Apple announces new MacBook Pro line-up with morphing TouchBar and TouchID

Apple finally announced its MacBook Pro upgrade which we have been waiting for a long time now. Although this was more of a hardware refresh, Apple did play around with the design a bit as well.

The biggest addition to the all new metal clad MacBook Pro is the OLED strip just above the main keyboard which Apple is calling the TouchBar. Then there’s humongous touchpad you see just below that keyboard. Apple has made the new MacBook thinner and lighter than before. This time around too there are two variants of the MacBook Pro, a 15-inch model weighing in at 4 pounds (1.8 Kg) with a 15.5mm thin body while the 13-inch model is just 14.9mm thin weighing in at 3 pounds (1.3Kg).

Coming back to the TouchBar, it morphs into custom controls for the app you are on. Say, if you have iTunes on, it will show music and volume controls, if you are viewing photos – it will show you thumbnails to scroll through and so on. Since Apple has removed the escape key from the keyboard, it can be found on the TouchBar. Moreover, this is a multi-touch enabled strip which allows you to long tap, swipe across it or even drag your fingers for multiple operations. Apple has also integrated the TouchID to the right of the TouchBar, which can be used with Apple Pay. It is protected by Sapphire crystal so that it doesn’t deteriorate over time. But that’s not all, the Keyboard has also been changes. Now, we have the new butterfly switch on the MacBook Pro as well with the switches redesigned from the last MacBook. The keys have better travel and feedback.

The display is next upgrade over the previous-generation MacBook Pro. It is now 67 percent brighter, has 67 percent better contrast ratio and 25 percent more colors. But the panel itself is now thinner and doesn’t consume as much power as before.

Apple has again removed a lot of ports from the new MBP models, you now have four Thunderbolt 3 ports and just that. You can use any of them to charge the device. But there’s no MagSafe power connector, no HDMI port, no SD card slot, no DisplayPort but thankfully the 3.5mm headphone jack is still there. So, how do you get about connecting a display, SD Card, and other devices? Well, Apple will be selling adapters for that.

Underneath the hood, things get a lot less interesting. All MacBook Pro models still run on the 6th-Gen Intel Core processors, instead of the current Kaby Lake options moreover Apple decided to go with AMD Radeon Pro graphics based on Pascal Architecture instead of the superior Nvidia GTX 10-series mobile GPUs. Although you will be able to configure the MacBook Pro 15 with only a Core-i7 processor with 16GB RAM, 4GB Radeon Pro graphics, while the 13-inch variant will be available in both Core-i5 and Core-i7 options with Intel Iris Pro graphics and 8GB RAM. You would be able to choose 256GB, 512GB or a whopping 2TB of SSD storage on the new MacBooks. Apple added that battery life should be about 10 hours on a single charge.

Apple MacBook Pro 2016 Pricing in India

  • MacBook Pro 15-inch – Rs. 2,05,900
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch (TouchBar) – Rs. 1,55,900
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch (without TouchBar) – Rs. 1,29,000

Apple MacBook Pro 2016 Pricing in the US

  • MacBook Pro 15-inch – $2399
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch (TouchBar) – $1799
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch (without TouchBar) – $1499

The 13-inch MacBook Pro without TouchBar will be available starting today, while the other two with TouchBar will start shipping in 2-3 weeks.


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