Windows laptops have been beating MacBooks around the bush for about a year, partially thanks to the fact that Apple has been awfully slow to refresh the line with modern hardware. Overnight, Apple announced they were doing exactly that – although the long-awaited MacBook Air replacement is nowhere to be seen.
Firstly, if you’ve been calling out for 32GB of RAM in your laptops, your prayers have been answered. While you can’t configure the 13″ MacBook Pro with that amount of RAM, the option is now available for those buying the 15″ version. That’s a godsend for the legion of artists, graphic designers and video editors who still prefer Macs for their Adobe suite/Final Cut workflow.
The Retina display in both models will do up to 500 nits brightness, with P3 colour support and the True Tone technology that iPhone 8, iPhone X and iPad Pro users are familiar with. You’ll probably turn that off, especially if you’re a Photoshop regular, but the Apple T2 chip above the top-right of the keyboard will be handy for logging in, switching accounts, one-touch online purchases, and encryption.
The baseline 8th-gen new MacBook Pro will set you back $2700 — the $1899 version is the older MacBook Pro with the 7th-gen i5 CPU — and it comes with 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, 4x Thunderbolt 3 ports and the Touch Bar.
Add another $300 to the price and you’ll get the same hardware, but 512GB of storage instead. The new 15″ models starts from $3500, both of which come with discrete Radeon Pro GPUS (a 555X in the $3500 model, and a 560X in the $4100 version). Here’s what you can get in all of the baseline options:
|2018 MacBook Pros|
|13″||i5 2.3GHz-3.8GHz||8GB DDR4||256GB||4x Thunderbolt 3||Intel Iris Plus 655||$2699|
|13″||i5 2.3GHz-3.8GHz||8GB DDR4||512GB||4x Thunderbolt 3||Intel Iris Plus 655||$2999|
|15″||i7 2.2GHz-4.1GHz||16GB DDR4||256GB||4x Thunderbolt 3||Radeon Pro 555X 4GB||$3499|
|15″||i7 2.2GHz-4.3GHz||16GB DDR4||512GB||4x Thunderbolt 3||Radeon Pro 560X 4GB||$4099|
On the 13″ models, the extra options include the following (with costs):
Intel i7 2.7GHz-4.5GHz CPU: $480
An extra 8GB DDR3 RAM: $320
512GB SSD instead of 256GB: $300
1TB SSD: $900
2TB SSD: $2100
Final Cut Pro X installed: $499
Logic Pro X installed: $319
On the 15″ models, here’s what you’ll pay for the extras:
Intel i9 2.9GHz-4.8GHz CPU: $600
An extra 16GB DDR4 RAM: $640
Radeon Pro 560X instead of 555X: $160
512GB SSD instead of 256GB: $320
1TB SSD: $960
2TB SSD: $2240
4TB SSD: $5440
If you’re customising the higher specced 15″ MacBook Pro, the customisations are a fraction cheaper: it’ll only cost $640 for a 1TB SSD, $1920 for a 2TB SSD, and $5120 for a 4TB SSD. The upgrade from a six-core i7 to the six-core i9 is also a fraction cheaper, at $480.
All of the laptops can be delivered from July 20 to July 24 with free delivery; pickup from the Apple Store isn’t available at the time of writing.
The biggest addition, besides the refresh above, is the announcement of a Blackmagic-produced external GPU dock. The eGPU will set you back a staggering $1149, and houses a Radeon Pro 580 GPU with 8GB GDDR5 RAM. There’s 4x USB 3 ports, 2x Thunderbolt 3.0 ports and a HDMI 2.0 port. That’s still not a lot for the price, but it’s also probably a better stop-gap for the designer in the office that keeps begging for the $7300 iMac Pro.
Other accessories include a new leather sleeve, which comes in a saddle brown, midnight blue and black:
Apple also announced that macOS Mojave would drop in the next couple of months. It’ll have support for group calls in FaceTime, a redesign of the App Store, a new Stacks feature to combine files into more organised groups, and a Dark Mode theme for the desktop. More information about the new MacBook Pro line can be found on the Apple website, along with a little graphical breakdown of how the old dual and quad-core MacBook Pros fare to their newer brethren in a range of apps, such as Autodesk Maya, Lightroom Classic CC, and WebKit Compile.