Steve Job really is a DemiGod, as apple has been and always one step ahead in terms of Specs and Styles, question is: Is M1 Mac Macbook Pro, is it really the best laptop ever made???
So when these new MacBook Pros got announced, my first thought was, I wonder if we can retire the travel iMac, because some of you might not know this. But whenever I’d go for the past couple years to a tech event that I planned on making a video at I literally packed up a maxed out iMac Pro, put it in a huge Pelican case and loved it with me. Like there’s countless times y’all would catch me rolling this huge box behind me through the airport. And that’s because it’s been the smallest machine that I could take with me to one of those events that could render an edit and export a video that wouldn’t take overnight. Now, this apple silicon transition for Mac’s, has been pretty impressive. And I think this is the first time I can truly say something is actually next level, these laptops have been next level. So these are the new 14 inch and 16 inch 2021 MacBook Pros. And they’re incredible for a number of reasons. Now, at the end of the day, they’re just tools used to get a job done. And the fact is everyone has a slightly different thing that they want to get done. For me, it’s making these videos. So we’ll get to that in a second. But, man, they’ve made a big jump both on the inside and the outside of these laptops. So let’s start on the outside.
So these laptops have a new top notch design, it still looks like a MacBook Pro, but I like pretty much all of the changes they’ve made. So the whole shape is squared off a bit and it resembles those old aluminum power books just more modernized. And just aesthetically, you can see they’ve made these laptops thicker, like noticeably thicker, and that is totally fine with me. And it has plenty of benefits. And it also stands up a little bit higher on those taller feet, which seemingly gives it a bit more room for those back and side vents for better ventilation.
Although I’ve never heard the fans spin up audibly on these laptops, the Apple logo on the back slightly larger, and there’s a little engraving at the bottom now, where they carved in the MacBook Pro text. That’s kind of nice. But functionally, as you’ve probably noticed, yeah, there’s ports now there are real ports. And this really shouldn’t be a big deal. But this is one of the few things that Apple has actually walked back from the last few years of MacBook Pros that haven’t had these ports. So while it feels like kind of silly to celebrate them, I am happy that they’re back. So on the right side that’s a full size HDMI port. Welcome back, and you have one of the Thunderbolt four ports, and a full size half depth SD card slot. This is beautiful. I use an SD card for audio every time I make a video I use them all the time. And it’s been a long time since I just plugged in SD cards straight into a computer.
So this is fun. Then on the left side, you have two more Thunderbolt four ports, a headphone jack and the magnetic MagSafe charging port has made its return. So Okay, a couple thoughts on this port selection. First of all, MagSafe has made its return but it’s different. I’ve never used a MagSafe machine full time in the past. But this is a newer, thinner and actually stronger MagSafe it’s got a lot more lateral strength that it takes to pull it out of the machine.
So the second there’s any angle on it, it snaps out much easier, but still feels pretty MagSafe to me definitely safer than just if USBC was plugged straight in and then you get this huge charging brick. So this is the 96 watt power adapter that comes with the 14 inch MacBook Pro, which is already an upgrade from the 67 Watt of the base model. And then there’s this huge rectangular 140 Watt charging brick for the 16 inch MacBook Pro, but it is pretty nice at the brick is separate from the braided USB C cable with MagSafe on the other end, but I am not sure why the space gray laptop doesn’t also come with a space gray MagSafe connector that would have been a nice touch 140 Watts though that is a lot of power. And so you can fast charge these laptops through MagSafe if you want to it’s about half charge in half an hour, which is pretty convenient. But even if you don’t want to you can unplug and just plug in via USB. See if you’re a one charger for everything kind of person like me, it’ll still be about 96 Watts, so not as fast, but so pretty good.
Now, the headphone jack, you might have caught during Apple’s presentation that they mentioned that the headphone jack this time would support high impedance headphones. What does that mean? Well, if you have to ask probably doesn’t apply to you. But there’s a whole ecosystem of headphones out there with much higher levels of power required to get real volume out of them. They’re known as high impedance headphones. I’ve got a couple pairs here at the studio. So a normal pair of wired headphones just think about like your beats or 80 Hm 50s might have 20 to 50 ohms impedance. The high impedance headphones can go well over 100 ohms And so they won’t really sound like much there’ll be very low in volume if you plug them into almost anything with a headphone jack. And so people who use these headphones will have to carry an external Thunderbolt DAC just a little thing to plug in. And so if these headphone jacks are high powered enough, in theory, that’s one less dongle you have to carry, right. So for my audio files out there, the preamps here are impressive, and they’re definitely pushing out more power.
