Apple unveiled brand new MacBook Pro lineup today at its October 2016 Keynote event in San Francisco. The Cupertino giant has completely overhauled the experience of MacBooks with the addition of Touch Bar. There are many other improvements like the debut of Touch ID for Mac, an addition of up to 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, much wider Force Touch trackpad etc, but we think the Touch Bar stole the show today. It debuts in both 13” and 15” MacBook Pro models. Apple also unveiled 13” MacBook Pro with traditional function keys. Here is everything you should know about latest MacBook models.
The key selling point of the newest MacBooks would definitely be the Touch Bar. It is multi-touch enabled and utilizes OLED Retina HD panel to trigger contextual menus. The small strip completely replaces your four decades old functional keys and adds a truckload of functionality. Apple simply nailed the execution, which has been the Apple’s strength since beginning. Instead of simply throwing hardware, they work around software to fully utilize it and here, Touch Bar is no exception. We simply amazed how much functionality it provides out of the box. The Touch Bar is smart enough to know what app is currently running and displays the relevant menus and options.
To name a few, if you open mail using default Mail app, it will show you options like archive, reply, forward, flag and even option to move to particular folder. The Safari app will show you bookmarks, favorite websites, new tab option and much more. You will be greeted with call “answer” or “reject” when your friend call on iMessage and the list goes on and on. The other good thing is that Apple has stretched the Touch Bar functionality beyond its proprietary apps and collaborated with Adobe, DJ Mix and many other companies to lend seamless workflow. Moreover, Touch Bar is customizable, so you can replace third party as well as system icons too, which is a much-needed feature for a handy toolbar like this. There is huge functionality, for all of which, we would recommend you to watch Apple’s October 2016 Keynote here.
Design & Hardware:
The new MacBook Pro models are thinner as well as lighter. The 13” MacBook Pro measures at 14.9mm, which is down from 18mm of 2015 model and weighs around 3 pounds, again 0.5-pound lighter than its predecessor. Meanwhile, the 15” MacBook Pro weighs just 4 pounds, compared to 4.5 pounds of current gen model.
Apple has left no part untouched on new MacBooks. As a result, we do have 2nd Gen Butterfly Mechanism-based Keyboard that should add much better response than 1st Gen keyboard found in 12” MacBook. There is 2x larger ForceTouch trackpad for seamless gesture execution. The speakers located both the sides of the keyboard (on 15” model), which are smaller in size but offers 2x dynamic range at significantly louder volumes.
There is a brand new home button that doubles as Fingerprint sensor. Yes, Apple has brought its popular Touch ID for MacBook for the first time ever. All of your fingerprints data and card information stores in Apple designed T1 chip. It is an iPhone-esque “Secure Enclave” to protect your data from hackers. Apple said they had to re-invent the thermal system for new MacBooks to kick out the heat generated by these powerhouses. They have designed much quieter but powerful fans this time around.
All-in-one port for I/O:
There is a total of up to four Thunderbolt 3 ports (port count depends on model) that are designed based on USB Type-C 2.1 Gen, so Apple managed to make an ultimate all-in-one port that can be served for the needs of Power, Thunderbolt, USB, Display Port, HDMI, and VGA. To simply say, it can drive specially designed LG 5K monitor with 24TB Pegasus RAID storage via a single port at a time. The 15” MacBook Pro can handle two of 5K monitors and aforementioned RAID storage, which is simply phenomenal. You will also have 3.5mm headphone jack, but it’s the time to goodbye to SD card reader.
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The MacBook displays are as thinner as you found in 12” MacBook. The company calls it Retina HD display. It is 67% brighter and offers 67% better contrast ratio as well. Moreover, it can display 25% more colors. All these goodies come with energy efficient display package that should consume less power than current gen display on 2015 models.
Apple had skipped the Intel’s 7th Gen Kabylake processors for undisclosed reasons and went with 6th Gen Skylake chipsets for all the freshly announced Macs. However, the performance is no slouch here. You will get Quad-core Intel Core i7 2133MHz chipset and Polaris architecture based ATI Radeon Pro graphics card up to 4GB of RAM that is fabricated on 14nm architecture. You will get 16GB of RAM to deal with multiple processor intensive tasks at any given time. Users can choose up to 2TB SDD, which comes with 50% faster speeds. If you love numbers, it can perform operations at a speed of 3.1GB/s. Meanwhile, the 13” model can be configured with Intel Core i5/i7 chipsets, Iris Pro graphics, and insanely fast SSD storages but you will get only 8GB RAM.
Pricing & Availability:
The newer 13” MacBook Pro with function keys price starts at $1499. If you would like to have Touch Bar and Touch ID fun, it will set you back at $1799. The base model 15” MacBook Pro will cost you $2399.
All three models can be ordered starting Today, but the only 13” model with function keys starts shipping today while the Touch Bar and Touch ID enabled MacBook models will be shipped in 2-3 weeks if you order now. All MacBooks run macOS Sierra out of the box and offers up to 10 hours of battery life.