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Ransomware operations by the MacBook Pro design hackers REvil have been shut down, according to a statement by Russian authorities today, with all remaining members arrested.
It follows an arrest and seizure of funds late last year, after the group unsuccessfully attempted to blackmail Apple …Background
Ransom hackers usually hack into systems in order to encrypt the data, then charge a ransom in order to provide the key. But REvil had a second revenue stream, as we explained last year.
They would obtain sensitive data and threaten to sell it to rivals, or make it public, unless the company paid a ransom.
One attack successfully infiltrated systems belonging to Quanta Computer, a key Apple supplier that makes both Macs and Apple Watches. REvil obtain schematics that revealed key details of the upcoming MacBook Pro designs more than six months before they were launched by Apple.
REvil first attempted to blackmail Quanta, and when that wasn’t successful attempted to do the same to Apple. Neither company paid the ransom, and so the group did as it had threatened and made the drawings public. The accuracy of these was confirmed when the new machines were launched.
A multinational law enforcement force managed to successfully use one of the group’s own attack methods against it. They subsequently arrested one member and seized more than $6M. However, other members of the group remained active.MacBook Pro design hackers shutdown
The Russian security service FSB now says that the arrest of the alleged leader led to information allowing them to completely shut down REvil operations, with all 14 remaining members arrested.
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in cooperation with the Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Leningrad and Lipetsk regions suppressed the illegal activities of members of an organized criminal community.
The search activities were based on the appeal of the US competent authorities, who reported on the leader of the criminal community and his involvement in encroaching on the information resources of foreign high-tech companies by introducing malicious software, encrypting information and extorting money for its decryption.
The FSB of Russia established the full composition of the criminal community “REvil” and the involvement of its members in the illegal circulation of means of payment, and documented illegal activities […]
As a result of a complex of coordinated investigative and operational-search measures in 25 addresses at the locations of 14 members of an organized criminal community, funds were seized: over 426 million rubles, including in cryptocurrency, 600 thousand US dollars, 500 thousand euros, as well as computer equipment, crypto wallets used to commit crimes, 20 premium cars purchased with money obtained from crime.
The detained members of the organized criminal community were charged with committing crimes under Part 2 of Art. 187 “Illegal turnover of means of payments” of the Criminal Code of Russia.
As a result of joint actions of the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, the organized criminal community ceased to exist, the information infrastructure used for criminal purposes was neutralized.
Photo: Sky News
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The latest 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are discounted by $249 today, plus deals on 2023 MacBook Pro, and iPhone 8 at $330. You’ll find all of today’s best offers and more in this 9to5Toys Lunch Break episode.iPad Pro deals take $249 off at Amazon
Amazon is currently taking $249 off both 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This is the second best offer we’ve seen in 2023 at Amazon, where both Wi-Fi and cellular models are on sale. Apple’s latest iPad Pro sports a new Liquid Retina edge-to-edge display with ProMotion, True Tone, and wide color. Other features include Face ID, 12MP camera, four speakers and up to 10 hours of battery life, all of which is powered by Apple’s new A12X Bionic chip. Put your savings to good use and grab the second generation Apple Pencil.2023 MacBook Pro hits new all-time low
Apple latest 13- and 15-inch MacBook is being discounted by up to $299. This is a new all-time low on select models, including the high-end 15-inch 512GB configuration. You can see the full lot of deals right here. Apple’s latest MacBook Pro features an 8-core Intel i9 processor paired with a 4GB Radeon Pro 560X graphics card, giving you more than enough power for anything you need to do. Whether you’re doing on-the-go video editing, photo manipulation, or just wanting to enjoy some games, this MacBook Pro does it all. Learn more about Apple’s latest MacBook Pro in our review. Make sure to pick up an extra case to keep your investment safe. This model comes in various color and sizes to fit either of today’s featured deal.iPhone 8 gets 1-day refurb deal to $330
Today only, Woot offers the refurbished Apple iPhone 8 for $330. Apple typically charges $499 for this model in refurbished condition when it’s in-stock. Today’s deal is $30 less than our previous mention. iPhone 8 offers a 4.7-inch Retina display, A11 chip, Touch ID and a 12MP camera. Woot promises these phones will be in working order with the usual physical wear you’d expect on a refurbished device. Ships with a 90-day warranty.Score a new low on Pioneer’s 7-inch Wireless CarPlay Receiver
Amazon is offering the Pioneer 7-inch Wireless CarPlay/Android Auto Receiver (W4500NEX) for $563. That’s over $135 off what other retailers are charging, a $60 savings compared to what it averages at Amazon, and is the lowest price we’ve tracked. With support for wireless CarPlay, Android Auto, Alexa, and Miracast, Pioneer’s flagship receiver is feature packed. A 7-inch display makes navigation dead simple and the ability to read incoming texts and more easily control music playback aims to make driving a safer experience for everyone.Samsonite slashes an extra 20% off MacBook backpacks, more
Samonite’s official eBay storefront is offering 20% off its current catalog. Our top pick is its Modern Utility Paracycle Backpack Laptop for $52. That’s $37 off the going rate found at retailers like Amazon and beats the lowest price we have tracked by $10. This sleek backpack sports plenty of room for both an iPad and MacBook. A water-resistant bottom aims to keep your gear protected when setting it down in moist areas. Extra strong materials are interwoven to deliver “exceptional tear strength in a lightweight material.”9to5Mac Deal of the Month: Get 15% off the Slope stand for iPhone and iPad from Wiplabs w/ code 9to5mac2023
Featured in the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) Design Stores, Slope is the ultimate iPhone/iPad stand featuring a beautiful patented design made from the same brushed and anodized finish as an iMac or MacBook. It utilizes a unique suction technology with thousands of microscopic air pockets that grip your device snuggly at the perfect viewing angle. Available in two sizes for both smartphones and tablets.
