I feel like I’ve been a bit down on the 16” MacBook Pro recently, therefore this article is something of an apology.

However, if you’ve read my previous blogs that feature comparisons between the new M1 line of Macs and the 16” MacBook Pro, you’ll note that I regularly refer to the latter as a “beast”, and the fact that it remains my video editing device of choice.

Sure, I’ve made it abundantly clear that my early experience of the M1 MacBook Air has been nothing short of jaw-dropping, but I’ve also been quick to note that I won’t be retiring my 16” just yet.

I’m also acutely aware that there are lots of people out there who are still debating whether or not to buy a 16” MacBook Pro, what with the M1 Macs slowly making their way into the lineup.

If that’s you, I’m here to say that you should. I’m a big believer in following your nose, and if that 16” machine is drawing you in – even with the M1 MacBook Pro, breathing down its neck – I’ve got five reasons you’re onto something.

1. The screen

I really do love my M1 MacBook Air. But it has a 13” screen, and, at times, that’s a bit restrictive for my workflow.

I noted recently that I seem to spend significant portions of my working day on a 27” iMac.

The main reason for this isn’t the power under the hood (it is biblically ‘underpowered’ by today’s standards). It’s because it has a massive 27” screen, and that enables me to be more productive.

The 16” MacBook Pro is the same (relatively speaking). I can sit pretty much anywhere with that machine and enjoy using a screen which effortlessly displays apps side-by-side and provides plenty of room to edit large Final Cut Pro timelines.

My M1 MacBook Air is perfect for writing, email and general admin, but the screen simply isn’t big enough for extended use or more intensive work.

Yes, I know I could technically attach the Air to a secondary display. But that’s a bit messy and convoluted, in my book. I’ve increasingly turned into an ‘all-in-one’ computing device kinda guy over the years.

2. Ports, ports, ports, ports

The biggest thing I miss by far when using my M1 MacBook Air is four ports.

More pressingly, I miss the ability to plug stuff in on either side of the device. Thanks to the monstrous battery life afforded by the M1 chip, that’s less of an issue with power, but it does occasionally rear its head.

Regardless, I have got so used to the convenience of having ports on either side of a laptop, that the Air feels a little bit hamstrung in that regard.

If you’re forever using dongles and external drives, the four ports you get on the 16” MacBook Pro (and the 13” equivalents) are a godsend.

There’s much debate being had about why the first round of M1 Macs don’t have any more than two ports, but I think it’s pretty clear the platform just doesn’t support it at the moment. That’ll change, sure, but at the moment, an Intel Mac is your only option if you want more than two ports.

3. It goes beyond 16GB

As Spinal Tap pointed out, a guitar amp which goes to 11 is just better.

“But why not make 10 louder?”

This one goes to 11.

We’ve reached that point with RAM. Yes, the M1 architecture has completely changed the conversation when it comes to RAM, but there are still countless people out there who just want more. And that’s fine.

I’m really excited to see where Apple takes the RAM debate with their own silicon, but I still love the fact I have so much headroom on my 16” MacBook Pro. It’s comforting and contributes to a machine which never, ever slows down or complains. It’s a beast (there’s that word again).

4. It’ll probably be a cult hit

There’s a reason people still watch Labyrinth. It’s a weird, badly-shot movie featuring David Bowie. It shouldn’t work, but for many people, it does.

The 16” MacBook is the same deal. The comment threads on my videos and blogs which feature this device are chock-full of enthusiasts who deeply love that laptop, despite its shortcomings.

It has a cult following already, and it’s barely two years old.

The fact it has been usurped by something smaller, more nimble and considerably more efficient only gives it more cachet.

This means two things. The 16” MacBook Pro will:

  • retain its second-hand value; and
  • become more loved as time goes on.

This happens all the time with certain Macs. It’s why people still hang onto their pre-redesign Pros with HDMI ports. It’s why there are still people out there who will not give up their second-generation MacBook Air, just because it has a glowing Apple logo.

I think the 16” is already reaching cult status. Why not get in early?

5. It is still the best computer I’ve owned

Hands-down, the 16” is not only the best investment I’ve made for my business, it’s also the best computer I’ve ever owned.

As noted earlier, I’m using my iMac more and more these days, but that’s only because it’s on my desk and features that beautiful, huge screen. But it isn’t the 16” MacBook Pro. It doesn’t have the power or inherent magic you experience when using a MacBook.

I’ve never owned a computer that has never let me down, performance-wise. The M1 MacBook Air has let me down already during a Final Cut Pro editing session where it struggled with a relatively complex 4K timeline. The 16” never complains, no matter what I throw at it.

Yes, it gets (very) hot under the collar, and the fans sound like a jet preparing for takeoff, but I’m willing to forgo those annoyances simply because this computer never, ever breaks a sweat performance-wise.

I haven’t experienced that before, and that alone makes it a very special computer.

Yes… I know this will all change

If you’ve read each of my points above and thought, “well, yeah, but there’ll be an Apple Silicon Mac which answers that next year”, I’m with you. There will be. The end for Intel Macs is nigh.

But we’re still some way off that reality.

The 16” MacBook Pro is the best investment I’ve ever made for my business, and we’re still living in a window where it could be the same for you. Try and stay away from those shiny M1 lights (apologies if I’ve increased their intensity recently) and listen to your gut. That machine will last you many years – I know mine will.

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