December 5, 2021

New MacBook Pro over $1,000: Worth the buy?

Apple revealed their new MacBook at their Apple event in late October, and it was immediately available for pre-order. 

The queue to receive the new MacBooks are still through December currently, but the question is, “Are they worth the money?”

Internals

The new MacBook has several very interesting features. Firstly, and most notably, Apple has been experimenting with creating their own central processing units (CPU’s). 

The M1 Pro and M1 Max processors are Apple’s 2nd generation of their in-house CPU’s. Apple claims that the performance on the M1 Pro alone will increase by 70% compared to their 1st generation CPU’s. The M1 Max will at least double their performance, if not more. 

For graphics, they have upgraded their integrated 8-core chips to 16, and 32 respectively based on the M1 Pro vs M1 Max. This is uncommon as most laptops have separate CPU and Graphics Units, whereas Apple has integrated the graphics into their CPU.

The CPU also has an integrated Media Engine specially designed for decoding and encoding video, making this a great option as always for video editors.

Due to some very impressive engineering at Apple, temporary memory (RAM) is a lot faster than in previous generations, and in most computers, desktop included. I won’t get into this too much as it is very complex, but this will be a huge performance increase. 

The screen itself is very impressive as it has very high sustained brightness levels allowing for very accurate colors which is extremely beneficial for graphic designers. Apple has always been known for their screens in the past, though; this is no exception. And all sizes of the screen are just short of 4k resolution.  

Externals

Apple has listened to customers about the lack of inputs on the outside of their devices. They have brought back headphone jacks, an HDMI port, a SD card slot, three thunderbolt four ports, and a MagSafe port. 

The MagSafe port allows it to charge up to 50% of the battery capacity in 30 minutes, and the headphone jack allows for high impedance headphones possibly allowing audiophiles to no longer require external amplifiers. 

The 14-inch models will provide 17 hours of battery life of video playback and the 16-inch models can last for 21 hours. 

Everything mentioned so far is essentially groundbreaking for laptops and is the peak you can get from a laptop by a large margin. 

Pricing

Apple’s pricing has never quite been competitive, but all these new features are going to cost the customers a lot of money. 

The 14-inch base model starts at $1,999 and that is without any upgrades. The 16-inch models start with slightly better core-specs, but they still start at $2,499. Upgrade any part of the computer and expect a minimum of a $300 increase in price. 

Conclusion

Apple has produced an incredible laptop that will last for years to come for customers who want to buy it. For video editors and for graphic designers, buying this laptop is an easy decision. 

At the end of the day, it’s a struggle to say whether regular Apple consumers should buy it.

“I was already planning to buy a MacBook to replace my cheap laptop and then I got an unexpected scholarship, so I decided to treat myself and buy one of the brand-new ones,” said Allison Wallace, Business/ Computer Science double major at Capital University. 

The above quote is exactly how I feel about it. If you’re an Apple user who really likes Apple products and wants a solid laptop for years to come, take the plunge. But otherwise, if you’re using your laptop for just watching YouTube and doing homework, I find it easier to recommend another cheaper $400-$700 laptop that will last you another few years to come. 

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