MacBook Pro: The biggest and baddest Mac laptops

900 ‘MacBook Pro’ stories

August 2010 – October 2021

has been the product name for Apple’s high-end laptop since early

2006 when the transition to Intel processors began. It has a storied history with many different models, and has lived through at least distinguishable generations. Here’s everything you need to know about the MacBook Pro at a high level, including a brief history and look at the most recent models.

Table of contents

MacBook Pro history

The aluminum build of the first generation models was significant, while the second generation took that innovation to the next level with a metal unibody. Then, the third generation MacBook Pro line introduced the famed Retina display, while the fourth generation brought the infamous Touch Bar and USB-C ports. The fifth generation models brought back the Magic Keyboard after years of Butterfly Keyboard madness, and the most recent sixth generation models brought the laptops into modern times with Apple Silicon.

Current generation 16-inch MacBook Pro

In November of 2019, Apple released a new high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro which replaced the 15-inch lineup. The model brings the return of the scissor switch mechanism with a ‘Magic Keyboard’, a six-speaker system, up to 8-core processor, and up to 64GB RAM.

In a statement, Apple VP Tom Boger described it as featuring a “larger display, blazing-fast performance, the biggest battery possible, the best notebook keyboard ever, awesome speakers and massive amounts of storage”.

The laptop brought a larger display, great performance, the biggest battery physically possible (literally — it’s the largest battery you can still carry on a plane), and high performance speakers. The keyboard is great, bringing back the inverted T arrow key.

While it’s not an Apple Silicon model (those are rumored to be coming later), Apple improved the thermal performance in the 16-inch model. The new models feature 6- and 8-core CPUs and up to 64GB RAM, and GPUs that offer up to 2.1 times faster graphics performance than the previous standard configuration.

Apple is claiming this is the first notebook in the world to offer an 8 TB option for internal storage. As standard, it now comes with 512GB SSD — double the previous generation. With the release of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple discontinued the older 15-inch model.

16-inch pricing

There are two main base models for the 16-inch MacBook Pro: an i7 model with 512GB of storage and an i9 model with 1TB of storage. You can check Amazon prices below, or configure your own at Apple.

16-inch MacBook Pro i7 (

16-inch MacBook Pro i9 (Check Amazon)

Current-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple recently refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and with that refresh came one of the biggest changes to Apple’s lineup of laptops in quite some time: Apple Silicon. For right now, the difference between the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 16-inch model are pretty major, and it all comes down to how the laptops fare in CPU performance. Both in raw performance and heat/battery consumption, the 13-inch models are better.

13-inch pricing

There are two main models for the 13-inch MacBook Pro: an M1 model with an 8-core CPU and 256GB of storage, and an M1 model with an 8 core CPU and 512GB of storage.

13-inch MacBook Pro 256GB (Check Amazon)

13-inch MacBook Pro 512GB (Check Amazon)

Differences between 13-inch and 16-inch models

In terms of size, the 16-inch is noticeably larger and heavier. In addition to the overall increase in footprint to accommodate the larger display, the 16-inch model is also around 1-pound heavier. You will notice slightly smaller bezels on the 16-inch model compared to the 13-inch. Here are all of the details:

Both the 13-inch and 16-inch are available in silver and space gray.

As mentioned, the biggest difference between the two MacBook Pro models sold by Apple is the CPU. Apple Silicon is a whole new ballgame, and until Apple launches a 16-inch model with the M1 or M2 chip, you might want to hold off on buying the larger one.

There’s also the display: the 16-inch MacBook Pro features a resolution of 3072×1920, which equates to a density of 226 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The 13-inch MacBook Pro features a resolution of 2560×1600, which equates to a density of 227 pixels-per-inch (PPI). Both displays feature things like Apple’s True Tone display technology for adaptable color temperature, a P3 color gamut, and more.

Perhaps a more apt comparison — apples to apples, no pun intended — would be the 13-inch MacBook Pro compared to the 13-inch MacBook Air. Both sport the M1 chip, and you can read about the differences here.

Apple just confirmed that it will hold a special event on October 18, and we expect new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros to be the stars of the show. While multiple reports over recent months had suggested that the new MacBook Pros will feature mini-LED display technology, a new rumor today says they will also feature a 120Hz refresh rate for the first time.

expand full story

Apple this week released the seventh beta of macOS Monterey, which was announced at WWDC 2021 and is expected to become available later this year along with the rumored M1X Macs. Interestingly, internal system code has revealed support for two new Retina display resolutions, which could potentially be from the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

expand full story

We’re finally headed into the fall Apple product releases, so perhaps you’re thinking about upgrading your suite of personal devices — or maybe you want to help a loved one do so. Whatever it is you’re planning to buy — a new iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device — it’s not an uncommon problem to not know what to do with the old devices you have laying around. Why not get some cash for them? The best trade deals for September 2021 below…

expand full story

While Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 on Tuesday, it has additional announcements in store for later this fall. Perhaps most notably, this includes the long-awaited 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros powered by the M1X processor. A new report today indicates those machines could be available in “the next several weeks.”

expand full story

A pair of new reports from Digitimes this morning claims to offer new details on production timelines for two highly anticipated new products from Apple this fall. According to the reports, new M1X-powered MacBook Pros are expected to launch later in the fall, while the Apple Watch Series 7 is slated for mass production at the end of September.

expand full story

Stephen Hall

Aug. 2nd 2021 12:10 am PT

The MacBook Pro is one of Apple’s most popular laptops, and for good reason. With the exception of some keyboard stumbles and minor issues throughout the years, it’s certainly one of the best computers for professionals of all kinds. But as is the case with any other device we own, there comes a time to sell it or trade it in for an upgrade. In this article, we’re going to help you understand which MacBook Pro you have and check on its trade in value…