Apple changed the computing world forever with the MacBook Pro 16” and our team has been using this device for a while so thought it was time to produce a MacBook Pro 16" review.
- Immersive Sound
- Awesome Display Size
- Powerful Performance
- Visually Stunning
- Improved Keyboard
- Battery life for basic tasks
- Touch ID
- High performance can lead to excessive heat
- Not self-upgradable
- Only has USB-C and Headphone port
- Battery Life when doing performance heavy tasks
Skip to the bottom for the final overview.
The Macbook Pro 16”
The hype surrounding the release of the MacBook Pro 16” was unprecedented. Apple fans and even non-fans were anxiously awaiting the release of the speculated 16” display screen. Our team followed the rumors for months and were ecstatic when this powerhouse became available on the Apple Store in late 2019 with the base model at $2,399.
The 16” Macbook Pro has been our everyday laptop since it launched and we can honestly say that we have not had one issue with it. There are some cons that we have noted and that is only because some people have certain requirements on a laptop, but in our opinion, this laptop should be given full credit.
Apple seems to have fixed any issues that were present on previous Macbooks and listened to their consumers. We will get more into that as the review proceeds though.
As you can see below, these are the 2 current base model options that Apple has available on their website. Of course, these models are upgradable as you proceed through the checkout but unless you demand high-power & performance, you will get everything you need and more from the 2.6GHz base model.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty so you can fully understand what the Macbook Pro 16” does.
MacBook Pro 16” Keyboard
Ah the magic keyboard… Where should we begin?
We think magic is the best term to describe the keyboard given it’s performance.
Apple reinvented the keyboard design with a scissor mechanism and shorter travel distance at only 1mm. You can read all the technical aspects you want but you will never fully understand the feel of this keyboard until you lay your fingertips on it.
Let’s break it down.
Responsiveness – The keys react imminently to touch and there is not even a split second of a delay when typing. The touch bar is equally the same, the functions work efficiently, and the touch responds instantly.
Noise – We have used every Macbook from the beginning and this is by far the quietest we have typed on. The worst thing about typing in public is when you can hear every key being smashed into the laptop to the point where you can hear what other people are typing!
This Macbook Pro 16” magic keyboard has exceptional cushioning under each which makes every touch feel like stepping on a cloud. You can type away to your heart’s content without disturbing anyone else with a noisy typing strategy.
Flow – Workflow is exceptional on this keyboard. Combining the comforting touch of the keyboard with the responsiveness of the touch bar, you can really achieve your output. The touch bar will give you all the suggestions you need when typing which allows you to edit, replace, add emojis, and more to your text.
Layout – The layout feels unique and well thought out. All the keys have ample space and allow for no mistakes when typing. The only thing we would mention as a personal note is the touch bar position. We feel as though it is too close to the keys which results in some accidental touches.
Feel – The keyboard is probably our favorite keyboard on a Macbook, period. We can type away for hours and not feel any strain or uncomfortableness. The keys just flow from your fingertips and you are blissfully unaware that you are typing. If you are the type that writes extensively then you don’t want to pass up this keyboard.
Fingerprint – The fingerprint ID works effortlessly and you probably wouldn’t even notice it was there if you weren’t looking for it. The touchpad doubles up as a button to power off/sleep/restart/wake your MacBook and the fingerprint ID will allow you to add extra security whilst also being able to make payments with Apple Pay.
Pros of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” Keyboard
- Visually Pleasing
- Well Designed
Cons of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” Keyboard
- Touch bar too close to keys
Final Keyboard Rating
MacBook Pro 16” Speakers
Do you remember the feeling when you first went to the movie theatre and experienced the immersive audio of the huge wall speakers?
The Macbook Pro 16” speakers are basically that experience reimagined and compacted into a laptop. We couldn’t believe how good the speakers were when we first turned them on and blasted some music out.
You can easily play music from the MacBook and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between soundbars and smart home speakers. Listen to every piano key, a guitar strum, and vocal note with clarity or if you prefer, experience a club-like sound with full bass that will make you get up and move.
If you watch a movie on the laptop then the sound will be so good, you will feel like you are in the movie. The bass doesn’t vibrate or pound the MacBook thanks to the force canceling woofers, instead, you will experience high bass without the intrusion.
Don’t just take our word for it though, buy one for yourself!
Pros of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” Speakers
- Loud Volume Control
- Deep Bass
- The subwoofer doesn’t affect the case by shaking
Cons of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” Speakers
- Just our opinion but we would prefer the speakers in a different position
Our initial thought on the battery of this powerhouse was that it was excellent, however, we soon found some flaws.
The team tested the battery with multiple different scenarios and rated the performance & battery longevity.
The first scenario was writing articles for 8 hours straight, like a full workday. The process involved using multiple tabs in Google Chrome, searching for videos, writing on Google Docs, and doing research. At the end of the 8 hours, we still had 35% battery left which was incredible. There was no noticeable drop in performance here.
The second scenario was playing a game for as long as possible. We tested Cities Skylines and within 1 hour, we were already on 20% battery. This is expected when it comes to gaming without plugging a laptop in, however, it was still disappointing. Again, there were no performance issues, no settings had been altered on the game, and everything ran as expected.
The third scenario was photo/video editing for as long as possible. We tested Affinity photo and Adobe Premiere with this scenario. The battery seemed to last around 3 hours before running out of juice which is fairly impressive when it comes to editing and processing. There was some minor lag in performance but this could have been with the Mac plugged in too, so really nothing noticeable.
Overall the battery is very impressive and if you are someone that works from a laptop with non-demanding tasks, you could get a full workday without the need for a charger. Just for comparison sake, we tested the same thing against the MacBook Pro Early 2015 which only lasted 5 hours compared to the full 11 of the MacBook Pro 16”.
Pros of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” Battery
- Long Life for less-demanding tasks
- Performance is not compromised
Cons of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” Battery
- Sucks for gaming
- A high CPU will drain the battery in no time.
Unpopular opinion but we feel as though Apple has been a bit restrictive with the ports on the MacBook Pro 16”.
Understandably the world is moving towards USB-C but there is no port to support any older USB versions. The MacBook doesn’t have a slot for any form of SD card and there is no HDMI slot for video connection.
To us it seems very lazy not to include these extra slots and also a way of encouraging more accessory purchases from the tech giant.
Nevertheless, the USB-C ports are extremely fast and do the job.
Pros of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” ports
- Fast speeds with USB-C
- Plenty of ports for USB-C
Cons of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” ports
- No other USB ports
- No HDMI slot
- No SD card slot
It would be stating the obvious if we were to say that this MacBook is heavy. When you look at the hardware and display size, it would be near impossible to make this MacBook Pro a lightweight one, after all, that’s what the MacBook Air is for!
Now we wouldn’t recommend traveling around with this MacBook unless you had a specifically designed carry case or backpack for 17” inch laptops. Even with a case, the laptop will take its toll on your shoulders and back, you are carrying around 4.3 pounds alone, without any other equipment.
We don’t think that this a negative point to make because with great power comes great weight & size….
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Display & Graphics
They say that size doesn’t matter but with the 16” MacBook Pro, we beg to differ. With reduced bezels around the outer edge, Apple has managed to provide us with a 16” inch display without making it into a TV screen.
The layout of the screen is stunning and really flows with the eye. It is almost similar to recent iPhone models where the screen flows off the phone (the MacBook doesn’t do this FYI). When the screen is on, you can see every application in a full wide-screen view, movies look amazing, web pages fill the screen perfectly, and there is nothing bad to say.
Despite the fact that this MacBook doesn’t have a 4k Resolution (We know, it sucks) the quality of the display is excellent. The colors are dynamic and everything that is displayed is just nice to look at.
The Graphics really do a good job when it comes to gaming. Although we don’t really recommend the MacBook Pro 2016” as a gaming laptop, it can still produce some awesome results. Although it’s not hugely demanding on the graphics, playing Fortnite for 4 hours straight on maximum settings is no problem at all.
Pros of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” Display & Graphics
- High-quality display
- Excellent design
- Full Wide-screen experience
- Perfect for movies and videos
- Can run good quality on most games
Cons of the MacBook Pro 2019 16” Display & Graphics
- No 4k resolution
- Can be flimsy when compared with the Chassy
If you are an Apple fan then you won’t even need to read this section as you will already know the cost of Apple products is enormous.
As you can see in the image below, Apple does have a base model available at the lowest price of $2,399. For some people that can be a year’s worth of public transport, 7 PS4’s, multiple iPhones, and we could go on. But then you also have the high-spec option which is $2,799 for a physically noticeable difference.
Now those prices are just the standard starting price, these machines can be upgraded and cost thousand’s more, especially if you want huge storage, accessories, more RAM, etc. Since Apple has limited personal upgrade options, your only option is to pay this when you purchase, resulting in a very expensive laptop.
We tested the 2 models that are in the picture below and then an upgraded model. There was barely any differences we could notice between the 2 base models, except for the price. The high-spec one that we upgraded performed tasks slightly faster and obviously we ran these MacBook computers through various tests for graphics, CPU, heat, performance, multi-tasking, but we won’t share the results of that here.
Whilst the upgraded MacBook did perform tasks smooth and fast, we would only recommend that you purchase anything other than the $2,399 model if you need a performance heavy machine. Perfect for video producers, graphic designers, and any tasks/jobs that will require extensive power to run continuously.
Is the MacBook Pro 16” worth the price?
Our opinion is no laptop should ever cost that much money, however, out of every MacBook release ever, this is our favorite, and that justifies the price for us.
Whilst the design is excellent, for some reason this MacBook seems to attract heavy amounts of dust. We recommend purchasing some covers/protectors and cleaning down regularly.
When performing heavy tasks such as gaming, the underside, and case above the touch bar of the MacBook Pro will become very hot. Apple said that they have improved the cooling system with this new model, however, to us it seems worse. You will get a loud fan noise in addition to this.
Final Summary Review for the MacBook Pro 16” (2019)
Overall this MacBook completely blew us away. The display is wide and beautiful which allows for ample space when reading, typing, watching videos, and editing. A little disappointing that there is no 4K but that shouldn’t take away from the great job Apple did with this design.
The battery lasts a good 11 hours when performing moderate tasks but depletes within 3 if you are gaming/editing. Performance is exceptional and we haven’t noticed any issues, even 4 months on from release. The updated keyboard has brought back our love for typing and complements the widescreen display.
The only major downsides would be the extensive price of the MacBook and the lack of ports (4 USB-C and headphone jack). However, overall this doesn’t compare to everything you gain from using this MacBook.
Final Overall Rating
Our team highly recommend that you get this MacBook for use if you need a:
- MacBook for Work
- MacBook for everyday use
You can purchase the MacBook Pro 16" from these stores, please note that each model has different specs and prices will vary:
Best Buy – Apple MacBook Pro 16"
Adorama – Apple MacBook Pro 2019
Apple – Apple MacBook Pro