MacBook Pro Overview Updated March 18, 2021

MacBook Pro: The biggest and baddest Mac laptops

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895 'MacBook Pro' stories

August 2010 - September 2021

MacBook Pro has been the product name for Apple’s high-end laptop since early 2006 when the transition to Intel processors began. It has a storied history with many different models, and has lived through at least distinguishable generations. Here’s everything you need to know about the MacBook Pro at a high level, including a brief history and look at the most recent models.

MacBook Pro history

The aluminum build of the first generation models was significant, while the second generation took that innovation to the next level with a metal unibody. Then, the third generation MacBook Pro line introduced the famed Retina display, while the fourth generation brought the infamous Touch Bar and USB-C ports. The fifth generation models brought back the Magic Keyboard after years of Butterfly Keyboard madness, and the most recent sixth generation models brought the laptops into modern times with Apple Silicon.

Current generation 16-inch MacBook Pro

In November of 2019, Apple released a new high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro which replaced the 15-inch lineup. The model brings the return of the scissor switch mechanism with a ‘Magic Keyboard’, a six-speaker system, up to 8-core processor, and up to 64GB RAM.

In a statement, Apple VP Tom Boger described it as featuring a “larger display, blazing-fast performance, the biggest battery possible, the best notebook keyboard ever, awesome speakers and massive amounts of storage”.

The laptop brought a larger display, great performance, the biggest battery physically possible (literally — it’s the largest battery you can still carry on a plane), and high performance speakers. The keyboard is great, bringing back the inverted T arrow key.

While it’s not an Apple Silicon model (those are rumored to be coming later), Apple improved the thermal performance in the 16-inch model. The new models feature 6- and 8-core CPUs and up to 64GB RAM, and GPUs that offer up to 2.1 times faster graphics performance than the previous standard configuration.

Apple is claiming this is the first notebook in the world to offer an 8 TB option for internal storage. As standard, it now comes with 512GB SSD — double the previous generation. With the release of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple discontinued the older 15-inch model.

16-inch pricing

There are two main base models for the 16-inch MacBook Pro: an i7 model with 512GB of storage and an i9 model with 1TB of storage. You can check Amazon prices below, or configure your own at Apple.

16-inch MacBook Pro i7 (Check Amazon)

  • 2.6GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
  • 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • 512GB of SSD storage¹
  • 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

16-inch MacBook Pro i9 (Check Amazon)

  • 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
  • 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • 1TB of SSD storage¹
  • 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

Current-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple recently refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and with that refresh came one of the biggest changes to Apple’s lineup of laptops in quite some time: Apple Silicon. For right now, the difference between the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 16-inch model are pretty major, and it all comes down to how the laptops fare in CPU performance. Both in raw performance and heat/battery consumption, the 13-inch models are better.

13-inch pricing

There are two main models for the 13-inch MacBook Pro: an M1 model with an 8-core CPU and 256GB of storage, and an M1 model with an 8 core CPU and 512GB of storage.

13-inch MacBook Pro 256GB (Check Amazon)

  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
  • 8GB unified memory
  • 256GB SSD storage¹
  • 13-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports

13-inch MacBook Pro 512GB (Check Amazon)

  • Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
  • 8GB unified memory
  • 512GB SSD storage¹
  • 13-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports

Differences between 13-inch and 16-inch models

In terms of size, the 16-inch is noticeably larger and heavier. In addition to the overall increase in footprint to accommodate the larger display, the 16-inch model is also around 1-pound heavier. You will notice slightly smaller bezels on the 16-inch model compared to the 13-inch. Here are all of the details:

Both the 13-inch and 16-inch are available in silver and space gray.

As mentioned, the biggest difference between the two MacBook Pro models sold by Apple is the CPU. Apple Silicon is a whole new ballgame, and until Apple launches a 16-inch model with the M1 or M2 chip, you might want to hold off on buying the larger one.

There’s also the display: the 16-inch MacBook Pro features a resolution of 3072×1920, which equates to a density of 226 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The 13-inch MacBook Pro features a resolution of 2560×1600, which equates to a density of 227 pixels-per-inch (PPI). Both displays feature things like Apple’s True Tone display technology for adaptable color temperature, a P3 color gamut, and more.

Perhaps a more apt comparison — apples to apples, no pun intended — would be the 13-inch MacBook Pro compared to the 13-inch MacBook Air. Both sport the M1 chip, and you can read about the differences here.

MacBook Pro Stories Yesterday

Apple’s September event included the unveiling of iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, the redesigned iPad mini 6, and more. However, there were a number of things absent. Let’s look at everything Apple didn’t announce at its iPhone 13 event.

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Samsung could be showing future MacBook Pro displays for 14- and 16-inch models

An announcement by Samsung may be revealing future MacBook Pro displays – but not for the models we’re expecting to see later this year …

MacBook Pro Stories September 14

We’re finally headed into the fall Apple product releases, so perhaps you’re thinking about upgrading your suite of personal devices — or maybe you want to help a loved one do so. Whatever it is you’re planning to buy — a new iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device — it’s not an uncommon problem to not know what to do with the old devices you have laying around. Why not get some cash for them? The best trade deals for September 2021 below…

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MacBook Pro Stories September 12

While Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 on Tuesday, it has additional announcements in store for later this fall. Perhaps most notably, this includes the long-awaited 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros powered by the M1X processor. A new report today indicates those machines could be available in “the next several weeks.”

