The most significant update to Apple’s MacBook Pro has to be the new Touch Bar, a customisable strip on top of your number keys on your keyboard and replacing the hardly used function keys. In case you are wondering what function keys are, it’s the row of F1 to F12 buttons.
“With the groundbreaking new Touch Bar, the convenience of Touch ID, the best Mac display ever, powerful performance, improved audio, blazing fast storage and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity in our thinnest and lightest pro notebook yet, the new MacBook Pro is the most advanced notebook ever made,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
The update also came with an equally significantly hefty price tag. The basic 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 model with Touch Bar starts at S$2,588. Let’s dive in on the new features:
The most innovative update to the MacBook Pros has to be the OLED Touch Bar. The Touch Bar displays specialised controls and options depending on what software or apps the user is using. For example, the Touch Bar can show Tabs and Favourites when you are browsing using Safari, access emoji in Messages, receive and end calls and become a timeline when scrubbing through videos in Photos. We think this feature is a game-changer, giving the real estate a real boost and replacing the underused function keys.
This iteration of the MacBook Pro features an all-metal unibody enclosure that shaves 17% off the 13-inch model to measure in at 14.9 mm. It is also 226g lighter, tipping the scales at 1.37kg. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is only slightly thicker and heftier at 15.5 mm and 1.83kg in weight.
The power button now double up as a is as a fingerprint scanner, giving you more security and convenience. Once you set up the Touch ID, you can unlock your Mac, switch user accounts and make secure payment using Apple Pay by touching the power button, much like how you do it on your iPhones.
MacBook Pro Power
Depending on how much you want to pay for your machine, you can choose between the sixth-generation dual-core Core i5, dual-core Core i7 and quad-core Core i7 Intel processors to go with the new enclosure. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro features a better Radeon Pro graphics chip while the 13-inch model will run on Intel Iris Graphics. All models will come with solid state drives that can read at a mind-bending 3GBps.
Other improvements include a larger Force Touch trackpads compared to previous models – 46 percent larger on the 13-inch MacBook Pro and twice as large on the 15-inch MacBook Pro to be exact. The new MacBook Pros also comes with brighter Retina display, better speakers and runs on macOS Sierra that integrates with Siri, Apple Pay on the web and image library organiser, Photos.
Pricing and availability
13-inch MacBook Pro starts at S$2,188 and house a 2.0 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage. We feel that it is no point going for this model that is without the new Touch Bar. But the price jumps to S$2,588 for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the latest Touch Bar, Touch ID and a better 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. This model starts shipping in early November.
For the 15-inch MacBook Pro model, prices starts at S$3,388 with all the bells and whistles. Although Apple is known for its premium pricing, the latest MacBook Pros’ pricing might have exceeded the sweet spot and end up disappointing fans and potential Mac users. For more information and configuration, go to apple.com/sg/macbookpro.