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Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch) 2019 Review: More Than A big Display 2

Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch) 2019 Review: More Than A big Display

The 16-inch MacBook Pro features the Mac keyboard that Mac users expect, with incredible speakers and long battery life. But it’s time to add new ports for professionals.

This is the MacBook Pro people have been expecting. The 16-inch MacBook Pro (starting at $2,399, $3,899 for the review) has restored the keyboard of the scissor-switch. It may be enough for some, but it also provides the most impressive sound we’ve seen on a laptop, long battery life and high productivity. There are even more reasons why we would like to see Apple address lackings such as lack of ports. However, if you need macOS and need performance, this is the MacBook Pro that the pros were waiting to get.

Pros:

  • Great Keyboard
  • Best sound from any other laptop 
  • Great battery backup
  • Great performance
  •  

Cons:

  • lack of ports and SD Card slots
  • Needs a fix for 32-bit apps & games

Design

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The MacBook Pro as a whole has not changed much. It’s a silver aluminum rectangle in size, but larger than the standard 15-inch model. We’ve got the gray-space variant, but Apple also sells in silver. The cover has a reflective Apple logo, otherwise, it is Spartan. The design is a few years old, but it is still elegant and discreet, though very minimalist. The changes become more apparent when you lift the covers. The 16-inch (3072×1920) screen features true-tone technology that automatically adjusts the screen to the light of your room for a more natural look, surrounded by the thinner edges of a modern MacBook Pro.

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There are some small aesthetic and functional changes to the keyboard. (See the Keyboard, TouchPad, and TouchPad section below for more information.) At first, glance, note that the exit button is back and the power button with the Touch ID is not connected to the TouchPad. Besides, Apple has adjusted the arrow keys to the reverse “T” design, so all buttons are the same size and easier to distinguish. Speaker grilles side by side on each side of the keyboard.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is among the most popular screen sizes from 15 to 17 inches. It weighs 4.3 pounds and measures 14.1×9.7×0.6 inches (358x246x16 mm). The Dell XPS 15 measures 14.9×9.7×0.7 inches and weighs 4.5 pounds, while the Razer Blade Pro 17 measures 6 pounds and 15.6×10.2×0.7 inches.

 

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The connections to this laptop are a few. There are four Thunderbolt 3 ports (two on each side of the device) and a headphone port on the right. It has more Thunderbolt 3 ports than most other laptops that can be used for charging, video output, peripherals and storage via USB-C. However, I hope that with the additional storage space, Apple would have added a more generic video output port such as HDMI. A full SD card slot would also be more than welcome. I think many pros would even tolerate extra thickness.

Specifications

CPUIntel Core i9-9980HK
GraphicsAMD Radeon Pro 5500M
Memory32GB DDR4 2666MHz
Storage2TB M.2 PCIe SSD
Display16-inch (3072 x 1920) True Tone
Networking802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports4x Thunderbolt 3; 3.5mm Headphone jack;
Camera720p webcam
Battery100 Whr
Power Adapter96W
Operating SystemmacOS 10.15 Catalina
Dimensions (WxDxH)14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches (358 x 246 x 16mm)
Weight4.3 pounds
Price (as configured)$3,899.00

Productivity Performance

The 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with Intel Core i9-9980HK, 32GB DDR4 RAM at 2666MHz, 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD, and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics with 8GB of memory,

Apple MacBook Pro 2019 5

In Geeketch 4.3, the MacBook Pro earned 31,178, surpassing the XPS 15 (Intel Core i9-9980HK, 28,882), the Blade Pro 17 (i7-9750H, 17,548) and the average premium notebook 16,121.

Apple MacBook Pro 2019 8

Apple’s APFS (Apple File System) creates copies of file metadata that point to files so that the copy appears immediately. To test the file transfer rate, we performed our copy test at the terminal. The device sent 4.97 GB of files in 5 seconds, equivalent to 1017.9 Mbit/s, faster than average (538.5 Mbit/s) and two competitors’ average.