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MacBook Pro Stories September 7

While all eyes are focused on the iPhone 13 and the Apple Event rumored for this month, DigiTimes Asia reports that LED suppliers for the upcoming MacBook Pro are saying shipments are on schedule.

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MacBook Pro Stories September 2

Looking to add more screen real estate to your Mac that’s easy to use at home, work, or on the go? Whether you want to make use of your iPad or would rather pick up a dedicated portable monitor, read along for a look at the best portable displays for MacBooks.

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A pair of new reports from Digitimes this morning claims to offer new details on production timelines for two highly anticipated new products from Apple this fall. According to the reports, new M1X-powered MacBook Pros are expected to launch later in the fall, while the Apple Watch Series 7 is slated for mass production at the end of September.

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MacBook Pro Stories September 1

Apple’s M1 MacBooks bring some major performance gains and at first glance, the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro seem quite similar. They have the same CPU/GPU, same ports, same FaceTime camera, and more. However, let’s take a closer look at the M1 MacBook Air vs Pro to see what differentiates the two to help you decide which to buy.

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MacBook Pro Stories August 24

A leaker with a good track record says that the upcoming Apple Silicon 14-inch MacBook Pro CPU will be identical to that of the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

This would represent a significant shift from Intel Macs, where Apple had reserved the fastest processors for the larger machines …

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MacBook Pro Stories August 17

USB-C/Thunderbolt display options have really grown over the last couple of years. While Apple is making its own monitor again with the Pro Display XDR, it’s not the best fit for the majority of Mac users with a starting price of $5,000 (without a stand). Let’s take a look at some of the best USB-C/Thunderbolt displays available in the $400-$1,300 range.

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MacBook Pro Stories August 14

Rumors suggest that Apple will ditch the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar in its new entry. While we still have to wait and see whether this will happen, a new concept imagines the Touch Bar replaced as an Apple Pencil case inside the computer.

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MacBook Pro Stories August 9

If you’re waiting impatiently for the upcoming M1X-powered MacBook Pro machines, a new supply-chain report says that 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro production is now underway.

There’s still no certainty as to when the new machines will go on sale, however …

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MacBook Pro Stories August 2

As rumors about the upcoming M1X MacBook Pro continue to gain steam, new MacBook models running macOS 12 Monterey have appeared in Eurasian Economic Commission filings. As spotted by French site Consomac, Apple has filed two new Macs numbered A2442 and A2485 with the regulators.

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How much is your MacBook Pro worth right now?

The MacBook Pro is one of Apple’s most popular laptops, and for good reason. With the exception of some keyboard stumbles and minor issues throughout the years, it’s certainly one of the best computers for professionals of all kinds. But as is the case with any other device we own, there comes a time to sell it or trade it in for an upgrade. In this article, we’re going to help you understand which MacBook Pro you have and check on its trade in value…

MacBook Pro Stories July 30

There have been multiple reports of M1 MacBook screen cracks occurring during normal usage of the machines, with both the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro affected.

In some cases, Apple has repaired or replaced the machines free of charge, while most other users have been charged …

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MacBook Pro Stories July 28

Rumors have long suggested that Apple is working on a new MacBook Pro refresh with Apple Silicon on the inside, a new design, and much more. As rumors gain steam about a release later this year, many would-be MacBook Pro buyers are debating whether to buy now or wait. Here’s what we recommend.

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MacBook Pro Stories July 18

In today’s Power On newsletter, Bloomberg Mark Gurman discusses the availability of the new MacBook Pro with miniLED display, expected to be announced from September to November. Head below for the full details.

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MacBook Pro Stories July 12

A new round of rumors claims to offer more details about what to expect from Apple’s forthcoming Apple Silicon MacBook Pro overhaul. According to YouTuber Luke Miani, the new MacBook Pros will feature SD card slot with high-speed UHS-II support and an illuminated Touch ID button for the first time, but could be limited to 32GB of RAM.

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MacBook Pro Stories July 11

Apple’s new line of M1 Macs, but as we approach one year since these first computers were unveiled, what else are you looking forward to the most in your next MacBook? Head below to let us know in a poll…

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After years of customers complaining, it appears that Apple has finally listened to and, from now on, all the new Macs will feature a 1080p FaceTime camera, which means the redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and all other Macs launched by the company will feature a better camera.

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MacBook Pro Stories July 9

Apple has claimed in a new interview that the M1 MacBook battery life was so good they originally thought the battery indicator was buggy, failing to respond as the remaining life fell.

The claim is made by Apple marketing VP Bob Borchers, who also suggests that future generations of Apple Silicon might be good enough to turn Macs into gaming machines …

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Every day, more rumors suggest that Apple will indeed introduce new, redesigned MacBook Pro models later this year. In a new research note obtained by 9to5Mac, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reinforces that new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros will enter mass production in the third quarter of 2021.

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MacBook Pro Stories July 8

Apple’s controversial Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro is reportedly in its final days, according to some recent rumors. What do you think about the OLED bar on the Macs?

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MacBook Pro Stories July 7

Apple is widely expected to unveil an all-new MacBook Pro lineup as soon as sometime this summer with upgraded Apple Silicon processors, a new design, and more. Another of the rumored changes is that Apple will drop the controversial Touch Bar in favor of a traditional function row, and now, analysts at Display Supply Chain Consultants are corroborating this.

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