I would like to preface this post with a disclaimer. I love Zorin OS. It was my first daily driver Linux distro and it is my number one Linux distro recommendation for newcomers and non-tech savvy people. I have actually reached out to the Zorin OS developers before about updating to an Ubuntu 20.04 base and they replied very quickly. They are amazing and I think the project they are working on is really good.
That said, there are, in my opinion, a few things that hold the experience back.
I acknowledge that Zorin OS 16 Pro is a major part of how the Zorin OS team can continue to work on Zorin. I think it is a good idea for monetization. However, layouts should be independent of this. I am aware that the same look can be achieved by manually configuring the GNOME extensions, but I feel like new users won't be doing this. If someone is coming from macOS and for whatever reason aren't willing to pay 40 bucks for the Pro version, they will have a much worse experience. In addition, the presentation is slightly misleading: the non-availability of the additional layouts on Zorin OS Core is not extremely visible. I think that the monetization model should be based on support, a business model proven to be robust by the likes of Red Hat and Ubuntu. I think all 4 exclusive layouts, or at the very least the macOS layout, should be added to the Core version.
I find default GTK themes provided in Zorin OS, which I absolutely love otherwise, to be situated on the extremes. The light mode is too bright to use comfortably, and the dark mode obscures boundaries between apps because of low contrast. I would love for the themes to be tweaked somewhat. Personally, I think Pop OS mostly nails the lightness and darkness of their themes. Apparently, I'm not the only one who's noticed this: Zorin OS Lite: Pros and Cons - YouTube
In addition, the dark themes with accents tint the entire screen, which, unless using the blue accent, looks pretty bad in my opinion.
I think the idea to pre-install professional applications is a good one, I think, but the execution is a little bit flawed. No one is going to want every single one of those applications. I think if you gave the choice of some different professional workflows, like photo, music, video, CAD, development, etc., that might make it that little bit better.