Mac Mini, MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro–these are all powerful portable machines, capable of handling day-to-day tasks as well as graphics-intensive editing to an extent.
But they are not as powerful as iMac and Mac Pro, Apple's most powerful lineup for professional developers, video content creators, studio artists and 3D designers.
These pros always relied on these Macs to be their main computer, which meant they had to return to their stationary Macs to finish the project at the end of the day.
So, working while travelling was not really an ideal option for these industry-leading professionals. But this changed when Apple launched their 2021 lineup of MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max.
At first glance, the newest 2021 looks unapologetically similar to its predecessors. The cool-on-touch smooth metal body and the iconic Black Apple logo on top, a familiar design language, recognizable by all.
Only when you look at it closely, you realize how scaled up the new model is. Instead of going for the sleek-n-slim look, Apple decided to go back to the squared-off old PowerBook design for "efficiency over aesthetics" and people are loving Apple for this.
2021 MacBook Pro is thicker with a slightly bigger Apple logo that still doesn't glow and taller feet for better ventilation.
Apple has efficiently used the overall scaled-up body for both battery and ports. Ditching the fewer-ports-for-better-aesthetics approach, Apple has gone back in time and brought back the ports they themselves ditched a couple of years ago.
The newer 2021 MacBook Pro comes with a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port, a USH-2 SDXC Card Reader, three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, a higher impedance supporting 3.5mm headphone jack and the fan-favorite MagSafe 3 port.
That means no more dongles. MacBook users can now safely leave their dongle-dangled life behind and can travel with only the included MagSafe cable and power brick.
The upgrade to MagSafe charging from the previous Type-C charging cable has allowed for even better and faster charging. However, the 67W or 96W, upgradable to 140W, power brick doesn't have an ethernet port like iMac, as many speculated after
M1 iMac's launch earlier this year.
As for the battery, Apple has utilized the thicker body and made room for more juice for the demanding two new SOCs, especially the M1 Max with additional GPU cores.
These extra GPU cores are why MacBook Pro units with M1 Pro last longer than those with the scaled-up and more powerful M1 Max.
In regular testing, both 14-inch and 16-inch variants with M1 Pro and M1 Max lasted a whole day of typical day-to-day tasks like web browsing and streaming with an average of 9-10 hours of screen time.
However, heavy tasks like video editing and 3D rendering can kill the battery in about 4 hours.
For the changes on the inside, the heavily criticized touch bar is now gone before reaching its full potential and the full-sized function keys have taken its place.
The screen is now Apple's latest Liquid Retina XDR display with a 16:10 aspect ratio and 3023x1964 resolution. Its ProMotion technology has finally allowed Apple to do what its competitors have been doing for years now – adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz.
The display also has iPad and iPhone's signature notch on the top to accommodate the much-improved 1080p FaceTime camera.
This notch, combined with the MacBook Pro curving on the bottom, makes the design language of this 20201 MacBook Pro more recognizable and aligned with the brand.
The big notch is clearly put there to accommodate the Face ID mechanism in the next generations of MacBook Pro, but for now, Touch ID still exists on the keyboard for authentication.
The audio system has also improved. The six-speaker array supports Spatial Audio when listening to music and offers
Dolby Atmos three‑dimensional soundstage for the best video content consumption experience.
In terms of performance, like every other Mac lineup, this upgrade doesn't disappoint. In fact, the newest M1 Max and M1 Pro SOCs are so powerful; some people are calling it Apple's biggest leap forward in computing. The newer processors are so efficient and capable that it performs up to ten times better than Intel processor-powered MacBook Pros of previous years.
As expected, the newer MacBook Pro can handle any day-to-day task thrown at it. Browsing, streaming content, presentation, notetaking, web development, photoshop work – No, I am not naming the things it can do. I'm listing the things it can do simultaneously without even dropping a frame. Almost two months of using it as my daily driver for 7-8 hours a day and I haven't heard the fan start-up even once.
But the 2021 MacBook Pro really shines when given a real challenge. Be it 4K video editing, professional sound mixing, game simulation, software development or 3D rendering, this Apple Silicone-powered machine can handle anything.
In some instances, it performed better than Apple's most expensive Mac Pros that can cost up to 50,000 USD, especially when it comes to video editing and exporting using Final Cut Pro.
Thanks to the Media Engine with ProRes accelerator, it outperformed the highest-end Mac Pro in several testing when exporting video files. It clearly shows that the 2021 MacBook Pro was made with some specific tasks in mind, for some specific groups of people, the industry-shaping professionals.
MacBook Air is still the best pick for students and regular office goers; this MacBook Pro might be overkill. Even though this can handle AAA titles, it's definitely not meant for gamers. But for editors, this is a no-brainer.
Also, the M1 Pro variant would be enough for most people unless they specifically work on graphic intensive projects. Otherwise, the upgrade to M1 Max is unequivocally a luxury. But if you do decide to spend on the extra CPU and GPU cores, you'll definitely get your money's worth.
This time, Apple listened to the userbase and the industry-leading professionals and put together a fantastic PC that can be recommended to literally anyone.
This M1 Pro and Max-powered MacBook Pro is the standard against all Windows PCs will be measured. Till now, it beat any and all Windows-operated machines within, and on occasion, over the price range and there's no sign of Intel and AMD catching up to Apple in this price range any time soon.
Moreover, Apple's own powerhouse silicone, critically engineered hardware, heavily optimized software bundled with the newest macOS Monterey makes it the undisputed champion and the best laptop of 2021.
Price: The base variant of 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro with 8 CPU Cores and 14 GPU cores starts at TK2,00,000 and can be upgraded to 16-Inch M1 Max 10 Core CPU, 32 Core GPU with 64 GB RAM and 8 TB of storage at additional costs.
Where To Buy: Both 14 and 16-Inch 2021 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max are available at retailers like MC Solution BD, Dazzle, StarTech and dozens of other independent importers nationwide.
Display Size: 14-Inch & 16-Inch
Display: Liquid Retina XDR display, 1000 nits max brightness & 3023x1964 resolution
CPU Cores: 8-10 Cores for M1 Pro & 10 Cores for M1 Max
GPU Cores: 14-16 Cores for M1 Pro & 24-32 Cores for M1 Max
Neural Engine: 16 Cores
Memory Bandwidth: 200 GB/s for M1 Pro & 400 GB/s for M1 Max
Unified Memory RAM: Up to 32 GB for M1 Pro & 64 GB for M1 Max
Media Engine: Hardware Accelerator H.264, HEVC, ProRes & ProRes Raw
Refresh Rate: Adaptive ProMotion, up to 120 Hz
Battery: 70-watt-hour Lithium Polymer battery
Charger: 67W, 96W & 140W
Ports: 1 HDMI 2.0, 1 SDXC Card Slot, 1 MagSafe Port, 1 Headphone Jack & 3 Thunderbolt Ports
Operating System: macOS Monterey
Dimensions: 0.61x12.31x8.71 inches
Weight: 1.6 Kg
Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD Camera
Wireless: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0