The Best Features of the New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021)

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 20 Oct 2021

New MacBook Pro

Apple’s new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro are a massive step-up from its previous offerings. It also seemed to have paid attention to all the feedback from pro users over the years and included them all in its latest MacBook Pro lineup. If you are a pro user, you are likely already sold on the new MacBook Pros. If not, check out some of their best features below to know why they are worth buying.

The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro are genuinely unrivaled in their performance, battery life, and features. This is all possible thanks to Apple having complete control over its devices’ hardware and software aspects. Check out the best features of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro below.

1. Liquid Retina XDR Display

The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro feature Apple’s Liquid Retina XDR display with 120Hz ProMotion support. The mini-LED panel means the new MacBook Pros offer a higher peak brightness level of up to 1,600 nits and sustained brightness of 1,000 nits. The colors, contrast, and viewing angles have also massively improved due to the newer display tech. With ProMotion support, animations on the new MacBook Pros display will look smoother.

MacBook Pro 16-inch Mini-LED display

2. M1 Pro and M1 Max

Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are easily the highlight of the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. They offer up to 70 percent better CPU performance, with GPU performance also seeing a similar leap over the previous best GPU available for the Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple’s M1 chip from 2020 already showed us what it was capable of, and the M1 Pro and M1 Max are only going to take things to the next level. The better chips are further complemented by the overhauled thermal system, which will ensure the fans don’t ramp up even when you are using the MacBook for some light tasks.

M1 Pro and M1 Max chips

3. No Touch Bar

Apple has done away with the Touch Bar for good on the new MacBook Pros. Instead, you now get 12 full-height function keys, with shortcuts for commonly used macOS features like Do Not Disturb, Spotlight, Siri, etc.

The Touch ID button also gets a circular ring around it, so you can easily identify it by just passing your finger over it.

MacBook Pro 16-inch keyboard

4. Better FaceTime Camera

You might loathe the notched display on the new MacBook Pros, but it does allow for a better FaceTime experience. Apple is using a bigger and better 1080p sensor on the new MacBook Pros with a wide f/2.0 aperture leading to a two-fold improvement in image quality in low-light scenarios.

With video calling/meetings a common part of the post-pandemic era, the better FaceTime camera on the new MacBook Pros is definitely a welcome addition.

5. Better Speaker System

The speakers on the 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro were already among the best in the business. With the latest redesign, Apple has taken things up a notch. The 16-inch MacBook Pro features an upgraded six-speaker system with Spatial Audio support and offers up to 80 percent more bass. That’s not it, though: the “studio-quality” microphones offer a 60 percent better signal-to-noise ratio than before.

What’s impressive is that Apple is bringing the same speaker system and microphone setup to the 14-inch MacBook Pro as well.

6. End of #DongleLife

With the 2016 refresh of the MacBook Pro lineup, Apple pushed the entire industry towards USB-C and dongles. Five years later, the company is making amends and putting an end to the #donglelife.

The new MacBook Pros come with a dedicated SD card reader and an HDMI port. This means you can directly connect external monitors or SD cards to your MacBook Pro. You still get three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports so that you can connect your other high bandwidth devices without any issues. Even the 3.5mm headphone jack has gained an upgrade to better support headphones with high impedance.

MacBook Pro Ports

7. The Return of MagSafe

The HDMI port and SD card slots are not the only port that has returned with the new MacBook Pros. MagSafe is also back in its third iteration, and it is better than ever.

With MagSafe, you will never have to worry about accidentally yanking the charging cable and dropping your MacBook Pro. That’s because MagSafe magnetically attaches to the MacBook Pro, and if the cable is accidentally pulled, it disconnects from the machine without dragging it along. Despite the reintroduction of MagSafe, you’ll be able to charge the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro over USB-C as well.

MacBook Pro MagSafe

8. Longer Battery Life

Who does not want longer battery life from their MacBooks? While the Intel-based 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros did offer up to 10 hours of battery life, that was only achievable under certain circumstances. Using the machines for any heavy task while on battery meant they’d last for two to three hours at most.

Thanks to the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips inside the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, that’s no longer the case. Apple claims the 14-inch MacBook Pro can last for 17 hours while playing back content from Apple TV or offer up to 11 hours of wireless web browsing. For the 16-inch MacBook Pro, these numbers jump to 21 hours and 14 hours, respectively.

That’s not it, though. Apple also claims the new MacBook Pros will last two to three times longer while running pro apps like Lightroom, Final Cut Pro, etc.

9. Fast Charge

The new MacBook Pros don’t just last longer, they also charge faster. Thanks to fast charge support, the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro can fast charge from zero to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. The 14-inch MacBook Pro can be fast-charged over USB-C as well, but the 16-inch MacBook Pro only fast charges over MagSafe since it requires 140W of power to do so.

10. More RAM and Faster SSDs

The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro can be configured with up to 64GB of unified memory. This time around though, you can configure the 14-inch MacBook Pro with up to 64GB RAM as well. This was not possible with the Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro, as it could only be maxed out at 32GB.

Apart from more RAM, the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro feature faster SSDs with reading speeds of up to 7.2GB/s.

Ideally, you should sell your existing MacBook Pro and upgrade to the new 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro if you have the money. The jump in performance, battery life, and user experience will be worth the money spent.