Apple MacBook Pro Review 2020 (Pros and Cons)

This is a full review of Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch late 2019. In this review, I’ll cover all of the pros and cons and everything else of the New 16-inch MacBook Pro.

  • CPU     : 9th gen Core i7, 9th Gen Core i9
  • RAM     : 16GB (up to 64GB)
  • Storage: 512GB to 8TB
  • GPU     : AMD Radeon Pro 5300M (4GB), Radeon Pro 5500M (up to 8GB)
  • Display : 16 inches (2072 x 1920 pixels)
  • Battery  : 100-watt-hour up to 11 hours
  • Size      : 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.64 inches
  • Weight  : 4.3 pounds
  • Price     :$2399

16-inch Apple MacBook Pro Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Amazing Retina display, now even larger with super slim bezels.
  • New Scissor Switch Apple Magic Keyboard.
  • Super Comfortable XL sized touchpad.
  • Ultra-Powerful Intel Core i9 Processor
  • Newest AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with Up to 8GB of GDDR6 memory
  • Longer Battery Life than ever.
  • Super Fast SSD Storage Options Upto 8 GigaBytes.

Cons:

  • As usual, it doesn’t have a MicroSD slot, USB Type-A ports.
  • No Touch Screen Option as usual.
  • Expensive.

16-inch Apple MacBook Pro Full Review:

Rumors say, “Oh! Maybe it’s gonna cost like four thousand dollars” and it’s gonna exist on top and the 15 inches and you know cuz  Apple it would be expensive well happy surprised for November 2019 it replaces the 15-inch model completely. Which is interesting and comes in at the same price here so $2399 and $2799 for the pre-built models. And of course, you can add all sorts of options. 

On top of that, we’re going to talk about and you get twice the storage now for the price and significantly faster graphics performance. So, what happened here? Why did Apple do what they did? Well because they’re finally basically admitting they made some mistakes before with their proline or product is supposed to be for kind of sort of pros. 

Even though they abused that name to the point where ear pods  Pro. I’ve done a little bit why do I say that because of Johnny. And those beautiful designs but I think once  Steve Jobs left and they used to work together. And Steve Jobs would keep the design under control to make sure it was beautiful but also functional what people needed.

Well, we got more beauty rather than function so it’s actually got a little bit thicker, a little bit heavier to give us a bigger battery inside. Who doesn’t want more battery life and more cooling inside? But it’s still just about the same size as the  15-inch. So I think that’s a wise choice and also we have a keyboard that is more usable and more reliable. The butterfly keyboard is gone r.i.p well not really because of there plenty of other Mattox that still have it so they’ve gone to their obnoxiously named magic keyboard design. 

If you’ve ever used the external wireless magic keyboard you can get from accidents the same experience so it has scissor keys normal kind of design keys that are repairable you don’t have to replace the whole top deck of the Mac. If something goes wrong you can pop off a  key cab you can replace an individual card. As more travel it has more push so where the butterfly keyboard felt very harsh when you bottomed out on.

 And at that point seven millimeters of travel this has one millimeter so it’s still pretty short. So for people like me who really appreciate things pitch boys with more traveling, you’re still not gonna get that here but you do get a  lot of the crispness and also they’ve turned the key. So when you go through the keystroke it goes further, before it actuates. So it feels like there’s more emotion and it’s not harsh on your fingers. And you could say Pro or not Pro yes well for people who have to type a lot like a lot of coders buy these. 

That’s important while we’re talking about proneness here well we saw the same Intel 9th gen 45 watts CPUs core  i7 core i-9 so 6 core and 9 core options.  Because Intel doesn’t have a new generation yet of those CPUs but the graphics one of the things that were not so Pro. About the Mac for well since 2016  was basically the weak sauce graphics need and now they’ve got it 2 times faster graphics,  twice compared to something like the outgoing AMD Radeon  555 and 560 X graphics. 

So now we have the 5300 M and the 5500 M GPUs available.  Significantly more computing power. So up to twice as fast and even you know that  Vega 20 option that was very expensive for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Previously the 550 M is faster even than that not by a super lot but considering the fact that this is your standard, you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars extra. Kind of GPU thing this is good equivalently because a lot of people think in terms of NVIDIA GPUs. 