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The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro saw a major redesign with the M1 varieties, but far fewer changes with the upgrade to M2. Still, these machines have seen some changes from the previous generation, including most notably that processor upgrade, to make the M2 Pro MacBook Pro worth considering. Here’s everything you need to know.14″ MacBook Pro one month review [Video] M2 MacBook Pro Specs
Before I go into my thoughts on the laptop, I want to get the specs out of the way so I can focus on the user experience. The 14” MacBook Pro starts off with the M2 Pro chip, with a 10-core CPU and a 16-core GPU. It can be configured up to the M2 Max chip with a 12 core cpu and 38-core GPU. On the RAM and storage side of things, it starts with 16 GB of ram – configurable up to 96GB – and ranges from 512GB of storage up to 8TB. The larger 16-inch version of the laptop has all those same configuration options, with the M2 Pro chip starting off with a 19-core GPU, but a higher starting price of $2,499 compared to the 14-inch versions $1999 starting price. The Pro laptops are available in either silver or space gray, and this time around the color of the MagSafe cable is matched to the laptop.
Throughout most of the machine, not much has changed from the previous generation. When the M1 chips first arrived for the MacBook Pro the device saw a major redesign to strike a better balance of form an function, and that balance thankfully continues here.Content Consumption – 14″ MacBook Pro Audio
The 14” MacBook Pro has a six speaker array with force-cancelling woofers, and they sound excellent. It has much better bass than the MacBook Air, and the proper speaker grates and ports provide good stereo separation to make for a surprisingly good music listening experience. Apple also talks about the Dolby Atmos and spatialized audio support with the speakers, but the laptops built in speakers definitely don’t compare to the directionality and immersion you can get from a true surround setup. If you want good spatial audio with the laptop, you’re better off using the HDMI out to get multichannel audio or using AirPods. With modern AirPods, the 14” MacBook pro supports not just spatialized audio, but also head tracked spatialize audio. This lets the direction the sound is coming from seem to stay in place even as you turn your head. It can be cool, especially with movies, where sound is such an important part of the storytelling experience.
I can understand why some people like to have spatialized audio enabled, but for me the extra processing done to emulate a surround sound experience doesn’t lead to a sound that I prefer, and I even find the head-tracked audio a bit jarring; things like FaceTime using spatialized audio definitely seem more annoying than helpful for me. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy either disable headtracking or just disable spatialized audio altogether when you have your AirPods connected. I certainly won’t complain about extra features being available for those who want them, even if I won’t find myself using them, cause your experience using spatialized audio with AirPods could be different!Display
Continuing with the media consumption experience, you have the screen. It may not be a 4k or 8k panel, but in a laptop of this size that resolution isn’t necessary anyway. The screen on the 14″ MacBook Pro is 3024 by 1964 pixels, for a total of 254 pixels per inch. That is a plenty high enough pixel density for a screen of this size, but it is just a 14” screen. If you’re in a dorm room and intend to use your laptop as one of your only content consumption devices, skipping out on a TV, stepping up to the larger 16” MacBook Pro could be worth it. To feel immersed in a movie like you would at a theater you have to be pretty close the the screen – but you could find that worth the trade-offs, as the screen on the MacBook Pro is very good.HDR
Its a MiniLED type display, so unlike the more typical LCD’s which have a backlight that illuminates the whole screen at once, it has thousands of tiny LED’s that can illuminate different sections of the screen different amounts. This lets brighter elements on screen get extra bright – up to 1600 nits with HDR content – while allowing dark elements on screen to be darker. The whole screen Max HDR brightness is 1000nits, and with SDR content it’ll top out at 500.ProMotion
Additionally, the MacBook Pro has the variable refresh rate technology Apple refers to as ProMotion, so the built in display supports refresh rates up to 120Hz to offer a smoother experience when using the machine. It also allows the refresh rate to match that of the content you’re watching. Normally, if your watching 24fps content like movies on a 60Hz panel without variable refresh rate, it has to display one frame twice and the next frame three times in order to fit the 24 frames per second into the 60Hz of the screen. The uneven amount of time each frame is displayed will result in judder. With this display, it can just run at 48Hz so that each frame is displayed for an identical amount of time. This difference isn’t something most people will notice, but if you’re particularly susceptible to noticing it, the reduction in judder on the MacBooks display is nice to have. All in all, the MacBook Pro is an excellent content consumption device. The screen looks great and the speakers sound great, with the biggest downside just being the size of the display – but it’s what you’d expect from a laptop and it has excellent portability, so it can hardly be considered a drawback.Creative workflows
Now, while most people consume content – being a professional focused laptop – plenty of people choose to upgrade to the MacBook Pro to produce content, so how does it hold up there? Pretty well! I’ve been doing all my video editing on the MacBook Pro, and it has done an excellent job. With Apple’s M2 Pro chip inside, and a fantastic media engine that supports hardware acceleration for H264, H265, ProRes, and ProRes RAW, whatever media type you’re working with, the laptop will handle it incredibly well. Even on the base spec, with a 512GB SSD and 16GB of ram, I haven’t had any major slowdowns. Only twice so far have I actually heard the fan ramp up to keep the chip cool while under a heavy load – and I work in Premiere, so people working with Apple’s own Final Cut Pro may have better optimization and an even smoother experience due to that close integration.
Now, when editing video or photos, color accuracy is pretty important. While by no means is the built-in display a reference monitor, it’s plenty accurate video and photo work, with different profiles depending on the colorspace you’re working in. In addition to the display modes for XDR and standard Apple displays, you have BT.709, sRGB, PC-DCI and more. If you’re really worried about color accuracy, you can grab a calibration tool to adjust your built in display and any external displays to match.
