Preamble. I decided to focus this test on my daily life, where the Mac is obviously a centerpiece. Here is my test of the 16-inch MacBook Pro in real life, according to my specific needs.
16-inch MacBook Pro review
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Features of the MacBook Pro 16 ″
The 16-inch MacBook Pro I tested was the boosted version – with a 9th generation 2.3 GHz Core i9, an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics card, 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage. Common to all models in the range, there are 4 USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, a jack port, a Touch Bar and a Touch ID sensor.
The new 16-inch Retina display offers a resolution of 3,072 x 1,920 pixels, a luminance of 500 nits and True Tone technology. The machine’s total weight is close to 2 kilos, and it takes up almost the same space as a previous generation 15-inch MacBook Pro. In short, the 16 ″ MacBook Pro I tested had already great potential.
On a daily basis, the screen of the 16 ″ MacBook Pro is very pleasant, with very faithful color rendering and very good brightness. In fact, it is a very fast machine, and also autonomous, as you will see in the dedicated part of this test of the MacBook Pro 16 ″. Interesting point, Apple seems to be changing its policy slightly, and with almost similar configuration, this range of 16 inch MacBook Pro is sold cheaper than the previous 15 ″.
In the end, on the technical characteristics of this MacBook Pro 16 ″ computer, only the 720p selfie camera is disappointing, as its quality is low. As for several years, the SSD and RAM are soldered, so think about your configuration when buying! As with the latest iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, Apple does not disappoint – again – on the power.
A brand new keyboard
This has been the downside of MacBooks for several years: the butterfly keyboard. While the latter had been imagined to make the machines even finer, it turned out to be a real failure, as the user feedback was negative. This was my case too his my MacBook Pro 13 ″ 2017, whose space key was blocked several times because of dust trapped under the key.
For the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple has chosen to return to a more traditional scissor model. It is however slightly different from the “pre-butterfly” models, the race is therefore deeper than the “butterfly” models, but a little less than the MacBooks released before 2015. On a daily basis, typing is very fast, and the keyboard logically gains in durability. It was a complicated choice to go back, but it is excellent (in my opinion).
Another specificity of this model, while the Touch Bar is present, a physical Escape key is making a comeback on this 16 ″ MacBook Pro. This is particularly useful in the event of a Touch Bar bug.
Premium sound on the 16 ″ MacBook Pro
When presenting the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple had widely promoted the sound system of its new model. And it is simply stunning. It’s the deepest sound I’ve ever heard on a laptop, the difference from the previous generation is striking. The sound never saturates, no vibration is present and the immersion is there you are watching a video. This is the first computer that gives me such an effect at this level. Our review of the MacBook Pro 16 ″ is very positive on this point.
I do not know if the work done on the sound of the HomePod played a role in the development of this 16 ″ MacBook Pro, but it is a real success. The microphones have also been reviewed and the capture has never been so good. Another positive point for this test of the 16 ″ MacBook Pro.
Editing with Final Cut Pro
That was the main expectation of this machine for me. On a daily basis, I use a MacBook Pro 13 ″ from 2017. With the transition to 4K rushes for the chain YouTube I faced a problem: impossible to work in fluid conditions. After weighing the solutions last year, the easiest way was to buy a 27-inch iMac as a dedicated machine. Still, on the go, I was pretty stuck with my 2017 model, and I made the choice to capture rushes in 1080p to be able to edit quickly.
This 16-inch MacBook Pro is just perfect for this use. I had a boosted model as part of the loan, and I could edit my timeline in 4K without any latency. Export is also very fast, and the benchmarks visible everywhere on the web are unanimous on this subject. For gaming, I will not comment, because I do not play games that consume too many resources.
This power is found on all daily tasks: the velocity is there. As I show on video, I often have dozens of Chrome tabs open, alongside Photoshop, Spark, Antidote, Slack or Spotify. All are super fast, and this model is a real racing beast. Another point: heat and ventilation. I only heard that once the fan turned on for a few seconds, for the export of 4K video of this test of the MacBook Pro 16 ″. The machine never warmed up, which is not the case with my 2017 model.
Autonomy of this 16 inch MacBook Pro
It’s also a very nice surprise, this 16-inch MacBook Pro is very enduring. I did a full-scale test when we covered CES 2020, with this 16 ″ MacBook Pro as the main machine. To put it in context, the lounge is open for ten hours during the day, and we prepare articles and videos during the day, especially in the evening. The MacBook Pro 16 ″ never let go during the day, and I never had to plug it in.
On a classic use just with internet browsing and word processing, you will largely hold a day of lessons for example. For using software like Final Cut Pro, you can still last up to 3 hours (that’s what I got for editing videos at CES).
Recharging level, it is also very fast with the new 96W block. Allow an hour of recharging to go from 10 to 100%.
MacBook Pro 16 ″ test: my final opinion
If you want to see the best prices for the 16 ″ MacBook Pro model that I had a review, here they are:
After more than a month of use, I clearly want to switch to this model of MacBook Pro. It has it all: power, endurance, screen quality, sound quality. The only choice that could make me wait is to see if Apple prepare a 14 ″ model in the same spirit, because compactness is important when I am on the move. If you’re hesitant to upgrade from a recent 13 or 15 inch to this 16 ″ MacBook Pro, you can’t go wrong.
It’s a very good thing thatApple has changed its pricing policy because, even if the MacBook Pro 16 ″ are expensive machines, the price-performance ratio of this range is much higher than that of the 15 inches. For those who use their computer to edit and edit videos, sound and other photos, this is an excellent tool.
16 “MacBook Pro
Value for money
9.5 / 10
- The power
- The screen / sound combo
- Finally a new keyboard
- Lower prices (especially on large config)