years now.

Apple bumped up the thickness and the weight of the new MacBook Pro, though, and there's a lot of heft here. It feels more dense when toting it around, and the extra weight and size is somewhat noticeable.

macbookpro16inch 1
The most notable change to the MacBook Pro is the larger 16-inch display with its slimmed down bezels. The new model has a resolution of 3072 x 1920 at 226 pixels per inch, which is an improvement over the 15-inch MacBook Pro. In use, the updated display appears to be somewhat sharper and more vibrant than before, but it's not a huge difference from the 15-inch display and it's probably not the sole reason someone should upgrade.

macbookpro16inchdisplay
Beyond the display, there are quite a few attractive new features that set the 16-inch machine apart from its predecessors. A new "Magic Keyboard" has been added that does away with the butterfly mechanism and returns to a scissor-style mechanism that's meant to be more reliable and not prone to failure due to crumbs and small particulates.

We liked the feel of the butterfly keyboard in general, and the Magic Keyboard isn't too far off from that feel. There's minimal key travel, but a solid amount of feedback that provides a pleasant typing experience.

macbookpro16inchkeyboard
Apple added a physical Escape key to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, an upgrade over the virtual Escape key built into the Touch Bar in previous Macs. Apple's Phil Schiller recently said that not having a physical Escape key was one of the top MacBook Pro complaints, and it's nice that Apple has addressed this issue.

Arrow keys have also been returned to an inverted "T" design, which will also be a welcome change, and the Touch ID button is now a separate button to match the aesthetic of a separate Escape key. Aside from these changes, the Touch Bar is the same. There are also no changes to the Trackpad.

There's a new six-speaker sound system and a three-array microphone setup that we used to record the entirety of our YouTube video. The sound system is impressive for a notebook machine. The speakers are super loud, but sound quality is also noticeably improved. The audio is robust with great clarity and just the right amount of bass.

macbookpro16inchdesign
Battery life in the new MacBook Pro is up an hour compared to the 15-inch model, though we haven't been able to test that out yet. It's using the same Intel processors that were included in the 15-inch models released in May, but the new machine supports up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of storage, which will appeal to pro users.

What do you think of the 16-inch MacBook Pro? Are you upgrading? Let us know in the comments.

We're going to have additional coverage of the 16-inch MacBook Pro coming next week, including a deeper dive into performance, so make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro 16"

Top Rated Comments

aaronhead14 Avatar
16 months ago
I would buy this in a heartbeat if it had no Touch Bar at all, and had an SD card slot.

I still feel like Apple cares more about their own hubris than they care about making a product that's convenient to use. A tiny touch screen control, which is slower than function keys, does NOT help speed along my creative work.

And carrying an SD dongle around isn't a convenient way of using a product that should already be portable. The need to carry around so many dongles negates the product's supposed portability.

All that being said, I applaud Apple for going back to a FANTASTIC keyboard design! Thank you, Apple! And thanks for fixing the thermal issues too! VERY awesome!

And the escape key is great! But I still think there's a massive group of Pro users who just don't want the Touch Bar at all. Especially since it doesn't exist for any of the desktop machines, so its existence on the MacBook Pros automatically creates a disparity across the "professional Mac" product line. (Meaning, there's no sense in getting used to using a Touch Bar while on the go if I can't use a Touch Bar when I'm back on my desktop workstation at the office. So it ultimately ends up being something that's just in the way).
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aaronhead14 Avatar
16 months ago


You don't need to use the Touch Bar, and a one-ounce dongle doesn't "negate ... portability."

Read my post again.

Yes, dongles do indeed negate portability. The point of having something that's portable is to have something that doesn't need to be tied down to a bunch of dangly crap that makes it annoying to use on a lap or on an airplane.

And sure, I don't "need to use the Touch Bar" but you know what I do need to use? The function keys.

And even if I liked the Touch Bar, the problem is that it exists only on the MacBooks, and not on any of the desktop Macs. So there's no sense in even getting used to using it while I'm on the go if I can't use it when I'm back using my desktop at the office. It causes too much disparity between my portable Macs and my desktop Macs, so it ultimately just gets in the way.
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
az431 Avatar
16 months ago


I would buy this in a heartbeat if it had no Touch Bar at all, and had an SD card slot.

I still feel like Apple cares more about their own hubris than they care about making a product that's convenient to use. A useless touch screen control, which is slower than function keys, does NOT help speed along my creative work.

And carrying a stupid SD dongle around isn't a convenient way of using a product that should be portable. The need to carry around so many dongles negates the product's supposed portability.

You don't need to use the Touch Bar, and a one-ounce dongle doesn't "negate ... portability."

But feel free to avoid it based solely on principle.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
az431 Avatar
16 months ago


I am highly considering getting this MBP instead of the upcoming Mac Pro. I really like what Apple did here. I just wish we could have a way of upgrading RAM and storage without the stupid soldering component strategy.

The only benefit of upgrading your own RAM is saving money buying third-party RAM. But people who can afford a $3k+ computer are unlikely to want to tear open their own computer to save maybe 5% of the purchase cost. On the other hand, those same people place a premium on the slimmest, lightest laptop possible, which is precisely what soldering RAM allows.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cppguy Avatar
16 months ago


You don't need to use the Touch Bar, and a one-ounce dongle doesn't "negate ... portability."

But feel free to avoid it based solely on principle.

Yes we have to use the touch bar, since there are no physical Fn keys.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scott6666 Avatar
16 months ago


I would buy this in a heartbeat if it had no Touch Bar at all, and had an SD card slot.

I still feel like Apple cares more about their own hubris than they care about making a product that's convenient to use. A useless touch screen control, which is slower than function keys, does NOT help speed along my creative work.

And carrying a stupid SD dongle around isn't a convenient way of using a product that should be portable. The need to carry around so many dongles negates the product's supposed portability.

All that being said, I applaud Apple for going back to a FANTASTIC keyboard design! Thank you, Apple! And thanks for fixing the thermal issues too! VERY awesome!

And the escape key is great! But I still think there's a massive group of Pro users who just don't want the Touch Bar at all. Especially since it doesn't exist for any of the desktop machines, so its existence on the MacBook Pros automatically creates a disparity across the "professional Mac" product line. (Meaning, there's no sense in getting used to using a Touch Bar while on the go if I can't use a Touch Bar when I'm back on my desktop workstation at the office. So it ultimately ends up being something that's just in the way).

Haven't held an SD card in my hand for at least 2 years now. Ever since the iPhone replaced the digital camera there is no need for most people to have an SD slot. And if you're a photographer you carry around so much weight a dongle is irrelevant. You're in the tiny minority here I would think.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
macbook pro screensaver table

Some M1 Macs Affected By Fast User Switching Screensaver Bug

Monday January 18, 2021 1:57 am PST by
A growing number of user reports online suggest some of Apple's M1 Mac models are susceptible to a Fast User Switching bug that spontaneously activates the screensaver and leaves the user unable to dismiss it. In macOS Big Sur, Fast User Switching allows users to quickly switch between user accounts without having to completely log out. Based on posts in the MacRumors forums, Apple...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...