Apple debuts 16-inch MacBook Pro with fantastic keyboard, blistering performance

Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro is a powerhouse performer.
Image: Apple

For what seems like the first time in a long while, Apple is gratifying its fans with a product containing nearly all of the features they’ve asked for. On Wednesday, it debuted its newest MacBook Pro, which hits the market with a 16-inch screen. However, what most people are thrilled about is the laptop’s new keyboard.

Apple opted to return to a scissor-switch key, abandoning its troubled butterfly design. The new “Magic” keyboard isn’t all that this laptop offers though. Despite a hefty price tag, it can be outfitted with a massive 8 TB SSD (yes, really) and up to 64 GB of RAM.

Bye, Bye, Butterfly

Over the last several iterations of the MacBook Pro, fans have despised the butterfly keyboard design. Not only was it loud, but it was also prone to breaking. The new Pro borrows its keyboard style from Apple’s peripheral Bluetooth Magic Keyboard accessory.

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The keys now have a 1mm travel distance and are far quieter than previous models. Compared to the 2015 MacBook Pro, the last one to use this type of keyboard, the newest model boasts keys that are also more stable. Finally, if a key does happen to break, it can now be replaced individually without taking apart the entire laptop.

Killer Specs

Notably, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro comes ready to deliver performance at every level. The base model alone, which retails for $2,399, includes a 9th gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, an AMD Radeon Pro graphics card with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, and a generous 512GB SSD. It would have been nice to see Intel’s 10th gen processors in such a high-end machine, but that would have only raised the price more.

Of course, spending over $2,000 on a laptop is out of the question for most people. Nonetheless, those looking for performance will find it in the new MacBook.

Meanwhile, power users can truly get a superstar machine—if they’re willing to drop $6,099. A fully loaded 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with a whopping 64GB of RAM and 8TB of SSD storage. Obviously, not many people need this much power from their laptop. However, those that do will certainly be pleased if they can get past the price tag.

It would be remiss not to mention the port array on this machine. Despite a larger body, it still features only four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. While laptop makers are obviously moving away from USB-A and HDMI ports, it would have been nice to see Apple use some of the available space for something like an SD card slot or at least more Thunderbolt ports.

Finally, the new laptop’s battery is rated 100Wh. This is the maximum allowed by the FAA, making the 16-inch MacBook Pro safe for travel. Apple claims that the battery delivers 11 hours of “wireless web” activity, giving it a one-hour advantage over the 2018 model.

Glorious Screen

Though the 16-inch MacBook Pro’s other features are stealing the spotlight, the screen is noteworthy in its own right. Apple slimmed down all four bezels to fit the larger screen into a 15-inch body that’s very similar to 2015’s MacBook Pro.

While the screen isn’t HDR, it delivers the stunning picture quality that we’ve come to expect from Apple laptops. It also gets up to an impressive 500 nits of brightness, which should make working easier in any light conditions.

Living Up to the Hype

Really, no MacBook has been as widely beloved as the 2015 model. Perhaps that’s because Apple hasn’t been designing its laptops for users. However, the 2016 version is finally the answer to what people have been asking for. With a better keyboard, juiced-up performance, and a larger screen, it has the potential to become one of the best MacBook Pros of all time.

As with any piece of tech, time will reveal any flaws in the design if they are present. Upon first glance, however, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro seems poised to be a great machine that users will love.

The laptop will go on sale in stores late this week, but it is available for pre-order now.