Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch (2024, M2 Max) Review

Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch (2024, M2 Max) Review

Written by Sophie Robertson, In Gadgets, Updated On
May 26th, 2024
, 785 Views

The only difference between the 2023 Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch and the 2021 MacBook Pro 16 is that the 2023 model has a new chip inside. And to clarify something, there is no good reason to buy the 2023 model if you already have the 2021 model. Too many people were not planning to do that. But if you were thinking about it, take this as a friendly nudge in your direction. Your $2,500-plus 2021 model is still acceptable.

Now that we’ve answered the simple question, we can discuss more exciting and less simple things.

We have used several benchmarks on the 2023 MacBook Pro 16 (I got a $4,299 M2 Max model with a 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, 64GB of memory, and 2TB of storage, with eight performance cores and four efficiency cores), and we will show you all the numbers that we got.

Even so, we have thoughts about those numbers, and you probably clicked on this article to find out what they are. We will compare the M2 Max and the M1 Max and then compare the M2 Max and the M2 Pro.

Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch (2023, M2 Max) Specs –

Alright. Take out your calculator and look at the charts below carefully. When you’re ready, let’s start talking about this.

Laptop ClassBusiness, Workstation
ProcessorApple M2 Max
Screen Size16.2 inches
Panel TechnologyMini LED
RAM (as Tested)96 GB
Graphics ProcessorApple M2 Max (38-core)

Important update to the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch

The most significant update to the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch is the adoption of Apple’s M2 processor family, their newest in-house-developed CPUs. Our testing model was equipped with the more powerful M2 Max processor, but you also have the more moderate M2 Pro option.

  • The cheapest Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch costs $2,499 and is equipped with a 12-core M2 Pro processor, 19-core GPU, 16GB of unified memory, and 512GB of SSD storage.
  • The 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, three Thunderbolt 4 connections, an HDMI port, an SDXC card slot, a MagSafe 3 charging port, and every other feature we’ll cover below are all included in this Apple laptop.
  • Our evaluation model is based on Apple’s top-tier configuration, which includes the M2 Max. This chip is also manufactured using a 5-nanometer technology, like the other M2 chips, but it also has a 38-core GPU, twice the raw graphics power of the M2 Pro.
  • In addition, the RAM has increased from 16GB to 32GB, and the SSD storage has increased from 512GB to 1TB.
  • The base price for this premium setup is $3,499, but the price increases dramatically. Memory upgrades from 64GB to 96GB cost $400 and $800, respectively (as we see in our review unit).
  • The base storage size is one terabyte (TB), and upgrades to 2 TB (for $400), 4 TB (for $1,000), and 8 TB (for $2,200) are also possible.

Our review for the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch is the more expensive M2 Max variant, which includes a 12-core CPU and 38-core GPU, up to 96GB of RAM, and a 4TB SSD for $5,299. As one of the best workstation laptops on the market, it may be worth the price if your job requires it, but it ranks among the most costly laptops we’ve evaluated in recent years.

Apple Sticks That Are Well Made

Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch

The MacBook Pro 16-inch, compared to the 2021 model, appears to have undergone no external changes. Typical of Apple, the “if it ain’t broke, don’t repair it” ethos underpins many of the company’s choices. The keys don’t travel much because of the keyboard’s shallow design.

However, the smooth downstroke is accompanied by a satisfying click at the bottom, providing tactile feedback that helps you feel the difference between each keypress and prevents the half-presses and accidental presses that lead to annoying typos. In addition, these keys have an excellent design. The larger Pro versions have a black-on-black colour scheme, making the automated lighting look brighter when it illuminates the keys, while the MacBook Air and Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch use a bare metal surround.

Liquid Retina XDR Display

Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch

Looking closely at the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR screen, one can see that it’s one of the best. The display is awe-inspiring. It is made up of a 120Hz oxide-TFT panel that is backlit by thousands of tiny LEDs. Behind the screen, a mini LED divides the lighting zones into hundreds of addressable areas. This gives you excellent contrast control that is almost as good as OLED in most ways. The colours are very bright and vivid, and there are none of the washed-out looks you get on a screen with an over-ampaged backlight.

Pros:

  • Significant performance improvements with the M2 Max chip.
  • Stunning 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display.
  • Excellent build quality and user-friendly design.
  • Comprehensive port selection, including Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, and SDXC card slot.
  • Robust battery life despite the high-performance components.

Cons:

  • High cost, especially for top-tier configurations.
  • Minimal design changes from the 2021 model.
  • Upgraders from the 2021 MacBook Pro may not see enough improvement to justify the cost.

Should You Buy the 2023 MacBook Pro 16-inch?

Considerations for Upgraders

If you already own the 2021 MacBook Pro 16-inch with the M1 Max or M1 Pro, there is minimal reason to upgrade to the 2023 model. The primary difference lies in the new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, offering improved performance but not significantly altering the overall user experience. The design, display, and most other hardware aspects remain unchanged.

Considerations for New Buyers

For those considering a new high-end laptop, the 2023 MacBook Pro 16-inch presents a compelling option. The performance boost from the M2 Max chip, especially in graphics-intensive tasks, makes it one of the best workstation laptops available. The Liquid Retina XDR display, extensive connectivity options, and superior build quality add to its appeal.

Performance Needs

  • For Intensive Workloads: If your work involves heavy video editing, 3D rendering, software development, or any tasks requiring substantial computational power, the M2 Max variant offers top-tier performance.
  • For Moderate Use: The M2 Pro configuration is more than sufficient for most users, providing excellent performance at a lower price point.

Budget Considerations

  • The base model of the 2023 MacBook Pro 16-inch starts at $2,499, which includes the M2 Pro chip, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of SSD storage. This configuration is suitable for most professional tasks.
  • Upgrading to the M2 Max, along with higher RAM and storage options, can push the price beyond $5,000. This investment is justifiable for professionals who need the maximum performance and can leverage the enhanced capabilities of this configuration.

Final Thoughts:

The 2023 MacBook Pro 16-inch is an excellent choice for new buyers needing a high-performance laptop. However, for those with the 2021 model, the performance gains may not be substantial enough to warrant an upgrade. Consider your specific needs and budget when deciding whether to invest in this powerful workstation.

FAQs

Is the MacBook Pro 16-inch from 2023 the best one?

With the new M2 Pro and Max chips, the 2023 MacBook Pro 16-inch is likely to be on our list of the best MacBooks and Macs, just like the powerful MacBook Pro 13-inch (2022), which didn’t have those chips and instead used the same M2 SoC as the MacBook Air (2022).

What’s new with the MacBook Pro 16-inch?

The Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch will change the most when Apple switches to its more advanced M2 processor line. These are Apple’s newest chips that were made in-house. You can choose between the middle-of-the-road M2 Pro processor or the more powerful M2 Max in the unit we tested.

What is the m2 max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro?

The Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch with the M2 Max chip will have at least a 1TB hard drive. The 16-inch screen is 16.2 inches, but the rounded corners make the effective viewing area smaller. Still, it has the same high-quality Liquid Retina XDR display we’ve come to love on Apple laptops.

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