The M2 Pro MacBook Pro also supports two external displays simultaneously. You can output 8K 60Hz or 4K 240Hz from the HDMI port, or connect two 6K 60Hz displays from the Thunderbolt ports. If you choose to upgrade to the M2 Max chip you can output to three displays at once for an even more impressive multi-monitor setup. I’m a big proponent to the value of multiple monitors, so the native support for more displays, as well as the improved HDMI 2.1 port for higher resolutions and faster refresh rates, is really valuable for me. Similarly, the power of the laptop and its excellent screen will make it a good fit for photo editing in Photoshop or Lightroom, even working with high-megapixel raw photos.M2 Pro MacBook Pro Benchmarks Geekbench CPU & compute
Running a Geekbench 6 compute benchmark through the Metal API, it gets 73,287, while running it through OpenCL it gets a score of 43,209. The scores may not beat out all the other CPUs and GPUs out there, but as with all things, it’s a balance. Apple’s ARM-based processor has a low power consumption and excellent efficiency leading to excellent battery life.Blender & Cinebench rendering
Finally, running Cinebench R23, running a multi-core test, the 14” MacBook Pro with the M2 Pro chip received an 11,723, and in a single core test it got a 1,631 – not reaching the scores of Xeons and Threadrippers, but beating out the Core i5-11600KF and Ryzen 5 5600X.SSD speed General usage
As I said before, the laptop carried over the design from the previous generation. When the 2023 MacBook Pro came out, it switched from a design-focused wedge shape to a slightly more boxy shape that I think strikes a better balance between performance and style. The efficiency improvements from Apple silicon allow the 14″ MacBook Pro to last me all day on battery life, such that I don’t think about bringing a charger when I’m leaving the house. The 16” version will last even longer, but whether I was on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, any of the Apple’s laptops with their own silicon last long enough on battery.Ports
The wider sides let Apple bring back some ports they previously removed, and this generation saw some improvements to those. On the left side, we’ve got the MagSafe 3 connector for charging up, two Thunderbolt ports, and a headphone jack with support for high impedance headphones. Over on the right side of the machine there’s a full size SD card slot, another Thunderbolt port, and an HDMI 2.1 port. As I touched on previously, this upgrade to HDMI 2.1 brings higher resolutions and refresh rates, supporting up to 8K 60Hz or 4k at 240hz. While there are certainly other laptops that have more to offer in terms of ports, this is the first time in more than five years that I’ve had a laptop with an HDMI port and an SD card slot built it, and I’m so glad to have them back. It seems minor, but its one more adapter I would have to keep track of.Camera and microphone
One negative from the identical design is the continued existence of a large notch for the 1080P FaceTime camera. The MacBook Pro still hasn’t gained FaceID or other features to help justify the large cutout, but one you start really using the machine you basically forget its there. The top bar helps hide it and the slightly taller aspect ratio prevents content from being covered by it.
As far as the camera goes, an average person definitely won’t run into any issues with it – it’s perfectly adequate for video meetings or FaceTime calls. Still, opting to use a separate webcam or using your iPhone’s camera through continuity camera will be a big step up in quality. The microphone on the laptop, however, is pretty outstanding. Apple refers to the three-mic array as studio quality, and uses directional beam forming to get good, clear audio from the user while blocking out other nearby sounds. I’ve been impressed with the microphone – it really does have a studio-type sound to it, blocking out pretty much any of the room tone.Keyboard
The keyboard continues what you’d expect from a MacBook keyboard. There isn’t too much travel distance, and a mechanical keyboard can certainly offer a more tactile experience, but as with so many things, there’s a lot of personal choice in what makes a good keyboard. I like the typing experience on the MacBook Pro, and it’s certainly much better than the butterfly keyboards Apple phased out a few years ago. I also quite like the styling of the black background behind the keys, rather than bare metal. And finally, the Touch ID built into the keyboard is very handy to unlock the computer, if for whatever reason I’m not wearing my Apple Watch.Gaming
I was going to try to talk about gaming here, but there really isn’t too much to talk about. It isn’t the power of the MacBook Pro holding it back, but the operating system.
You can play Minecraft, League of Legends, and other games, but there is just no way to see Mac as a gaming machine until more modern triple A games start supporting MacOS. If you want to play some retro games you can always emulate the system, and older games could work if you’re playing through a virtual windows machine using software like parallels, but Macs just don’t compare with Windows machines or consoles for the time being. For now, your best bet will be using a game streaming service like Xbox Cloud Gaming or Nvidia’s GeForce NOW to play your favorite games.9to5Mac’s Take
While I’ve stayed pretty focused on the 14″ M2 MacBook Pro here, of course it doesn’t exist in a bubble. The MacBook Air, while it’s less powerful and has less connectivity, is still a great laptop – and packs a great punch for its size. At its base price, it’s also $800 less expensive. If you think that could be a good option for you, check out my comparison video. The previous generation MacBook Pro could also be a great option, especially if you’re willing to go with a used laptop from somewhere like eBay, the M1 Pro or M1 Max MacBook Pro could be a fantastic value – outperforming the more modern M2 MacBook Air – in the same form factor as the current MacBook Pro.
But the 14″ M2 Pro MacBook Pro is the right laptop for me. It’s a powerful and portable machine with a very efficient processor and GPU to keep it running all day, whether I’m at home or on the go. I’ve truly enjoyed using the laptop over the past month and am pleased to continue using it.
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Dell’s XPS 15 vs. Apple’s MacBook Pro 15 takes its place the same epic list of rivalries as Batman vs. Joker, Red Sox vs. Yankees, and Sheldon vs. Wil Wheaton. Both laptops are intended as workhorses for professionals on the go. And although there are many competitors out there with similar specs, the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 15 just can’t let the other have the last word.
Gordon Mah Ung
The XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 15 face off yet again.Ports
The new MacBook Pro 15 has basically four Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C ports and a single analog headphone jack (thank god Apple hasn’t killed it this year). You’d think that with $246 billion in hand, Apple would give you a break and include an HDMI dongle or even a USB-Type A to USB-Type C, but no. #ThanksApple.
Gordon Mah Ung
Dell’s XPS 15 gives you an SD card reader, USB 3.0 Type A and Kensington lock port on the right, as well as a battery meter with five LEDs.
