Sporting a stunning display, wildly powerful internals, and the re-addition of important ports, the MacBook Pro 2021 rights the wrongs of the past few iterations of Apple’s flagship laptop.
The ports and MagSafe are back
RAM upgrades are expensive
Stunning Mini LED panel lets you work
in an end-to-end HDR workflow
A new benchmark in performance for a MacBook
Two chipset options, various RAM
upgrades and huge amounts of storage are
available to tweak performance to what
Various ports return
There are three Thunderbolt ports, an
HDMI and SD card slot here
The latest MacBook Pro 16-inch is, along with the new 14-inch model, the best Apple laptop I’ve used in years.
A lot of what makes this machine so special is that it reneges on many of the controversial changes Apple made in 2015 with its now-infamous MacBook Pro redesign
The Touch Bar – a feature with a promise that was never delivered – has been canned; a variety of ports have been reintroduced, and the magnetic MagSafe charging connector is back (and even better).
But the 2021 MacBook Pro 16-inch is more than just a re-tread – there are plenty of cutting-edge additions here, too. The display, for instance, is ProMotion and Mini LED for glorious color reproduction, while the silicon inside puts much of the portable competition to shame. But is the MacBook Pro one of the best laptops you can buy?
The MacBook Pro 2021 comes in two sizes: 16 inches and 14 inches. I’ve used both models over the past few months and the main differences between the two models come down to the size of the display. You can, if you want, spec up the 14-inch model – so don’t feel you have to go big to get the best performance. The expansive canvas on the 16-inch model is ideal for video editing and other creative tasks. I found myself rarely feeling the need to plug into an external monitor, the display being just so good. But, as a writer, I was swayed more by the portable nature of the 14-inch model.
Apple has done a great job of delivering a design refresh, without ridding the industrial charm of which I was a fan with the previous model. The two colours options, silver and grey, remain – and I’d expect those looking for a more colourful machine will be catered for with the upcoming rumoured redesign of the MacBook Air 2022.
The MacBook Pro 2021 is boxier than before. It’s also a little thicker and heavier, although considering the additions both in terms of performance and port selection, I can’t complain too much about the added heft.
For all the weights and measurements for the models see the chart below.