Technology

Should I buy a 16-inch Macbook Pro?

2020-07-26

Daniel Martin

The Apple MacBook Pro has been the fastest and most reliable laptop since it came into the market several years ago.

I have been a MacBook Pro user for a few years now. I use it for my job. I love it. I wouldn't want to use anything else.

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch
Apple MacBook Pro 16-inchMacbook Pro with AirpodsApple MacBook Pro 16-inchApple MacBook Pro 16-inchMacbook Pro Thunderbolt 3Macbook Pro keyboardMacbook Pro keyboard
$2,399.00
$2,099.00

Some have criticized that it hasn't changed much in the latest iterations and that it is too expensive compared to similar products from Apple and other manufacturers.

Lets see what I believe are the Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • It is the fastest and most reliable laptop
  • MacOS
  • Great screen
  • Touchbar is a plus
  • Keyboard and Speakers greatly improved
Cons
  • Is expensive compared to other laptops with similar specs
  • Need to embrace Apple ecosystem to get the most out of it
  • They are due for an overhaul, it might be worth holding on.

Who should buy a MacBook Pro?

The MacBook Pro is first and foremost a laptop so there's always that factor of mobility. Is it convenient for you to be able to take your work with you?

Maybe work from home?

Do you travel a lot?

What kind of work do you do?

Is it performance-intensive like software engineering? Graphic design? Video editing?

Do you need the highest resolution?

The MacBook Pro 16-inch has the best specs on a laptop put together in a beautiful package.

If you want a Mac but just want to check your email and write a blog, you are probably fine with a MacBook Air.


I really like that I can just close the laptop and reopen it the next day and everything is just like how I left it and ready to go. There is no warming up or sleeping down time. Very productive.

Is it easy to use?

I find MacOS in general very easy to use.

I recently got a new MacBook Pro, just ran a restore from my previous one and voila the new computer has everything exactly as the old one had. Everything including all my apps documents etc, but also all my configurations network connections, passwords etc.

This process takes a bit of time, but if you have had to set up a new work computer you know how hard it can be to set it up and how time-consuming it can be. This by itself might save you one day of work (💰).

MacOS is really great. Very easy to install / uninstall apps, everything just works.

It's clean, safe to use, like we have been used to when it comes to Apple software. It has always been said that there are less viruses and malware in the Mac world. I have never been infected in my almost 10 years using Apple operating systems. That is not saying it cannot happen, you should always have antivirus software and be mindful of what gets installed.

You can keep an external hard drive for your Time Machine backups. Is something you can set up once and forget about it. It's not often you need to restore a backup. I've only actually needed to do it once and it was not because of hardware failure but because I messed up some of my files. It was easier to Time Machine back than to try to fix it in another way.

I really like that I can just close the laptop and reopen it the next day and everything is just like how I left it and ready to go. There is no warming up or sleeping time. Very productive.

It integrates with other Apple products you might have of course:

  • You can make or take phone calls from the laptop.

  • You can unlock it with your Apple Watch.

  • You can copy something in your iPhone and paste it into your MacBook. (Two factor authentication anyone?)

  • You can AirPlay into your Apple TV

The Touchbar is a nice gimmick. Is not terribly useful at first. I find that I've been using it more and more for stuff like controlling video and sound instead of just the mouse.

It takes a bit of adjusting your mindset to look for options in the bar since options are contextual and each app will present them in different ways.

I use, of course, the Touch ID fingerprint scanner to unlock with my thumb. Critics say that you should expect Face lock on this kind of high-end device.

You might need to buy Thunderbolt 3 adaptors since it is the only port it supports.

The Force Touch trackpad works as expected, it is excellent. It has been enlarged in the 2019 model.

The fact remains that if you use your laptop for your professional work and need a workhorse that can go with you wherever you need to be, then the MacBook Pro will pay for itself. I find that I am very productive with it and that it then translates into me doing better in my business or my job.

Is the 16 inch MacBook Pro good?

It feels very good. The unibody aluminum chassis still feels as premium as always.

I haven't used mine for long, so I can't really comment in respect to durability.

If past experience is of any value I would say the MacBooks can last for more than 5 years and still be in good useful conditions. I find that they don't age as fast in terms of getting slower, battery getting worse etc. I'm coming out of a 2013 model, and it was still very usable even though it had the latest OS.

Obviously, newer models are going to be better and support higher end configurations.

Battery life has improved, and also the speed at which it recharges. I don't know how long it would last on a single charge, that of course, depends on many factors.

I feel that for what I do it would probably go on for a full work day. Apps that use video seem to burn through the charge faster.

It can charge through any one of the Thunderbolt ports so you can charge it either from your left or your right. This might sound like a small thing, but once you realize this it will become evident how annoying it can be having to adjust your position to be able to charge.

The screen size is now 16 inches coming from 15. Screen resolution is 3072 x 1920. Is not a 4K screen, but it is still awesome in terms of color depth and fidelity. I connect the laptop to other screens but always use the Retina to get true color.

Specifications

  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory
  • Ultrafast SSD
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Six-speaker system with force-cancelling woofers
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
  • Up to 11 hours of battery life
  • 802.11AC Wi-Fi

How much is a Macbook Pro?

We track Amazon prices for some of the products we review. The following chart is a recent capture of lowest daily prices for a new MacBook Pro.

Price History

Should you wait for Apple Silicon ARM-based MacBooks to come out?

Well, this is a tough one. There's a lot we don't know about the Apple Silicon MacBooks. Initially expected by the fall they are now rumored to be coming out in 2021 since Apple seems to be experiencing production delays. Also it's unknown which MacBooks are going to transition first to the new architecture.

It's hard to predict whether the new ARM MacBooks are going to be faster than the current generation for all tasks. Is expected their battery life will be much better but I'm still concerned the issues with software compatibility could cause some loss of productivity. I know of people that still run some software in old Power PCs. Yes.

If I had to guess, I'll say the MacBook Pro will be last to move to the ARM-based chips.

We will have to wait and see.

Are MacBook Pros worth the money?

The Apple brand coupled with top-notch components means the highest-end MacBook Pros can be expensive.

I have mine at work coupled with an Apple Magic Keyboard and Apple Magic Mouse 2. I connect it to 2 external displays so I can easily turn it into a powerful workstation. These peripherals can add up if you are planning to buy them as well.

At the end of the day the fact remains that if you use your laptop for your professional work and need a workhorse that can go with you wherever you need to be, then the MacBook Pro will pay for itself. I find that I am very productive with it and that it then translates into me doing better in my business or my job.

If you are interested you can shop for a Macbook Pro in Amazon




FAQ

Do they come in different sizes?

No. There is the 13 inches model but that is a different computer altogether. Same as the MacBook Air is a MacBook but not a MacBook Pro.

What processor is in the MacBook Pro 16?

There is the 6-core Intel Core i7 processor and there is the Intel Core i9 processor with up to 8 cores and 16 threads of processing power

How much does a MacBook Pro 16 cost?

It starts at $2,399 for the 6-Core model and $2,799.00 for the 8-Core model, but if you time it well you can find some good discounts.

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