But this isn’t some incredible super clean DAC or anything crazy with the these bear dynamic dt 770 pros for example, which are 250 Ohm headphones, MacBook Pro and one at absolutely maxed out 100% Volume sounded comfortable. And these new MacBook Pros hit that same level at about 65% volume. So there was an improvement, they don’t sound better than the dedicated amp you would have to bring. But in a pinch, if you’ve only brought one pair of headphones, you can plug him in straight. And that’s kind of neat, which is just saving you a dongle. And that’s kind of the theme of all of these ports. To be honest, like the HDMI port is only actually HDMI 2.0 not 2.1 I don’t know why and it’s kind of annoying that such an expensive computer isn’t the latest highest end part, but HDMI 2.0 still does 4k 60. So it’s great for any projector TV, it’s good in a pinch. One less dongle, the SD card slot is x dx, see it’s only UHS two speeds, so it doesn’t support the newer faster UHS three, but UHS two is still 300 megabytes per second, that’s pretty good in a pinch, one less dongle.
So it’s an expensive computer, it I could have easily had the higher end ports, it’s definitely a knock on them. But like I said, it’s kind of just like the convenient in a pinch type thing. And you know what I might as well since we’re talking ports, you know, it would have been cool Ethernet on the power brick. Remember what they did with the M one iMac where they have like Gigabit Ethernet built into the brick. I think MacBook Pro users would be more likely to want Ethernet without a dongle on the laptop like they did here. But they didn’t. But anyway, there’s just something hilarious about them going backwards on the last four years of MacBook Pros and actually adding ports back to it’s not something they do all the time. So I’m giving a thumbs up on that. Speaking of going backwards though, no touch bar. So there’s new keyboard on these MacBook Pros. And it’s all buttons, all real physical keys. So they’ve replaced the touch bar with a full row full height physical function keys at the top. It’s really a shame that touchbar never reached its full potential. And I’ll miss the like two times, I thought it was useful with audio fading shortcuts inside Final Cut Pro, or fast forwarding scrubbing through Instagram videos on the desktop. But these buttons really are better. And the whole keyboard is an improvement from previous years to its backlit, the keys feel good and traveled decently well like their keyboards from five years ago. The Touch ID button in the corner works super quickly and reliably. And it’s subtle, but the whole keyboard is inset in this black anodized rectangle. And I love it, it’s a nice touch. Black Keys will definitely still show fingerprints and a little bit of skin oils more than the lighter keyboards out there on other machines. But I’m willing to deal with that the speakers absolutely incredible, especially on the 16 inch, still the biggest fullest best speakers I’ve ever heard in a laptop on the bigger one. And the studio microphones are also now improved. But that brings us to the front of this laptop. So let’s talk about the front. So these new displays are on paper and in real life. Pretty incredible.
They are 10 bit panels, they’re mini LED HDR 16 by 10, almost 4k, high refresh rate displays. I mean, it’s just all the boxes checked. And then there’s the notch up top. Okay, so the screens are amazing. It’s basically a mini pro display XDR, but with even higher pixel density and higher refresh rate. I mean, it doesn’t look that different from previous MacBook Pros, most of the time you’re using it, but it does hit that 1600 nits max brightness while watching HDR content, which is awesome. And the thinner bezels all the way around. We’re long overdue. And underneath the menu bar, I’m also happy that it is still it’s the taller 16 by 10 aspect ratio. And then pro motion is interesting. So we know this as the adaptive refresh rate. It’s not always maxing out here at 120 hertz, even when flying around the UI. You know Max are already decently smooth at 60. But I can tell this is not going to 120 hertz all the time. So like scrolling in Safari, for example. Apparently Safari still needs an update to support the highest of this adaptive frame rate. But there are a couple areas where you really notice a higher refresh rate. I mean, moving your mouse around a lot, moving a lot of bigger animations, like swiping between spaces, and other big flowy stuff like the genie animation for minimizing that stuff. I mean, it’s awesome moving around a Final Cut timeline that’s very smooth to that’s where the higher frame rate is noticeable and the extra smoothness is appreciated. So this isn’t the first Mini LED display. This isn’t the first HDR laptop ever, it’s definitely not the first high refresh rate screen in a laptop. But just combining all these things, the 10 bit display, the thinner bezels, all of it, it is a great display. So let’s talk about the top notch design shot. There’s only a few things up here in the notch is the new 1080 p webcam, which looks perfectly decent.
Now, Thanks for catching up apple. And there’s a little ambient light sensor and a little LED light. And that’s pretty much it. There’s no way the notch needed to be this big for that hardware. I mean, I’ll wait for the I fix that tear down. But there’s no way you needed this much space. So it’s an odd choice. And it’s really easy to complain about this one, you’re not actually using the laptop. But two things. One, I think Apple is actually finding this to be like a part of their design language now like this is a recognizable laptop silhouette.
