MacBook Pro 16-inch Review Roundup
News • Dec 24, 2019
Apple’s 16-inch MacBook is the most powerful notebook that the Cupertino giant has ever made. Upping the game, it has features such as an immersive 16-inch Retina display, fast 8-core processors and next gen Radeon Pro graphics, along with the largest battery capacity which has ever been in a MacBook Pro.
There’s more — the new 16-inch MacBook Pro has a Magic Keyboard, which makes typing fun. A massive storage of up to 8TB coupled with up to 64GB of memory makes sure that multitasking is smooth, and that you have enough room to store large media files.
On the entertainment front, the latest Catalina OS on your MacBook Pro is just designed for you to do more with your Retina screen without hassle as it has dedicated apps for Music, TV, and Podcasts.
The reviews of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro have also been pouring in, and reviewers have a lot to say about the hardware and the overall experience of the new launch.
In this post, we will do a roundup of the 16-inch MacBook Pro reviews so that you have a better idea of how the tech world is looking at this new launch, and if it could actually be a fit for your next purchase or upgrade this holiday season.
So stick around while we bring you the word in the market about the latest MacBook Pro.
PCMag thinks that the new MacBook Pro 16-inch is excellent. Tom Brant starts the review by talking about how the new launch is well-suited for the “creative types” — people who work with music, develop software, and such. He goes on to say that it’s one of the “most powerful, capable, and feature-rich large-screen laptops you can buy.”
“With that change and the advances on the component and display fronts, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is easy to recommend to well-heeled content creators, whether they’re editing 8K video footage or compiling mission-critical code updates. It’s a pity that Apple doesn’t offer an easier-entry version of this laptop with less-expensive components, though.”
While the review praises the notebook on its hardware front, it does point out how it actually sucks not to have a MicroSD slot and USB Type-A ports, and even no touchscreen option for the price that one is paying.
“…if your pockets are deep enough that you don’t mind buying a fistful of dongles and adapters, and you’re seeking a powerful, well-designed, full-featured, big-screen laptop for content-creation tasks, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has plenty of sizzle.”
Tom ends the review by saying that the new Mac is a “beyond-capable big screen powerhouse built for creatives” as it has a larger display, beefier graphics, and improved keyboard — yes, better than the butterfly one.
The Verge’s review of the 16-inch MacBook Pro starts with a relief-inducer.
“The keyboard is fixed,” writes Dieter Bohn.
The review starts by talking about the butterfly keyboard wasn’t so great and how the new keyboard update makes things better for the new Mac.
Then, it begins to talk about how the keyboard and the thermals are significant updates, and how Apple is willing to “look back in order to move forward”.
Bohn cannot seem to be getting enough of the keyboard. He writes:
“Apple says that it redesigned how the keycap attaches to the scissor-switch to improve stability across the key. The backlight also doesn’t bleed out around the edge of the keys. Finally, the keycaps are slightly smaller than the ones on the butterfly design, which allows them to be spaced slightly farther apart from each other and — critically — the Touch Bar. The “inverted T” layout on the arrow keys is also much easier to use than the old layout.”
The review which was released on 21st November gave an 8.5 score to the laptop. It also talks about how the Catalina OS is still buggy, pinpointing how Apple could’ve done better with the in-built camera.
“If there’s one place where Apple could do better on the hardware, it’s the webcam. It’s still a piddly 720p affair. The other place Apple needs to do better is macOS Catalina. Even now, almost two months from launch, it’s still a little buggier than it ought to be.”
However, the Bohn’s favorite part does not seem to be the keyboards or the processors. It’s the speakers. He rejoices in the fact that the laptop “gets super loud and has stereo separation”. He says that the speakers are not good enough to fill a room, but will still “impress anybody who sits in front of it”.
The review ends by saying that it is a “no-drama” Mac Pro, and this is because people have wanted a MacBook with a bigger screen and more power.
Techradar’s review for MacBook Pro came out in December, so we guess they had ample time to test the hardware around, and we must say that they look pretty impressed with it.
Matt Hanson gives Apple’s new notebook a 4.5 start for its stunning 16-inch screen, new and improved keyboard, excellent speakers, and for being at the same price as the previous models. These are also the pros that he mentions about the laptop.
Matt writes that the new Mac’s keyboard is the best that they have used on a Macbook.
“Slim laptops can often suffer from shallow key travel that makes the keyboards feel unsatisfying and uncomfortable to type on. And, we’re pleased to report that because of its greater key travel, the MacBook Pro 16-inch’s keyboard is a joy to type on. In fact, it’s the best keyboard we’ve used on a MacBook.”
Matt seems pretty impressed by the fact that Apple has made significant upgrades in all the segments of the laptop. He writes:
Overall, Apple has improved on almost every aspect of the MacBook Pro, and address the complaints of people (like us) who were disappointed that recent MacBook Pro releases haven’t been revolutionary or exciting. The MacBook Pro 16-inch shows that Apple still loves the MacBook and has some exciting ideas for its future.
