After literally years, Apple has finally announced a refresh of the MacBook Pro. We already knew some of the details because thanks to an inadvertent leak from Apple earlier in the week, but early this morning all the details — including pricing — were finally confirmed.
The Screen Is Vastly Improved
The display has finally gotten an upgrade! It's 25 percent better than sRGB, according to Apple's ratings, and it has a 500 nits rating for brightness. The high contrast on the new model is a 67 percent improvement on the last model, and it all scomes in a screen that is only 14.9mm thick. That's about 23 percent smaller and 17 percent thinner, for reference.
Goodbye Fixed Function Keys, Hello Force Touch
The standard system functions have been replaced with the Touch Bar, which adapts to whatever software you're using. If you're typing, it can act as a predictive keyboard. If you're in a browser, it can show you your bookmarks. It's also got a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. And don't worry - by default, all of the function keys appear, so they're not gone forever.
Thunderbolt 3 Arrives En Masse
There's four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the new MacBook Pro, with support for DisplayPort (DP) 1.2. You can daisy-chain stuff across those ports as well, and you can run two 5K external displays at once through the 15-inch MacBook Pro, along with the laptop screen at the same time. Not bad.
The decision to focus on Thunderbolt 3 has meant the MagSafe charging port is gone as well - since you can use any of the Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports for power. Or you can use them for USB, VGA, HDMI, DP or Thunderbolt.
There's two models of the new MacBook Pro: the 13-inch and the 15-inch. There's also an old-school variant of the MacBook Pro which comes with a 2.0GHz Intel i5 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256GB SSD, costing $2199.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch ID and the Touch Bar has a 2.9GHz dual-core i5, 8GB of DDR4 RAM (but clocked at 2133MHz instead of 1866MHz) and 256GB of internal storage for $2699. It'll cost you $2999 if you want the model with a 512GB PCI-e SSD drive.
As for the 15-inch model with a 2.6GHz quad-core Intel i7, and 256B of flash storage: $3599. You get 16GB of DDR4 RAM at that price, and a discrete AMD Radeon Pro 450 GPU. The most powerful variant will set you back $4249, and that comes with 512GB of storage and a Radeon Pro 455.
And while neither model is particularly heavy, you might like to know that the 13-inch MBP weighs 1.37kg. The 15-inch? 1.8kg. Both are made of solid aluminium as well, in case you're interested.
You can pre-order any of the old or new models now, with shipping due in November.
There's No New MacBook Air
Rumours were abound that Apple was set to kill off the MacBook Air, but that didn't quite happen this morning. You can still pre-order the old 13-inch model with a 1.6GHz dual core Intel i5 CPU and integrated Intel HD 6000 graphics for $1549. The 11-inch model, alas, is no longer available. RIP, my beloved Air.