Macbook Pro 16 Review – 18 Months Later How Does It Hold Up?

MacBook Pro 16 Review

There are many great things about the Apple MacBook Pro 16 Inch with Retina Display. The display is very crisp and clear, which makes it easier to work on complicated documents. It also has a battery life of up to 10 hours, which means you can practically go all day without needing to find an outlet! However, not everything is perfect. There is no SD card slot in this model only USB-C/Lightning ports(we’ll get into what this means to you later). Also, the price for this computer ranges from $2400-$6500 depending on how much memory and storage space you need.

Apple makes great hardware and the MacBook Pro 16 is no exception. I have been using it as my main computer since February of 2020 and waited quite a bit to write this review. Since going full-time RV in January 2021, I also no longer use it with an external monitor.

After briefly considering a windows laptop (very briefly, maybe 15 seconds 😁) to replace my aging Macbook Air, I purchased my 16 inch MacBook Pro with the following specs:


1TB SSD Storage

2.3GHz Intel Core i9

Space Gray

Apple 2019 MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB Storage, 2.3GHz Intel Core i9) - Silver
  • Ninth-generation 8-Core Intel Core i9 Processor
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M Graphics with GDDR6 memory
  • Ultrafast SSD
Apple 2020 MacBook Air Laptop M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray
  • All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed gaming with ease. The Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance than the previous generation while using way less power.
  • Superfast Memory – 8GB of unified memory makes your entire system speedy and responsive. That way it can support tasks like memory-hogging multitab browsing and opening a huge graphic file quickly and easily.
  • Stunning Display – With a 13.3 inch Retina display, images come alive with new levels of realism. Text is sharp and clear, and colors are more vibrant.
  • Why Mac – Easy to learn. Easy to set up. Astoundingly powerful. Intuitive. Packed with apps to use right out of the box. Mac is designed to let you work, play, and create like never before.

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I like to save a little money and got an open box from Amazon.

I was using a 2015 Macbook Air 11.6″ before this, so as you can imagine, this was a huge upgrade for me.

The touch bar is, well, interesting, and I had to make some changes to its settings. I could definitely live without it.

I am also currently running macOS Big Sur 11.2.3, which added a few new features over Catalina.

What’s great about this computer is that it can run my apps with ease without overheating or excessive fan noise (my old Macbook Air would struggle when running many things at once). It also runs Adobe Illustrator extremely well!

It is physically much bigger than my Macbook Air and barely fits into my backpack. It does not fit into my backpack’s special laptop compartment though. (I use a 5.11 RUSH MOAB 10 Tactical Sling Bag Shoulder Pack).

Here is the size compared to the new M1 Macbook Air 13.

Macbook Pro 16 vs M1 Macbook Air 13

The webcam is sufficient for my Zoom meetings but you’ll want a better camera if you’re a vlogger you want a better camera.

I’ve been happy with the new magic keyboard and people seem to like it better than the previous apple butterfly keyboard.

There are some drawbacks though: there aren’t any ports on the laptop to plug in anything besides a headphone jack and 4 USB-C(Lightning) ports, one of which you will use for power.

Yup, no HDMI port, no USB-A port, no SD card slots.

If you’re coming from an older laptop like me, you’ll need to buy a USB-C dongle to connect to an external monitor, ethernet, SD card reader, or other USB devices such as an external Yeti Blue microphone.

Anker makes a nice USB C Hub with 100W Power Delivery which only requires you to use 1 USB-C port for power, an external 4k monitor, Ethernet, and other USB devices.

You may also want to pick up a few USB-C to USB-A adapters.