The review points out how the new MacBook Pro is capable of running extensive tasks very well, with apps opening in a flash.
“At all times, you know you’re working on a very capable laptop, and during our time with it, we didn’t see it stumble when it came to performance.”
The review even stresses on the fact that the MacBook Pro keeps quiet when the workload is high, and the fan kicks in — thanks to Apple’s new thermal design.
Towards the end the review points out three reasons to not buy this notebook: if you’re on a tight budget if you don’t need the power, and if you prefer Windows — duh!
The review at Macworld is brought by their senior editor Roman Loyola, who starts the review by talking about how Apple with the 16-inch MacBook Pro set out to “create a laptop that would satisfy user demand”.
He has a point here. He writes that most users are used to Apple setting the tone and direction, but this time, the company listened to the feedback and corrected its course. He writes:
With the prior 15-inch model, there was always a “Yeah, but…” With the 16-inch MacBook Pro that replaces it, there are fewer chances for users to say, “Yeah, but….” The new laptop is a great combination of usability and performance, and it fixes the biggest issues with its predecessor.
He also seemed pretty impressed by the screen of the new Mac, saying that the company listened to the feedback, did some market research and came up with a screen that does not disappoint.
The MacBook Pro has always had great-looking displays, and the 16-inch version doesn’t disappoint. Images look fantastic, text is clean, and there wasn’t any noticeable unevenness in the backlighting.
After a detailed review of the processor and graphics with numerous benchmark tests that reveal how the laptop performs better than its predecessors, Roman goes on to write about how the microphone on the laptop are up to the mark, while the FaceTime camera still disappoints.
Nope. We’re still stuck with a 720p FaceTime HD rig. So while Apple thinks you can create professional-quality audio with this laptop, you’ll still need an external camera if you want to make a high quality video.
The review ends with him saying that the overall upgrade in pretty standard, and not the “next big thing”. He writes that the new 16-inch MacBook Pro might just disappoint users who have been waiting for Apple’s next big release — new design, ARM processors, a next-gen display, Face ID, and more. However, Roman is quite hopeful.
The review of the 16-inch MacBook Pro on ComputerWorld is brought by Johnny Evans and aims to look at all the delicacies that the machine has to offer. It also stresses much on the user experience, among other things.
The review opens with speaking highly of Mac’s design — the one of a kind which it has to offer. Johnny writes:
“This is an appearance that is often imitated (and hardly ever matched) and it means that anyone using one of these laptops is going to have the visceral feeling that they are using a high quality and professional solution. That is exactly the feeling you want when you’re asked to spend $2,399 or more on a computer system.”
He goes on to write about how the battery performs well with the powerful processor — complements it in some way. He also mentions how Apple claims a 70 percent better processing of well-threaded Photoshop features against a quad-core 15-inch MacBook. He also says that huge improvements can be felt while using apps such as Logic Pro X, AutoDesk Maya, DaVinci Resolves, and MatLab.
“In part, this performance can be attributed to improvements Apple made in the laptop’s thermal architecture. Not only do these mean the processor can run at its highest speeds for longer (thanks also to Turbo Boost), but it can handle the heat signature of the 100-watt battery inside. (That’s the biggest lithium-ion battery you can carry with you on a flight, by the way.)”
He also seems to be fond of the new touch bar which excludes the Escape button.
“… I’m convinced that users of pro apps will find the bar to be a useful way to reach application controls when working on projects – particularly as they gain app-specific finger-memory for the commands situated there.”
Towards the end of the review, he says that he’s going to regret when the Mac he got for review will be returned to its owner. He suggests that if people need the power which the new MacBook promises and have the fare for it, then the purchase should not be a second thought.
Mark Spoonauer the Editor-in-Chief at LaptopMag digs into this review by talking about how the improved typing experience has won him over. He gives the laptop a 4.5-star rating for its radically improved keyboard, immersive display with slim bezels, beastly performance, powerful 6-speaker audio, and nearly 11 hours of battery life.
Mark is pretty impressed with the new display of MacBook Pro. He writes:
The slimmer borders makes content feel more immersive, whether you’re editing video or binge watching shows. And true pros will appreciate the ability to change the refresh rate on the display. When watching a trailer for The Mandalorian, I could make out the fine vents on the dirtied Storm Trooper helmets mounted on spikes.
LaptopMag goes on to talk about the ills of the Mac as well. The machine feels a bit heavier and thicker than the 15-inch MacBook. Mark says that he, like most of the reviewers, would’ve liked to see a Face ID, even though the Touch ID is pretty easy to use. He also mentions how some people might “lament” the lack of a 4K display and full-sized USB ports along with a memory card slot.
What’s your take?
So that’s what the reviewers around the world have to say about the new MacBook Pro. The reviews clearly say that the new launch has so much to look forward to — impressive hardware coupled with new features streaming on a generally smooth Catalina OS. Even though the laptop is a tad bit pricey, it has so much to offer.
We hope this roundup helped you if you are planning to buy a MacBook Pro 16-inch this holiday season.