I like the MacBook Pro. Sure you can get better laptops and much, much cheaper ones that do much the same thing, but the MacBook Pro has a quality and style that I can appreciate. Plus, this new version is lighter, more intuitive and more powerful than before. For a company that has settled into delivering iterative changes instead of revolutionary ones, this is quite a leap forward.
MacBook Pro design
The new MacBook Pro is thinner and lighter than the previous version and comes as a 13 or 15 inch. The 13 inch MacBook Pro weighs only three pounds while the 15 inch comes in at four. Given that these are designed to be carried around, this makes the laptop easier to live with day to day.
The actual design is much the same as before. The chassis look the same, the screen, bezel and keyboard look the same. The only real difference is the loss of the illuminated Apple logo on the lid which is now a chrome badge.
The big change is the Touch Bar, a premium addition that takes over from the media functions above the keyboard. It’s an OLED screen with Touch ID that works with apps, supports multitouch and transforms depending on the app you’re using. While neat, I’m not sold on it being anything more than a gimmick right now but time will tell.
Under that thin chassis is an Intel Skylake processor in either i5 or i7 guise. The 13 inch laptop has dual core while the 15 inch uses quad core. Storage is handled by 250GB of SSD which is upgradeable to 2TB should you wish. There is also 8GB of RAM in the 13 incher and 16GB in the 15. Graphics is either an onboard Intel chipset or Radeon Pro 450 with 2GB of RAM which is also upgradeable to 4GB.
The screens are Apple Retina as you would expect. They run at 2560 x 1600 on the 13 and 2800 x 1800 on the 15. The screen is just as lovely as always and is now apparently brighter and has more contrast than previous versions.
The MacBook Pro also comes with four USB-C ports with Thunderbolt, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.
Using the MacBook Pro
I can’t really say anything about using the MacBook Pro yet as mine hasn’t arrived. It’s on pre-order though so won’t be long. I am looking forward to it but remain to be convinced about Touch Bar and mourn the loss of at least one older USB. While USB-C is definitely the way forward, not many devices are compatible yet.
I also have the same fears as the guys over at The Verge, that Apple are shifting focus away from professionals towards casual users. Other than those reservations, I can’t wait!