Hello again: Apple launches all-new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Touch ID, USB-C

By Jos ยท 25 replies
Oct 27, 2016
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  1. Apple has taken the wraps off the new MacBook Pro, in what’s the biggest redesign to its professional notebook family since dropping the DVD drive and switching to Retina displays. It sports a thinner and lighter all-metal design with a new oversized trackpad, a redesigned keyboard, upgraded specs, four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, Touch ID, and of course, the not-so-secret OLED touch strip replacing the function key row.

    The latter is officially known as TouchBar and as expected it will show different shortcut buttons based on what app is open. One might be quick to dismiss it as gimmicky but a few minutes into the demonstration, it was easy to see how it can be genuinely useful, versatile and flexible. It can be used to browse Safari, access predictive typing and emojis, adjust volume, or edit photos, navigating a video without leaving full-screen mode, and more.

    For now TouchBar is primarily tuned to the company’s own software offerings but developers are able to add support for the new feature in their own apps. Key partners including Adobe and Microsoft are committed to adding support in Creative Suite and Office.

    There’s a dedicated virtual button for Siri on the main TouchBar screen, and users can further customize the bar by dragging and dropping buttons from a Notification Center-like pane that pops up from the bottom of the screen. Over to the right is the Touch ID sensor covered in sapphire glass, allowing users to login with just their fingerprint — the feature supports multi-user setups so you can quickly switch between accounts with a finger scan.

    Aside from password-free logins, Touch ID can also be used to authenticate Apple Pay purchases, so you can skip all the form filling process on sites that support the payment option. All sensitive data and private keys required for Touch ID to work will be kept on a new T1 chip that includes a secure enclave, similar to how this works on the iPhone and iPad.

    In terms of design, this is the thinnest and lightest version of the Pro to date. The 13-inch model is just 14.9 millimeters thin, or 17 percent thinner than the previous generation. It's also 23 percent smaller in volume, and weighs 3 pounds, almost a half a pound less than its predecessor. The 15-inch model is 15.5 millimeters thin, or 14 percent thinner than the last model. It also has 20 percent less volume, and weighs in at 4 pounds.

    The redesigned Force Touch trackpad is twice as large as the trackpad on the previous generation — it’s ridiculously large. The keyboard has also been updated with the second-generation of Apple’s “butterfly” switch mechanism that debuted on the 12-inch MacBook.

    The new Pros come with Intel’s sixth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors, Intel Iris or AMD Radeon Pro graphics, fast SSD storage and a new cooling system.

    Both the 13- and 15-inch have four Thunderbolt 3 ports in USB-C form factor and any one of them can be used for hooking up peripherals, displays, storage or for charging (MagSafe is gone). The headphone jack is still there in case you were worried, but the SD card slot isn’t.

    The new MacBook Pro’s display is 67% brighter and shows 25% more color than Apple’s previous generation Pro laptop, while battery life remains at 10 hours.

    The 13-inch models start at $1,799 featuring a dual-core, 2.9 GHz Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage and integrated Iris graphics. The 15-inch models will set you back at least $2,399 for a quad-core 2.6 GHz Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and discrete AMD Radeon Pro 450 graphics.

    Apple is also selling a version of the 13-inch Pro with conventional function keys for $1,499, though it also drops the number of ports to two and uses an Iris 540 GPU instead of the 550.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2016
  2. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,560   +707

    I don't care about the headphone jack... but the SD slot I really like....
  3. Marc Petersen

    Marc Petersen TS Rookie

    Will it burn that is the question
  4. failquail

    failquail TS Member Posts: 19   +7

    I was interested to see if they were going to repeat the hilarity of the just one single USB port for charging and peripherals thing, but it seems some sanity won through this time...
    RevD14 likes this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    And to think I'll never get to play with one. Oh woe is me. ;) No matter, I'll never die wondering.
    smoken likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    Damn it Apple just install a touch screen already. I know your OS isn't "touch optimized" but I don't care. I constantly find myself trying to touch the screen on my MacBook because I'm so used to doing it with my Surface Pro.

    This whole touch bar thing seems kind of gimmicky, we'll see I guess in time whether it is practical or not.
  7. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 565   +179

    They added everything but a touchscreen lol, massive touchpad and touch bar.

    On a side note would be interesting to see a two in one designed by Apple, but would it run mac os or iOS? iOS would be touch optimized but mac os and the accompanying Intel CPUs would be more powerful systems
  8. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    I'm sure it will sell very well.

    Not many other companies are interested in removing legacy ports to meet form factors or mass restrictions.

    That's why when I travel internationally, Apple computers are favored.

    I bought a MBP for my girlfriend earlier this year. Perhaps I'll get a 15" for Christmas...
  9. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 953   +515

    Ahaha, using percentages instead of useful numbers. That just made my 0% chance of buying a mac go up 1000%! :p
  10. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    Watching that commercial was like an emotional journey.

    I have to admit, they really stunned me with the ability to answer the phone on the keyboard.

    I wonder if all the Apple keyboards will get these touchbars eventually.
  11. petert

    petert TS Addict Posts: 217   +63

    Hold on, that touchbar thingy is some innovation here - though I would have prefer some thinner badass bezels at that price as well
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  12. smoken

    smoken TS Rookie

    Stupid.....they should have given it a full touch screen and this.....
  13. Buzzfriendly

    Buzzfriendly TS Rookie

    No doubt it will sell well somewhere. From Brisbane to Madrid, I didn't see the first MBP, but maybe this is because I was sitting in first class.
  14. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    If that's a joke, it's a weak one.

    I took first from JFK to Dubai on Emirates recently. Everyone up there had an apple product or another. MBA, MB, MBP...
  15. trajan2050

    trajan2050 TS Rookie Posts: 19   +7

    What a joke 16 gigabytes of RAM, a mid-level GPU .when is Apple going to get out of the Dark Ages?
  16. Buzzfriendly

    Buzzfriendly TS Rookie

    You're a silly bloke. I'll be sure to chuckle that out next time through DBX.
  17. Buzzfriendly

    Buzzfriendly TS Rookie

    Well maybe you can overlook the underwhelming specs by looking at the OLED toolbar and that chunky bezel around the screen.
  18. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    apple's hardware and software - and firmware - are so well optimized that you can bet: whatever they promise will be delivered.

    iPhone 7 Plus for example has lower specs - on paper - than Samsung's stuff and we all see how that's going LOL

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    Indeed... everyone seems to be doing the opposite of what is good. Too much bezel on displays that aren't touch, and no bezels on touch displays. Where the hell are you supposed to hold the thing? Even the bezel is too thin on my Surface Pro.
  20. fktech

    fktech TS Addict Posts: 223   +60

  21. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 354   +70

    The new Macbook Protoy makes me glad I bought an XPS13
  22. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 440   +223

    So they shrunk the keyboard by adding the touch bar, but left the massive touchpad the same size? Who even needs that large of a touch pad?

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    Lots of people like the massive touch pad. I am one of them... Why don't you like it?
  24. chimua

    chimua TS Rookie

    Why does Apple prefer AMD graphics processors when Nvidia can offer more efficient ones, especially considering Apple's obsession with thin chassis designs.
  25. Carlos GarPov

    Carlos GarPov TS Rookie

    Is Microsoft the new Apple? Surface Studio kind of amazed me...

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