After months of speculation Apple finally upgraded the MacBook Pro.
We now have a brand new range of 13″ and 15” MacBook Pros, an eye catching Touch Bar plus a stack of new and improved features. Here we look at what this all means and what the early reviews have said about Apple’s latest offering.
A common first observation about the new MacBook Pros is that at first glance it looks like not much has changed. Of course that is proven not to be true. The new 13 and 15” models are 17 and 14% thinner than their predecessors and weigh just 1.37kg and 1.83kg. That means that the 13” MacBook Pro is now thinner and lighter than the 13” MacBook Air.
The Retina Screens maintain the same resolution but are now 67% improvement in brightness and contrast ratios. There are 6th generation Skylake processors, faster SSD storage and RAM options up to 16GB on both models.
Yes, yes I hear you cry but what about the Touch Bar? This is undoubtedly the marquee feature on the two new models. Yes there is a 13” MacBook Pro with normal function keys but it is the Touch Bar models that have attracted the most attention amongst our customers.
If you aren’t already aware the Touch Bar is a Retina Touch Display that has replaced the traditional function keys at the top of the keyboard. Initial feedback is that it is stupidly easy to use and the fact that it replicates the old function keys you are used to is a good start. Its real attraction is that when you open up Apple made apps or supported 3rd party apps it changes to give you app specific functions. The Touch Bar supports 10-point multitouch as well as gestures but you would be hard pushed to use all 10 fingers on the Touch Bar at once.
If you own an iPhone you will be with familiar with using Touch ID to unlock your phone. Apple has now bought this to the MacBook Pro range. Whilst it will be great for utilising Apple Pay on the web its greatest feature is the increased security that it will bring to users. Passwords are a pain and using Touch ID is not only quicker and easier but it’s a lot safer. It’s a welcome addition.
Other interesting features that Apple have bought is the butterfly keys mechanism to the new models. This is the same keyboard technology that is on the MacBook. They have also made the Trackpad massive. It’s twice as large as on the previous models and it has better functionality too.
It wouldn’t be an Apple product if there weren’t a couple of contentious points.
The new MacBook Pros now come with either 2 or 4 USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports. These ports allow you to charge or connect your peripherals to the machine. As USB-C is still in its infancy this does mean that many people will be having to use adaptors and it is pleasing to see that Apple have significantly reduced the prices of these.
Interesting Apple did keep the old headphone jack on the new models. Considering that this was such a big decision on the iPhone 7 it seems at odds that they should keep it on the new MacBook Pros. Maybe losing this and pushing everybody to USB-C was considered a step too far.
On a really superficial level Apple have also done away with the illuminated Apple logo on these new models. Perhaps the illuminated logo has been around too long for it to be considered cool but we still like the feature.
Finally, we are seeing the impact of Brexit on prices. Apple also used the date of the MacBook Pro event to roughly increase the prices across the Mac range by about 20%. Such an increase will be hard for many to swallow but as Apple’s prices become more expensive we do feel that the advantages to our customer’s cash flow by leasing these new products is improved.
In fact many of our customers have already placed orders for the new MacBook Pros. If you want the new 13” MacBook Pro with Function Keys these are in stock and available for delivery within a day or two. The 13” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and the larger 15” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models are available to order now but have a 4-5 week delivery timescale.