The 16in MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip

The introduction of Universal Control for Macs and iPads means this hugely powerful machine is even more incredible than before.

 

I enjoyed my time with Apple’s latest 16in MacBook Pro, one of the fastest and most powerful computers on the planet.

I’ve been an iMac user since 2008 as I have always preferred the extra screen real estate when compared to a notebook.

But last year I was given a top spec 2019 iMac Pro (with Intel chip) for work and I’ve been using that every day and was suitably impressed.

Then along came the M1 MacBook Pro and blew every computer I’ve ever used out of the water.

Compared to that 2019 MacBook Pro, the new model has a more powerful M1 Pro processor (second only to Apple’s M1 Max chipset) an improved keyboard, outstanding webcam, MagSafe charging, an SD Card slot and a HDMI port.

MacBook Pro
The spacious trackpad and keyboard on MacBook Pro

The 16in M1 Pro model is thicker and heavier than its predecessor but that wouldn’t bother me.

Display

Open up its aluminium chassis and you get dazzled by a stunning 16.2in display that produces rich and vibrant colours, beaming whites and deep blacks, not to mention a quite incredible 1,600 nits of peak brightness for HDR content thanks to a miniLED backlight.

This incredible screen enables people who work with video to work in HDR anywhere – a game-changer.

 

The display is also the first on a MacBook with a ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate that makes everything seem smoother.

MacBook Pro

My review model came with the Apple M1 Pro chip with a 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. It runs macOS Monterey out of the box.

MacOS

The latest version of Apple’s Mac OS includes the ability to enjoy FaceTime video calls in a grid layout like Zoom and adds spatial audio surround sound for movies.

You also get live text recognition in photos, faster note taking and better privacy options for the Apple Mail app.

Features from iOS15 such as Focus Modes (a much superior ‘do not disturb’ function) are also on board.

MacBook Pro
Enjoy FaceTime video calls in a grid layout like Zoom on MacBook Pro

If you opt for the M1 Max powered model, you can spec it up to 64GB of RAM that will deliver up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth – twice as fast as M1 Pro and six times faster than last year’s M1.

Both the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips have a performance which rivals most workstation-level machines from competitors but they use only a fraction of the power.

Battery life

The feature that impressed me most was the unbelievable battery life and the most powerful performance that the machine is capable of even when running on battery power (which Apple said can last for up to 21 hours; I achieved 18 hours with one heavy testing session).

I pushed it to the limits with tasks including 8K video editing, 3D animation, running Xcode scripts and mixing audio on Logic Pro using a symphony piece that used 1,600 tracks.

More everyday tasks like photo editing and importing a 128GB of RAW image files from an SD card were an absolute breeze. And the laptop runs completely silently most of the time.

MacBook Pro
MacBook Pro M1 Pro includes MagSafe charging

Apple has refreshed the keyboard on the new MacBook Pro and the biggest change is the removal of the Touch Bar. You now get physical function keys for the likes of brightness, volume and search.

You also get a more reliable Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a fantastic large Force Touch trackpad, really great speakers and a full HD webcam that greatly boosts video call quality.

As well as the superfast MagSafe charging, you can use USB-C which is handy for when you are working away from home and don’t want to bring the MagSafe charger with you.

Universal control

What makes this MacBook Pro even better for 2022 is the arrival of Universal Control which is included in iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3.

This awesome new feature was first announced at WWDC last June and enables you to control multiple iPads and Macs using a single mouse, keyboard and trackpad.

It is one of the best software features Apple has ever introduced and fundamentally underpins the deep integration between the company’s hardware and software.

MacBook Pro
The ports on MacBook Pro M1 Pro

No set-up is required as, once you are running the above free OS upgrades, the feature is enabled by default. The only requirement is that your devices are signed into the same iCloud account.

You just place your units next to each other, then move your pointer to the edge of one screen and it bursts through to the next one, enabling you to copy files between the machines or type on one Mac with a different Mac’s keyboard.

For example you can drag a photo that you have edited on your Mac into the Notes app on your iPad. It’s smooth, it’s fluid, it’s mindblowing. And it’s a huge time saver when it comes to productivity.

Verdict

In short, this is the best portable computer on the planet (which you can spec up even further if you choose).

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