As it is every year, today, Apple is bringing us yet again new generation of their MacBook Pro lineup. During their “hello Again” event they introduced the new lineup and with that several new interesting features and upgrades.
New MacBook Pro 13-inch and 15-inch variants announced
As usual Apple is bringing us multiple variants of their new MacBook Pro. Those variants are 13-inch and 15-inch sizes again, following similar design philosophies as before. In terms of design, not much has changed over the last generation. Both laptops utilize unibody Aluminum frames, and as always Apple made sure to keep new laptop as minimalist as possible. That said the 13-inch variant is 14.9 mm thin and weighs 1.37 kg whereas the 15-inch variant is 15.5 mm thin and weighs 1.83 kg. Both variants feature larger Force Touch trackpad along with features such as new Touch Bar, Touch ID and as well four Thunderbolt 3 ports for each variant.
Hardware wise, both variants differ in their specifications. 13-inch variant utilizes dual-core Intel i5 CPU with base frequency of 2.9GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz along with 8GB 2133MHz memory and Intel Iris Graphics 550. 15-inch variant utilizes faster quad-core Intel i7 CPU with base frequency of 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz Turbo Boost along with 16GB 2133MHz memory and Radeon Pro 450 GPU, up to Radeon Pro 460, based on AMD’s Polaris architecture with 2GB(up to 4GB) of memory. What stays the same for both variants is a base 256GB PCIe-based SSD storage device.
New features, Touch Bar and more
The highlight of the new MacBook Pro lineup has been Apple’s Touch Bar and we can agree that this is one very interesting feature.
Touch Bar is basically a stripe of a Retina multitouch (up to 10 touch points) display which sits atop the keyboard and essentially replaces previous function keys on the laptop. Touch Bar is application specific meaning that it will adapt to what’s currently on screen. As an example Apple mentions navigating through project’s timeline in Final Cut Pro, selecting tabs in Safari browser or basic options for mail such as picking out emoji’s or for formatting text and a whole lot more. And of course Touch Bar is going to support a variety of third-party applications such as Microsoft Office and quite a bit more. Its also being heralded as a new way to interact with creative programs, such as Final Cut Pro, which received a new update, an Adobe Photoshop.
With the new Touch Bar also comes new Touch ID which is integrated into the power button on the new laptop. This new feature means that a user once upon setting up their fingerprint can unlock their MacBook Pro with a simple press of a finger. Apple even enabled the making of purchases via Apple Pay with the Touch ID.
The last few upgrades they mentioned during the event include an improved keyboard with a new generation of butterfly mechanism, improved upon the 2015 MacBook, which provides more responsive typing. The trackpad, which is 50% larger on 13-inch variant while two times larger on 15-inch variant, will be just as responsive and feature Force Touch again as well. Speakers also got an upgrade and now they are louder with more dynamic range and improved bass.
Performance, pricing and availability
With improved specifications there is obviously an improved performance as well. Apple claims that the 15-inch variant is 57% faster in video rendering, 130% faster in 3D Graphics and 60% faster in gaming. 13-inch variant is supposedly 76% faster in video rendering, 76% faster in 3D Graphics and 103% faster in gaming.
As far as battery life goes Apple managed to sustain decent up to 10 hours of battery life while browsing the web or even during movie playback. Standard fair and because they’re usually somewhat conservative in their estimates, likely close to the mark.
For all these fancy new features however, you’ll have to pay a hefty price. The more traditional 13-inch MacBook Pro without the newfangled Touch Bar will cost you $1499. The same thing with a Touch Bar comes in at $1799 and the 15-inch model, which comes only with a Touch Bar, comes in at a whooping $2399. Apple states that you can pre-order now, though the models with Touch Bar will ship within 2-3 weeks. The 13-inch with the new design and innards but without the Touch Bar is available now.
So that wraps it up for this years MacBook Pro lineup. There have been some very interesting new features and upgrades so it’s fair to say Apple did their job well.