3 things I wished I'd known before buying a MacBook Pro

Before you buy a new MacBook Pro, make sure you learn about these three things

MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's new MacBook Pros are absurdly excellent computers: fast, quiet, powerful. If you can spare the money (and don't mind macOS), there isn't really a better laptop out there. 

With the introduction of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which are made with Apple's own custom silicon, everyone has got better about the MacBook Pro range compared to the outgoing Intel models. 

Workloads are crunched in no time and with zero fan noise or heat, a major benefit over the hot and loud Intel CPUs of old. Battery life is also much, much better, even under intense pressure during the day. 

But there are still some things to keep in mind when considering the new MacBook Pros. Here are the three things I wish I knew when I bought one. 

1. It's a heavy, heavy, heavy 

MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

I bought the 16-inch MacBook Pro because I need the screen real estate for some of my work and it's heavy. The device weighs in at 2.1kg with the M1 Pro chip and 2.2kg for the M1 Max chip. 

That's almost certainly heavier than your current laptop: for reference, the 2019 MacBook Pro with the 16-inch display weighs 2kg. 

If you rely on having a genuinely moveable laptop – which isn't too unreasonable – then it's worth seriously considering getting the 14-inch version (1.6kg) and sacrificing the extra two inches of screen real estate. 

Of course, you're getting a desktop-level computer (or more) and so the extra weight makes sense, but it's something to consider. 

2. The M1 is great – except for some things

MacBook Pro 16 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

At this point, loads of developers (from Microsoft to Adobe to Dropbox) have released updates that tailor their apps to Apple's M1 series chips, which use a different architecture to Intel's. 

Apple did a lot of good work with Rosetta 2, the interface that lets M1 run Intel apps but there is a definite lag for some operations. 

If you rely on any Intel-based apps for work, it's worth checking to see if the company has released, or plans to release, an update for the M1 series. Discord, for example, has only just updated (opens in new tab), nearly a year after we first saw M1. 

Niche enterprise apps are likely to be last in line and it's a serious bottleneck if you rely on these for work. 

3. The speakers are amazing

MacBook Pro 16 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

It's a strange thing to say but the speakers in my 16-inch MacBook Pro are incredible – easily comparable to some of the best Bluetooth speakers

Okay, maybe not quite as good, but considering they're literally built into the laptop, and so don't need to be carried around separately, they're really, really good. 

If you watch lots of movies and TV, or want to play music while you work, the MacBook Pro's speakers will easily do the job. 

Apple spent some time when announcing the MacBook Pro talking about all the innovations in the speaker design, which I dismissed as PR babble. But it's true – the bass sounds great, trebles are clear, and the volume can go really loud. 

Max Slater-Robins has written for T3 now on and off for over half a decade, with him fitting in serious study at university in between. Max is a tech expert and as such you'll find his words throughout T3.com, appearing in everything from reviews and features, to news and deals. Max is specifically a veteran when it comes round to deal hunting, with him seeing out multiple Black Friday campaigns to date.