Apple MacBook Pro 2019 7

The MacBook Pro took 8 minutes to encode a 4K resolution video in a 1080p Handbrake test. That’s the same amount as the XPS 15 and faster than the average premium laptop (21:51) and Blade Pro.

Apple MacBook Pro 2019 8

To test the MacBook Pro, we run the Cinebench R20 20 times in a row. During the test, the CPU operated at an average clock speed of 3.1 GHz and an average temperature of 84.9 degrees Celsius. Cinebench’s values were largely stable. After the first race with a score of 3,384, the rest of the races were normalized from 3,200 low to 3,190 high.

Gaming and Graphics Performance

The MacBook Pro comes with an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 8GB of RAM.

With Apple’s support for 32-bit games removed, the Steam library is thinner than ever.

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Some games had problems, but one of them, Rise of Tomb Raider, went smoothly. We’re running the 1920×1200 game benchmark (because the game does not allow for 1920×1080 due to Mac’s 16:10 aspect ratio) with very high presets, like gaming laptops. It reached 24 fps. The Razer Blade Pro 17 with the RTX 2070 Max-Q gaming graphics card performed the same reference point at 62 frames per second. Premium non-gaming laptops have an average frame rate of 25 frames per second.

At medium preset with anti-aliasing turned into FXAA, it ran at 58.5 frames per second, so gaming on MacBook Pro is possible even though it’s not a gaming laptop. But there’s a catch, the game you want to play must run on macOS.

Keyboard, Touchpad and Touch Bar

An Elephant in the room: The 16-inch MacBook Pro can’t be reviewed without the keyboard. This is the first mark of a Butterfly keyboard on a 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro, as well as a MacBook and MacBook Air. They became polarized due to low cell numbers (I agree with some of my colleagues and many with MacBook Pro owners, however, expressed the opinion of disliking). The keyboards were also made a repair program due to deposits or other problems that caused the keys to stick or work.

So I’m happy to say that Apple has returned with the Magic Keyboard Scissor Switch and is excellent. In the 10fastfingers.com test, I reached 110 words per minute with a 2% error rate, both in my usual range. More trips and one click. Welcome back, scissor-switch. We hope to see you soon on other Mac laptops.

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Of course, the function keys are missing. Apple replaced it with a touch bar on all MacBook Pro models, though in the MacBook and the 12-inch MacBook Air those are still there. Of course, some apps allow you to browse through videos and sounds, act as media play buttons, or automatically suggest phrases and emoticons. After all, it’s still not as useful as these dedicated buttons, and I hope Apple offers options.

On the positive side, Apple has restored the physical escape key, which means the touch bar is a bit shorter. On the other hand, touch detection is integrated with a power switch that allows you to sign in with your fingertips.

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The Force Touchpad is massive at 3.9×6.3 inches. It’s a lot bigger than I needed, but it is still one of the best I have ever used, excellent palm rejection while typing, a smooth glass touch panel and an immediate answer to one of the many MacOS gestures. Sure, it doesn’t click, but I can’t tell the difference in my daily use.

Display

Besides the keyboard, the biggest change is that Apple has released a larger and higher resolution screen. It has a 16-inch screen with a 3072×1920 screen that only stops at 4K resolution. I hope Apple chose a little more than 4KB because professionals can buy this machine to handle 4K videos.

We run our tests with Apple’s True Tone function disabled. When I saw the 4K open source movie “Tears of Steel”, Celian’s blue and pink accents on his black jacket and pants looked very precise, though they didn’t necessarily pop the way as they were on other screens. However, it seemed realistic.

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The Apple control panel covers 114% of the sRGB color gamut. It is slightly lower than premium laptops (123%) that contain some OLED displays. For example, the XPS 15 measurement on the OLED panel was 239%, while the Blade Pro measurement was 109%.

The measured brightness of the MacBook Pro averaged 429 Nits, which is better than the average of a premium laptop with 360 Nits. Only the Dell XPS 15 on the OLED screen was lighter (626 nits).

