Guess who's back. Well, with the biggest Apple event of the year, Apple launched their 2021 Macbooks, and boy did they deliver.
This time Apple went back to the future. Confusing right? No, what I mean is that they went back to a bit of their old-ish design with a modern and futuristic twist. The new macs at a glance look like a mashup of the PowerBook and the 2015 macs but with the latest and greatest tech.
Aside from the modern old-school looks, these new Macs are packing the all-powerful M1 Pro and M1 macs. The Apple Silicon makes these Macs a professional dream. The power delivered whether on battery or plugged to the wall, you get the same punch.
Doing pro things on these devices is a dream. Whether you are doing 3D rendering, Video Editing, Photo Editing, Software Engineering or Music Production, they can do it all, and compared to any other laptop at their launch date, none can match their power.
Supercharged for Pros!
Let's take a deep dive into the key highlights of these macs
The all-new exterior design.
The major design "change" in this year's models is the ports. Yes, now macs have ports. Well no all of them but the essentials, USB-C'S, HDMI, and an SD card reader. Partly say goodbye to the dongle life 👋 not unless you need an ethernet connection then you need to carry one😬.
What else is new/old? The magsafe connector. The famous magnetic "accidental trip protector" is back and better. With stronger but easily detachable magnets and also a fast charge power delivery system. Now you can fast charge your laptop to 50% in 30 min. The MagSafe is equipped with a Led Indicator to show you the charging status.
What else changed? Oh! The infamous touchbar is gone and now replaced with a full-sized function row. The keyboard is now all black and the keys are still as good as the first 2020 M1 macs. The touch ID / Power button hasn't been changed and is as good as it always is.
The only thing that didn't change is the trackpad. Macbook's trackpads are the best in the market and honestly, they are in their own league.
One of the biggest changes of the 2021 Macbook Pros is the display. Wow! What a change it is. As Apple says "Feast your Eyes on XDR". The key highlights of the gorgeous display are:
Liquid Retina XDR. The best display ever in a notebook features Extreme Dynamic Range and a million to one contrast ratio. HDR content comes to life in photos, videos, and games — with refined specular highlights, incredible detail in shadows, and vibrant, true-to-life colors. Each display is factory calibrated and features pro reference modes for HDR color grading, photography, design, and print production.
ProMotion. ProMotion comes to Mac for the first time, making everything from scrolling through a web page to gaming super fluid and responsive — while also reducing power consumption. With refresh rates of up to 120Hz, the adaptive technology automatically adjusts to match the movement of the content. ProMotion video editors can also choose a fixed refresh rate that precisely aligns with their footage.
Mini-Led Backlight. There are 10,000 Mini-Led behind the liquid retina panel. The Mini-Leds allows the display to achieve a peak brightness of 1600 nits while watching HDR content and a sustained 1000 nits. They enable the display to achieve deep blacks since the LEDs are divided into different dimming zones.
The oddest thing about the display is the notch, yes a notch. The same similar shape to the iPhone's notch. It looks weird at first but it is something you will get used to with time. The notch is a consequence the Apple thinning the bezels around the display and they needed a house for their 1080p webcam. Disappointingly they didn't add a face id sensor but hey, maybe it's coming soon. A big concern would be if the notch gets in the way of important items but no, it's cleverly placed along the menu bar and it gets hidden when an app goes full screen.
Now more than ever video calls and conferences have become a big part of professional life since we now embrace working remotely. Apple fitted a 1080p HD webcam to help your colleagues see your face in HD quality. The Macbook also has 3 quality studio mics to help them hear your crisp voice.
Apple also fitted the Macs with a six-speaker sound system. Four force-canceling woofers reveal notes up to a half-octave deeper and fill the room with up to 80 percent more bass. And the high‑performance tweeters project clearer, fuller vocals. This speaker system provides Spatial audio. Thanks to the room‑filling six‑speaker system and advanced algorithms, MacBook Pro supports spatial audio when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos, creating a sophisticated, three‑dimensional soundstage. Combine that with the Liquid Retina XDR display, and it’s like having a portable theater.
I am done talking about how the new Macs look, now let look at the pièce de résistance.
Hmmm!! Where do I start? 😁🤔 There is so much to talk about these Macs, they are Beasts.
The Macbooks are powered by the Apple Silicon's M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. The chips give these Macs top-of-the-line performance and efficiency whether on battery or plugged into the wall. Any benchmark you throw at these beasts, they crunch out numbers that take them to the top of the food chain.
Here is an article that talks more about these phenomenal Apple Silicons. I have written all about the performance they provide to the Macs.
They can do this all day.
Ferocious performance with game‑changing battery life and that efficiency is the magic of Apple silicon. A single charge lets you compile up to four times as much code in Xcode or edit images for up to twice as long in Lightroom Classic. And unlike other notebooks, MacBook Pro delivers the same amazing performance whether it’s plugged in or not.
14” model with Up to 17hrs video playback, Up to 11hrs wireless web browsing
16” model with Up to 21hrsvideo playback, Up to 14hrs wireless web browsing
These Macs are a dream in terms of battery. They are a suitable tool to engage you in digital nomadism.
The new Macs are game-changing in what a Pro Laptop should be. Other Laptop manufacturers should follow in these footsteps. Apple has finally gotten the basics right. Though they are not for everyone. They are tailored for the Pros and the price tag attached, states so. If you don't have a "pro" workflow (Heavy code compilation, Photo Editing, Music Production, 3d rendering, or Video editing), then the 13" Macbook Air / Pro M1 would be more than enough. Not unless you want one and flex on them 🤑💰. As for my workflow, I do front-end and back-end web development, UI / UX Design, and Research / Writing for The Morning Beans. The Air M1 is a perfect fit for me since it has an even longer battery life with the power of the Apple Silicon but hey I wouldn't mind investing in the base 10-core 14" MacBook Pro M1-Pro just to get a leg up in the extra processing cores.