Anker 555 USB-C Hub (8-in-1), with 100W Power Delivery, 4K 60Hz HDMI Port, 10Gbps USB C and 2 A Data Ports, Ethernet microSD SD Card Reader, for MacBook Pro More
  • The Anker Advantage: Join the 65 million+ powered by our leading technology.
  • Massive Expansion: Equipped with a USB-C Power Delivery input port, a USB-C data port, 2 USB-A data ports, 1 HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a microSD/SD card reader, giving you an incredible range of functions—all from a single USB-C port.
  • High-Speed, High-Def: USB-C and USB-A data ports provide file transfer at speeds up to 10 Gbps, while an HDMI port supports media display at resolutions up to 4K@60Hz.
  • Powerful Pass-Through Charging: Compatible with USB-C Power Delivery to provide high-speed pass-through charging up to 85W.
  • What You Get: Anker 555 USB-C Hub (8-in-1) / PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C PD 10Gbps Data Hub, welcome guide, our worry-free 18-month warranty, and friendly customer service.
PHILIPS 328E1CA 32" Curved Monitor, 4K UHD, 120% SRGB, Adaptive-Sync, Speakers, VESA, 4Yr Advance Replacement Warranty
  • Philips E-Line 32" (31.5" Viewable) 328E1CA Curved 4K UHD Monitor With 1500R Curvature And 3840X2160 Pixels
  • Curved Va Panel With Philips Ultra Wide-Color Technology Displaying Up To 120 percent Srgb And 97.8 percent Ntsc Color Gamut And 1.074 Billion plus Colors For Smooth Color Gradations And Detail
  • Mega Infinity Dynamic Contrast Ratio For Deeper Blacks And Brighter Colors
  • Effortlessly Smooth Gameplay With Adaptive-Sync Technology
  • Peace of mind: Philips monitors come with 4-Year Advance Replacement Warranty in the United States, minimizing downtime
JSAUX USB C to USB 3.0 Adapter [2 Pack], Type C Male to USB Female OTG Cable Thunderbolt3 to USB Adapter Compatible with MacBook Pro/Air, iPhone 15 Pro Max/15 Plus/15, Samsung Galaxy S24/S23/S22/S21
  • 【USB On-The-Go】: Plug in and use computer peripherals, such as flash drive, keyboard, hub, mouse and more, makes your USB-C devices compatible with USB drives and any other USB devices that support USB On-The-Go.
  • 【USB 3.0 Super Speed Transfer】: Full USB 3.0 super speed data transfer up to 5Gbps, 10x faster than USB 2.0. Transfer files, HD movies and songs to your USB C devices in seconds.
  • 【Nylon Tangle-free Design】: Tangle-free Nylon Braided Design, this USB 3.0 Cord is far more dependable than others in its price range. Premium nylon braided cable adds additional durability and tangle free.
  • 【Aluminum Body】: Made out of sturdy aluminum alloy, innovative engineering ensures durability and a long life span.
  • 【What you get】: We provide this USB C OTG Adapter with 18-Month Warranty and 24/7 customer service, if you have any questions,we will resolve your issue within 24 hours. Compatible with all USB C devices, Samsung Galaxy Note8 S9/S9 Plus S8/S8 Plus, MacBook Pro/Air, LG G6 G5 V20 and More.
Cable Matters 32.4Gbps USB C to DisplayPort 1.4 Adapter, 4K@240hz, 8K@60hz, and HDR Support -Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 Compatible with Oculus Rift S, iPad Pro, iPhone 15 Pro, MacBook Pro, XPS, Surface
  • USB-C to DisplayPort adapter in aluminum housing connects a computer or smartphone with a USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 port to a monitor with DisplayPort input; USB C DisplayPort adapter requires DisplayPort Alternate Mode support to view video over USB-C. Enjoy all of the DisplayPort 1.4 features this DisplayPort to USBC adapter can offer
  • 8K HDR Display Port to USB C adapter supports up to 3840x2160@240Hz / 7680x4320@60Hz with this USB C to DP adapter and compatible equipment; USB C to DisplayPort cable adapter is backwards compatible with 4K and 1080p resolution. USBC to Display Port adapter supports Multi-Stream (MST) for daisy chaining multiple monitors; USB C to Display Port adapter also supports precision audio for a full range of audio types, including SACD, DVD-Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, and Dolby TrueHD.
  • Rugged metal housing on this lightweight DisplayPort to USB C adapter protects the adapter for frequent use and traveling; Superior construction of the USBC to DisplayPort adapter combines a sturdy metal housing, strain relief on the cable tail and gold-plated connectors. USBC to DP adapter is compatible with new MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, iPad Pro with Thunderbolt 4 port.
  • Dell companion Thunderbolt 4 to DisplayPort adapter connects to monitors in the conference room or classroom; USB Type C to DisplayPort adapter is compatible with popular Dell models with Thunderbolt 3 portsincluding the Dell XPS 12 9250, 13 9350/9360/9365, 15 9550/9560, Latitude 5480/5580/7275/7280/7370/7480/7520/7720/E5570, Precision 3520/15 3510/5510/M7510, 17 M7710, Alienware 13/15/17
  • USB Type C to DisplayPort adapter is compatible with HP Elite X2 1012 G1/G2, Z1 Workstation G3, Spectre 13.3/x360, EliteBook 1040 G4/X360 G2/X 360 1020 G2/Folio G1, ZBook 17 /15 /Studio, Envy 27 All-in-One, Legion Y720, IdeaPad Y900, Miix 720, ThinkPad P 50/70, T 470/470S/570, X270, X1 Carbon, X1 Yoga, Yoga 370/900/910, MSI Phantom Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10/S10+/S10e, Galaxy S9/S9+, Galaxy S8/S8+, Galaxy Note 9/Note 8. DeX mode for Samsung phones requires the latest Android 9 Pie (One UI)

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Apps run fast.

macOS has few issues(for me) vs Windows.

It’s mostly plug-and-play with other devices (even my Forscan Ford OBD2 USB adapter works)

Battery life on this Macbook Pro 16 has been pretty good for me, but just know if you are a Chrome user it will suck up battery capacity.

New and improved keyboard.

The retina display is large, very crisp, and clear. I use it as my only display. The 16″ has been big enough for me to use as a daily driver.


-Lack of Ports

-Expensive! The price for a MacBook Pro 16 ranges from $2400 to well over $6000 depending on how much memory, processor, and storage space you need.

Touch bar can cause accidental keypresses (this can be changed in settings)

-Large physical size won’t fit in some laptop backpacks/bags


I’ve been really happy with the MacBook Pro, it is expensive but I don’t have any regrets. Macbooks tend to have higher resale values for when the time comes to upgrade. (I sold my Macbook Air for $450!)

Related Macbook Reading:

Washington Post – MacBooks get new brains with their first Apple-designed processors

TechRadar – MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) release date, price, news, and leaks

Have an older Apple iMac? Check out my SSD hard drive replacement post:

Categories: Mac reviews, Laptop Reviews, MacBook Pro 16″ Review Pros and Cons Summary

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