This is of the 5500 this is a lot like an Nvidia GTX 1650 which shall find in competing laptops like the Dell XPS 15 and the  Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme. Even the MSI prestige 15 which is slightly in a  different bucket because there’s a lower power CPU but kind of wants to play in this space. So that’s enough graphics power actually to play games and also accelerate your video editing. 

When playing if you are doing photo editing and even  Lightroom you know the 5300 is perfectly fine for you to be honest. So there’s that but for video editing, if you’re doing blender or other kinds of rendering things then use a 5500 it’s probably what you want to do also getting more Pro. 

For our Mac Pro 15 inch models have been topping out at 4 gigs of the RAM and sometimes you need more. What if you’re using external monitors like I always use it plugged in with its internal monitor running and a 4k display as well besides it. And then you’re gonna throw in something like doing rendering or video editing which is going to use more VRAM.  So far felt really tight, now you can go up to 8  and that’s only $100 more. 

So that’s one of the few things that you can upgrade without feeling like you’re being bled to death. If you’re doing something like Photoshop and then the VRAM doesn’t matter as much as you might think. I’m working on but for video editing for gaming sure for future-proofing it’s worth $100 what is painful is while dying well the good part is you can go to 64 gigs of ram. 

Wow, so that’s like serious mobile workstation territory, something we’d like to see in a pro machine or even go with 32 gigs. And I  would like 32 gigs for a bit of future-proofing. A lot of people keep their Mac’s for several years and things like  4k video editing hardcore. If you’re doing that and also Lightroom tends to eat a lot of RAM, unlike Photoshop. Anyway, you can go to 32 gigs but it’s gonna cost you $400 because Apple still charges too much for RAM and it’s still soldered onboard. 

So yeah I’m hemorrhaging now thinking about that  $400 now that takes the almost imaginably affordable Mac and brings it up to a whole another level pricing. And if you want to go to 64 that’s another  $400 again. Now storage at least has doubled here so the base model has 512  gig SSD fast as ever and the next step up month has a terabyte which I think it’s comfy and roomy for most people. 

Honestly, if you’re doing serious things like video editing like we do you’re using external fast drugs anyway because videos just take them tens and hundreds of gigabytes and storage before you know it but so that’s nice so we’ve got double the storage for the money. If you want to go from one terabyte to two terabytes not that I’m recommending you do that unless you need it you you’ll know if you need it that’s  $400 which seems pretty pricey too but then again if you look at a Dell XPS 15  7590 latest generation they also charge that much because they’re using fast  Samsung M2 SSD.

So maybe that isn’t some harsh while we’re talking about pro things once again in the Dell XPS 15 and even that Lenovo ThinkPad x1 extreme gen2. A pro feature to me is upgradability.  I don’t think Apple is ever gonna go back to that though. So we just have to give up and live with it. So you can’t upgrade the RAM on this yourself it’s soldered on, you can’t upgrade the SSD  yourself it’s soldered on. 

If either of those girls Cerf Louie you have to send it in to be serviced and it’s a  motherboard base to repair at that point so that feels a bit less proud of me and  I’m not too thrilled and while we’re talking about pro things let’s talk about saying that really isn’t pro. 

But oh my god I never thought it’d make such a difference,  so Apple now has six speakers stereo speakers flanking the keyboard with six drivers internally. And they claim the body was a lot better they sometimes doing sometimes it’s not so much better generation but oh my god. You know you think that this is just icing on the cake. Whatever when you hear this you want it.  It’s not good it’s really it shouldn’t matter as much as it does maybe or we realize how we make concessions when we buy laptops. 

Because most of them have crappy speakers and this is so enjoyable and I was playing  Shadow of the Tomb Raider and listening to music and it was just room-filling audio with bass and separation. And it’s delightful, they’ve also improved the microphones.  There are three microphones now and not just because Siri needs to understand you better.  

Poor Siri, because well sometimes you’re actually doing the recording, you’re doing podcasts and stuff like that they claim it sounds as good as a blue Yeti microphone. But you know obviously you’re not gonna get direct Direction now they have an external microphone. But yes the audio quality is very good on the microphones.

