It’s been a long time since technology journalists have been enthusiastic about a MacBook Pro.
The silver-shelled workhorses of the creative class often only get attention when things go wrong. Radical Macbook Pro updates like those removing USB ports, introducing the Touch Bar, or building a new Force TrackPad have often evoked mixed reactions or, worse, nostalgia for older models. After Apple outfitted the 2015 MacBook Pro with a butterfly switch keyboard that was meant to speed up typing but instead broke easily, it seemed like a harbinger of even worse things to come.
But Apple today released a new 16-inch MacBook Pro that serves as a remix of both the new and the old. For most consumers in 2019, it’ll be a Macbook Pro that gets the job done much better than earlier models. The updated model includes a return to a widely missed feature: the scissor-switch keyboard. The “V”-shaped butterfly keys seen in the 2015 and newer models were notorious for easily breaking, attracting dirt and debris, and feeling “sticky.” The new Magic Keyboard in the 2019 model includes a physical Escape key, positioned just to the left of the Touch Bar. It will feature 1mm of what is known as “key travel,” or how far down the key goes when you press it. A big complaint of the 2015 and younger MacBook Pro models was shallow key travel, which many said made typing feel unnatural and awkward.
The laptop also comes equipped with six speakers and brand new microphones. TechCrunch noted that the “crisper highs” and “deeper bass” of the new speakers make them a good fit for watching movies. The display hasn’t changed much, though the bezels on the screen are narrower than on the earlier model. It also features a larger, 16” diagonal Retina display that has a 3072×1920 resolution at 226 ppi. It also has an increased battery capacity of 100Wh (from 83.6Wh), which adds up to 11 hours of wireless Web browsing or Apple TV video playback. In other words, unless you’re taking an ultra long-haul flight, you won’t have to bring your charger on the plane.
While the new 16-inch model is obviously bigger than the 15-inch laptop it’s meant to replace, it’s also bulkier. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is about 0.7 mm thicker than the spring 2019 version, and at 4.3 lbs, it’s about a quarter pound heavier. It has an updated cooling system, which will no doubt come in handy. The bare minimum amount of RAM and storage is 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM and 512GB or 1TB SSD. For about $6,099, you can level up to a 2019 MacBook Pro with 64GB of RAM and 8TB.
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399, which is the same price as the 15-inch laptop released earlier this year. It is available to pre-order today, and should hit stores in the US by the end of this week.