MacBook Pro Diary: M1 Max 16-inch MacBook Pro first impressions

By Ben Lovejoy

November 2, 2021

My shiny new Mac arrived on Friday, so after a couple of days of fairly extensive use, it’s time to give my M1 Max 16-inch MacBook Pro first impressions.

I haven’t used it for anything too taxing as yet, so this piece covers what I think of the design, the screen – including that infamous notch – the heat management, and an early look at real-world battery life…

The design of the MacBook Pro has also been completely redesigned, now featuring thinner bezels albeit with a notch housing the webcam. The mini-LED display has more pixels, supports high contrast and 1600 nits of peak brightness, and also runs at 120Hz with ProMotion technology. The MacBook Pro now also features a HDMI port, SD card reader, and MagSafe for magnetic charging.

When it came to buying it, I did hesitate a little on the spec, before opting for an almost maxed-out model.

If I were going to replace Macs every three years, that would make it tougher to justify the premium for a top-spec model, as you never recover the price difference on resale.

With just a few days of macOS Monterey before my new machine arrived, I didn’t bother to update my old one (I never do Mac betas!), so that may be the reason why the M1 Mac didn’t recognise the Intel one when connected via a Thunderbolt cable.

But even with almost 3TB of data, the migration from a Time Machine backup wasn’t too bad: around seven hours from a 7200rpm spinning metal drive over USB3.