The MacBook Pro M1 announced last year had caused a lot of talk about it and its ARM architecture which offers excellent performance, but some users regretted the absence of a large screen model or the lack of RAM. After months of rumors of all kinds and many questions about future MacBooks, Apple now provides the expected answers with the presentation of two new models: the MacBook Pro M1X in 14 and 16 inch versions.
M1 Pro and M1 Max: new ultra-fast SoCs
To power these two new MacBook Pros, Apple has developed two new chips named M1 Pro and M1 Max. Still engraved in 5 nm, they are larger than the M1 chip unveiled last year. This overweight is to be blamed on the integration of more calculation blocks – processor, graphics, artificial intelligence, video – so as to offer much faster chips, but still energy efficient compared to the competition promises us. Apple. These chips are also again accompanied by a random access memory housed at their side, which is called unified memory. This memory is also faster and pushes the RAM capacity to 64 GB maximum (optional). As many points that we detail in a dedicated article.
The SSD housed inside these new laptops is reported to operate at 7.4 Gb / s. In other words, Apple has swapped the PCIe 3.0 SSD of older Macs in favor of a PCIe 4.0 SSD as we find more and more on desktop computers – but this is a first in laptops to our knowledge. The capacity of this SSD starts at 512 GB and can reach 8 TB as an option.
These new chips as well as various improvements allow Apple to claim even better battery life than the first generation MacBook M1. The MacBook Pro 14 “would thus be able to hold 17 hours of video playback and the counter would climb to 9 pm on the 16” version. A fast charging system is also on the program with the capacity to store 50% of the battery in 30 minutes, which is almost enough to last a day’s work.
A design that changes, the TouchBar disappears
On the design side, the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 retain a monolithic frame in 100% recycled aluminum. The screen borders, on the other hand, are clearly thinner (3.5 mm) and a notch appears at the top. This notch accommodates a light sensor as well as the webcam. Apple ensures that macOS has been designed to handle this notch which is not higher than the menu bar. By the way, we appreciate that the webcam is finally evolving, leaving aside this aging 720p model in favor of a 1080p Full HD model. On the other hand, Face ID technology to unlock your computer via facial recognition is still not present. The manufacturer also explains that this webcam is made up of 4 lenses in order to obtain an f / 2.0 aperture and thus avoid noise in dark environments.
Dimensions are for the 14 inch version 31.26 cm wide by 22.12 cm deep and 1.55 cm thick, for comparison the 13 inch MacBook Pro M1 measures just under 1 cm in width and depth (30.41 x 21.4 x 1.56 cm). The weight is contained since the 14 inch version weighs 1.55 kg, conceding only 150 g to the one inch lower version.
The 16-inch version sees its dimensions almost unchanged from the 2019 version with an Intel Core processor: 35.57 cm wide, 24.81 cm deep and 1.68 cm high. On the other hand, it takes a little overweight with 2.1 kg for the M1 Pro version and 2.2 kg for the M1 Max version.
Although present on the 13-inch version of the MacBook Air M1, the TouchBar is discontinued by Apple on its 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros. The new keyboard is therefore identical in terms of layout to that of the iMac M1 presented earlier this year. It is also equipped with a TouchID fingerprint sensor allowing you to unlock your session and change users with a simple touch.
Apple only keeps two colors for its 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro with Space Gray and Silver. We do not find the extravagance of the colors of the latest iMacs, too bad.
A (finally) more extensive connection
Two USB-C ports, which is more on a “Pro” model, is not much. This is what was offered by Apple on its latest generations of laptops, but the manufacturer has revised its positions and the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 now include an HDMI 2.0 port (4K @ 60Hz) and an SDXC card reader. , good news.
The MagSafe charger is also making a comeback in a 3rd iteration in order to connect the charging cable more easily. The power connector is magnetic – hence the name – and connects very quickly to the computer. It also avoids accidents, tripping over the charging cable does not make the computer waltz but only unplugs the cable, no damage. ThunderBolt 4 / USB ports are 3 in number and are also Power Delivery compatible. This allows charging through this. A universal aspect that can always troubleshoot if you forget the MagSafe charging blocks.
The sound part has also been revised with no less than 6 speakers for the 16-inch version allowing, according to the manufacturer, to obtain 80% more bass and Dolby Atmos certified spatial sound. Three microphones also make it easy to hear your voice clearly – video conferencing fans will appreciate it.
A mini-led screen with notch
Rumors of recent months have reported the arrival of mini-led screens and indeed, we will find this technology on the MacBook Pro. Few consumer computers are equipped with this technology rather reserved for televisions, but its advantages are multiple with in particular a much higher maximum brightness, better contrast and a wider coverage of the color space.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is equipped with a 16.2 “panel with a definition of 3456 x 2234 px while the 14-inch version is equipped with a 14.2” panel displaying 3024 x 1964 pixels. These two ProMotion compatible panels, their refresh rate therefore varies depending on the use from 24 Hz to 120 Hz. Thanks to mini-led technology, the brightness reaches peaks with 1000 cd / m² and peaks at 1600 cd / m² in HDR . The contrast is announced at 1,000,000: 1, something that we will not fail to verify when it passes through our hands.
All these elements are in any case welcome and widen the gap between MacBook Air M1 and MacBook Pro M1 which were ultimately (too) similar. We look forward to studying the performance of these new machines and will offer you a full review of the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 as soon as possible.
Pricing starts at 2249 euros for the MacBook Pro 14 with its M1 Pro chip (14 GPU cores) and 512 GB of storage. The 16-core GPU version and 1 TB of storage is billed at 2,749 euros. The MacBook Pro 16 starts at 2,749 euros with an M1 Pro and 512 GB of storage, to benefit from the M1 Max, it will cost 3849 euros. And for those who will not be afraid to sell one of their organ, know that the full option version of the MacBook Pro 16 “is offered at € 6,839 (M1 Max chip with 32 block GPU, 64 GB of RAM and 8 TB SSD ). A trifle.