Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro review: The best laptop on the planet just got even better for 2022 – Mark Kavanagh

I enjoyed my time with Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro, one of the fastest and most powerful computers on the planet.

I’ve been an iMac user since 2008 because I’ve always preferred the extra screen space over a laptop.

But last year I was given a high-end 2019 iMac Pro (with Intel chip) for work and I use it every day and was suitably impressed.

Then along came the MacBook Pro M1 and blew every computer I’ve ever used out of the water.

Compared to this 2019 MacBook Pro, the new model has a more powerful M1 Pro processor (just after Apple’s M1 Max chipset), an improved keyboard, an exceptional webcam, MagSafe charging, an SD card slot and an HDMI port.



The spacious MacBook Pro trackpad and keyboard

The 16-inch M1 Pro model is thicker and heavier than its predecessor, but I wouldn’t mind that.

To display

Open its aluminum chassis and you’ll be dazzled by a stunning 16.2-inch screen that produces rich, vibrant colors, crisp whites and deep blacks, not to mention an incredible 1,600 nits peak brightness for HDR content thanks to a miniLED backlight.

This incredible display allows people who work with video to work in HDR anywhere, which is a game changer.

The display is also the first on a MacBook with a 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate that makes everything smoother.



Macbook Pro

My review model came with the Apple M1 Pro chip with a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. It runs macOS Monterey out of the box.

macOS

The latest version of Apple’s Mac OS includes the ability to enjoy FaceTime video calls in a grid layout like Zoom and adds spatial audio surround sound for movies.

You also get live text recognition on photos, faster note-taking, and better privacy options for the Apple Mail app.

iOS15 features such as focus modes (a far superior ‘do not disturb’ feature) are also on board.



Macbook Pro
Enjoy FaceTime video calls in a grid layout like Zoom on MacBook Pro

If you opt for the M1 Max-powered model, you can spec it up to 64GB of RAM which will provide up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth – twice as fast as the M1 Pro and six times faster than the M1 from last year.

Both the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips have performance that rivals most competing workstation-level machines, but they only use a fraction of the power.

Battery life

The feature that impressed me the most was the incredible battery life and most powerful performance the machine is capable of even when running on battery power (which Apple says can last up to 21 hours; I reached 18 hours with an intensive test session).

I pushed it to its limits with tasks such as 8K video editing, 3D animation, running Xcode scripts and mixing audio in Logic Pro using a symphonic track that used 1600 tracks .

More day-to-day tasks like photo editing and importing 128GB of RAW image files from an SD card were an absolute breeze. And the laptop mostly works silently.



Macbook Pro
MacBook Pro M1 Pro includes MagSafe charging

Apple has updated the keyboard for the new MacBook Pro and the biggest change is the removal of the Touch Bar. You now get physical function keys for brightness, volume, and search.

You also get a more reliable Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a fantastically large Force Touch trackpad, great speakers, and a Full HD webcam that dramatically improves video call quality.

In addition to super-fast MagSafe charging, you can use USB-C, which is handy when you’re working away from home and don’t want to take the MagSafe charger with you.

Universal control

What makes this MacBook Pro even better for 2022 is the arrival of Universal Control which is included in iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3.

This awesome new feature was first announced at WWDC last June and lets you control multiple iPads and Macs using a single mouse, keyboard, and trackpad.

It’s one of the best software features Apple has ever introduced and fundamentally underpins the company’s deep integration between hardware and software.



Macbook Pro
MacBook Pro M1 Pro Ports

No configuration is required because once you run the free OS upgrades above, the feature is enabled by default. The only requirement is that your devices are signed into the same iCloud account.

You simply place your units next to each other, then move your pointer to the edge of one screen and it moves on to the next, allowing you to copy files between machines or type on a Mac with a different Mac keyboard.

For example, you can drag a photo you edited on your Mac into the Notes app on your iPad. It’s smooth, it’s fluid, it’s mind-blowing. And it’s a huge time saver in terms of productivity.

Verdict

In short, this is the best laptop on the planet (which you can spec even more if you want).

The combination of workstation-level processing power and long battery life is way ahead of any other portable machine.

Pricing

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch with 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD costs €3,439.00. The 14-inch model costs €3209 for the same specs.

Key specs (review model)

Dimensions: 248.1mm x 355.7mm x 168mm
Weight: 2.1kg
Screen: 16.2-inch Mini LED, 3456 x 2234 resolution, 254 ppi pixel density, ProMotion (120Hz refresh rate)
Processor: Apple M1 Pro
RAM: 16 GB
Storage room: 1TB SSD
Operating system: macOS 12 Monterey
Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD camera
Battery life: Until 9 p.m.
Loading: 140w USB-C
Connectivity: wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, 3x USB 4/Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.0, SD card, headphone port


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Steven L. Nielsen