The long awaited upgraded Macbook Pro is finally here. After announcing about the Apple TV and apps at its event, the Cupertino giant has finally showcased its latest Macbook Pro device. As expected, the new MacBook Pro comes with an OLED touch strip, called Touch Bar and TouchID.
The new Macbook Pro will be available in two display sizes — 13-inchs and 15-inches. As of the colour, you will be able to choose either Silver or Space Grey. In terms of design, the new MacBook Pro’s are not only thinner but also a half pound lighter than the previous models. They also feature an entirely new enclosure design with all-metal unibody construction.
While the overall design looks similar to what we’ve seen before, Cupertino, as expected, has added its innovative flair to the same. The new 13-inch model is just 14.9mm thin, making it almost 17 percent thinner than before. It also has 23 percent less volume and weighs just 3 pounds. On the other hand, the 15-inch model measures 15.5 mm in thickness, 14 percent less than the previous generation model. Further, the company has reduced its volume by 20 percent. And yes, it weighs just four pounds.
Another difference that you will notice at first glance is the humongous trackpad at the center. For this new model, Apple has decided to increase the size of the trackpad by two times.
Coming to the display, the new MacBook Pro’s screen is claimed to be 67 percent brighter. The company says that it offers 67 percent higher contrast and sports 25 percent more colors than the last generation.
Under the hood, the 15-inch model is powered by a quad-core Intel i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and Radeon Pro (Polaris) graphics, which is said to be 2.3-times faster than before. Whereas, the 13-inch version, includes dual-core i5 or i7 processors and Intel Iris Pro graphics, along with 8GB of RAM.
However, the most interesting feature of the new Macbook Pro is the addition of the OLED touch panel above the keyboard. This secondary display has been christened the “Touch Bar”. As the company says, “the Touch Bar adapts to whatever software you’re using”.
For example, in Safari, it shows you browser bookmarks, then shows you search and back buttons and new tab buttons. If you in the Mail app, you get buttons for creating a new message, replying, deleting and yes, also an escape key.
Further, you’ll also be able to customize the Touch Bar for individual apps. You can do so by dragging new options from the settings window into the Touch Bar. The company has added Touch Bar support to most of its apps — even in Terminal.
The Touch Bar is not a gimmicky feature. And Apple made sure that people understand the same. During the event, it gave various examples of how it could be useful to professionals. In software like Final Cut Pro, it enables you to easily move through the timeline. In Photoshop, it lets you tap into common functionality, like adding new layers and hopping to fullscreen mode.
Another major addition in this updated device is the Touch ID. It is integrated “right where it belongs” — in the power button. You can use it to unlock the devices, as well as to make payments using Apple Pay. It relies on the new T1 chip, which supports Apple’s Secure Enclave security feature.
It seems that Apple has listened to the user feedback. Thus, the keyboard which is provided in the new Macbook Pro is a refined version of the switch from the 12-inch Macbook. As many users complained about the travel of the keys, now it comes with more travel.
As of the ports, the device comes equipped with four Thunderbolt 3 ports that support USB-C, 10Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen 2 and a DisplayPort 1.2, along with the headphone jack. The traditional USB port and the SD card reader slot are no longer available. If you need such functionalities, you’ll have to rely on adapters and other peripherals. Now coming to the battery life, Apple says that both models last up to 10 hours on a single charge.
While the 13-inch MacBook Air will still remain, as of now, the company is positioning another Macbook Pro 13-inch model as its potential replacement. It is 13 percent smaller in volume than the MacBook Air and weighs 3 pounds. But, it lacks the Touch Bar.
The MacBook 13-inch with Touch Bar starts at $1,799, while the 15-inch version begins at $2,399. The 13-inch Pro model, which comes without the Touch Bar, starts at $1,499. The Macbook Pros are available to order, but only the low-end model is actually shipping. For other models, you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks.
He has been a technology writer since more than five years. At The Tech Portal, he covers gadgets, startups and the good and bad of tech.