Although Apple Scrooges you on ports, one thing you get for free is performance. The Dell XPS 15’s implementation of Thunderbolt 3 uses two lanes of PCIe Gen 3.0, while all four of Apple’s ports are four-lane implementations, which can hit 40Gbps vs. the 20Gbps of the XPS 15.
The good news for the Dell is that DisplayPort traffic is separate from the Thunderbolt 3 traffic, so you could, in theory, run your monitors and still hit 20Gbps without issue. The bad news is the MacBook Pro 15 does that, too, while giving you up to 40Gbps. Today, few can see use for that speed, but in two years who knows what will be here. So yeah.
As much as I favor Apple’s higher-performance implementation on the MacBook Pro 15, the fact that you can’t use the ports without carrying a small bag of dongles that you have to pay extra for means I’m giving this to the Dell XPS 15, just on general principle.
Gordon Mah Ung
When it comes to ports, this photo comparing the left sides of the Dell XPS 15 (top) and Apple MacBook Pro 15 (bottom) tells you all you need to know.Keyboard
With the Butterfly design for its MacBook keyboards, Apple has gone from “making the best laptop keyboards in the world!” to “It’s not really that bad.” Or: “You get used to it, eventually.” Some will even say: “I actually like it. No, really. I’m serious.”
Gordon Mah Ung
The MacBook Pro 15’s Butterfly keyboard is controversial at best.
Winner: XPS 15, but I’m not happy about it.
Gordon Mah Ung
The XPS 15’s keyboard is a bit too cramped for my digits, but I’ll take it over the MacBook Pro’s Butterfly keys any day of the week, and three times on Friday.Trackpad and input
Gordon Mah Ung
The MacBook Pro 15’s trackpad is so big, it could be a tablet.
The XPS 15’s trackpad (unlike its keyboard) is also highly lauded. The Wall Street Journal, in fact, did nothing in its original review of the XPS 15 but gush over how the XPS 15’s track pad is as good as a MacBook’s. I like it, too. The surface has a little more friction to it, but it’s comfortable to use.
Winner: XPS 15
Gordon Mah Ung
The trackpad on Dell’s XPS 15 is remarkably smooth and responsive.Size and weight
More so than how thin it is is how heavy it is. In that category, the MacBook Pro has it in spades. We weighed our MacBook Pro unit at 3 pounds, 15.6 ounces. Yeah, just call it 4 pounds. The XPS 15 is a half-pound heavier at four pounds, 8.7 ounces.
Mind you, these are figures for the main units. Once you add the chargers, it really tilts. The MacBook Pro 15 plus its 87-watt charger (without the extended AC cable) is 4 pounds, 12 ounces. Not bad. The XPS 15 with its brick comes in at 5 pounds, 7.4 ounces. That’s a pretty big weight difference. Once you sling that on your shoulder and walk a mile through an airport, it’ll feel like a 10 pounds’ difference.
It is actually impressive to get to just under four pounds in a quad-core laptop with discrete graphics, but Apple made sacrifices to get there. More performance, in general, means more weight to keep it cooler. For example, the power brick for the Dell is 130 watts, significantly beefier than the 87-watt brick for the MacBook Pro 15.
Winner: MacBook Pro 15
Gordon Mah Ung
The Dell XPS 15 is slightly bigger in size than the MacBook Pro 15, but it’s really the weight that matters.Price
We’ve heard about the infamous “Apple tax,” but is it just trash-talking or something real? To find out, we picked a few of the configurations (including the laptops you see here) to compare. We also added a couple of other configurations so you can see just what you get for your dollar with either company.
The MacBook Pro 15 you see here is the base model. It costs $2,399 and comes with a quad-core Core i7-6700HQ, a Radeon Pro 450 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Compare that to the Dell XPS 15 before you. For $350 less, you get a quad-core Core i7-7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a 4K touchscreen.
Winner: XPS 15
Apple tax? The cheapest MacBook Pro 15 costs as much as the top-end XPS 15.Upgrades
People have been led to believe that upgrading a laptop is all but dead, because so many components have been soldered down to the motherboard. While you can’t swap the CPU or GPU anymore, it’s not true for all parts. You can, for example, buy the Dell XPS 15 you see here and in two years, open it up and drop in 32GB of RAM and a larger 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD. Not bad.
Gordon Mah Ung
You can’t upgrade the CPU or GPU in the XPS 15, but the RAM, SSD, and Wi-Fi module can be swapped out easily.
Winner: Easily the XPS 15Performance
To find out which laptop is faster we compared the base $2,399 MacBook Pro 15 with a Core i7-6700HQ, Radeon Pro 450, 16GB of RAM and 250GB SSD against the $2,050 XPS 15 with a Core i7-7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.Cinebench R15 performance
First up is Maxon’s Cinebench R15 test. This free benchmark measures CPU performance and GPU performance when tasked with rendering 3D scenes, using the same engine used in Maxon’s Cinema4D product. We used the latest version of Cinebench on both Mac and PC.
There’s been much shade thrown at Apple for going with the older 6th-gen Skylake CPU instead of waiting for Intel’s newer 7th-gen Kaby Lake CPU. This first benchmark was to see what these quad-cores could do.
The result: It’s not huge difference unless you count the ability of Kaby Lake to handle HEVC encoding and decoding. You also get higher clocks: The XPS 15’s Core i7-7700HQ CPU has a base clock speed of 2.8GHz and a Turbo Boost of 3.8GHz, while the MacBook Pro 15’s Core i7-6700HQ has a base of 2.6GHz and a Turbo Boost of 3.5GHz (here are the detailed specs of the chips on Intel’s website.)
CineBench R15 backs up all of our other CPU tests: The XPS 15 is about 10 percent faster than the MacBook Pro 15 (and lower in cost, too!).
Clearly, if you have a Skylake-based laptop—whether PC or Mac—you should be in no rush at all to “upgrade” to Kaby Lake for CPU work. However, if Dell, HP, Lenovo, and just about every other PC vendor can take the time to upgrade to the latest CPU the same way any of us would change our underwear daily, Apple should be able to do the same. It’s like giving up performance because they can’t be bothered to update the specs on the website.