Because of the knotch. However we feel about that it is what it is. But then also turns out, it’s okay to put a notch right here in the part of the screen that you really don’t notice very much. When you’re actually using a laptop, the mouse goes underneath it for those who are wondering. And the software seems to basically treat the screen like there is no notch like if you take a screenshot or do a screen recording, it’s still drawing the display there with all of its pixels. And anytime you go full screen with anything, it just turns the entire menu bar black, and it looks like the bezel at the top basically gets slightly thicker, and it’s very deep black with the Mini LED. The knotch literally never cuts into any content. Basically think of it as cutting into the extra display that you actually didn’t have before. And they’ve just shoved the menu bar up there into that extra display. You know, there are some weird quirks when you have an app with enough menu bar items, it runs those things right underneath the knotch. And things clearly it’d be patched up with a software update, maybe making them scrollable or like adding an expansion button or something like that. So at this point, it’s like y’all people are making the custom apps to totally black out the top part of the display to hide the notch, which I mean, if you hate it that much sure you have that option. But like, I promise you, when you actually start using a laptop, and you’re in apps and things full screen and never cuts anything off, like you’re paying attention to what’s on the screen, it disappears even more than it did on the smaller screen of the phone. But that being said, if the next version of this laptop, still has a notch this big and doesn’t add face ID I’ll wear socks and sandals for a day like Linus like they got to be planning on putting it there eventually, right, it almost feels useless to talk about how it feels just spinning around Mac OS Monteray, because of course it’s fine.
Like I got the improved notification management. It’s got the rounded corners up top, it’s got the quick mouseover at the bottom corner to get to quick notes, we get all that those nice features. But we’re here for the performance, we want to know if it’s actually as great as those graphs, Apple suggested at the Apple event spoiler alert, they’re both really that good. So I’ve got a couple different specs here. This is the M one pro in the 14 inch, I’ve also got a maxed out 16 inch that I’ve been testing. So I’ll get to the differences between m one Max and M one Pro and all that in a second. But just know that yeah, they are very, very good. So when it comes to performance benchmarks, I feel like everyone’s more or less looking for the perfect benchmark out there that will confirm to them that it will work best for their own workflow. Like I said, these are tools. And from what I’ve seen, it feels like that benchmark result exists for pretty much every use case so far for this. So as far as synthetic benchmarks, it dropped the highest single score Geekbench CPU score I’ve ever seen from any Mac, and multicore lined it up right around the maxed out 18 core iMac, I also ran it through Cinebench. And it had again, very impressive single core scores. And here’s how the multicores stacks up. But when I say when I tell you these laptops are next level. I mean that because these the real world performance, and the real world capabilities of these laptops is dramatically better than they had any business doing.
So obviously, we know about the way higher memory bandwidth we know about the way higher number of GPU cores, and I love the 1015 25% improvements that come across the board. With all that stuff. The vertical integration worked, right. But there are parts of this chip that Apple has built with specific purposes in mind. And for those purposes. It’s next level so these laptop chips have immediate engine and there’s a Pro Res accelerator as part of that. And one Max has two of them. Video Professionals you can see where we’re going with this. Working with progress at all with these laptops is dramatically better. I think an example was like encoding a video with compressor is 10 times as fast as it was With the Intel MacBook Pros, that’s the next level. So like I said, these laptops are, that’s why they got me excited I work with video too. So let’s see how it does with Final Cut Pro. So as I mentioned, I did edit the last video, the entire AirPods through review on the 16 inch and one Max MacBook Pro in various locations both around the studio and at home, plugged in and on battery.
And it handled it incredibly well. Like shockingly well. Keep in mind, this is 8k redcode raw footage, it’s a mix of low and medium compression shots from the V Raptor. And I’m able to bend the color and raw data and move all around the timeline and chop everything up pretty quickly and seamlessly without hiccups, just like on the desktop on the Mac Pro. So playback was in high quality instead of high performance, some getting a ton of resolution, and really only dropping a couple of frames, here and there. Again, just like the Mac Pro, one of my ways to measure if a machine is choking or struggling at all is like how long the delay is between pressing the play button, the spacebar on unrendered footage, and when it actually starts to play back. And this delay, as you can see, it’s like less than a quarter of a second. That’s as good as I’ve ever seen it in Final Cut. So the only thing that caused me any concern was that a couple times the audio waveform previews took longer to load when I was pinching and zooming into parts of the timeline, and I suspect that’s RAM related. Of course, M one Max only has 64 gigs of RAM versus the Mac Pro I’ve edited on has 768 gigs of RAM. So it makes sense that I saw a difference there. But when the Edit was finished, and it came time to export it, I of course just for fun, copy the project across multiple computers and just did the same export on all of them to see how it went. So the M one pro MacBook Pro, the 14 inch, exported the whole thing and six minutes and 40 seconds. It’s pretty good.
