16-Inch MacBook Pro Is Here

As rumoured, Apple released the 16-Inch MacBook Pro set to replace the 15-Inch model. Here are the most important new changes and features to this new laptop from your favourite monochrome fruit company.

16 Inch MacBook Pro

  • New scissor type keyboard. (they fixed it)
  • 16 Inch MacBook Pro Keys
    Image Source iFixit: https://www.ifixit.com/News/16-inch-macbook-pro-magic-keyboard-throwback
  • 512GB base SSD storage. (Can configure up to 8TB)
  • Physical escape key, but also touch bar and touch id.
  • Display is at: 3,072 x 1,920 (226 ppi) — Older 15″ model have 2,880 x 1,800 (220 ppi)
  • Smaller bezels around display.
  • 100Wh battery, Older 15″ model had 83.6W.
  • i7 / i9 Intel CPU, different configurations possible.

According to Appe this laptop is built out from feedback from its users.

Still only USB-C ports (thunderbolt) and a minijack. No SD-card reader, no USB-A and other ports. Meaning keep your dongles.

No touch display on the MacBook Pro. Apple thinks touch is best used on the iPad. They focus on making the MacBook Pro the best Mac.

Are you going to buy the 16-Inch MacBook Pro?

16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Appear Soon

According to images uncovered in a macOS catalina beta, it seems like Apple is working on a 16-Inch MacBook Pro. This was first uncovered by the blog: MacGeneration.

The images are actually icons, and comparing it against the 15-Inch model you can see that the bezels around the display are thinner. This could suggest that they will be able to fit a 16-Inch display in the current 15-Inch form factor.

Image: MacGeneration

The rumors claim that Apple is going back on the keyboard design and will switch to the scissor mechanism that has proven to be more reliable.

It is also said that the 16-Inch MacBook Pro will have a 3072×1920 resolution and use Intel 9th generation coffee lake refresh CPUs.

Personally I am curious on how Apple is going to tackle the keyboard issues plaguing the current generation. I also hope they will change some of their design rules and make room for good cooling that enable the full performance of powerful CPUs and GPUs. We recently saw a change of design in the iPhone 11 where they made it slightly thicker and heavier. Apple usually designs their product as thin as possible. Maybe we are seeing a change in that philosophy?

If they make the 16-Inch MacBook Pro a bit thicker with good cooling and a solid performance boost, I think we have a winner.

Flexgate – a new MacBook Pro Problem?

I don’t like to use that word, but since people are searching for it I guess I have to … flexgate. Apple may have a new big problem on their hands. That said, it could also be blown out of proportions. As it sometimes is with these issues.

The popular teardown site ifixit have recently posted an blog article claiming that the new MacBook Pros flex cables wears out prematurely and it could cause display problems. Especially if the display is opened above a 40 degree angle.

This is where the word flexgate comes from. A stupid word if you ask me, but the «flex» part relates to the cable that connects the display to the logic board. Its a thin and brittle cable that apparently breaks over time. 

flexgate
Image shows flex cable and daughter board included with the display assembly. Image credit: ifixit.com

If you need to fix the display outside of your warranty period you are looking at 600 USD repair (at best) because those cables are integrated into the display assembly and doesn’t come as a single part. If Apple doesn’t release a repair program as they did with the “staingate” issue.

Adding this problem to already existing issues makes you wonder if the radical design-change of the USB-C equipped MacBook Pro really was a smart move?

I know for a fact that a lot of people still hold onto their 15 rMBP. Imagine the performance you could have in those machines today if Apple just kept the same form factor and instead focused their efforts on improving performance.

Apart from flexgate we have the issues below as well:

  • Keyboard / TopCase issues.

Countless reports of keyboards having all sorts of issues with keypresses. Apple happily replace the top-case but the problem re appears after a while. What about those that live in countries with poor consumer protection? In worst case they have to expect an expensive service later down the line. Servicing a premium product already marked up pretty high. And only after one year. 

  • Thermal throttling issues.

These laptops are so thin, the cooling solution just isn’t equipped to remove the heat these CPUs produce. Even if Apple shoehorn a top tier CPUs in these machines it doesn’t matter if the cooling solution isn’t up to the task. This has been demonstrated countless times in many Apple products. Especially when the updated model with an intel i9 CPU hit the market. It did throttle so bad that Apple had to release a firmware fix for it. But not before countless people had reported on the issue.

Do you think this is an issue that is blown out of proportions, or is there some substance to it? Are you affected by this? Leave your thoughts in the comments.