Single-threaded tasks put the 7th generation Kaby Lake about 10 percent ahead of the 6th generation Skylake chip Apple used in its newest MacBook Pro 15.
CineBench also features a built-in graphics test that measures a computer’s OpenGL performance. Although the XPS 15 stomps the MacBook Pro 15 by more than 30 percent, I’d have to say this is a lot closer than I expected it to be. I’d attribute this to the OpenGL driver performance on Windows, which is just about dead, vs. Mac OS where OpenGL is still preferred.
How dismal is the graphics performance disparity between the MacBook Pro 15 and the XPS 15? The fact that the XPS 15 is “only” 35 percent faster in CineBench’s OpenGL test is actually good news for it.Geekbench Performance
Unlike Cinebench, which uses pure CPU rendering as a test, Geekbench uses many different small algorithms modeled after what it feels are valid measurements of performance. Geekbench says the XPS 15 is about 7 percent faster than the MacBook Pro 15, which is what I’d expect.
Again, the updated Kaby Lake offers about 10 percent more performance than the Skylake CPU it replaces.
In general, the XPS 15 and its Kaby Lake CPU, is roughly 10 percent faster across the board.
Geekbench also lets you measure the peformance of a computer at OpenCL tasks, which is an open language that lets you do traditionally CPU-bound tests on the GPU. Running on the discrete graphics of the Mac and the PC, we can see a dramatic difference. It’s just not even fair.
The XPS 15’s GeForce GTX 1050 pretty much eats the MacBook Pro 15’s Radeon Pro 450 for lunch and then uses a Butterflykey for a toothpick.
If you were to rely on the onboard graphics chip to handle a compute load, the XPS 15’s Kaby Lake graphics core would be about 10 percent faster than the graphics core integrated with the MacBook Pro’s Skylake chip.Blender Performance
Blender is an open-source popular rendering app used in many indie movies. It’s maintained on both MacOS and Windows, but performance, unlike in Cinebench, can be uneven across OS versions. For example, rendering is generally faster on Windows 7 than Windows 10, and I’ve found previous builds of Blender ran faster on MacOS.
The open-source Blender 3D program backs up other CPU-focused tests: The XPS 15 is about 10 percent faster.
Blender also supports using the graphics chip to render 3D. For this test, I tasked both laptops with a GPU render on the GPU version of the Peter Pan BMW test. The XPS 15’s GTX 1050 finish quite swiftly. The MacBook Pro 15 was much, much slower—so much slower, in fact, that it’s pretty apparent the GPU rendering on Blender just doesn’t work right. Again, I’d blame Blender first rather than the Apple, but if you have to do GPU renders: Skip the MacBook Pro 15 for the XPS 15.
OK, well, something isn’t right and hasn’t been for some time in Blender for GPU renders. The XPS 15 finishes in a few minutes, while the MacBook Pro 15 finishes in a few hours. Yes, hours.Gaming Performance
The results were downright ugly. First up is Tomb Raider running at 16×10 resolution on High. The Mac pushes about 47 fps which is OK until you realize the XPS 15 is buzzing along at 137 fps. My guess is 19×10 on Ultimate is well within reach for the XPS 15. You’re basically gassed out at 16×10 with the MacBook Pro 15, so getting to a higher resolution would mean compromising on even more visual quality settings.
In gaming, it’s nothing but ugly for the MacBook Pro 15 as its low-wattage Radeon Pro 450 struggles to compete with the XPS 15’s GeForce GTX 1050.
The situation is worse for Shadows of Mordor. Mind you, I wasn’t able to run the game at the exact same resolutions, so for High I opted for 1536×864 on the MacBook Pro 15 and 1680×1050 on high on XPS 15. That’s about 1.32 million pixels being rendered on the MacBook Pro 15 vs. 1.76 million pixels on the XPS 15, so the XPS 15 is actually doing about 30 percent more work than the MacBook Pro 15.
One other caveat you should note for both games being tested here: This isn’t a pure test of the GPU or CPU in either system, but also a test of the underlying OS, graphics API, driver, and the game itself.
Yes, I know you can install Windows 10 (not free) on the MacBook Pro and play games that way, but this would mean Windows 10 is superior to MacOS, and I don’t think anyone ever wants to admit that. The Shadows of Mordor performance is simply atrocious. I can run Shadows of Mordor on the XPS 15 at 19×10 on the Ultra setting and still see a very playable 48 fps, while the MacBook Pro 15 has to step down resolution (and game settings) to be even approachable to playing. Just ugly.
Winner: XPS 15
If you looked up ugly in the dictionary it would have a picture of the redesigned MacBook Pro 15 and its Radeon Pro 450 playing Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor. Because woof.Battery Life
Laptops are laptops because sometimes you do, indeed, run them on battery. While you’ve heard on the Internets that the MacBook Pro 15 has terrible battery life, the truth is it doesn’t.
What’s more impressive about those results is their relation to battery capacity. The MacBook Pro 15 packs a fairly small 74-watt-hour battery, while Dell has upped the capacity on the XPS 15 to 97 watt-hours for this year’s refresh.
There are mitigating factors, of course. For the most part, the GPUs are likely not part of the battery life equation, as the video playback of the file is run on the CPU’s graphics chip. Skylake and Kaby Lake probably consume about the same amount of energy doing this simple task.
The Dell XPS 15, does, however have a far denser 3840×2160-pixel screen, versus the MacBook Pro 15’s 2880×1600. In PPI, that’s basically about 226 PPI on the Mac vs 293 PPI on the PC. Lighting up more pixels costs you more power. The XPS 15’s 10-point touchscreen also absorbs some power. Other incidental system power draws, such as the SSD’s, may also come into play here.
