The laptop gets the usual slate of performance upgrades. Apple says that if you’re upgrading from a quad-core, 15-inch MacBook Pro, you should get about double the performance on the new machine. There are options for either a 6-core or 8-core ninth-generation Intel processor, with a base option of 16 GB of RAM (upgradeable to 64 GB). For the graphics card, Apple has opted for the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4 GB RAM. You can bump their memory to 8 GB if you want more power still.
If all of those upgrades sound excessive, wait until you see the storage options. The base model comes with a 512 GB solid-state drive (SSD), but you can configure your model to come with a whopping 8 TB SSD.
Apple claims the 100-watt-hour battery will last 11 hours on a single charge (of wirelessly web browsing), and you can use one of the four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports to charge it up with the included 96W power adapter. There’s also still a headphone jack—surprising, I know.
Great … Speakers!
Before my briefing, I had no idea I’d want to spend any time writing about the MacBook Pro’s speakers or microphones, of all things, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring them up. There’s a six-speaker array inside with dual-speaker drivers that cancel each other’s vibrations. To put it simply, they sound phenomenal. The audio is rich and can easily fill a small room—or at least the small room Apple used to demo the laptop. It’s hard to believe how good it is without hearing it for yourself.
Paired with the speakers is a “studio-quality” triple-microphone setup. If you’re planning on recording a podcast, song, or interview, you’ll be quite happy with what the MacBook Pro can do. A recording I listened to produced barely any noise floor, that hissing sound you’ll hear when recording in a quiet room. It’s impressive.
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As Good as It Gets
Apple doesn’t really do apologies, but the new 16-inch MacBook Pro feels like the best we’re going to get. It fixes the complaints people have had with the keyboard. And even though it doesn’t bring any radically new ideas to the Mac (where’s Face ID?), well, it’s something.
It’s just a darn shame you’ll need to spend well north of two grand to get a better keyboard than the one in your current MacBook. There’s no word on when, or if, Apple will introduce the Magic Keyboard to the rest of its MacBook line.
You can order the new MacBook Pro today, and it will be in stores by the end of this week.
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