Presented in California last week, now arrived in Hamburg: the new MacBook Pro. The complex laboratory test by COMPUTER BILD is still running, but the first impressions of Apple’s new top notebook are really good.
Two sizes again
Like the previous model, the new MacBook Pro comes in two flavors: the larger model sticks with one 16 inch-Display, the little brother’s screen grows up 14 inches – with almost the same dimensions as its 13-inch predecessor. One difference to the old MacBook Pro models: Both variants of the 2021 MacBook Pro can be configured with the same fast hardware. With the predecessors, the extra-strong chips were reserved for the 16-inchers.
More power with M1 Pro and M1 Max
A lot of speed
The MacBook Pro gets bored with Office programs. It is only really challenged with performance-hungry software such as Logic Pro (music editing), Cinema 4D (3D model development), Xcode (program and app development) or Final Cut (video editing). For example, who a Music file with almost 1600 audio tracks with Logic Pro, only uses three of the eight CPU cores. During the first test, the MacBook Pro only laid down its arms once: Three power programs (Xcode, Logic Pro and Cinema 4D) with very large projects open at the same time caused the MacBook Pro to run out of memory. In practice, this should hardly be a problem, because the MacBook Pro reacted extremely quickly with only one active software: Most programs start within a second or two, even the giant project in Logic Pro was ready to play in just 15 seconds. And copying a video file larger than 5 gigabytes took less than 3 seconds.
Nice and quiet
While the fans in the previous Intel models often worked quite loudly under full load, the new MacBook Pro runs mostly whisper quiet. On first try, the built-in fans only made one noise – when editing a final-cut project with extremely high resolution (8K video) while the battery was charging (generates additional heat). But even then, the fan noise remained subtle. The reason: The M1 Pro chip gets by with much less power. This also ensures a longer battery life. When trying it out for the first time with maximum screen brightness and performance-hungry apps, the battery was dead after about seven hours intensive use still possible a quarter full. An Intel model would have had to go to the power supply to recharge long ago.
The built-in speakers of the MacBook Pro have also become significantly better. They’re no substitute for large hi-fi speakers, but they deliver excellent sound for video conferencing, streaming or an impromptu kitchen party. Very few notebooks are that good. The larger 16-inch model should sound (slightly) better since it has four woofers (14-inch two).
Two or four USB-C sockets with Thunderbolt and a headset socket were previously the only connections on the MacBook Pro. The new model has three USB-C sockets (with thunderbolt 4) gets to HDMIa card reader for SD memory cards and a separate power supply connector with magnetic security (MagSafe), which charges particularly quickly: the battery is half full after around 30 minutes.
The MacBook Pro M1 13 inch remains in the range
The MacBook Pro models only replace the previous models with Intel processors. The smaller 13-inch model with an M1 processor remains in the range and thus closes the gap to the MacBook Air M1 (especially in terms of price). Equipment and prices remain unchanged here.
Apple MacBook Pro: Conclusion of the practice test
The first impression: The new MacBook Pro 14 inch is significantly better than its predecessors: With the fresh M1 Pro processor, it is super fast, quiet and durable. The new display is a feast for the eyes and the sound is really good for a notebook.
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