Winner: MacBook Pro 15
Apple began accepting orders Tuesday for the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. The base model of the Mac Pro alone is $5,999, making it Apple’s highest-priced base model Mac to date. If you max out all Mac Pro options and add the $4,999 Pro Display XDR you’ll end up spending ten times that, though. Let’s have a look at how Apple has priced the various options on the Mac Pro.
The $5,999 model ships with a 3.5 GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W processor, 32 GB of DDR ECC RAM, a Radeon Pro 580X graphics card with 8 GB of GDDR5 memory, 256 GB of SSD-based storage, Apple’s Afterburner card, used for accelerating video, Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2.
On its own that’s a powerful system that is sure to meet the needs of many potential buyers, with gobs of internal expansion available as their needs grow. And unlike other Macs, this one is explicitly built with user-accessible internal expansion in mind: plenty of RAM sockets and PCI Express expansion slots can be populated after the fact with whatever you need.
Of course, there are some options which you can get only from Apple, which you’ll have to order at the time of your purchase. And that’s what sends the price into the stratosphere.Mac Pro processor and memory options
Apple offers Intel Xeon W processors with up to 28 cores, for example. While there are several steps in between, outfitting your new Mac Pro with a top-end 28-core 2.5 GHz processor will add $7,000 onto the cost of the machine.
You can buy server-quality DDR4 ECC RAM from various vendors for a lot less money than Apple charges. But if you go with Apple’s kit, you’ll end up paying $25,000 more for 12 sticks of 128 GB memory to fully populate the Mac Pro. But that’s only for Mac Pros configured with the 24 or 28-core processors, as they’re the only ones with that sort of memory addressing capability. Other Mac Pros are limited to 768 GB, a paltry $10,000 over the base price.Rig out your Mac Pro with graphics and storage
The next big ticket item is the graphics processor inside the box. The Mac Pro’s default graphics card is a general-use GPU that can drive six 4K displays, two 5K displays, or two Pro Display XDRs. Apple offers workstation-class Radeon Pro Vega II hardware for $2,400. Or fully load both MPX graphics slots with two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo boards, each with 32 GB of High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2) memory for $10,800 more than the stock card. Apple plans to have Radeon Pro W5700X cards available as an option, though it did not specify price.Mac Pro: What’s up with Afterburner?
The Apple Afterburner card is not an accessory that every Mac Pro buyer will need. Afterburner is a card that fits in the fifth of the the Mac Pro’s eight PCI Express expansion slots. It’s an accelerator card that decodes ProRes and ProRes RAW video codecs used in Apple’s own pro video software Final Cut Pro X. Products from Adobe, Avid and many other companies have added support for the codecs as well. If you’re not working in digital film or video, chances are slim you need the Afterburner card. But if you do, fork over another $2,000.Mac Pro accessories and wheels
Apple includes a keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 but you’ll need to fork over another $50 if you’d prefer a Magic Trackpad 2 instead. The Mac Pro also ships on flat feet. If you’re going to need to move the Mac Pro around the studio or office for various tasks, another $400 will get you wheels.Pro Display XDR
While the Mac Pro will work with any compatible display, some folks will be interested in the $4,999 Pro Display XDR. It’s pricy for a 32-inch monitor, but it’s not any 32-inch monitor. It’s got a 6K display with 1000 nits sustained brightness (1600 peak), 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and P3 wide color gamut support with 10-bit depth. It’s aimed at digital creatives and others looking for an alternative to even more expensive studio reference monitors.
That price gets you standard matte glass. Apple sells a version with “nano-texture glass” for $5,999. Apple claims the nanometer-level etching in nano-texture glass is superior because it maintains contrast while scattering light, unlike conventional matting, which cna lower contrast and produce unwanted haze and sparkle.
The Pro Stand will cost another $999. It lets you adjust height, tilt and rotation. Otherwise a VESA mount adapter is $199, so you can attach the Pro Display XDR to any 100 by 100 mm VESA-compatible mount.Wrapping up
As you can see, you can spend a lot of money on the Mac Pro without trying too hard. But those high-end configurations aren’t for everyone. The upside to the Mac Pro is that Apple’s left it with plenty of easily-accessible expansion, so you can add what you need down the road – once you’ve billed clients enough to pay off your massive initial investment!
Apple MacBook Pro (14-inch, M1 Pro): starts at $1,999 / £1,899 / €2,249 / Rs. 1,94,900
Apple MacBook Pro (14-inch, M1 Max): starts at $2,899 / £2,799 / €3,209 / Rs. 2,79,900
Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Pro): starts at $2,499 / £2, 399 / €2,749 / Rs. 2,39,900
Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Max): starts at $3,099 / £2,999 / €3,439 / Rs. 2,99,900
The M1 Pro is for everyone that doesn’t already know they need the M1 Max.
The rest of the updates in the MacBook Pro (2023) are equally as significant: an updated adaptive 120Hz display, an upgraded 1080p webcam, improved speakers with spatial audio, and some of the best battery life you can find on a really powerful laptop. On top of all that, MagSafe makes a welcome return, as do the SD card slot, HDMI port, and physical function keys.
The MacBook Pro (2023) was released in October 2023, and is available via Apple’s website, Amazon, and from select retailers including Best Buy, Walmart, B&H, and Adorama. All models are available in Silver or Space Gray. The 13-inch MacBook Pro, powered by the new M2 chip, appeared in mid-June 2023 but is really just a 2023-era MacBook Pro with a new chip. If you keep your eyes peeled you can often find deals offering several hundreds of dollars off the MSRP.
What’s changed in MacBook Pro design?
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
The 2023 MacBook Pro feels a lot like the 2023 MacBook Pro I’ve just come from but with updated specs. I’ve been using the latter laptop for years, lovingly referring to it as the Last Great MacBook Pro. It was the line in the sand I wasn’t willing to cross until Apple backtracked on half a decade’s worth of bad laptop decisions.
I’m used to having ports so have never bought a dongle, I never experienced the much-maligned Touch Bar or butterfly keyboard, and am simply switching from one MagSafe power cable to another. In tech, going backward is almost never a good idea, but in the MacBook’s case, it is. Apple took the Last Great MacBook Pro and… made it again.
