Apple MacBook Pro bumps it up a notch with new M1 Apple Silicon

Mac Book Pro

Sporting powerful new M1 Pro and M1 Max Apple Silicon chips, the sleek new Apple MacBook Pro also inherits an iPhone-style notch.

Slender bezels allow the long-awaited new Apple MacBook Pro models to sport 14.2 and 16.2-inch Mini-LED “Liquid Retina XDR” displays, similar to the iPad Pro. Similarly, these new MacBook Pros feature a variable refresh rate up to 120 Hz. This helps smooth out fast-moving action whilst also conserving power, dropping the refresh rate when viewing static images.

When it comes to video calls, the MacBook Pro has finally stepped up from a 720p to 1080p FaceTime HD camera. It’s combined with improved mics and a six-speaker sound system, supporting spatial audio. Yet that extra screen real estate comes at a cost, with the top menu bar now wrapped around an iPhone-style notch housing the camera.

The addition of a notch could frustrate the Apple faithful. The centre of the top menu bar tends to be dead space in macOS, but the notch could still make its presence felt when watching video and playing games.

Less controversially, the oft-maligned Touch Bar has been retired, with a return to traditional standard function keys.

Apple MacBook Pro offers more power and ports

Continuing its move away from Intel architecture in favour of Apple Silicon, the new Apple Macbook Pro line-up features new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips which deliver a considerable performance boost and power savings.

With this comes improved battery life. The 14-inch model, featuring the M1 Pro chip, delivers up to 17 hours of video playback – which is seven additional hours. Meanwhile the 16-inch model, featuring the M1 Max chip provides 21 hours of video playback. An additional 10 hours, it’s the longest battery life ever on a Mac notebook. 

Unlike some pro notebooks, which curb performance when not plugged in, the new MacBook Pro delivers the same level of performance whether it is plugged into the wall or running on the battery.

While some Apple notebooks are starved for connectivity, these new MacBook Pro models feature a wider array of ports. They offer HDMI alongside Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 Type-C ports, along with an SDXC card reader. There’s also the welcome return of MagSafe power connector, with MagSafe 3 supporting fast charging – up to 50 per cent in just 30 minutes. 

The new Apple MacBook Pro starts from $2,999 for the 14-inch MacBook Pro packing the M1 Pro, 16 GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The 16-inch model starts at $3749. Preorders begin today and they will be available from October 26.

Apple also revealed the Apple AirPods 3, Apple Music Voice Plan and new HomePod mini options.