The 16-inch MacBook Pro isn’t your average, everyday notebook and packs an attractive design, coupled with the best hardware you can find in a portable computer right now. Naturally, a high-quality product will be outfitted with ‘focus on performance’ hardware and by extension, the 16-inch MacBook Pro display is no exception. Featuring a 3072 x 1920 resolution, it’s might not be equivalent to a 4K screen like other high-end Windows 10 notebooks in terms of pixel measurements, but it can get super bright, is super accurate, and will be a treat to use for content creators, creative professionals and more.
The macOS experience would also seem fluid for a lot of users, and Apple does its best with timely software updates, even if those updates are accompanied by a few bugs that irritate customers. Unfortunately, despite that fluidity which macOS has to offer, whether it’s that glass-textured trackpad performing those gestures or something else, customers will know the difference when handling a notebook display with a higher refresh rate. That smooth mouse scrolling, which only makes transitions and animations all the more enjoyable to view once you start to get some work done.
Webpage scrolling and browsing become so seamless, you’ll believe the actual purpose of a high refresh rate screen was to enjoy those buttery smooth animations for hours and hours. Alas, Apple didn’t include a higher refresh rate panel with its 16-inch MacBook Pro display config. Instead, what we got was a variable refresh rate, which you can check out how to toggle by reading our guide, but it won’t go above 60Hz. Now if Apple wanted, the Retina display could have a higher refresh rate, but the fact that it didn’t makes me disappointed.
Much Cheaper Gaming Laptops Feature a Higher Refresh Rate, but Apple Decided to Leave That Part out When Finalizing the 16-inch MacBook Pro Display
A 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rate display on a gaming notebook has become the new standard these days. What’s even impressive is that some of these models are on sale for as low as $899. That asking price is way more reasonable than the $2,399 bill you have to pay for the 16-inch MacBook Pro display maxing out at just 60Hz.
Now don’t get us wrong, gaming notebooks don’t exactly have the same color-accurate panel or a 3072 x 1920 resolution, or higher brightness or contrast levels; we could go on. However, we give a two-thumbs up for manufacturers for pushing to make this change a standard, and Apple should too.
Also, if our readers are complaining that there’s no way Apple can provide a higher refresh rate at the same resolution, the Razer Blade 17 has a 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate. That being said, there’s no reason Apple shouldn’t push forward in the same direction. The question is, will the technology giant be willing to.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro Isn’t a Top-Notch Gaming Machine, so Why Should It Have a Higher Refresh Rate Display?
The same argument can be made for the iPad Pro going way back to 2016. These slates weren’t targeted to ‘hardcore gamers’ and yet, these tablets were shipped with 120Hz displays. Also, Apple has been using a 120Hz touch sample rate for its iPhones since the inception of the iPhone X back in 2017. It’s not the same as a higher refresh rate, but it’s still better than what you’re getting with the 16-inch MacBook Pro display capped at 60Hz.
If that wasn’t enough, the iPhone 12 lineup is rumored to ship with a switchable refresh rate displays up to 120Hz. The rumor claims the upcoming handsets will be able to switch the refresh rate back to 60Hz when something static such as an image shows up. This will help to conserve battery life. The 16-inch MacBook Pro also relies on battery power, but it was kept away from being a member of the ‘high refresh rate club’ all the same.
With Apple’s iPad Pro eventually getting access to more macOS apps thanks to Project Catalyst, the tablet is coming one step closer to a portable computer for different needs and users, and it features a higher refresh rate for those silky smooth transitions, something which the 16-inch MacBook Pro lacks.
Is a 16-inch MacBook Pro Display Not Treated to a Higher Refresh Rate That Big of a Deal?
It’s not of a question of being a big deal or not. It’s more to do with Apple comfortably being able to pull it off but it didn’t. Keep it mind, the 16-inch MacBook Pro can be configured up to a whopping 64GB RAM and up to 8TB of PCIe NVMe SSD for a cool $6,099. Beastly gaming notebooks with higher refresh rates hardly come close to packing even half that RAM and nowhere close to the amount of storage a 16-inch MacBook Pro can house. So a simple ‘sorry, it wasn’t possible for us’ from Apple isn’t going to cut it.
Hopefully in 2020, when Apple refreshes the 13-inch MacBook Pro, we’ll hear some refreshing news regarding an updated 16-inch MacBook Pro display with a 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rate. For now, if professionals are absolutely fine with this model, we definitely can’t hold you down. After all, it’s a great machine and there are no two ways to look at it.