What color MacBook Pro should you get?

16-inch MacBook Pro on Box
16-inch MacBook Pro on Box (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

Both the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 and 16-inch MacBook Pro (which still has Intel inside) come in either silver or space gray, and those colors have been a staple on tons of Apple devices over the years. What color option you choose is ultimately up to you, but there are some subtle differences between the two you may not have thought about. Here are a few things to consider when you're deciding which is the best MacBook color for your new MacBook Pro.

Distractions in low-light conditions

MacBook Pro in low light

MacBook Pro in low light (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

If you ever use your MacBook Pro in a dark room, and you want to ensure you can focus on the screen, minimizing glare is important.

The good news is that both the silver and space gray options have dark bezels around the screen. This allows you to focus on what's on your screen without having to worry about the bezel being a high-contrast — like sliver iPads with a white frame, for example. It's especially great for watching movies or gaming as the bezels just seemed to fade into the screen, making it almost impossible to notice.

When it comes to the actual MacBook Pro reflecting light, both the silver and space gray versions are metal, so they do provide some glare, and to the very keen observer, the silver will likely reflect light a little more; however, the difference is pretty negligible. The brushed aluminum texture of both colors absorbs more light than reflects it.

Discoloration concerns

It's natural to be concerned that the color of your MacBook Pro may fade over time —especially on the silver version — but I'm here to tell you that you really don't need to worry about that. Apple has been making the anodized aluminum finishes on their products for years and pretty much have perfected the process.

My many-years-old MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones have all held their color over the years and have the exact same color as they did when I first took them out of the box.

Basically, you don't need to be worried about staining, discoloring, or fading color and finish on your MacBook Pro; it will hold up over time with no problems.

Wear and tear

16-inch MacBook Pro Arrow Keys

16-inch MacBook Pro Arrow Keys (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

While Apple's anodization process is a little more robust than other products out there, it is still metal. Metal can be scratched and scuffed, and if the scratches are big or deep enough, they will be noticeable on either color.

Small scratches and microabrasions will be far less noticeable on the silver MacBook Pro because the scratches won't have as much contrast as the space gray version. If the scratch is quite small and shallow, you're likely only to notice it when light hits it a certain way.

If any signs of wear and tear, even small scratches, bother you, silver will be better suited for your needs.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.