Mon. Dec 6th, 2021

Apple’s newest MacBook Professional redesign guarantees huge enhancements in efficiency and battery life, however is it an excellent funding for professionals?


The brand new 2021 MacBook Professional in 14″ and 16″ fashions. 

Picture: Apple

Apple shocked everybody with the announcement of a second fall occasion at which it launched a number of new merchandise, nevertheless it was the 2021 MacBook Professional that stole the present. 

The brand new MacBook Professional has all the standard upgrades you’d anticipate from a brand new era of laptop computer: higher display screen, improved reminiscence, sooner onerous drives and the like. It isn’t these issues that make the brand new MacBook Professional thrilling, although.

It is the brand new chips, the M1 Professional and M1 Max, the place the brand new MacBook Professional actually shines. The huge efficiency boosts that each new chips supply is certain to be of curiosity to professionals, and a few could moderately query interrupting their improve cycle with the discharge of this beast of a machine. 

What’s the 2021 MacBook Professional?

The earlier replace to the MacBook Professional was a giant deal internally (with the addition of the Apple Silicon M1), however not a lot modified that was noticeable to customers. Complaints from earlier generations (just like the Contact Bar and lack of ports) went nowhere, and Professional customers have been in the end left wanting extra.

Take into account the 2021 MacBook Professional to be Apple saying, “Yeah, we heard you.”

The contact bar is gone, and as an alternative is a good looking, full-sized row of operate keys. The brand new Professional is all the way down to solely three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, however that is not a nasty factor if you understand what’s returned: different, extra helpful ports that do not require a dongle.

SEE: Extra must-read Apple protection (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

To the left of the keyboard sits a good looking sight: A MagSafe jack, two USB-C ports, and a headphone jack that helps high-impedance headphones. To the fitting is one other USB-C port, together with an HDMI port and an SDXC Card slot. That is proper: You’ll be able to lastly put that dongle in a desk drawer to gather mud.

Along with these adjustments, the brand new era of MacBook Professional, which is available in 16″ and 14″ fashions, can also be getting a giant enhance in measurement due to the discount in bezels. In comparison with the earlier MacBook Professional mannequin, the 2021 model has 24% thinner facet bezels and a 60% thinner prime bezel. That large discount on prime comes with a tradeoff: There is a digicam bump on the prime of the display screen now. Fortunately, Apple made good use of that bump and, like on newer iPhones, put the menu bar apart the notch to offer extra display screen actual property for apps. 

The entrance digicam, which sits in that notch, has acquired an enormous enhance to 1080p. It additionally has twice the low-light efficiency and makes use of machine studying to reinforce visible high quality. A brand new three-mic array with a 60% decrease noise ground can also be included, as is a six-speaker sound system with new woofers that Apple mentioned present 80% extra bass and might go half an octave deeper than its earlier woofer design. 


2021 MacBook Professional 14″

2021 MacBook Professional 16″


0.61″x 12.31″x 8.71″

0.66″ x 14.01″ x 9.77″ 


3.5 lbs

4.7 lbs w/M1 Professional, 4.8 lbs w/M1 Max


14.2″ Liquid Retina XRD show at 3024×1964 w/ ProMotion refresh charges as much as 120 Hz

16.2″ Liquid Retina XRD show at 3456×2234 w/ ProMotion refresh charges as much as 120 Hz


M1 Professional or M1 Max w/numerous configuration choices

M1 Professional or M1 Max w/numerous configuration choices


16GB w/ 32GB choice for M1 Professional and Max or 65GB for M1 Max

16GB w/ 32GB choice for M1 Professional and Max or 64 GB for M1 Max


512GB, choice for 1TB, 2TB, 4TB or 8TB

512GB, choice for 1TB, 2TB, 4TB or 8TB


3x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI port, SDXC card port, MagSafe 3

3x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI port, SDXC card port, MagSafe 3


Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Battery and charging

70-watt-hour LiPo battery, 17 hours video playback, 11 hours wi-fi internet

100-watt-hour LiPo battery, 21 hours video playback, 14 hours wi-fi internet

The largest new characteristic: M1 Professional and M1 Max Apple Silicon chips

The M1 chip has been a profitable endeavor for Apple, and the announcement of two new variations of the M1 system-on-a-chip (SoC) is a glimpse into the way forward for Apple’s silicon creation capabilities that, if the pattern continues, will likely be spectacular. 

The brand new era of MacBook Execs comes with the M1 Professional and M1 Max chips, each of which blow the unique M1 out of the water by way of efficiency. 

The M1 Professional, for instance, has 3 times the reminiscence bandwidth of the M1, with speeds able to reaching 200 GB/s, Apple mentioned. As well as, the M1 Professional helps as much as 32 GB of unified reminiscence, has twice the variety of transistors, has a 10-core CPU with 70% sooner efficiency over the M1 and a 16-core GPU with twice the graphics efficiency. 

SEE: Methods to migrate to a brand new iPad, iPhone, or Mac (TechRepublic Premium)

Unhappy with making the M1 appear out of date, the M1 Max was additionally created for this new era of MacBook Professional. It improves on the Professional by providing double the reminiscence bandwidth (400 GB/s), a 32-core GPU with 4 occasions the efficiency of the M1 and as much as 64 GB of unified reminiscence.

For these not excited about summary numbers, Apple supplies this useful technique to visualize what these chips are able to. The M1 Professional can assist as much as 20 streams of 4K ProRes video playback, and the M1 Max can deal with as much as seven streams of 8K ProRes video. 

Apple calls the brand new MacBook Execs “supercharged.” Absent a hands-on, the specs (if correct) appear to assist that declare. 

Is the 2021 MacBook Professional an excellent laptop computer for professionals?

With every new laptop computer, smartphone and pill launched the query is similar: Are the brand new options and efficiency upgrades price the price of upgrading? With all that Apple has delivered to the brand new MacBook Professional by way of design adjustments and options there is a compelling case to be made for upgrading, significantly should you’re knowledgeable consumer handicapped by the drawbacks of earlier fashions, like an absence of ports.

SEE: 10 important apps and utilities to your Mac (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Mikako Kitagawa, analysis director at Gartner, echoes these sentiments. “These merchandise are excellent for the inventive skilled who has been ready for an M1 system,” Kitagawa mentioned. She additionally mentioned that the efficiency enhance of the brand new M1 chips was spectacular, and would possibly even be a cause for individuals who at present personal an M1 MacBook to purchase the most recent Professional fashions regardless.

It is not simply inventive professionals who could make good use of the brand new MacBook Execs with the M1 Professional and M1 Max: Anybody who wants excessive efficiency computing in a small bundle will discover a good match within the 2021 MacBook Professional, Kitagawa mentioned. 

A lot of the choice to improve could come down to cost, and these machines (like earlier MacBook Professional fashions earlier than them) aren’t low cost. The 14″ mannequin begins at $1,999 and the 16″ at $2,499, making them a hefty buy, particularly should you’re nonetheless paying off final 12 months’s M1 MacBook Professional. 

Nonetheless, the efficiency boosts that Apple is promoting are fairly thoughts blowing, and will open up a brand new world of moveable high-performance computing for professionals of all stripes, be they information analysts or graphic designers.

When will the 2021 MacBook Professional be out there?

events can place an order for a brand new MacBook Professional now, and the machines will likely be usually out there beginning October 26, 2021. 

Two colours can be found, Silver and House Gray, and each fashions can assist the M1 Professional and M1 Max, in addition to having the identical new options and enhancements. You are free to choose the options, with the one actual distinction being how massive a display screen you need.

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