The new keyboard should give users a “stable key feel," the company said. "It features an Apple-designed rubber dome that stores more potential energy for a responsive key press. Critics had not liked the lack of responsiveness of the original butterfly design.
The Mac also features a six-speaker sound system and promises better battery life. The Touch Bar (and Touch ID) is part of the package, as is the T2 Security chip.
What Apple says
Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing, delivered Apple’s boilerplate statement for this release:
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“Our pro customers tell us they want their next MacBook Pro to have a larger display, blazing-fast performance, the biggest battery possible, the best notebook keyboard ever, awesome speakers and massive amounts of storage, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers all of that and more.
“With its brilliant 16-inch Retina display, 8-core processors, next-gen pro graphics, even better thermal design, new Magic Keyboard, six-speaker sound system, 100Wh battery, up to 8TB of storage and 64GB of fast memory, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the world’s best pro notebook.”
The MacBook Pro doubles the SSD storage to 512GB and 1TB on standard configurations and it can be configured with 8TB of SSD storage — the largest SSD ever in a notebook.
This also means the Mac includes powerful graphics and the largest ever Mac notebook battery (100Wh), which should deliver an additional hour of battery life.
Graphics performance is provided by the 7nm AMD Radeon Pro 5000M equipped with GDDR6 video memory with an 8GB VRAM option. Apple says users should get up to 80% faster performance than with the previous high-end Mac – good for gamers, video editors and game developers.
Of course, a bigger display, greater storage and memory capacity mean these machines pose certain power demands, and that led Apple to improve thermal design in these systems. (With typical Apple modesty, Apple calls this “the most advanced thermal architecture ever in a Mac notebook.")
“The sophisticated fan design features a larger impeller with extended blades along with bigger vents, resulting in a 28 percent increase in airflow, while the heat sink is 35 percent larger, enabling significantly more heat dissipation than before,” the company said.
Apple’s HomePod audio system development teams are clearly at work. These new Macs introduce a completely redesigned six-speaker, high-fidelity sound system the company says provides the most advanced audio experience ever in a notebook.
The system uses Apple-patented force-canceling woofers that employ dual opposed speaker drivers to reduce unwanted vibrations that distort sound. So music sounds better and bass gets deeper.
The microphone has also been improved – Apple says this now rivals the quality you get from professional grade digital mics, so podcasters will likely take an interest in these machines. I assume FaceTime conversations and online meetings will sound better, too.
Additional hardware details
Processors: 6- and 8-core 9th-generation processors with Turbo Boost speeds up to 5.0 GHz. That means you get up to around twice as fast performance than the quad-core 15-inch MacBook Pro in most pro workflows.
Memory: Up to 64GB.
Display: 500nit, P3 colour gamut, factory calibrated, 16-inch Retina Display.
Resolution: 3,072 x 1,920 and a higher pixel density of 226 ppi for nearly 6 million pixels.
Price: From $2,399. Available now online and in U.S. stores later this week.