Apple Unveils New MacBook Pros

October 27, 2016

By Greg Scoblete

It’s a good week for visual creatives in the market for new computers with both Microsoft and now Apple pulling back the curtain on new models.

Apple’s MacBook Pro is getting a fairly big industrial design change: gone is the function button bar and in its place, a touch-based OLED panel dubbed Touch Bar. The controls available on the Touch Bar change in response to what you’re working on. Photoshop, for instance, will have dedicated shortcut keys that appear in the touch bar when working in the app. The bar also incorporates Touch ID so you can log into your Mac with your thumb, and use Apple Pay.

Beyond that, both the 15- and 13-inch MacBook Pros will be thinner and lighter than previous models. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is 17 percent thinner and 23 percent less volume than the previous generation, and nearly half a pound lighter at three pounds. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is 14 percent thinner and 20 percent less volume than before. The 4-pound 15-inch model is a half-pound lighter than the prior model.

The notebooks feature larger Force Touch track pads, a new keyboard, improved speakers and will run macOS Sierra.

Apple’s new MacBook Pro also boasts a new Retina display that’s 67 percent brighter with 67 percent greater contrast and capable of displaying 25 percent more color than the prior version.

As far as connectivity goes, Apple is embracing Thunderbolt 3 with a USB-C connector. That connection will replace the Magsafe power port as Thunderbolt 3 supports enough power transmission to run the notebook. But, there’s still a headphone jack.

Read: What Photographers Need to Know About Thunderbolt 3

A 13-inch MacBook Pro for $1,499 will offer:

  • 2GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • IntelGraphics 540
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • two Thunderbolt 3 ports

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar with otherwise identical specs will set you back $1,799.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, for $2,399, offers:

  • 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • Radio Pro 450 graphics
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 256GB SSD drive
  • four Thunderbolt 3 ports