Apple today introduced two new redesigned MacBook Pro laptops, powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max, that promise to be significantly faster than previous models and, just as importantly, less annoying.

The new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models deliver ‘groundbreaking’ processing, graphics, and machine learning (ML) performance, great battery life, updated displays, a 1080p camera and improved audio capabilities.

They also eliminate many of the annoyances of recent MacBook Pros.

The new MacBook Pros:

  • Feature improved keyboards, “bringing back the familiar, tactile feel of mechanical keys”;
  • Eliminate the Touch Bar, a feature that turned out to be a major UI misstep for pro users;
  • Bring back MagSafe, a magnetic power connector that can keep your computer from getting ripped to the floor when someone steps on your power cable; and
  • Eliminate the need for a lot of dongles, by including a wide range of connectivity options, including HDMI and an SDXC card slot.

The M1 Pro & M1 Max Promise Next Level Mac Performance

As part of today’s introductions, Apple debuted the M1 Pro and M1 Max, a pro take on Apple Silicon’s system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture. They say that the new chips offer “best-in-class performance per watt and industry-leading power efficiency.”

M1 Pro takes the architecture of original M1 to a whole new level. Featuring a powerful up-to-10-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores, along with an up-to-16-core GPU, M1 Pro delivers up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than M1, and up to 2x faster GPU performance. M1 Pro also delivers up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth — nearly 3x the bandwidth of M1 — and supports up to 32GB of fast unified memory.

Designed to dramatically speed up pro video workflows, M1 Pro adds a ProRes accelerator in the media engine, delivering unbelievably fast and power-efficient video processing.

M1 Max features the same 10-core CPU as M1 Pro, and doubles the GPU with up to a massive 32 cores, for up to 4x faster GPU performance than M1.

It also has up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth — 2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1 — and up to 64GB of fast unified memory. M1 Max also offers an enhanced media engine that features two ProRes accelerators, for even higher multi-stream performance.

As a result, users can edit up to 30 streams of 4K ProRes video, or up to seven streams of 8K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro — more streams than on a 28-core Mac Pro with Afterburner.

The Most Powerful Mac Notebooks Ever

With the 10-core CPU in M1 Pro and M1 Max, the 14-inch MacBook Pro enables:

  • Up to 3.7x faster project builds using Xcode.
  • Up to 3x more Amp Designer plug-ins in Logic Pro.
  • Up to 2.8x faster computational fluid dynamics performance in NASA TetrUSS.

Featuring the 16-core GPU in M1 Pro and the 32-core GPU in M1 Max, the 14-inch MacBook Pro offers:

  • Up to 9.2x faster 4K render in Final Cut Pro with M1 Pro, and up to 13.4x faster with M1 Max.
  • Up to 5.6x faster combined vector and raster GPU performance in Affinity Photo with M1 Pro, and up to 8.5x faster with M1 Max.
  • Up to 3.6x faster effect render in Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Studio with M1 Pro, and up to 5x faster with M1 Max.

Both M1 Pro and M1 Max feature a 16-core Neural Engine for faster ML tasks, including:

  • Up to 8.7x faster object tracking performance in Final Cut Pro with M1 Pro, and up to 11.5x faster with M1 Max.
  • Up to 7.2x faster scene edit detection in 1080p ProRes 422 video in Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • Up to 2.6x faster performance when selecting subjects in images in Adobe Photoshop.

When compared to the previous generation, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers massive gains in performance. Featuring the same powerful 10-core CPU in M1 Pro and M1 Max, the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers:

  • Up to 3x faster computational fluid dynamics performance in NASA TetrUSS.
  • Up to 2.1x faster project builds in Xcode.
  • Up to 2.1x faster publish performance in Vectorworks.

With the 16-core GPU in M1 Pro and 32-core GPU in M1 Max, the 16-inch MacBook Pro offers faster graphics performance with:

  • Up to 2.9x faster combined vector and raster GPU performance in Affinity Photo with M1 Pro, and up to 4.5x faster with M1 Max.
  • Up to 2.5x faster render in Maxon Cinema 4D with Redshift with M1 Pro, and up to 4x faster with M1 Max.
  • Up to 1.7x faster 8K render in Final Cut Pro with M1 Pro, and up to 2.9x faster with M1 Max.

With the 16-core Neural Engine on both M1 Pro and M1 Max, ML tasks are faster, including:

  • Up to 4.4x faster scene edit detection in 1080p ProRes 422 video in Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • Up to 3.6x faster object tracking performance in Final Cut Pro with M1 Pro, and up to 4.9x faster with M1 Max.
  • Up to 1.5x faster performance with M1 Pro and up to 2x faster with M1 Max when selecting subjects in images in Adobe Photoshop.

Power Efficiency and Battery Life

The new MacBook Pro laptops also offer impressive power efficiency and battery life:

  • When compared to the previous-generation MacBook Pro on a single charge, the 14-inch model delivers up to 17 hours of video playback, which is seven additional hours.
  • The 16-inch model gets up to 21 hours of video playback, which is 10 additional hours — the longest battery life ever on a Mac notebook.

And the new MacBook Pro laptops deliver the same level of performance, whether it is plugged in or using the battery. Apple says that this combination of system performance, on-battery performance, and battery life sets MacBook Pro apart from every other notebook.

A feature that’s notable for musicians is that Apple has improved the MacBook Pro thermal system to move more air, which means that the laptops can keep cool and quiet. They say that “the fans never even have to turn on for most tasks users perform every day.”‘

Displays

Both models come with a larger display than the previous generation — the 16-inch model offers a 16.2-inch display with 7.7 million pixels, the most ever on a Mac notebook. And the 14-inch model gives users more screen real estate than before, with a 14.2-inch active area and a total of 5.9 million pixels — more pixels than the prior 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The displays feature 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. ProMotion technology also comes to the Mac on this new display, featuring an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz. ProMotion automatically varies the refresh rate to match the motion of a user’s onscreen content to help preserve battery life, and makes tasks more fluid and even more responsive.

Connectivity Options

Both models feature three Thunderbolt 4 ports to connect high-speed peripherals, an SDXC card slot for fast access to media, an HDMI port for connecting to displays and TVs, and an improved headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones.

MagSafe returns to MacBook Pro with MagSafe 3, featuring an updated design and supporting more power into the system than ever before. Additionally, fast charge comes to the Mac for the first time, charging up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.

With M1 Pro, users can now connect up to two Pro Display XDRs, and with M1 Max, users can connect up to three Pro Display XDRs and a 4K TV, all at the same time.

For wireless connectivity, MacBook Pro also features Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.

The new MacBook Pro comes with a 1080p FaceTime HD camera — the best ever in a Mac notebook — doubling resolution and low-light performance. The camera system taps into the image signal processor (ISP) and Neural Engine of M1 Pro and M1 Max for computational video that enhances video quality — so users appear sharper with more natural-looking skin tones.

Improved Audio

The new MacBook Pro also has “industry-leading, studio-quality mics”, with a lower noise floor, resulting in clearer calls and voice recordings.

A six-speaker sound system features two tweeters for a clearer soundstage and four force-cancelling woofers, resulting in 80 percent more bass.

The sound system also supports spatial audio, which creates a three-dimensional listening experience.

Pricing and Availability

The new MacBook Pro models with M1 Pro and M1 Max are available to order today. They will begin arriving to customers and will be in select Apple Store locations and Apple Authorized Resellers starting Tuesday, October 26.

The new 14-inch MacBook Pro model starts at $1,999 (US), and $1,849 (US) for education; the 16-inch MacBook Pro model starts at $2,499 (US), and $2,299 (US) for education.

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