Everything You Need To Know About The New MacBook Pro

Image: Gizmodo

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

Image: Apple

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

Image: Supplied

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

Image: Apple

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.

The Specs

Image: Apple

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

Image: Apple

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.


    That touch bar is no replacement for a touch screen. And the price they are charging for it... wow.

    Other than that, pretty good.

      Not surprised by the price one bit. Apple is known for the pricing more than just about anything else.

    Ill never get a mac unless they vastly change...... vastly

    Jesus - even by Apple standards those prices are insane.

      Yup. The Touchbar looks great and I can see how it can be very useful. The keyboard is for people who don't really enjoy typing. However that price makes alternatives worth considering.

        Also I just noticed they're selling a 19 month old computer for $200 more than it was when it was originally released ($1799 vs $1999). What the actual what?

        Last edited 28/10/16 11:08 am

      I can't believe the pricing. It was about 4 years ago I was selling Apple stuff and people would complain about the $1399 price point of the entry level MacBook Pro. In addition to the price increases, they seem to have reduced the student discounts since I last bought a Mac. I think it used to be like 9% discount.. now it's 3%.

      And, in the move that everyone expected but no one wanted, they've put all their chips on USB-C. I remember selling MacBooks with Thunderbolt and people would raise objections about the new technology they had no immediate use for but I would give some line about how it's the future of connectivity and the benefits will present themselves in the years to come. 4 years on and I own precisely zero Thunderbolt accessories. Dongles here we come...

    as a touchtyper who never looks @ his keyboard I find this touchbar replacing the function keys to be more of a hindrance than a help. If anything this kind of system is going to slow me down & frustrate me.. So i won't be upgrading my MBP anytime soon.

    Last edited 28/10/16 11:01 am

      I used to say that about touch screen phones. "How am I supposed to text my girlfriend in class under the table without the buttons!" I said. Well I realised two things pretty quickly:

      1. I won't always be in school.
      2. I'm gonna dump her soon.

      Last edited 28/10/16 4:26 pm

        hahahaha! trust me, there will always be a need to text under the table.. ;)

    I have to say I wasn't expecting them to be that expensive. There's no way that I could justify spending that much on a laptop. I'll stick with my old MBP that literally cost me $1000 less than the starting price of these.

    Also Microsoft's Dial thing looks much more useful as far as 'new input methods' go.

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