As expected, Apple finally announced some new MacBooks at its special event today. The MacBook Pro line has received a much needed refresh. The new MacBook Pro laptops still come in 13″ and 15″ sizes, though this time you can choose between silver and gray as colors. They’re made from aluminum, even more this time around than in the previous design.
There are two 13-inch models. The entry level option is aimed at fans of the MacBook Air. It’s 14.9mm thin, comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and weighs 3 pounds. It’s powered by a sixth-gen 2 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, with Iris Graphics 540, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. It is priced from $1,499 and is available today.
The high-end 13-inch model is also 14.9mm thin, and weighs 3 pounds too. The sole 15-inch iteration is 15.5mm thin, and it weighs 4 pounds. Both are thinner and lighter than their predecessors, unsurprisingly. And they both have touchpads that are two times bigger than what their predecessors had, as well as a new keyboard with the company’s Butterfly mechanism that debuted in the 12-inch MacBook (though with more key travel in this case, thankfully).
Touch ID fingerprint recognition is built into the power button, as previously rumored. Multiple people can set up their fingerprints, and macOS will switch accounts based on the person who authenticates.
The biggest new feature for the high-end MacBook Pros is the oft-rumored OLED touch strip that sits above the keyboard and replaces the row of function keys. This is called Touch Bar. It shows you different things based on what you’re doing with the Mac. So for example when you’re typing some text you’ll get iOS-like word suggestions, or even a full assortment of emoji. When you’re in another app some quick options for that will be shown – in Safari, these are your most visited websites. Oh, and you can still get the row of function keys to show up, if you hold down the function key. Siri has a dedicated key in the Touch Bar, so you can invoke her as often as you want.
The new MacBook Pros have screens that are 67% brighter and with a 67% improved contrast ratio compared to the last-gen 15″ model. You also get 25% more colors thanks to a wider gamut. The new 15″ MBP is powered by Intel’s Skylake quad-core i7 processor, paired with 2,133MHz DDR4 RAM. The laptop features Radeon Pro graphics, based on the Polaris architecture, with up to 4GB of VRAM. The SSD is up to 50% faster, with read speeds hitting 3.1GB/s. Storage capacity options will go up to 2TB.
In the high-end 13-inch model you’ll see Intel’s Skylake Core i5 or i7, with Iris graphics and the same superfast SSD as in its bigger sibling. Both laptops have four Thunderbolt 3 ports, supporting USB Type-C 3.1 Gen.2, as well as DisplayPort 1.2. Any of the ports can be used for charging. Last, but definitely not least, both laptops have a 3.5mm headset jack. They run macOS Sierra and get up to 10 hours of battery life.
The high-end 13-inch model will retail starting at $1,799, while the one 15-inch version starts at $2,399. The more expensive options start shipping in 2-3 weeks. All three laptops can be ordered today from Apple.
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