I’ve been testing the Apple MacBook Pro (2021) since it was launched. There are different models, not only in terms of the general equipment with processor, RAM and storage space, there are also two display diagonals – 16.2 and 14.2 inches. I opted for the larger model for this test because I already preferred the large output with the last Pro model. At the end of the day, in this test, more of a field report, I don’t just want to throw bare numbers around me, because you could already read them enough.
This is about my personal feelings about the new MacBook Pro and a few basic things. A few marked interjections also come from Felix, who bought the 14.2-inch model. We also refer to posts that have already been written: So I don’t have to repeat what is new in detail, what equipment options there are – and a long comparison with a previous model is also hardly worthwhile, since the 2021 series of MacBook Pros is new , but also brings back the well-known.
The new MacBook Pro relies on Apple’s ARM chips, no longer those from Intel. I have the “small” model with the M1 Pro chip. The M1 Max comes with 32 GPU cores instead of 16 and with 400 GB/s has twice the memory bandwidth compared to my M1 Pro. Here you have to see what you want to do. In general, compared to the “normal” M1, you can save time on numerous tasks. Much time.
I’ve been following reports on many forums from developers and companies that need to act economically. In the end, for many, it was like this: You get over the purchase of several books after a few months, because you save numerous hours of work with “compiling / calculating / whatever”. Of course, this is a calculation that many people don’t add up to because they don’t exhaust a MacBook Pro at all. Am I teasing it? That depends on where you see your profession, how comfortably you want to do your work.
In theory, of course, I could work with the MacBook Air anywhere and anytime. In fact, the large MacBook is more comfortable for me. This is simply due to the larger display. Sure, the book is bigger and much heavier overall, but what’s inside is worth the extra load for me.
Imagine: Apple would offer these display diagonals with the debut of the M1 chip. Also slim down the HDMI port, MagSafe and card reader, if you like. The thing would sell like crazy. The MacBook Air continues to be a performance monster for almost any job. With a larger display that would be the icing on the cake. I mention the Air on purpose because I don’t want to rank the 13-Pro with its touch bar as semi-Pro.
The new MacBook Pro 2021 (both display sizes one) is a curiosity, but positive. After many years, Apple is bringing back interfaces and getting rid of the touch bar, which probably offered little added value for many. Instead: A card reader (which also supports UHS-II), showing that Apple still takes photography and video seriously. Although one could of course refer to other types of connections. There’s even HDMI. This is HDMI 2.0, not HDMI 2.1. Fits: On the one hand, professional users will hardly use HDMI, instead Thunderbolt – HDMI would be a fallback option for devices that probably wouldn’t be HDMI 2.1-capable anyway. Then again, it’s arguably one side of the available lanes in the MacBook Pro.
The new chips will likely have four Thunderbolt 4 lanes, three for the TB4 ports and the fourth for the HDMI port and SD card reader. Thunderbolt 4 has 40Gb bandwidth, while HDMI 2.1 allows up to 48Gb (although there are many 40Gb chipsets). It’s nice that the port is there, because you can use a projector, monitor or TV for a presentation in the meeting room without an adapter. But those who have used Thunderbolt so far, because the predecessors only came with these connections, will probably not change that at all. Apple would like to have improved the jack connection and MagSafe is also making a return.
That’s great, because back in the days of USB-C, a lot of people cursed that they threw their notebook down when they tripped over the USB-C cable. MagSafe prevents this. Is the magnet strong? Definitely! Furthermore: Apple only offers fast charging via MagSafe for the MacBook Pro (exception 14 inch: fast charging with a 96 W USB-C power adapter). However, you can still charge as usual using existing USB-C cables and other power supplies. Just takes a little longer. I don’t always carry the power adapter with me.
On the one hand, the battery lasts a long time for almost all work, for me a whole working day. On the other hand, I have the MagSafe in a permanent place in the house. If I have to load it, I don’t care about a few minutes. Alternatively, I work directly on any cable. For simple work: 100 minutes of surfing, writing, etc. on the web used up around 10 percent of my battery. During this test I also checked again and again. Colleague Felix sees things differently with his 14-inch device. He reports 10 hours of runtime when writing and reading the web, but only when the brightness is turned down far – Apple has stated around 11 hours of runtime for the model. It just depends on what is running in the background, which browser is active and, and, and…
Apple’s power adapter for “my” 16.2-inch MacBook Pro is 140 watts. This is the company’s first GaN power supply. For many, this is the future of power supplies. Gallium nitride (GaN) is a semiconductor technology that is faster than old silicon. Enables more power in a smaller size, improved efficiency, reduced size and weight.
In general: Apple has either lost sight of “Pro” a bit, or they offer two types of “Pro”. With the AirPods Pro, not really anything is Pro. You have a little more (ANC) which is nice. With the new MacBook Pro models, you get the feeling that with my Apple Pro, you get the same level of professionalism that you had in the books years ago, when they were still coming onto the market with a few interfaces. As a comparison: the last MacBook Pro with 16 inches and an Intel chip. The interfaces were missing. The Pro of the Intel Book is a different Pro of the new MacBook Pro. The Intel Book is a really good and great book – but the MacBook Pro 2021 is truly Pro. I hope you understand what I mean.
For the test on the MacBook Pro 2021, I cut films and converted them from A to B, usually all things that make both old Intel MacBooks and iMacs sweat and pant. Doesn’t seem to be a problem with the MacBook Pro, even unoptimized software made the bolide smile wearily. Barely noticeable fan noise when converting with Handbrake or something, that surprised me a bit. The speed of converting projects was also many times faster, although no large developer projects were processed in my test, just media.
The test device:
|processor||Apple M1 Pro|
|random access memory||32GB LPDDR5 RAM|
|screen||16.2-inch Retina XDR display (mini LED, 3456 x 2234 pixels|
|ports||3x Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 1x SD card reader, 1x 3.5 mm jack, 1x Magsafe 3|
|Dimensions||355.7 x 248.1 x 16.8mm, 2.2kg|
|network||Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0|
After the first days of work, I come to the first conclusion that Apple has probably delivered the best laptop in its history. Sort of more than the Mac Pro, but to go. Super fast, great for all jobs. Hardly audible, even with tough tasks that would have turned the Intel MacBook Pro into a helicopter.
A general recommendation? I certainly won’t want to give them to anyone, I described that above. That always depends on how much you do with such a device. The simple calculation for me would be as an example: I can do everything with the MacBook Air. In my “normal configuration” (512 GB memory + 8 GB RAM) it would currently cost 1,400 euros. I now calculate the devices to be used for 3 years (without resale value). So the Air costs me 39 euros a month.
The much larger and more fun 16-inch MacBook Pro is priced at 2,749 euros in the basic configuration. Around 77 euros in my bill, almost twice as much. But: Thanks to the larger display, at least I could do without external things. I would have more of everything – and above all I would enjoy working with the box more – and I cover my entire private and business life with it. The calculation is simple for me, or it would be – because I have a desktop and don’t have to consider any eventualities.
To everyone else who doesn’t do “professional” work (that’s really a joke, because you really rock a lot with this thing, more than I do) with the device, who can also get along with 13 inches, I really recommend the Blick to the MacBook Air, which is highly recommended for this course. Alternative: wait. The next Air will definitely come.
This article contains affiliate links, so we’re marking it as advertising. Clicking on it will take you directly to the provider. If you decide to make a purchase there, we will receive a small commission. Nothing changes in the price for you. Thank you for your support!
Tag: macbook issue, macbook pro, macbook release, macbook macos