Apple has finally refreshed the MacBook Pro. As previous leaks have revealed, the new MacBook Pro does have an interactive OLED touch bar – along with Touch ID – on top of its keyboard; it’s also thinner and lighter than its predecessor, but not without a sacrifice or two.
In order to cut down on the MacBook Pro’s size and weight, Apple has done a few notable changes to the laptop. For one, the MacBook Pro now has a similar keyboard to the 12-inch MacBook; that means the new keyboard has more shallow travel compared to conventional laptop keyboards. That being said, the Cupertino company did mention that the keyboard is now more responsive and has more key travel.
Aside from that, the MacBook Pro’s connectivity options have gotten much more limited. Now, the laptop only comes with USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports; four of them. There’s no card reader, USB-A ports, or an HDMI port, although the headphone jack is still very much present.
While the MacBook Pro’s connectivity options have been revamped, Apple also introduced something very interesting with the new laptop: the OLED touch bar on top of the new keyboard. Dubbed simply as the “Touch Bar,” the items displayed on the screen will change depending on what app is currently shown on the display; the Touch Bar is basically a contextual display. Other than that, the laptop’s trackpad – still a Force Touch one – is now bigger as well.
The display of the new MacBook Pro has been improved too: it is now brighter and has higher contrast ratio. Interestingly, Apple claims that the new display also consumes less power, which should help with the battery life of the new MacBook Pro; it is now quoted at up to 10 hours.
Oddly enough, powering the new MacBook Pro are…sixth generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. Yes, even though Intel’s seventh generation Kaby Lake processors have been released, Apple is still opting for Skylake-based processors for both the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros. That being said, both models of the MacBook Pro now ship with 50% faster SSDs – the beefier 15-inch model also gets a Radeon Pro 450 GPU, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro relies on Intel’s Iris GPU.
Right before Apple wrapped up its event, the company also introduced a third MacBook Pro model. For the most part, this new model is similar to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, only it has two USB-C ports instead of four, a slightly slower processor, and it doesn’t have the new Touch Bar. Of course, it is also the most affordable model: it retails from $1,499 (about RM6,305).
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and faster processor – and more USB-C ports – will go from $1,799 (approximately RM7,565), while the beefier and bigger 15-inch model retails from a whopping $2,399 (around RM10,090). The most affordable 13-inch MacBook Pro will start shipping today in the US, while the two higher-end models will only be available sometime in the next two to three weeks.