The 2023 update to Apple’s flagship MacBook Pro 16-inch line follows the company’s usual strategy of offering a modest refresh from the more significantly redesigned 2021 model. The updates include the latest generation of M2-class processors, Wi-Fi 6E, and HDMI 2.1, which means support for displays up to 8K/60Hz and 4K/240Hz as well as variable refresh rates. This combination of old and new enhances the veteran laptop’s capabilities as a powerhouse computer for creative and development work.
One of the most notable changes in the 2021 MacBook Pro 16-inch was the return of the HDMI connector, SDXC card slot, MagSafe charging connector, and function key row on the keyboard, which replaced the Touch Bar. Additionally, there was a vastly improved 1080p webcam and a migration to Apple’s own silicon for the CPU with integrated GPU.
While it may not be a “mobile workstation,” it certainly has the performance capabilities to justify its high price, especially for the $3,499 configuration being tested and the types of applications that Apple highlights performance for.
While the 2023 MacBook Pro 16-inch may be a suitable option for creative professionals, there may be better choices for gaming, especially given its high price.
Additionally, there is a gap in the market for a big-screen Apple laptop for those who want to see more but don’t need the performance capabilities of the MacBook Pro. The base configuration includes only a 512GB SSD and may not be sufficient for tasks that require the outlay for the laptop, such as photo editing. It is recommended to upgrade to 1TB SSD and 32GB RAM, bumping the price to almost $3,100.
Going all-out with the configuration, with an M2 Max (12-core CPU/38-core GPU) 96GB memory, and 8TB SSD will run $6,499, which may be excessive for the components, at least on paper. It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t support 128GB RAM, but 96GB is still more than the last model’s 64GB maximum.
Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2023)
|Price as reviewed||$3,499, £3,699, AU$5,499|
|Display||16-inch 3,456×2,234 254ppi 3:2 aspect ratio; 500 nits SDR, 1,600 nits HDR|
|CPU||3.3GHz Apple M2 Pro 12 cores (8P/4E)|
|Graphics||Apple M2 Pro integrated 19 cores|
|Storage||2TB Apple SSD AP2048Z, SD card slot|
|Ports||3 x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm audio|
|Networking||Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3|
|Operating system||MacOS Ventura 13.2|
The design of the 2023 MacBook Pro 16-inch hasn’t changed since the 2021 model and still looks sleek and modern. The return of features such as the dedicated function key row and SD card slot is appreciated, and the screen is still excellent, pending formal screen testing. However, there are some nitpicks, such as the notch at the top of the screen, which may be aesthetically unappealing to some.
Overall, the 2023 MacBook Pro 16-inch is a solid update to Apple’s flagship laptop for creative professionals. The updates to the M2-class processors, Wi-Fi 6E, and HDMI 2.1 enhance its capabilities as a powerhouse Computer for creative and development work. While it may not be the best option for gaming and there is a gap in the market for a big-screen Apple laptop for those who don’t need the performance capabilities of the MacBook Pro, it is a suitable option for those in need of a high-performing laptop for their creative work.