The MacBook Pro (2023) has almost the exact same footprint and weight as the 2023 model — not to mention basically the same ports — but it comes with a one-inch larger display and slightly edgier chassis. It’s definitely bigger and heavier than more recent MacBook Pros but not by a huge degree.
I’ll talk about the display a little later, but the other main changes to MacBook Pro design are the reintroduction of physical function keys and the abandonment of the Touch Bar. Whether you liked the Touch Bar or not, it is no longer an option on the 2023 MacBook Pros (it is still present on the 2023 M2 13-inch MacBook Pro, however).
The SD card slot, MagSafe, and HDMI port make a triumphant return. Physical function keys are back and the Touch Bar is gone.
The rest of the keyboard is also great. The scissor-switch keys have a solid 1mm of travel and are housed in a black anodized aluminum tray. Over time I’ve noticed the tray gets pretty grubby looking, accumulating lots of visible dust and fluff, and the keys get shiny, requiring regular cleaning. The Touch ID sensor integrated into the power button is super fast and reliable and the Force Touch trackpad is enormous, responsive, and accurate. The built-in Mac trackpad is one of the main things I miss whenever I temporarily switch back to a Windows laptop.
The new MacBook Pro has large feet on the bottom of the chassis, presumably to increase airflow for regulating thermals. I never noticed heat being a problem, as it often was on my old MacBook. The laptop still gets warm under load but never uncomfortably enough to not want it on my lap. Having used the MacBook Pro through summer heat up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celcius), I feel comfortable saying ambient heat won’t impact performance for my use cases. I’ve still only rarely heard the fans after seven months of daily use.
The only branding on the new laptop is a debossed “MacBook Pro” on the bottom and a shiny Apple logo on the lid that doesn’t light up. One could argue that Apple is leaning into the notch-as-identifier, as the words “MacBook Pro” no longer appear under the screen. If you’re not into the idea of broadcasting your notched laptop to the world, you can hide the notch by making apps fullscreen (see image below) or using an app like Forehead. Dark mode and a dark wallpaper also do a nifty job of camouflaging it.
SDXC card slot
HDMI 2.0 slot
3.5mm headphone port
3x Thunderbolt 4 ports
MagSafe 3 with USB-C PD 3.1
14-inch (M1 Pro): 8-core CPU+14-core GPU; 10-core CPU+14-core GPU; 10-core CPU+16-core GPU
14-inch (M1 Max): 10-core CPU+24-core GPU; 10-core CPU+32-core GPU
16-inch (M1 Pro): 10-core CPU+16-core GPU
16-inch (M1 Max): 10-core CPU+24-core GPU; 10-core CPU+32-core GPU
All versions include a 16-core Neural Engine.
On paper, the M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs are, according to Apple, 70% faster than the original M1. The M1 Pro GPU, however, is twice as fast as the M1, and the M1 Max GPU is four times faster than the M1. Some things depend on your particular workflow, but the performance gains from the M1 are truly massive, especially where GPU-heavy tasks are concerned. The new M2 chip offers better single-core performance than the M1 Pro but the M1 Pro still wins on multi-core and more GPU-intensive tasks.
It is extremely hard to slow a MacBook Pro (2023) down with anything but extreme use cases.
I know my workflow wouldn’t put a dent in a maxed-out M1 Max. That’s why I opted for a more sedate M1 Pro with 32GB of RAM. I don’t edit 8K video, I don’t mix multiple hi-res livestreams, I don’t compile vast quantities of code, render 3D animation, or create visual effects for a living. But let’s be real, neither do most people that buy MacBook Pros.
If you are a professional with heavy GPU needs, however, the new MacBook Pro still has you covered. It is extremely hard to slow a 2023 MacBook Pro down with anything but extreme use cases. It’s no overstatement to say the new MacBook Pro is the first viable desktop replacement for many serious professionals.
For anyone not described above, the M1 Pro will still knock your socks off. I’ve spent years working to the constant whir of my MacBook Pro fans but no matter what I did on the new MacBook Pro I almost never heard them. I know there are fans in there but I’m yet to hear them except when exporting hi-res video files. If you want to see just how much you need to throw at a 2023 MacBook Pro to slow them down, there are some great torture tests on YouTube.Display
16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR
Adaptive 24-120Hz ProMotion
3,456 x 2,234 pixels, 254 ppi
1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
The Liquid Retina XDR (Extreme Dynamic Range) display is an almost-4K IPS-like LCD backlit with mini-LED that’s really good. Contrast ratios are excellent, colors are vibrant, and it’s locally dimmable. If you like HDR content, viewing it on your laptop is now a really satisfying possibility, and I didn’t see any significant blooming.
The XDR display covers 99% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and sRGB. It only covers 94% of Adobe RGB, however, which will be of note to photographers. Color calibration is excellent and there are a bunch of preset color profiles to choose from.
Adaptive 24-120Hz is a blessing for future-proofing your laptop and being able to lock it to specific refresh rates — ideal for editing video — is a nice touch. 120Hz is mostly limited to Catalyst apps right now but Safari support has also been confirmed. As with all 120Hz displays, it seems unnecessary until you actually use it.
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
With peak brightness of 1,600 nits and 1,000 nits sustained performance, HDR content looks great. Even at its non-HDR brightness of just over 500 nits, there’s no trouble with outdoor visibility. The screen itself is quite matte, so reflections are minimized (not so with the keyboard, which is horrendously shiny and reflective under overhead cafe lighting). The mini-LED backlight and high contrast ratio also mean HDR content looks great outdoors. As with most MacBooks, the edges of the screen get very fingerprinty so you’ll either be cleaning it a lot or learning new laptop-handling skills to keep it looking nice.
I ended up not even noticing the notch after a few days.
