Everything we saw before and knew as rumors have now become true. The new MacBook Pro has been announced, and it’s living up to the expectations that the leaks had set out for us. Here’s everything we know about the exciting new MacBook Pro and what it’ll offer.
The Touch Bar
Probably the biggest feature to hit the new MacBook is the Touch Bar located just above the keyboard. It’ll replace the function keys and act as a contextual menu based on the app open on the main screen. This bar is fully functioning Retina display with OLED. Apple decided to now do away with Function keys in their laptops just like they decided to do away with the headphone jack. Seems like convention has become too mainstream for the tech giant.
This new OLED bar brings to mind the features of the LG V10 and its successor, the V20 which both had an LED strip just above the main display. They offered considerable accessibility options and shortcuts. It made a lot of sense to include that feature back then. It makes even more sense now to include it in a laptop. It supports gestures and multi-touch too.
How the Touch Bar will work is, that supposing we’re on a messenger app, the contextual menu will suggest emojis and words to add to the text. In FCP, it’ll let users scrub through video frames and so on. It’s the feature we never thought we’d need. Much like the V10 and V20, it’ll let users keep a space on the bar that can accumulate their favourite shortcuts when they need to use it. Oh, and the Escape key will now be located on the Touch Bar as well.
The power button on the far right of the Touch Bar will also now double as a fingerprint sensor dubbed the Touch ID. This isn’t just any fingerprint sensor. It saves the fingerprint of the user in a unique piece of hardware called the T1 Chip. It’ll allow more than one user to save their fingerprints. It’ll also be compatible with Apple Pay for those online safe transactions.
It’s a better way to stay secure. And users will definitely benefit from it. Not that it’s been a completely new feature for laptops, it does do better job than what previous laptops have done. We now finally get the same security as we got from the Touch ID of the iPhone.
A New Keyboard and Trackpad
The new OLED bar isn’t the only new addition for input in the MacBook. It’s got a new Butterfly mechanism keyboard and a much bigger trackpad that has force-touch enabled on it much like the most recent MacBook. It’ll take some getting used to, but these features will promise to broaden the use of the MacBook.
The MacBook Pro is looking to take away the spot that the MacBook Air once had, being 12 percent thinner than the Air 13. It’s the thinnest MacBook out there right now and probably the most powerful one too. It’s an all metal laptop that’s just 14.9mm thick. The design covers a suite of new connectivity options too, sporting four Thunderbolt 3 USB C-Type ports, and any of them can be used for charging. It’s got a headphone jack and that’s pretty much it. Apple now wants all the connectivity towards the MacBook Pro done via these four USB ports.
The MacBook Pro will come in two screen-sizes – 13-inch and 17-inch models respectively. They’ll come in two colours – Grey and Dark Grey. Apple could have used a little more imagination with the colour options. Dark grey isn’t that far away from all black, right?
The new display on the MacBook Pro is said to be 67% brighter and will have 67% higher contrast ratio. Essentially, the display should produce 25% more colours, using lesser power from the battery. But that’s only for the 15-inch version of the system.
On the Inside
The 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro will feature a Core i7/i5 chip for a processor coupled with Intel’s Iris chip for graphics. It’ll feature up to 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage.
The 15-inch version of the MacBook Pro is a lot higher spec’d, featuring a quad-core i7 Intel chip with 2133MHz memory. It’s got graphics from the Radeon Pro chip – as much 4GB of RAM’s worth. The SSD unit will feature storage up to 2TB. Overall, it’ll be 130% faster for 3D graphics and about 60% faster for gaming. We’ll take a grain of salt on the latter, because no one really buys MacBooks for gaming anyway. The larger model will also feature a new, better sounding set of speakers.
The battery life of the new MacBook Pros is claimed to be up to 10 hours on a single charge. We’ll have to wait for real-time performance to make any judgement call.
The smaller MacBook Pro will come with a variant without the Touch Bar as well, making it a little cheaper than its siblings. That will cost upwards from $1499. With the Touch Bar, will cost from $1799 and the larger model of the MacBook Pro will cost from $2399 onwards.
The New MacBook Pros seem to have arrived quite fashionably. We’re not completely sold on the internal specs as much as Apple hypes it to be, considering the price point at which these specs will come in. Compared to the Surface i7 laptops released by Microsoft, it seems like the Surface will have more takers compared to the features of the MacBook Pros.
It’s easy to see that the MacBook Pros are still dedicated for the creative users out there. So a deeper integration into making the device user-friendly for illustrators and designers would have made a big difference. Like the Surface has gone ahead and done. The main display isn’t a touchscreen either. Comparing Apples to Oranges in this price range, will seem like a bit of a chore for those in the market right now.