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Apple 14/16-inch MacBook Pros Here, with M1 Max or M1Pro CPU — and Why a Desktop is Often Better than a Laptop 

Consult with Lloyd for any kind of computer purchase, RAID setup, backup strategy, Photoshop optimization, etc.

Get Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max/M1 Pro at B&H Photo. B&H Photo has graciously agreed to send a loaner 16" MacBook Pro 32GB/1TB/32GPU for review/testing, which will arrive when it becomes available, perhaps in a month or so.

The new Apple MacBook Pro models with M1 Max and M1 Pro CPUs tick off most of the boxes I was hoping for, while downgrading the Thunderbolt port situation (3 ports, down from 4, I wanted 4 ports plus MagSafe charging port).

2021 MacBook Pro M1X 16"
2021 MacBook Pro M1X 16"

UPDATE: B&H Photo has agreed to loan a 16" MacBook Pro M1X for testing/review.

Apple MacBook Pro M1X/M1Pro at B&H Photo.

Apple 14/16-inch MacBook Pros Here, with M1 Max or M1Pro CPU: What You Need to Know

CLICK TO VIEW: Apple MacBook Pro 16" with M1 Max chip

Desktop or laptop?

While I feel the gravity of “new Apple shiny stuff” in wanting the 16-inch/64GB/32 GPU core/4TB SSD model, I cannot figure out what I would use it for. Because I travel in my Sprinter van, a laptop is not needed—I have a home office right in my van.

My travel machine is the 2019 iMac 5K*, safely stowed in the Gator Cases Creative Pro 27" iMac Carry Tote when driving, and powered by a 10kW battery lithium iron phosphate battery pack off a 2000W DC/AC inverter. And the 2019 iMac 5K is astonishingly power efficient given its included display (~45 watts while typing with the screen lit up) and I can run for 3-4 days on the power packs without recharging. Hunching over a laptop with a display with half the pixels and a fraction of the size would be a huge downgrade.

Nor would I use a laptop at home—terrible ergonomics used alone, so it would have to be a desktop computer hooked up to keyboard/mouse/displays with all the hassles of using up most of the ports to connect things. I’ve been down this 'road' before, and to this day my laptop is still a 2015 MacBook Pro Retina, which I hardly use.

If a laptop is to be used for (a lot of) travel and/or casual use in your kitchen or den or waiting in line at the DMV or a photo safari, then it makes perfect sense, of course it does. But you can also buy a $999 Apple MacBook Air to tide you over if such things are infrequent.

The screen size of a laptop and its body-ache-inducing ergonomics/haptics SUCK for anything but modest usage (an hour or less per day, IMO). Therefore, if a laptop is to be used as a desktop replacement for hours a day, you and I are far better off with the form factor of an iMac 5K. Your neck and back will thank you. But if you are willing to attach a display and keyboard and mouse, you can certainly pretend it is a full desktop computer—it is totally capable in that sense.

There is no 'M1 Max' CPU in an iMac 5K yet. And unless an “M1 Super Max” chip supports 128GB memory or more, any iMac 5K will be inadequate for my needs, as I regularly use more than 64GB memory. So I don’t know when Apple ARM technology will have any relevance to me.


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