Apple MacBook Pro 16 vs MacBook Pro 15 (Mid-2019) – everything you need to know

Apple MacBook Pro 16 is here no matter you like it or not. You can be sure that Apple’s power users will be happy, and maybe not only them. The new one is packing some nice new features and the 16″ version is trying to be “THE Mac”. Aside from the bigger screen size, the new model has more things to offer. Apple is trying to impress potential buyers with a lot of visible and hidden upgrades. With a starting price of $2,399 let’s hope that Apple has more tricks up its sleeve.

Let’s answer the question that everyone is asking right now – what’s new?

You can find more info about the series here – Apple MacBook Pro 16 / Apple MacBook Pro 15 (Mid-2019)

Contents

Apple MacBook Pro 16 configurations:

Apple MacBook Pro 15 configurations:


Specs Comparison

Apple MacBook Pro 16″ Apple MacBook Pro 15 (Mid-2019)
Display 16″ (3072 x 1920) 500 nits, 226ppi, Wide Color (P3), True Tone 15.4″ (2880 x 1800) 500 nits, 220ppi, Wide Color (P3), True Tone
CPU Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i9-9880H, Intel Core i9-9980HK Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i9-9880H
RAM up to 64GB DDR4 RAM, 2666MHz (soldered) up to 32GB DDR4 RAM, 2400MHz (soldered)
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 630, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M (4GB GDDR6), AMD Radeon Pro 5500M (8GB GDDR6) Intel UHD Graphics 630, AMD Radeon Pro 555X (4GB GDDR5), AMD Radeon Pro 560X (4GB GDDR5), AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 (4GB GDDR5), AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 (4GB GDDR5)
Storage 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB SSD 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB SSD
Touch Bar Yes, with Integrated Touch ID Yes, with integrated Touch ID
Trackpad Force Touch Force Touch
Keyboard Magic (scissor) keyboard (1.2mm travel), backlight, ambient light sensor Butterfly keyboard (0.7mm travel), backlight, ambient light sensor
Dimensions 358 x 246 x 16.2 mm (14.09″ x 9.69″ x 0.64″) 349 x 241 x 15.5 mm (13.74″ x 9.49″ x 0.61″)
Weight 1.95 kg (4.3 lbs) 1.82 kg (4.02 lbs)
Battery 100Wh 83.6Wh
Ports 4x Thunderbolt 3, 1x Audio jack 4x Thunderbolt 3, 1x Audio jack
Webcam 720p FaceTime HD 720p FaceTime HD
Speakers Six speakers with force-canceling woofers Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 802.11ac / 5.0 802.11ac / 5.0
Color Options Silver, Space Gray Silver, Space Gray

Display

Well, that’s the most obvious difference. This time we have even slimmer bezels that fulfill the overall sleek design of the notebook. The new display packs a resolution of 3072 x 1920 and its brightness is unchanged – 500 nits. The pixel density is 226ppi which is a bit higher compared to the 15-inch version. Still, no 4K resolution. The “old” 15″ model display can offer a resolution of 2880 x 1800, 220 ppi. Wide color (P3) and TrueTone are available for both displays.

So, is the new display a worthy upgrade? When we look at those thin bezels big screen we can give a positive answer but on paper, both panels are not that different.


Design

The only noticeable difference is again related to the new display – the bezels. The design is unchanged. It’s not a bad thing though because that’s one of the key selling points of every MacBook – a lot of Mac users love its design. Which means that the new version looks clean and simplistic again. The device is very thin and light, very easy to carry, just like the 15-inch version. The predecessor’s measurements are 349 x 241 x 15.5 mm (13.74″ x 9.49″ x 0.61″) while the new one measures 358 x 246 x 16.2 mm (14.09″ x 9.69″ x 0.64″). The new one is a bit heavier on the scales – 1.95 kg (4.3 lbs) vs 1.82 kg (4.02 lbs) for the old one.


Sound

Right here, the new one is getting far ahead. The upgraded sound system is represented by the new six-speaker system with force-canceling woofers, Dolby Atmos support on board as well. The audio quality must be much better than the previous model. The number of microphones is still unchanged but this time the 3 mics are upgraded with directional beamforming. In real life, this should lead to better and clearer audio recordings with less background noise.


Keyboard

Apple MacBook Pro 15 was criticized for its butterfly keyboard which was rather unpleasant for typing with next to no key travel (0.7mm). The old Magic keyboard is here to change that with its updated scissor mechanism including ~1.2mm of key travel. There is one more big change with the new keyboard, hold it, wait for it – an Escape key, a physical Escape key. Its absence was introduced with the Touch Bar and Touch ID. Now, users can breathe freely because they don’t have to use the Touch Bar anymore for accessing the key. But there is more, this time the arrow keys are in an inverted T shape (with half-height) – there is more free space above the left and right arrow and the accidental pressings of the Shift button should be minimized.

Is there any magic with Apple’s Magic keyboard – you tell us.


Innards

The 15-inch model was available with a rich variety of Intel Kaby Lake and Ice Lake CPUs. We can have the new one with 9th gen Intel CPUs like 6-core Core i7 with 2.6 GHz base clock and 4.5GHz of Turbo Boost, 8-core Core i9 with 2.3GHz base clock and 4.8GHz Turbo Boost, and 8-core Core i9 with 2.3Ghz base clock and Boost clock up to 5GHz.

There are improvements in the memory and storage compartments too. The MacBook Pro 15 was offered with 16GB or 32GB DDR4 2400MHz compared to 16GB to 64GB DDR4 2666MHz for the new one. The 15-inch storage options were SSDs with a capacity of 256GB – 4TB, and now with the 16-inch, you can choose between 512GB and the sky-high 8TB SSD capacity.

Graphics-wise, we have updates too. The Intel UHD Graphics 630 is still here (as in MacBook Pro 15) alongside Radeon Pro 5300M / 5500M with 4GB GDDR6 memory (the 5500M can be bundled with 8GB of GDDR6). The 15-inch version is a bit leaner when it comes to graphic adapters memory – Radeon Pro 555X, 560X, Vega 16 / 20, with 4GB of memory only.

Battery

Battery life is also improved – 10 hours vs 11 hours of browsing away from the AC cord (according to Apple). The battery unit has been upgraded from an 86Wh to 100Wh as well as the USB-C charger – from 87W to 96W. Not bad at all.


Verdict

The Apple MacBook Pro 16 is an evolution of MacBook Pro 15. The main focus is the bigger display with higher resolution surrounded by thinner bezels. The new one is just a little bit heavier and thicker compared to MacBook Pro 15. Most of the users aren’t going to notice it. The power users will be happy with the new 9th gen Core i9 CPUs and higher capacity options. The new Magic keyboard will enhance the experience for all who are typing a lot. Not only the audiophiles but all users will appreciate the new audio upgrades. The improved battery life is nice to have too.

What’s your opinion?

Apple MacBook Pro 16 configurations:

Apple MacBook Pro 15 configurations:

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