MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Pro, 2023) hands-on

MacBook Pro 16-inch
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

The MacBook Pro 16-inch is here to demonstrate that internal components are what really matter.

The newest enormous Pro laptop maintains the same design as its M2 Pro and M2 Max-powered predecessor, the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023), but is equipped with a faster processor—either the M3 Pro or M3 Max chip.

Even while it might not sound exciting, all M-series MacBooks stand to gain significantly in performance thanks to the latest Apple chipset.

I just had the opportunity to use the new 16-inch MacBook Pro firsthand. I got to play a few of the most recent, visually intensive games on the new system in addition to getting to see the fantastic new Space Gray color that deters fingerprints.

Its performance will undoubtedly make this one of the best MacBooks you can buy, even if it costs more than the 16-inch MacBook Pro I evaluated back in January of this year.

I’ll be providing you with a thorough evaluation of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Pro, 2023) shortly. Here’s an early peek at the upcoming Apple laptop.


Header Cell – Column 1
Starting price$2,299
Screen16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display (3,456 x 2,234, 254ppi)
ProcessorM3 Pro (12-core CPU, 18-core GPU) or up to M2 Max (16-core CPU, 40-core GPU)
Battery size100Wh
Battery life (tested)18 hours of Apple TV app movie playback and up to 12 hours of wireless web surfing
Storage512GB to 8TB
Memory18GB to 128GB
PortsThunderbolt 4 (x3), HDMI, MagSafe 3, headphone jack, SD memory card slot
Webcam1080p FaceTime HD camera
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6E
BluetoothBluetooth 5.3
Dimensions14.0 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches
Weight4.7 pounds (M3 Pro) – 4.8 pounds (M3 Max)


(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The robust, squared-off metal chassis of the new MacBook Pro 16-inch is identical to those of its predecessors. It weighs 4.7 pounds (4.8 for the M3 Max variant) and measures 14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches. It is the same in size as well. Along with the same assortment of connectors as before, there are three Thunderbolt 4/USB4 ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack, a MagSafe charging port, and an SD memory card slot.

The 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display maintains its ultra-thin bezel design, which lets you view more of the screen. Before you ask, no, the Dynamic Island that the internet became overly excited about earlier this week is not a Dynamic Island, nor has the notch in the top center of the screen disappeared. However, as I’ve previously stated, I don’t mind the notch on 16-inch MacBook Pros because it appears smaller in relation to the entire screen size.

Regarding the display, it appears just as gorgeous on the new 16-inch laptop as it did on the previous model. Its 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate makes it vivid, lively, and incredibly smooth to use. The capabilities of this display will be unveiled in our lab tests, but as it is the same display found on its predecessors, we anticipate similarly outstanding outcomes.

The new Space Black hue is the final item of note. Yes, it looks amazing, but what’s really great is that the anodization seal on the finish minimizes fingerprints. This isn’t simply empty rhetoric from the marketing department—during my device inspection, I personally witnessed this. The fingerprints I managed to leave on the lid vanished quickly or were hardly noticeable. It’s quite fantastic stuff, though I probably shouldn’t get this excited over a new hue as much as I do.


(Image credit: Apple)

Before we put the new MacBook Pro 16-inch through our battery of performance tests, we are unable to evaluate performance. However, if Apple’s boasts about the M3 Pro and M3 Max CPUs that power this beast of a notebook are accurate, we might witness some really impressive outcomes.

Improvements have been made to the M3’s CPU over earlier M-series CPUs. According to Apple, the efficiency cores are up to 50% faster and the performance cores are up to 30% faster than the Apple M1. According to Apple, the M3 series will use as little as half the power and offer up to 35% greater performance at peak power while reportedly having the same multi-core performance as the M1.

With an 18-core GPU and 37 billion transistors, the M3 Pro chip outperforms the M1 Pro by up to 40%. With its 12-core CPU (6 performance, 6 efficiency), this chip can outperform the M1 Pro by up to 30% in single-threaded performance. A single M3 Pro can have up to 36GB of RAM.

With 92 billion transistors, the M3 Max can achieve 50% faster performance from its 40-core GPU and up to 80% faster performance from its 16-core CPU (12 performance, 4 efficiency) as compared to the M1 Max. Furthermore, it is absolutely ridiculous that this processor can support up to 128GB of unified memory! However, that staggering amount of RAM will come in handy if you work as a video editor and edit 8K videos.

An improved Neural Engine on the new M3 processors is designed to speed up machine learning (ML) models. According to Apple, its Neural Engine is up to 60% faster than the M1 series. Video codecs like H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW can be hardware accelerated using the sophisticated media engine included in M3 processors. Additionally, the media engine offers support for AV1 decoding—a first for the Mac.


(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The improved GPU in the M3 series includes a brand-new function known as Dynamic Caching. This only uses the precise amount of memory required for a given task and allocates the use of local memory in hardware in real-time. Apple claims that this functionality is a first for the industry and will improve the performance of demanding games and apps.

The introduction of hardware-accelerated ray tracing to Mac is made possible by the latest M3 CPUs. Mac users can now enjoy hardware-accelerated mesh shading thanks to the new GPU. All of this ought to provide images of greater quality with more realistic lighting and intricate surroundings. According to Apple, the M3 GPU has up to 65% higher performance at its maximum and offers the same performance as the M1 GPU at half the power.

I had the opportunity to see Layers of Fear operating on a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 Max CPU at a prior Mac gaming event. Back then, I was amazed by its graphical fidelity, but when I saw the same game running on an M3 system, I was astounded. I noticed ray-traced reflections in puddles and mirrors, which added to the horror game’s unsettling atmosphere. Lies of P and Baldur’s Gate 3 both ran and looked amazing on M3, displaying astounding levels of texture detail.


With a battery life of an astounding eighteen hours and fifty-six minutes, the MacBook Pro 16-inch that I evaluated earlier this year has the longest battery life of any laptop that we have tested. It will also have a battery life that exceeds an entire day if what Apple claims about the new laptop is accurate.

Apple claims that MacBook Pros equipped with M3 Pro and M3 Max CPUs may browse the web wirelessly for up to 12 hours and play movies via the Apple TV app for up to 18 hours. A 70W USB-C power adapter is included with configurations that have an M3 Pro with an 11-core CPU, whereas variants that have an M3 Pro with a 12-core CPU or the M3 Max come with a 96W adapter. If you purchased a model with an M3 Pro processor that has 11 cores, you can update to this adapter. Fast charging is a feature of the 96W adaptor.

It’s a lovely touch that the MacBook Pro Space Black models come with a matching MagSafe power cable.


My favorite laptops have always been the 16-inch MacBook Pros with M-series chips, and Apple appears that the M3 Pro and M3 Max models will follow suit. Along with the sleek, contemporary style that we have grown to appreciate, we also get a stylish new color and what could be a significant performance bump. Wait for our comprehensive evaluation!

Read more at News Intercept:

New MacBook Pro M3 unveiled

MacBook Pro just got more expensive for everyone

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