The notch is admittedly less than ideal but with the dark theme on and a dark wallpaper, I ended up not even noticing it after a few days. The only time I originally even noticed it was when it obscured something in my status bar. Long story short: at launch, status icons (or “menu bar extras” as Apple calls them) would appear under the notch while app menu items would avoid it. This was an embarrassing oversight for launch software. Apple later fixed the issue in macOS 12.1.Webcam and audio
1080p FaceTime webcam
6-speaker system with spatial audio
The MacBook Pro webcam finally got an update this year, from the dated 720p potato cam to a much more acceptable 1080p FaceTime camera. Quality is generally good but it’s nothing exceptional for a lockdown world, just what you’d expect from a built-in webcam in this day and age. Compared to my Logitech 920 it has a wider field of view and is a bit brighter, with what looks to be a slight skin smoothing effect.Battery
Li-Po battery: 100W/8,694mAh (16-inch model); 70W/6,068mAh (14-inch model)
MagSafe fast charging: 140W (16-inch model); 96W/67W (14-inch model)
USB-C charging (at slower speeds)
With the 10-core M1 Pro I was easily getting 10-12 hours of screen-on time with brightness at around 50%.
Standby battery drain is normally about 2% per day and you can get a 50% charge in 30 minutes with the bundled 140W charger. This is incredibly convenient considering how many hours 50% battery will get you. From 10% battery to 100% only takes an hour and a half. That’s only on the MagSafe port though; you can charge via any of the USB-C ports but only the MagSafe port is USB-C Power Delivery 3.1 compliant.
My typical workflow includes writing, watching videos, editing, web browsing, and using a ton of cloud-based apps like Lightroom and Photoshop. The MacBook Pro (2023) handled all of this without breaking a sweat. Beyond uninterrupted performance, I knew I could get a whole day’s worth of work done without worrying about power outlets.
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
Native apps: If you’re not sure which apps are running natively and which are run through Rosetta 2, just check the Activity Monitor, which has a column called Kind. It’ll either show Apple or Intel. If you have any weird performance issues this might help you identify the cause.
Memory bandwidth: If you need high bandwidth memory make sure you spring for the M1 Max, as that chip offers double what the M1 Pro does (400GB/s vs 200GB/s). For me, it’s not a huge issue but it could be for you.
External monitors: I ran two 4K external monitors on the M1 Pro MacBook Pro without a hitch. The M1 Pro can actually run two 6K monitors at 60Hz. The M1 Max can handle three 6K monitors and one 4K monitor, all at 60Hz. That’s sick.
Bundled chargers: The 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with the 140W charging brick in the box. The base model 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 67W charger. If you want to enjoy its maximum 96W charging, you’ll have to pay $20 extra at the checkout. If you don’t, it’ll cost you $79 to pick up the 96W charger later.
See also: The best MacBook deals
When I gave up on Apple laptops over five years ago, never did I think Apple would reverse course and add back all the things I wanted. Somehow, amazingly, that has come to pass — and I could not be more impressed. Just because the new MacBook Pro tickles my fancy, however, doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. If you need HDMI 2.1 or UHS-III, you’ll be disappointed. Hate the notch or want Face ID on your laptop? You’ll want to skip this one. And if you’re waiting for Apple to fully embrace gaming, well, I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Apple MacBook Pro 2023 review: The verdict
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
The MacBook Pro (2023) is 95% of the Mac many of us have been wanting for years. Apple giveth and Apple taketh away but, as unbelievable as it may seem, Apple has finally listened to what MacBook Pro fans have been complaining about. With this MacBook Pro, Apple has once again delivered a laptop that earns its place as the default laptop for creatives (though there are still some good alternatives). Even though it’s expensive, to my mind it’s well worth its hefty price tag.
Apple really cares about making money, so here’s a tip if you’re in the market for a new laptop. If you want Apple to continue to listen to what its customers want, do us all a favor and buy a MacBook Pro 2023. We might just get our remaining complaints addressed next time if Apple sees the money rolling in. It would be a sad day indeed if this all ended up being a one-off.
Top MacBook Pro questions and answers
The M1 Pro is more powerful than the M2 in multi-core and GPU-intensive tasks. The M2 performs better in single-core tasks and is more power efficient. The M1 Pro has higher bandwidth, more GPU cores, and supports more RAM but the M2 has a higher CPU clock speed. The M2’s improvements are primarily over the M1, not the M1 Pro. Naturally, the M1 Max far outperforms the M2.
Not on the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. You’re better off getting an M2 MacBook Air or waiting for the M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro.
The M1 Max chip is great if you have a sustained, GPU-intensive workflow. Coders, animators, videographers, and film editors will benefit from its high-performance capabilities but most average users don’t need it and won’t benefit from the extra power. Considering the M1 Max’s additional GPU cores draw more power whether they’re being used or not, you also pay a battery life premium (not to mention the monetary one) for the M1 Max, so it’s only worth it if you actually need it.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with the 140W charging brick. The 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 67W charger. You can, however, pay $20 extra at checkout to upgrade it to the 96W charger.
The MacBook Air is lighter, cheaper, and less powerful than a MacBook Pro. The 2023 MacBook Air has fewer ports than the 2023 MacBook Pros, weaker speakers, and a worse screen. Despite coming with the newer M2 chip, the Air doesn’t have a fan, so thermal throttling is more of a consideration for sustained performance. The new Air is also 20% more expensive than its predecessors but still much cheaper than the base model MacBook Pro. For more differences, check out our post on the best Apple MacBook to buy.
It depends how much performance and portability you need. The M1 Pro and M1 Max are available in both the 14- and 16-inch models and the new 13-inch MacBook Pro features the M2 chip. While the M2 is newer, the 13-inch MacBook Pro design is older and it comprises primarily older components. The 14-inch MacBook Pro is obviously smaller and lighter but it has a smaller screen and less space in which to manage thermals. The 16-inch is still portable but it’s much heavier to lug around, even if it does have a larger screen, bigger battery, and faster charging. If you’re still undecided, we have a buyer’s guide to help you make the right choice.
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