Posted 2016-11-03 09:00 in by Emily Dolloff
After weeks of anticipation and months of speculation, Apple finally announced updates to the MacBook Pro lineup. Before we get into the details let’s pause for a moment of silence. Apple has officially eliminated the optical disk drive from the entire computer lineup by removing the entry-level MacBook Pro 13in 2.5GHz which hadn’t been updated since 2012.
The new MacBook Pros offer some pretty remarkable upgrades. They have up to 130% faster graphics, screens that are 67% brighter, up to 58% more storage volume and are 17% thinner. Apple has also removed the function keys from most MacBook Pro models and replaced them with the all new Touch Bar which also allows for integrated Touch ID. The 13in MacBook Pro has slimmed down from 4.5lbs to just 3lbs. The removal of the optical drive, the traditional spinning disk drive and most of the ports has allowed this dramatic reduction in weight. The Force Touch Trackpad is now 2x bigger on each MacBook Pro, the flash storage is up to 100% faster and the battery life has been increased to 10 hours.
Thunderbolt 3 has been introduced to the new MacBook Pro and now supports 5K. Like previous generations of Thunderbolt, these new ports allow the user to connect multiple devices through the same port configuration. The base model 13in unit comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports while the stepped-up 13in and the 15in models have four Thunderbolt 3 ports. The 15in MacBook pro can support up to two additional 5K displays and dual RAID systems allowing for some pretty incredible productivity and amazing work experience from a portable machine.
Touch Bar and Touch ID
The all new Touch Bar replaces the function keys on all the MacBook Pros except for the base model. For those users who still aren’t ready to let go of the physical function buttons Apple still leaves these keys on their $1499 model and by pressing the function key the Touch Bar will digitally display function keys. The Touch Bar is a small digital screen where the traditional functional keys once resided and changes depending on the application that you are running. If you’re in mail you can customize your Touch Bar much like the graphical tool bar in mail. You can now file, forward or delete with the touch of your finger and never have to use your track pad. For users who edit photos you can now relocate many drop down menu options to the Touch Bar allowing for full screen editing with ease. You can accept an incoming call, text someone your favorite emoji and now even Apple Pay all from your Touch Bar. Touch ID allows you to now unlock your computer with the touch of your finger and even use Apple Pay on your favorite sites.
Second Generation Butterfly and Larger Touch Pad
The butterfly switch mechanism was first introduced in the MacBook and it’s what helps to give the keyboard on the MacBook an even lower profile and faster response time. The keys are now even more stable allowing for a more comfortable typing experience and more responsive keys. The Touch Pad is now 2x larger than previous generation models giving users more space and flexibility to work and manipulate graphics.
Faster Graphics and a Brighter Display
The 15in MacBook Pro now has up to 130% faster graphics performance than previous models while the 13in is up to 103% faster. The new displays in the MacBook Pros feature a 67% brighter contract ratio and 25% more colors. The new LED display delivers deeper blacks, brighter whites and more vibrant greens and reds. Just when you thought that the display couldn’t get much better Apple managed to make it even more impressive.