 As well the display, it’s the same Retina display. Only now sixteen inches instead of fifteen point four.  Well guys, I’ll tell you a little over a  half-inch doesn’t make that much of a  difference but you’ll notice it a little bit and get some more pixels on the top. And on the sides, the sad thing is it’s still not quite 4k resolution. It’s getting closer but still gonna quiet 4k and 4k displays rating diamond doesn’t on high-end  Windows laptops. So I kind of want to wish they would in terms of color gamut,  in terms of the brightness.

Spec that they claim in terms of contrast it’s really just a good match for the 15-inch  it’s fairly wide gamut they cover P  three they give 91%  which is very good and the color calibration of the factory is good. It’s not quite spot on you can see our graph of the color accuracy of the display before we calibrated it ourselves. 

And it’s pretty good but I would say experientially this is still one of the best displays on the market I do wish it was a touchscreen that’s another thing that maybe someday Apple will do but if you’re using it for content creation, not just content consumption this is still one of my go-to displays. Because it is so accurate because the whites are a  proper white because the colors are a representation of what you folks will see when you consume our content or when  I make photographs and share them with other people. That sort of thing. 

Is it OLED looking no it’s not but it’s pretty darn good when I’m streaming things like addicted to the blacklist. I’m gonna streaming on Netflix it looks really good when I switch between it and the assembled pro duo which has a 15.6  inch OLED display I don’t feel like I’m really disappointed you know. It’s that good for content consumption with more accurate whites. 

I love on it, I can make another video about Wlan but oh that’s a white representation, not they’re a  little tiring on the eyes so there’s something to be said still for using an  IPS display but I’d like them to use a  10-bit display and really Pro this up.  Yes, I would even offer it as an option even if I couldn’t afford it. 

It would be nice so as I said, this place every bit as beautiful as the 15.4-inch model. If you feel like the colors are more muted or contrast or whatever be sure to check your color profiles because you aren’t sending up a new Mac and might have a different color profile selected  I find actually srgb looks more punchy than the default Apple LCD profile. 

Now the Escape key is a physical key that you press. Phil Schiller said that this was the number one most requested change. I’m surprised if that actually wasn’t the butterfly keyboard or whatever but for coders particularly, this makes life a lot easier you can feel the button trust me it’s when I’m coding too. I like it better that way and also if you’re hitting the  Escape key mentally because some process is hung sometimes your touch bar hangs with it and your escape key is no longer functioning so better way to do it. 

And for symmetry and probably for something more, the touch ID is now its own separate button and its mate which I  prefer. I didn’t have the greatest luck with the touch ID fingerprint ID on the  15-inch MacBook Pro. I think in part because it’s so shiny and it gets so gooey with fingerprint oil and then I  kind of think and I haven’t had as much problem at all with the new model. So that’s fun, the touch bar is still there for better or worse it’s not quite as tall so it takes up a little bit less space. 

And I’ve always been not a fan of it  I like physical volume buttons and all that kind of thing but then again it’s actually become useful in ways over the years and for example when I was doing the shadow of the Tomb Raider footage capture I needed to do launch apples on-screen capture utility and I couldn’t get mouse control back to actually get it started but the touch bar I had all these options for different ways to do screen captures and start recording. 

So it kind of came in and saved the day so it does have its use cases. I’ll give them that all right so we got ourselves a cushion your keyboard that should be more reliable we got Pro more pro-level graphics in here what about the performance. 

You know I know some people are saying look there’s no throttling anymore and I’m sorry that’s just not possible. Physics says no, the MacBook Pro  15 inch and all of its competitors to  Dell XPS 15 the Lenovo ThinkPad x1  extreme all of the thin and light highly performant mobile workstations are really pushing the thermal envelope they’re very thin. Now apple says the fans are 28% bigger and moved 35% more air and all that sort of thing.

 And yes it does run cooler than the 15-inch  model did and that’s a good thing because it means when we’re doing things like everybody likes to show us in a  bench test so we’re doing our Cinebench test and you can see that it maintains higher clock speeds than we have seen in previous generations. And this is with the i9 we have the 2.3 gigahertz core i9  CPU and it’ll go up to 95 96 degrees and it would go higher. 

