ICYMI: Apple’s new MacBook Pro has (almost) everything you want

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This week, we tested new flagship smartphones, high-power laptops and significantly improved headphones. Devindra Hardawar has reviewed the latest 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro and reports that they provide almost everything one could want from a powerful laptop. Billy Steele spent time listening to the third generation AirPods headphones and concluded that they sound much better than the previous version. And Cherlynn Low used Google’s Pixel 6 and 6 Pro and found that phones with heavy cameras can offer much more, including a great starting price.

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

Devindra Hardawar says the 14- and 16-inch MacBooks are exactly what media professionals have been waiting for: fast M1 Pro and Max processors, a comfortable keyboard, serious battery life, and great speakers. They also contain most of the key ports that MacBooks have been missing for years, including (finally!) An SD card reader, although laptops are thicker and heavier as a result. And of course, it all comes with a high starting price of $ 1,999.

Devindra was particularly impressed by the Liquid Retina XDR screens, which approach 4K resolutions and have a mini-LED backlight to produce up to 1,600 nits of brightness. He was also pleased to find support for 120 Hz refresh rates, as well as benchmark testing in which both MacBooks thrilled competing Windows PCs. However, while laptops have been able to quickly convert 4K video to 1080p, Devindra doesn’t think they’ll make the best gaming machines – they’re trying to load Borderlands 3 produced a mess that cannot be played. All in all, he says these computers have practically everything anyone, especially a creative professional, would want in a powerful notebook – as long as you can afford it.

Apple AirPods 3rd-Gen (2021)

Billy Steele / Engadget

Apple’s latest AirPods have been almost completely redesigned from the previous version; the buds themselves have a new look thanks to a contour shape that reduces weight and has a narrowed silhouette and angle to increase comfort. Billy Steele says the company’s efforts to make better AirPods have paid off: the new headphones are more comfortable and have much better sound quality, with a larger and more striking sound that has remained open and airy. This is thanks to a custom driver paired with a high dynamic range amplifier, as well as a new H1 chip and an inward-facing microphone. Billy says these changes made AirPods something he actively wanted to listen to music on.

The new AirPods also have an IPX4 rating so they will survive sweaty workouts or small splashes. They can also detect skin that, combined with a built-in accelerometer, allows for more precise pausing and extends battery life. The new chip means you can listen to songs in Dolby Atmos on Apple Music, and surround sound is available with dynamic head tracking to change the position of the sound when you turn your head. However, the latest AirPods still lack active noise cancellation and Transparency mode as these features are still reserved for the more expensive AirPods Pro. While Billy admits that these headphones aren’t for everyone, he says they continue to offer Apple users features that integrate well with the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro

David Imel for Engadget

Cherlynn Low says the latest Google phones – the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro – are the most intriguing phones the company has made in years. In addition to Google’s first mobile processor, the Tensor, these two phones also feature enhanced camera hardware, beautiful OLED screens, fast refresh rates (120Hz for 6 Pro, 90Hz for 6) and decent speakers. Cherlynn says the best feature is the surprisingly low starting price – just $ 599 – which makes some of the shortcomings more forgivable.

One of the problems she had with the phones was the lag of the fingerprint sensor under the screen, which requires the screen to be turned on before unlocking – a process she says shouldn’t have two steps. She was more impressed by the new voice keyboard, which did a great job of transcribing speech, and additional camera functions. The sensors are sharper and larger with larger pixels, giving bright, clear photos – and special camera features, such as Magic Eraser and Face Unblur, give users a lot of control over their photos. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro were also excellent in our battery tests, lasting 20.5 hours and 17 hours, respectively. Overall, Cherlynn calls the phones a great return to form, showcasing Google’s strengths in the software and photography department.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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