Audio

The six speakers on the 16-inch MacBook Pro are the best I’ve ever heard on a laptop. If my colleagues in the open office wouldn’t hate me, I’d use it like a boombox. When I heard Halsey’s “Without Me,” the bass thumped in ways it doesn’t on other laptops. From the Broadway soundtrack to Hadestown at “Wait For Me”, for the first time I heard Hermes’ deep voice singing softly next to Orpheus. And in Yellowcard’s “You and Me and One Beam” there was a perfect balance between a clear song, boxes and a violin.

Sounds good even when the speakers are on. There is no software for customizing audio, but your MacBook Pro doesn’t need it. Other laptops should follow this example.

Upgradeability

Choose the components you want when you buy a 16-inch MacBook Pro because there is no option of an upgrade of RAM or memory, which is the case with many other laptops of this size. In this case, it will be welded to the motherboard. The bottom has six P5 Pentalobe screws for the box to open, but the user’s upgrade features department has little to do with it.

Battery Life

If you perform simple productivity tasks, your MacBook Pro will last all day. In our battery test, which is constantly browsing the web, streaming videos, and running OpenGL tests at 150 nits, it took 10 hours and 55 seconds. To ensure consistency, we also disabled the True Tone.

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The Dell XPS 15 lasted 8:07, though the OLED screen certainly didn’t help, and the Razer Blade Pro 17 with a game-quality graphics card only resisted 4:31. The average for premium laptops is 8:33.

Heat

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During the Cinebench R20 test, we also measured the skin temperature of the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

42° C was measured between the G and H keys in the center of the keyboard, and the Force Touch touch display was colder at 30.3° C.

The hottest point on the bottom of the Mac was 42.9 degrees (109.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

Webcam

The MacBook Pro has a 720p “FaceTime HD” camera. At this price, I’d like Apple to upgrade to a 1080p camera, but it’s still a solid lens. The colors were accurate and echoed my red and navy shirts, as well as many different colors in my beard. Although the hair on my head looked sharp, some of the other parts of the image (again my beard) looked a bit foggy.

Software and Warranty

Unlike Windows 10 devices, the MacBook Pro has no bloatware applications. Apple provides macOS with free productivity software that includes pages, numbers, and keynote. It also contains several applications such as Home, News, and Photos, which are synced with your iPhone and iOS or iPad and iPadOS.

Apple has removed support for 32-bit macOS Catalina applications. Pany developers are closed (especially software that provides software through the App Store), but they make sure that the software you use is compatible.

Apple sells a 16-inch MacBook Pro with a one-year 90-day free technical support warranty. You can buy more support and hardware coverage with AppleCare+ for $379.

Configurations & Price

We tested the $ 3,899 configuration of a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9-9980HK with eight cores and 16 threads, 32GB RAM, 2TB memory, and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 8GB GDDR6. It is an upgraded version of the model at $ 2,799.00, with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i9 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, and a Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB GDDR6 memory.

The base model costs $ 2,399.00 on a ninth-generation Intel Core i7 processor with 6 cores and 12 threads and 2.6GHz, the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of RAM, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of RAM.

The CPU, RAM, memory, and GPU can be configured at the time of purchase.

Final Verdict

This is the MacBook Pro (2019) that professionals need. Larger screens are likely to attract video editors, and the sound is excellent, whether you’re a creator or just listening to music.

It offers solid performance and long battery life. And, of course, the keyboard is better. It’s hard to celebrate too much (after all, it’s usually new again), but I can assure you that anyone who wants a MacBook expects this keyboard to fit with it.

If you use 32-bit applications and want low-level games, the Dell XPS 15 may be faster. If you do not need a high-resolution screen, you will get OLED options and, if you prefer, a touch screen. It is also cheaper. I rated the version with exactly the same CPU, 4K touch screen, 32 GB of RAM, 2 TB SSD and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. It cost $2,849.99, more than $1,000 less than on our test page (although you can get a smaller GPU).

However, if you want a Mac and only a Mac, the new MacBook Pro is what you’ve been waiting for for years.


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