This expensive .28 core Mac Pro, did the same thing in five minutes and 42 seconds. And then the M one Max Mac Pro or MacBook Pro did it in four minutes, and six seconds. So the MacBook Pro, beat the Mac Pro handily at exporting the project. And it’s not even like export times really matter all that much at this level, four minutes, five minutes, whatever. But the fact that it beat the Mac Pro already is ridiculous. And I also did that while not plugged in, which doesn’t lose any performance on battery. And the battery dropped 2% from 96 to 94% while exporting so you might have heard there’s different performance profiles. And this is true on the 16 inch MacBook Pro was interesting playing with these. Most of the time I just left it on automatic because it would just do its thing. No hiccups at all and I could edit fine but when I went to go export just for fun, I turned on the 16 inches high power mode, which in theory should let the chips run full throttle more often spin up the fans a little bit more etc. I still never heard the fans ever but the export time was even faster, three minutes and 49 seconds, Jesus and on top of all that the plugin suite that I use motion VFX is updating steadily all their stuff to support Apple silicone, which is great at this point. Honestly, I think it’s a no brainer.
The travel iMac is now retired. I can safely edit everything on a laptop. But Final Cut Pro is just one use case. There’s plenty of other stuff. If you watch the verges review, they did a lot of Adobe stuff, you can check out their incredible findings with the newest version of After Effects really finally taking advantage of multi threaded GPU rendering. They also showed it outperforming the mobile RTX 3080. When editing in Premiere, there are some glowing reviews from music producers and sound designers who love having a whisper silent computer that can also process way more audio effects and that they can take with them. Apple did a great video reviewing the laptop for photographers where the M one Max laptop is importing and generating previews etc, twice as fast as 2018 MacBook Pro. And he also opens up every single app at once, and strings, a bunch of Pro Res videos all simultaneously next to each other. And you guessed it, it doesn’t even blink. Then there’s also a great tweet from a staff engineer at Reddit. The machine is cutting build times for their Android app in half. And a little napkin math says that buying a team of them, a bunch of these laptops would end up saving them a lot more money than they’d spent basically these experiences are of course all dependent on the apps you use as a professional and how optimized they are. All of Apple’s apps are the first ones to be updated right out the box. So Final Cut Pro that I use is great, but over time more of them will continue to be updated and see those gains as well. And I didn’t even talk about battery life but it does all of this high performance stuff while also being incredibly efficient. So you have the fast charging already if you want it but I found that the 16 inch with the 100 watt hour battery lasts a bit longer than the 14 inch with a 70 watt hour battery. And M one Pro will last a bit longer than M one Max turns out those GPU cores do run a little bit hotter and use more power. But ultimately, if you want the longest possible battery life that would be 16 inch, and one Pro. Nevertheless, they all get around the same battery life I found, as the M one MacBook Pro, which is to say, all day, best in class, you can still kill it in like four hours. If you’re just sitting on battery editing video in high power mode the whole time, then yeah, then you can crush it. But again, the fast charging turns out to be very useful.
So you know what, here’s the recommendation. If you are a professional that works on your laptop, and you’re on an older version, or you find yourself reaching the limits of one of these, and you’re thinking maybe you should try to look at one of these new MacBook Pros, I feel very confident saying yeah, you could pick one up and be very, very happy. I think the real choice is between m one Pro and M one Max, and 14 inch and 16 inch. Now for me, I’m going with a 16 inch and one Max, just because I take advantage of the extra GPU cores. And I wish I could go with the 14 inch maxed out, which you can max out to the same exact specs as a 16 inch with maybe just small thermal differences will perform about the same. But I really like having the bigger screen for editing video, some going maxed out big laptop, so then for M one pro vs M one Max, M one max is the most powerful, but it does Nick a bit of your battery life. So I would upgrade only if you need those extra GPU cores. And you’ll know if your apps support it. And I won’t even pretend to game on a Mac. Some people do though. And if you do, theoretically, VM one Max would also handle that better. But like I said, from the beginning, this is a tool. And it happens to be a really, really good tool at what it does. And it happens to be next level at a couple specific things that it’s been designed and optimized for. So there’s gonna be a lot of professionals like me who are really happy with these. There’s also going to be a lot of people who totally don’t need this power, but just have a lot of money to spend and just want to get a nice laptop. And it is a nice laptop. So I wouldn’t blame you. That’s fine, too. But I’m just happy I can finally say that this is I will be editing videos on a laptop, which is that’s awesome. And yeah, I haven’t been able to say something’s truly next level in a really long time. But these are it’s one of my favorite products of the year to be honest. So really, really can’t wait until the Apple silicon Mac Pro desktop, nothing is going to be wild. Either way. That’s been it for the review of the laptops. Thanks for reading. Catch you guys the next one. Peace