After approximately 27 years, Apple is finally giving us a new MacBook Pro.
As rumored (and leaked), Apple showed-off a brand new MacBook Pro design at a press event in Cupertino. This is the first design refresh the MacBook Pro has seen in more than 4 years. Like previous models, the design is all aluminum, but the 15-inch and 13-inch models are smaller and thinner than the previous versions. The 15-inch will weigh just 4lbs, a full half pound lighter than the old MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Pro has a brand new ginormous trackpad that features Force Touch feedback instead of conventional clicking, and a new keyboard that uses the same butterfly key mechanism first introduced with the MacBook.
But the big news is that in place of the function keys is a new OLED strip. It’s a Retina display that supports multi-touch and gestures.
Dubbed Touch Bar, the strip replaces the standard system functions. But it can it can also adapt to whatever software you use. So if you’re a web browser, your Touch Bar shows you your favorites or browser tabs.
The Touch Bar can also act as a predictive QuickType suggestion bar for typing, like on your phone keyboard.
Importantly, the Touch Bar also includes a Touch ID sensor that allows you ti log in to your Mac with your fingerprint. It will also work with Apple Pay. The sensor is smartly located on the power button.
Touch Bar is part of the keyboard and by default, all of your function keys will show up. But when you’re entering text, for instance, formatting controls show up and you can also access QuickType suggestions. This also means you can use Touch Bar to display all your favorite Emoji. Inside apps like Safari, you can move between tabs and you can even see a preview of your tabs right on the Touch Bar.
In Photos, you can use the Touch Bar to access quick edit features like rotate and leveling controls. And because it’s multi-touch, you get a lot of granular control.
You can customize your Touch Bar for ultimate nerdiness too. This means you can give one-touch access to terminal commands and system controls. You can even take a screenshot by tapping on the Touch Bar.
The Touch ID sensor on Touch Bar also works with fast user switching, which is useful for machines with multiple users. Just tap on the Touch ID sensor and switch away!
The display on the new MacBook Pro has the same resolution as the old models, but is 67 percent brighter and has 25 percent more colors. It also features a sixth generation Intel Core processor (Skylake) with new AMD Polaris graphics on the 15-inch model. The processor is quad-core for the 15-inch and dual-core for the 13-inch. The 13-inch MacBook Pro will use Intel’s integrated graphics. The base RAM configuration is 8GB for the 13-inch and 16GB for the 15-inch.
Apple is eschewing MagSafe and opting for Thunderbolt 3 powered USB-C ports. That means all these ports can be used for power, Thunderbolt, USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, and more.
You can also daisy-chain gear across these ports, so you can add tons of gear. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is capable of powering two 5K external displays at once, in addition to the built-in display.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro will start at $2399, the 13-inch MacBook Pro will start at $1799.
A less-capable MacBook Pro 13-inch with standard function keys starts at $1499. The new MacBook Pros go on sale today and will be shipping in the next few weeks.