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Review of th Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch display


Review of the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch display

Published on March 0815, 2020   |   Updated on November 15, 2020


Apple has been getting us used to placing excellent panels on their 13" and 15" MacBook Pro since 2015. Excellent enough to rival Eizo CS or BenQ SW desktop monitors. If that was hardly believable then, given the reputation of laptops in general, it has become almost commonplace on many panels in 2020. Does this new 16-inch MacBook Pro still live up to that reputation?

If you read the laptop panel reviews on this site, you know how much good I think of the Apple MacBook Pro series laptop display. So the question that arises is a very simple one: is this new 16-inch MacBook Pro the same standard?


In a few words...

Apple MacBook Pro 16"  

Apple MacBook Pro
16-inch display

from $2,249.00

As on the last MacBook Pro 13 and 15 inches, Apple succeeds in placing in this MacBook Pro 16-inch an excellent panel with which we will be able, I assure you, to do something else than emptying its memory cards! Favourite product - Read my conclusion  

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From 2,499.00
From £2,169.00
From £2,399.00



Introducing the Retina display on the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

Apple has finally reduced the size of the edges of its flagship notebook and thus, in an "envelope" very close to 15 inches, has managed to fit a comfortable 16-inch display. As for the quality, it's as always at Apple superlative, especially since Apple has finally redesigned its keyboard, which I had a lot of fun using.

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch Silver   Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch gray space
Touch ID of the Apple MacBook 16-inch   Expansion Thunderbolt 3.0 of Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch
  Technical specifications
  Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch Average price: from $ 2,399.00
Panel size
16-inches 16:9 - 3072 x 1920 - 226 ppi
Panel technology
IPS White LEDs - Glossy Panel
  Uniformity check No
  Color space 99% DCI-P3 measured
  Maximum brightness 500 cd/m2 (Max 467 cd/m2 measured)
  Contrast 1350:1 measured at 90 cd/m2
  HDR compatibility -
Look Up Table
8 bits
  Response time 5 ms
Laptop size
14.09 x 9.68 x 0.63 in / 4.40 lb
  Edge thickness 8 mm
  Calibration software No
  Connections 4 x ThunderBolt 3.0
  VESA compatibility -
  Hood -
  Warranty 1 or 3 years - Apple USA

In the box...

The laptop is sold with :

  • The power cord... of course, even from Apple!
  • The 96 W power supply.

Size and perceived quality

The screen is 14.09 inches wide and has a 16-inch panel that is 13.58 inches wide. The screen has significantly thinner edges than on previous generations of MacBook Pro, which will promote a multi-screen work environment, if you place another screen right next to it.

DCI P3 panel of the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

As for the perceived quality, it is superlative, as always with Apple, so much so that all the world's production is always compared to this emblematic brand!

The 16-inch MacBook Pro display and its Retina panel

1 - Definition/resolution - The Apple Retina panels on the MacBook Pro all use white LED IPS technology, which allows the same view to be displayed from any angle. This panel is, of course, Retina, which is High Definition - UHD - in the Apple language. The definition of the 16 inch is 3072 x 1920 pixels. This represents a resolution of 226 ppi, which means that these values are only accessible to the world of UHD/4K. The image is thus particularly pretty and "shaped", especially since by a display trick, the images and other menus are displayed in "larger", as if the screen was in a 1680 x 1050 definition. It's really beautiful and the pitch is perfectly invisible.

	ThunderBolt 3.0 connections for the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch from 2019

2 - The panel and its anti-reflection treatment - The Retina panel of the MacBook Pro since 2017 is still a glossy panel unlike the previous generation but whose anti-reflection treatment seems very effective. Well, with a glossy panel, it still depends a lot on your lighting environment.

3 - The DCI-P3 gamut - The Retina panel of the 16-inch MacBook Pro now displays the DCI-P3 gamut, 15% wider than the famous sRGB but 12% less than Adobe RGB. That's always a good idea if you like to work with very saturated colors.

Expansion and charging

If you want to connect another screen you will have to do it with the new ThunderBolt 3.0 socket. All definitions and frequencies are therefore accessible without limitations.

Expansion Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

Ergonomics (see photos above)

The ergonomics of laptop screens is, by definition, null or inappropriate here.
As far as screen settings are concerned, they can only be made in brightness on the keyboard or in the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Monitor. The settings are minimal but not at all annoying.


What is the Retina display on Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch worth after calibration with i1Display Pro?

So I calibrated a MacBook Pro 16-inch Retina with my i1Display Pro colorimeter.

BEFORE CALIBRATING your Apple notebook - Turning off two display options on your MacBook Pro is essential if you want to properly calibrate your Apple notebook. To do this, go to "Apple Menu > System Preferences > Power Save" and then "System Preferences > Monitors" :

  • Disable the power-saving option which consists in lowering the brightness of your screen when you are not connected to the electrical network,
  • Deactivate the "Adjust brightness automatically" option.

Uncheck "Adjust brightness automatically" in "System Preferences > Monitors" on your MacBook Pro 16-inch..

Power saver for the 2019 Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch with i1Display Pro

Also uncheck "Obscure slightly when the computer monitor is running on battery power" ... at least the calibration time if you are not receiving power at that time.


My recommendation! Once the calibration is done, you can always check these options again if you want to manage your energy consumption as closely as possible, but at least you will have a correct ICC profile.

