A lot of people hate the Touch Bar. And Apple’s new MacBook Pro models don’t fix the controversial keyboard issue where even a grain of sand could render the keyboard inoperable. The new MacBook Pro models are still worth buying because they have incredible performance and security written all over them.
The MacBook Pro line has been the darling of developers and creative professionals for a long time. But in the last few years, the MacBooks lagged behind their cheaper Windows counterparts in terms of performance. On Thursday, Apple announced new MacBook Pro models with beefed-up specs in an attempt to lure creative professionals. The design hasn’t changed much, but they bring tons of internal upgrades.
It’s worth pointing out that Apple has updated only the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar. The non-Touch Bar 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Mini, and the 12-inch MacBook remain unchanged for now. They are expected to get an upgrade later this year. The tech giant has also discontinued the 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro.
New MacBook Pro models are all about top-class performance
Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Shiller said the updated models were the “fastest and most powerful” notebooks the company has ever made. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID gets 8th generation hexa-core Intel Core i7 or i9 processors with 2.9GHz clock speed and Turbo Boost up to an insane 4.8GHz. Apple claims it delivers up to 70% faster performance compared to its predecessor.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro now comes with quad-core Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. They have a clock speed of up to 2.5GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz, doubling the performance compared to the previous model. The enhanced processing power should allow professionals to easily perform complex simulations, edit photos and videos, and manipulate large data sets.
If 16GB RAM wasn’t sufficient for you, the new MacBook Pro models support up to 32GB RAM, which should be enough to take care of even the most intensive tasks. What’s more, Apple has switched RAM from the older DDR3 to DDR4 memory, which is faster and more energy-efficient than its predecessor.
Other features that make them a worthy buy
Apple has doubled the peak storage from 1TB to 2TB SSD for the 13-inch model and from 2TB to 4TB SSD for the 15-inch model. The updated Macs get a new AMD Radeon Pro graphics chip with 4GB of video memory. The beefed up specs are going to consume a lot of battery power. So, Apple has packed a bigger battery to ensure “an all-day battery life.”
Both the new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros get a True Tone display. We have already seen the True Tone technology on the iPhones and iPads. It uses light sensors to automatically adjust the screen’s color temperature depending on the surrounding light.
These MacBooks also feature Apple’s in-house T2 chip, which is already available on the iMac Pro. The second-gen fingerprint-reading chip controls security features such as data encryption, fingerprint sensing using Touch ID, and more. The T2 chip adds support for secure boot to prevent any malware from sneaking into the bootup process. It also brings “Hey Siri” support to the Macs.
What about the keyboard?
Apple has used an improved third-generation “butterfly” keyboard on the updated models. The new keyboard is quieter than before, meaning you’ll no longer annoy people nearby with loud, clacky typing. The third-gen keyboard isn’t entirely quiet, but fortunately it doesn’t have the sharp click of the previous generations. The keys also feel softer to type on.
Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t fixed the issue many users have complained about. The tech giant is facing multiple lawsuits related to the butterfly keyboard. Even tiny particles of dust or debris could render the keyboard inoperable. Though the company claims only a small number of customers were affected by the issue, it was forced to launch a repair program after massive consumer outrage. Yes, the iPhone maker is offering a four-year-long free repair program if the keyboard fails.
Though the company says it hasn’t tweaked the keyboard to address that issue, an Apple spokesperson told Fast Company that it has improved the butterfly key mechanism for 2018 MacBook Pros.
Pricing and availability
Apple has kept the starting prices of new models the same as the previous generation Touch Bar MacBook Pros. The 13-inch model starts at $1,799 and the 15-inch version has a starting price of $2,399. The most expensive model goes up to $6,699, though.
The new Macs are available for order right now via Apple’s website. A limited inventory is also expected to be available in Apple Stores. People who ordered the new Macs have already started receiving shipment notifications. The first delivery of the stock configuration should begin over the weekend. If you want to buy the custom configurations, they won’t start shipping until early next week.