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"
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

aaronhead14 Avatar
22 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
22 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
22 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
22 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
22 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
22 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

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
telegram

Bumper Telegram Update Enables Video Calls With Up to 1,000 Viewers

Saturday July 31, 2021 12:13 am PDT by
Telegram Messenger has received a major update to its video capabilities, including support for video calls with up to 1,000 viewers. Group video calls in Telegram allow up to 30 users to stream video from both their camera and their screen, and now a maximum of 1,000 people can tune into the broadcast. Telegram says it intends to continue increasing this limit "until all humans on Earth...
app store blue banner

Elon Musk: Apple's App Store Fees Are a 'De Facto Global Tax on the Internet'

Friday July 30, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter today to criticize Apple's App Store fees in a tweet that sides with Epic in the ongoing Epic v. Apple dispute. "Epic is right," wrote Musk, before going on to call Apple's App Store fees a "de facto global tax on the Internet." Musk earlier this week made veiled comments about App Store fees, but today's statement is a much more direct criticism....
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Top Stories: Face ID on Future Macs, Elon Musk Criticizes Apple, and More

Saturday July 31, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting range of Apple news and rumors, including a blockbuster earnings report, rumors about next year's "iPhone 14" and Face ID coming to Macs, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other popular topics included Apple's crackdown on leaks, changes in the latest round of betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, and several stories...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...