We went through the first tests of the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros. Here is a summary of what can be expected from these new machines.
The first specialized media published the tests of MacBook Pro 14 and 16 inch. Our full tests will arrive a little later. However, after reading the first tests, few media have launched extensive tests regarding autonomy and performance. These tests are more like first impressions after a few hours of use. They are nonetheless interesting to read.
The return of connectors
The return of numerous connections, including an SD slot and an HDMI 2.0 port, is certainly the point that we find in all the tests. CNBC evokes a real change in design at Apple, ” it’s a change from 2016 when, in the name of a more streamlined design, Apple angered some customers by removing ports that many users still found useful. And that forced these customers to buy adapters to plug in their cameras and card readers. (…) The two new models have an HDMI port, an SD card slot (…) also three Thunderbolt 4 ports to add items such as external monitors and other accessories. ».
The notch of discord
The notch of discord is a subject much mentioned in the tests, according to Pocket-Lint, the overall increase in screen size is barely noticeable. In fact, they consider this upper part as a bonus, knowing that the screen remains in 16: 10 aspect ratio if one does not take into account the additional space offered by the reduction in size of the borders. Besides, there are already third-party apps to hide the notch, like TopNotch.
A priori, it is easy to get used to this notch. It disappears quickly, we stop noticing it. In our opinion, it will be necessary to put in very dark screen background to really make it invisible.
From a design point of view, these MacBook Pros are very similar to what we are used to seeing at Apple. However, the ridges and corners are ” a little more square, everything a little thicker, a little more aggressive. They share an overall sensitivity with the 2015 MacBook Pro, with a hint of the 2001 titanium PowerBook G4. ” according to The Verge.
Note that you can charge newer MacBook Pros from any Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port, but Apple confirms that fast charging is only available with the MagSafe port. Regarding fast charging, the MacBook Pro recovers 50% of the battery in 30 minutes, specialists confirm Apple’s figures. It will take 80% in 50 minutes and a full charge in 90 minutes. 1 hour and 30 minutes compared to almost 2 hours and 30 minutes on the old 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple has really improved in all categories.
Disappearance of the Touch Bar hailed by everyone
The other major design change, which is a win for everyone, is the demise of the Touch Bar, which never quite lived up to its potential. Apple replaced it with full-height function keys. These keys are very effective according to The Verge, the power button still integrates the Touch ID function for a biometric security system based on your fingerprint. We would have liked to have Face ID, especially given the size of the notch in the screen, but it will undoubtedly be a future evolution on the next generations of MacBook.
An almost perfect screen
The new Mini LED Liquid Retina XDR display has caused quite a stir. It’s understandable, the screen is impressive on paper: Mini LED (many backlight zones to optimize contrast and increase brightness – 10,216 Mini LEDs, divided into 2,554 backlight zones), the brightness is 1000 nits up to a peak of 1600 nits, the definition of 3024 x 1964 pixels (14.2 inches) and we find Pro Motion technology (from 24 Hz up to 120 Hz refresh rate). In practice, the average brightness is more around 500 nits, as pointed out by our colleagues from 01net, they measured 1511 nits in peak, not far from the 1600 nits announced by Apple. By the way, 01net also measured are contrast: 49 040: 1, it is less good than the OLED obviously, but it is a very important score which confirms that the Mini LED is certainly a technology of transition.
Let’s stay on the values measured by the devices, 01net was able to verify the announced autonomy: 17 hours and 18 minutes for the 16-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Max) in mixed use, against almost 12 hours for the 16-inch MacBook Pro 2019 (Core i9). The ARM SoCs have done a lot of good for the MacBook Pros, despite a display that is certainly much more energy-consuming than before.
All the media emphasize the quality of the speakers, well above what we are used to having on a laptop. This confirms what Apple was announcing, they have integrated a total of six speakers in their machine.
Performance at the rendezvous
Regarding the performance of the M1 Pro and Max chips, we have already mentioned the CPU and the GPU, the first tests are fairly light in terms of information. Synthetic benchmarks confirm what we thought, MacBook Pros excel at processing data.
What’s impressive is the behavior of the machines, the testers didn’t notice a huge difference in performance when the MacBook Pro was on battery power. PCs often slow down dramatically every time they’re on battery power, but that’s not the case here. The same goes for the noise generated which remains below the old MacBook Pro and other laptops for gaming.
On the other hand, laptops with Nvidia GeForce RTX solutions seem above the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. The difference is really minimal, but this is explained by all of Nvidia’s advanced technologies: CUDA cores, RT and Tensor cores … the difference is not obvious, especially since this type of test does not take consumption into account. of energy. Apple M1 Pro and Max chips consume on average half the power of Nvidia chips for similar performance.
In one of the visuals posted above, Dave2D tested two of the rare Mac compatible games, Overwatch and Tomb Raider, the performances are very impressive, it is even very frustrating. We really want to see Apple invest heavily in the video game market.
Promising first tests
As you can see, the first results are promising – big batteries and efficient chips are a good combination – but these are only the first conclusions. It will be necessary to wait for extensive tests to especially assess the differences in behavior between versions of Apple chips. As a reminder, there are more than ten different combinations: from 8 to 10 cores for the CPU and from 16, 24 and 32 cores for the GPU. In addition, depending on the M1 chip, you can configure 16, 32 or 64 GB of unified RAM.
We have also gathered some videos posted on YouTube: