Full disclosure: I’m what tech nerds and audiophiles would call ‘the Ralph Wiggam of technology’. I’m the person who marvels when my AirPods Max headphones pair seamlessly with my iPhone and then my laptop—yes, the two-decade-old Bluetooth technology is still a mystery to me.
There have even been times when I felt like I could just look at a computer and it would shut down, as if it’s so offended by my lack of knowledge that it can’t even be in the same room as me.
In an effort to face my fear of tech, I figured I’d review the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. Consider this exposure therapy, if you will.
I was instantly amazed as I tried out new features, and continued to be amazed with each week that went by. So much so, that I’ve injected a few tech-isms in this review and upgraded my Simpsons character affiliate from Ralph to Millhouse.
Without further ado, here’s what I love about the 16-inch MacBook Pro:
In my role, I’m either chained to my desk on deadline, out of the office for meetings and interviews, or working from the couch as a “weekend treat”. Thank the Apple Gods for this Mac’s game-changing on-battery performance. I’ve enjoyed up to 11 hours of wireless browsing and the charging power takes me from 0 to 50 percent in just half an hour – winning!
Apple hasn’t left any creatives off the Christmas list this year. Photographers will love how easy it is to ingest, cull, batch edit, duplicate, and store massive project photos on device while on a shoot. Photo editors will love the post-production features for the level of capability when it comes to colour grading thanks to machine-learning.
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Those working in visual effects will love it too, due to how it handles 3D VFX workflows using unified memory architecture—which is a fancy way of saying it does stuff that even the latest pro PC laptops can’t do.
Producers and musos: Apple’s got you. The MacBook Pro allows users to load and use huge sample libraries while mixing, thanks to the 64GB of unified memory. Also, the feature of limitless reverbs in Logic Pro means limitless creativity!
And video professionals can play back up to seven streams of 8K ProRes video simultaneously, then transcode media up to 13 times faster than before.
Given the kind of access I get to advanced music streams and embargoed announcements, Touch ID, which scans your fingerprint, is a game-changer. On this new MacBook it now has a metallic ring to aid touch recognition, and I can log in swiftly so as to not interrupt my workflow.
One of COVID-19’s odd byproducts means video calls are now the norm in the workplace. It took me a whole pandemic year to discover the Zoom filter but I won’t be needing it anymore.
The MacBook’s camera has been completely redesigned using a 1080p FaceTime HD camera that lets in more light, removes graininess and increases sharpness.
Hi-fi speakers (there’s like six of them) use an advanced Apple-designed virtualiser and Dolby Atmos to make you feel like you’re in the music you’re listening to, or in the video you’re watching—all without the need for headphones. The studio-quality in-built microphone means you come out clear as day on the other too, an added bonus.
I previously had a few adapters connected to my MacBook so I could connect my external keyboard, my mouse, my headphones and my Apple Watch charger to my laptop. It was a mess.
The new MacBook Pro has a bunch of ports: an SDXC card slot, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, Wi-Fi 6, a headphone jack, MagSafe 3 to support fast charge, and external display support so you can drive up to three Pro Display XDRs and a 4K TV.
Anyone who is in a creative field knows that technology should never get in your way, it should 10x your creativity. That’s what the new MacBook Pro does.
Its display, audio, accessibility, unified memory and battery-sipping features boost your workflow and make for one monumental update to the beloved MacBook. Onya Apple!Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.Subscribe to Rolling Stone magazineSubscribe to Rolling Stone magazine