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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Apple MacBook Pro 2019 review: What else does a professional need

Apple MacBook Pro 2019 review: The new Magic Keyboard is where you will see a marked difference from the earlier MacBook Pro. Overall, the new MacBook Pro 16-inch gives professional users the raw power they need to be better at their work.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Rs. 2,39,900
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Updated: January 1, 2020 2:50:03 pm
Macbook Pro 2019 review For 2019, Apple has refreshed the MacBook Pro with a 16-inch display, a better keyboard. (Image Source: Nandagopal Ranjan/Indian Express)

I was recently watching a Malayalam movie on Amazon Prime. Cr No 89 ends with credits that thank Apple and even the editing software Final Cut Pro. This was a bit odd, but for an Indie movie to give these credits is an acceptance of the fact that technology has not made film making much more accessible and easy. And this is where we have to accept the role played by the MacBook Pro. I doubt if there is any other computer that dominates an industry as MacBook Pro dominates video.

For 2019, Apple has refreshed the MacBook Pro with a 16-inch display, a better keyboard, tonnes of power from Intel’s processors and AMD Radeon graphics that are up to anything that you can throw at it.


Apple MacBook Pro 2019 specifications: 16-inch 500-nit LED-backlit display with IPS technology 3072×1920 pixels ~ 226ppi | 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 (Turbo Boost up to 4.8Hz) | 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory | AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory + Intel UHD Graphics 630 | 1TB SSD | Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) x 4 | 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0 | 100-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery | macOS Catalina | 2 Kg

Apple MacBook Pro 2019 price: Rs 2,39,900

Apple MacBook Pro 2019 review

To start with, it is the 16-inch is the largest ever on a MacBook Pro. But that has not made this one much larger than the earlier 15-inch MacBook Pro. The display has a 3072×1920 pixel resolution with 226 ppi and P3 wide colour gamut that makes the colours just pop up on your face. But it also showcases the subtle shades to colour really well, something that gets dumped down on a lot of laptop screens. This is a great device for professional photographers and video editors to get their picture ready just the way they want. In fact, there is the option to calibrate the display refresh rate to up to 60 Hz and change the warmth if needed. However, for a display aimed at professionals, Apple could have looked at a higher refresh rate option, given that even 90Hz is becoming common in smartphones.

Macbook Pro 2019 The Magic Keyboard’s new scissor mechanism means the keys offer the right amount of travel. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

To go with this display is the best sounding speakers on a laptop. Apple’s new six-speaker sound system has force-canceling woofers that cut vibrations and even at top volumes you don’t feel a thing on the laptop. It is not always that you feel a surround sound experience on a laptop, but you can feel the audio move on the MacBook Pro. Along with all the video editing, this could also end up being your go-to screen for Netflix and other binge watching requirements.

The new Magic Keyboard is where you will see a marked difference from the earlier MacBook Pro. The Touch Bar on top is no longer a single piece. The Esc key has been separated from the strip. So has the fingerprint scanner. The arrow keys are now in an inverted T format and not mixed with the rest. These are welcome changes and will cut down on a lot of unnecessary taps. Also, the keys now have more space between them. This is also good, though it took me a couple of days to adjust my fingers from how they worked on the earlier model. The Magic Keyboard’s new scissor mechanism means the keys offer the right amount of travel.

Macbook Pro 2019 The 16-inch MacBook Pro is just a little bit larger than the 15-inch version (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

The trackpad is spacious and offers you the same gestures and taps as before. It is a tad bit faster and you will need to adjust to that.

What the professionals who will end up buying this MacBook Pro will need in abundance is power. And that is what Apple can offer. In fact, there is a range of configurations you can opt for depending on your requirements. The review unit we used had an 2.3 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9 processor with 16 GB 2667 MHz DDR4 memory. This is a device aimed at making work easier and faster for video professionals, photographers, and even coders. So the processors have been upgrades from quad-core to six-core or octa-core chips from Intel. But along with that Apple engineers have also worked on thermal design and brought in more airflow. So the MacBook Pro stays cool even when you are taking the output for a heaving video file or working on a new 3D graphics.

This also means that the power performance is better. Though it has not increased the battery life much, despite all the upgrades from the display to the processor, the MacBook Pro is still able to give over 11 hours, which is quite an achievement.

Macbook Pro 2019 The new MacBook Pro will only cement its position as the go-to device for creative professionals. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

There are four USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports distributed on the sides, so at least some users will need some converters to get their stuff on to the MacBook Pro. But I guess Apple users are now used to this and there are enough, wireless, ways to go around this.

Overall, the new MacBook Pro 16-inch gives professional users the raw power they need to be better at their work and maybe even push the limits on what can be achieved on a device that ultimately can go in your backpack. The new MacBook Pro will only cement its position as the go-to device for creative professionals, though it becomes a bit more expensive with the new innards. The MacBook Pro is anyway a very powerful device, so make sure you don’t end up spending too much for extra processing power you will never use.

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