Trust me but it does throttle back to prevent it from going past the limit of 100 degrees.  But even when throttling it’s maintaining higher clock speeds which means better perform. 

 By the way, that means things like real-world tests like final cut. For example well export time for 4k footage is about 15 to 25 percent faster because the CPU can maintain and also because we have faster graphics inside.  So real-world functionality here is good. Does it mean it never throttles? No all of these laptops will throttle because trust me they just do but if throttles less more performance. So before I said the core I9 was kind of a  waste of money because it was gonna throttle so much and I said the same thing about the Dell XPS 15. 

Now I would say it’s no longer a  waste of money those eight cores are getting put to good use. And that’s nice fan noise maybe I’m not the person ask because I review a lot of Windows laptops and gaming laptops. And I use those too and believe me those things are now allowed loud the more you up the performance the louder they gonna get however having used a 2018 15-inch  MacBook Pro. The fans are a little bit more high-pitched and slightly more annoying on that this one is probably because there are bigger fans with the new blade design it’s a little less noticeable and annoying. 

If you are doing things like playing games with it not that that’s really the use case for the MacBook Pro.  Even though I didn’t do that play sieve and all that yes you’re gonna hear the fans. Are they room-filling? No did they drown out the amazing audio no they don’t but yes there will be fanboys. When  I’m doing things like Photoshop and  Lightroom and using Safari or Chrome with several tabs open even playing  YouTube the fans will come on occasionally.

And then they’ll cut off pretty quickly, you don’t hear a lot of fan noise. Apple actually usually Tunes them that way they’ll actually throttle before they’ll actually let the fans run and race and the way people tend to override that Newsmax fan control.  Actually an up the fan so I can get even more performance out of the laptop it’s your choice it’s your call it’s prep it’s a powerful laptop.  You’re gonna hear some fan noise but really not very much compared to most of the laptops on the market. 

Now that the  Johnny Ive era is over and Apple’s actually allowed to make things a little bit thicker we actually get bigger batteries 100 watt-hour which is the maximum allowable. If you want to take it on an airplane they can’t put a bigger battery in there that’s a lotta battery power that even teeny teeny bit beats.

 The Dell XPS 15 and one of the things to me that’s compelling about a Mac is the insanely good battery life usually any 15-inch class mobile workstations gonna have middling battery life at best especially with a  high-resolution display. And max typically one of the things I do like about the 15-inch MacBook Pros I take it with me on business trips and I use it all day and I never have to plug it in and I’m like whoa that’s just not gonna happen even with my Dell XPS 15. 

Sorry, Dell, so we have even more battery here and apple claims an additional hour battery life. And believe me, they’re actually not lying, the charger is now nearly 100  watts itself. It’s pretty similar to the previous charger in terms of this footprint and space and the weight that’s going to take up when you carry it. 

So really no complaint, another complaint they all just keep complaining about an apple will ignore it anyway is the fact that you’re paying this much money for this pro machine and you get a  charger but the extension cable still will cost you extra. If you need that extra cordage going on thanks Apple for those who are deekied people who follow in those laptops that are moving up to Y56.  

We still have Wi-Fi five here there aren’t a lot of Wi-Fi six access points and use yet they typically still cost around five hundred dollars. But if you’re worried about the future there’s a probably in a year or two years I’ll give your Wi-Fi six and because like I  said not everything is puppy dogs and roses we have non-upgradable internals.

We still have four Thunderbolt three USB  C ports all of the equal speed so that still feels kind of forward-looking. At least we do have a headphone jack. Surface pro X even acts that. But so far  Apple has it with their laptops but it still means dongle life for a lot of us so that’s the 16-inch MacBook Pro and apple is done the right thing here. 

They’re heading in the right direction making me pretty happy to be able to say that more Pro than ever, more power particularly in the graphics department better cooling a bigger screen and experientially. In terms of using it’s a  core i9 that you can actually use without feeling like it was a waste of money. Because it’s throttling a lot they’ve done a good job with the cooling here and the battery life with a color-accurate screen. There are things to be said for this, it’s perhaps on a frugal buy when there are so many Windows laptops that cost less but it’s still an attractive thing especially if you like  Mac OS.

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