The new MacBook Pro 16 makes a slightly better overall impression than the smaller 14-inch model in the test. On the one hand, the bulkier case design is not quite as noticeable in the larger model, on the other hand, the full configuration of the M1-Pro is more convincing. At the same time, the cooling remains much quieter, and in practice you will rarely hear anything more than a quiet noise from the fans. The high efficiency of Apple’s own processor is noticeable in several areas, because in addition to the quiet fans, the performance is very good and, above all, extremely stable, both in mains operation and when not connected to the socket. In all of these areas, other multimedia laptops with dedicated graphics cards just can’t keep up.
When it comes to the display itself, we can ultimately repeat our verdict on the small MacBook Pro 14: The image quality is extremely good, especially with HDR content. However, Apple should mention the limitation to 500 nits in normal SDR mode in the technical details, and we would have wished for a higher brightness, especially outdoors. The constant PWM flickering can also lead to problems for some users.
While the Liquid Retina XDR display with Mini-LED technology isn’t perfect, the picture quality is just superb, especially with HDR content. Subjectively, the speakers are also slightly better than in the smaller 14-inch model.
The connection standards could also have been better, because the WLAN module, the HDMI out and the card reader don’t have the latest standards. In addition, the device offers virtually no maintenance options, and the surcharges for memory upgrades are massive. However, you have to give Apple credit for the fact that there is so much storage (up to 8 TB) at all.
The new MacBook Pro 16 is an impressive multimedia notebook and certainly the first choice for content creators who ideally also work with HDR content. Despite the high performance, the device remains very cool and, above all, quiet, which is currently simply not possible with comparable Windows laptops.
With the high performance and the HDR display, the new MacBook Pro 16 is certainly aimed primarily at content creators and developers who, depending on the graphics card or RAM requirements, are also considering an upgrade to the M1 Max processor be able. If you are not sure whether you need the additional graphics performance of the M1 Max, you will probably be well served with the M1 Pro. Since there are no slimmed-down versions of the M1 Pro for the larger MBP 16, you don’t have to think too much about which configuration you choose.
If you are not afraid of the high price and are simply looking for a high-quality multimedia notebook with a good display, long battery life and great speakers, you will also find what you are looking for here. However, one must be aware that the MacBook Pro is simply not a typical gaming notebook as there are only a few blockbuster games for macOS. In this case, a device with Windows (e.g. Dell XPS 15 or Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme G4) would be a better choice because there are simply more games available. Software support is also important in other areas (e.g. CAD, engineering, etc.).
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