I chose the following display settings:

I have calibrated this display - like all the monitors and displays I test - with the best current colorimeter with a simply excellent price/performance ratio: i1Display Pro + i1Profiler software (version 3.2.0) in order to be able to situate this new monitor in relation to the monitors or displays on the market. You'll see that the figures are hardly believable if you're still convinced that Apple's panels only look good on a desk!

Color space: no choice! (DCI-P3 by default)
Gamma: no choice! (2.2 by default)
Contrast: no choice!
Color temperature: no choice (6500 K by default)

And as target values in the i1Profiler 3.2.0 software...

  • Display technology: choose white LEDs,
  • D65 or possibly a little less if you want a slightly warmer screen.
  • Luminance: 90 cd/m2 or more (160 cd/m2) depending on your main use (print, Web or video) and especially the brightness of your room,
  • Contrast: Native for web or video or 287:1 for those who print a lot but ultimately it will depend on your paper,
  • Gamma: try between 2.2 and 2.4 - standard curve, (a priori, gamma 2.4 seems more appropriate so to check it, do the test on my dedicated page),
  • ADC function: as you wish: try both!
    Automatic room light control function disabled.

And the result is ?

First subjective impressions after this calibration of MacBook Pro 16-inch display?

Well it's no longer a surprise on MacBook Pro! It's a perfect screen for any photographer who needs to retouch on the go or shoot in connected mode. The combination of white LED IPS panel, Retina panel, and next-generation P3 gamut works really, really well, displaying subtle grayscales with no tonal breakage and colors with great accuracy on a single panel, too. We are at the level of an Eizo CS2420 if I can dare!

Objective data: what does the final report say after calibration?

Before switching to the Delta E, it is interesting to note the color temperature values achieved and the contrast of this Apple Retina panel.

a) Color Temperature, Contrast and Black Level :

Final report after calibration of the Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro with i1Display Pro

My opinion: Reaching a color temperature (TC) of 6495K for 6500K requested is perfect. This is common on high-end desktop monitors but much rarer on laptops! Note and enjoy! - the 1335:1 contrast measured at 90 cd/m2 on a laptop as well. So you won't have any contrast problems with this display even if it doesn't use OLED technology. Black is one of the deepest blacks I have ever measured on an IPS panel (0,067 cd/m2).

b) Delta e - Now, let's move on to the famous Delta E according to the 2000 standard that I use to calibrate all the screens on this site:


Delta E after calibration of the MacBook Pro 16-inch Apple with the i1Display Pro

My opinion:
The average Delta E standard 2000 is 0.6 and the worst patch has a value of 1.0 (in the same line as the MacBook Pro 15-inch), well below the 2 where the eye can begin to perceive significant deviations! These are values worthy of high-end displays typified by "graphic art" and not of a "common" laptop.

Now the uniformity tests in luminance and color temperature :

Luminance uniformity after calibration of the 2019 Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with i1Display Pro

Frankly, getting such values on a laptop screen was a nice surprise when I tested the first 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2017. Today, with Apple but also with some high-end panels from Dell or Asus, it's becoming "normal". And that's good because it's perfectly possible to work in good conditions on this screen that's starting to get big...

Color temperature uniformity after calibration of the 2019 Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with i1Display Pro

As on the 13-inch, the color temperature uniformity is very good and even the 1.8 delta e on the bottom right will remain invisible to everyone.




  Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch  
Color fidelity 10/10
Panel uniformity 10/10
Resolution 10/10
Reflections on the panel 8.0/10
Ergonomics - -
Connections 10/10
Manufacturing quality 10/10
Quality / Price ratio 8/10
  I really like...  
  • 16 inches get comfortable to work in!
  • Delta e excellent for a notebook worthy of an Eizo ColorEdge CS display: 0.6 average and 1.0 for the worst patch!
  • Contrast from 1335:1 to 90 cd/m2,
  • White LED IPS panel and Retina displaying the DCI-P3 gamut (between Adobe RGB and sRGB) on a laptop!
  • Very nice grayscale after calibration,
  • Really beautiful images: as beautiful as on an Eizo CS2420 screen, so you can consider photo retouching on the go.
  I'm sorry...  
  • Glossy panel... but with a rather effective anti-reflection treatment,
  • No Adobe RGB gamut at Apple so Apple prefers videographers rather than photographers,
  My overall rating...  
  9,5 / 10 ... a favorite!  
  My conclusion...  

This new 16-inch MacBook Pro is in the same line of thought as its little brothers. We are at the level of an Eizo CS2420 or BenQ SW240. If it was not for the lack of space which will be adjusted very quickly by adding a second screen right next to it, we can without any ulterior motive work on this panel once calibrated. By the way, I appreciated the global silence of this laptop whose ventilation didn't start to turn at full speed all the time as well as its new keyboard, finally !!!! A product that I love!

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch
From $2,249.00
From $2,499.00
From £2,169.00
From £2,399.00
Here is my complete review of the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch display
- Complete review of the Apple MacBook Pro 16" display
  1 - Introduction of the Apple MacBook Pro 16" display
2 - What is the Apple MacBook Pro 16" display worth after calibration?
3 - My rating and conclusion

- My 35 laptop monitor reviews!
- How to choose your monitor?
- How to calibrate your monitor?


Calibrate your monitor with the best
colorimeter: X-Rite i1Display Pro !

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Calibrate your monitor with your favorite colorimeter : Datacolor SpyderX PRO !

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