Rebirth of the laptop: New MacBook comes with Touch Bar and USB-C ports

28 Oct 201611 Shares

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The new MacBook Pro with the all-new Touch Bar and four Thunderbolt 3 connectors. Has the laptop been reborn? Image: Apple

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Apple has taken the wrappers off three new MacBook Pro laptops that come with four USB-C ports, two of which sport the new Touch Bar.

On first perusal, the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro seems well thought out, with its matte finish and brightness that is consistent with the rest of the keyboard.

It effectively replaces the traditional row of function keys and adjusts according to what applications you are running, such as Final Cut Pro.

‘It’s fitting that this all-new generation of MacBook Pro is the biggest leap forward yet’
– PHIL SCHILLER

As expected, it features Touch ID, which adds a new security layer but also brings Apple Pay into the broader e-commerce world in a physical way, from a desktop perspective.

Specs of new MacBook Pro machines

macbook_pro_Apple_Thunderbolt_3

The new MacBookPro comes with universal Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports that integrate data transfer, charging and video output in a single connector.

The two MacBook Pro devices revealed come with four of these ports which mean you can charge or transfer data at 40Gbps from any direction. The ports also support up to two 5K displays.

Apple also claimed that the display on the new MacBook is the thinnest and brightest yet, at 0.88mm and 67pc brighter than the older model, at 500 nits of brightness.

Interestingly, the LEDs involved in the display consume 30pc less energy than previous generations.

The new MacBook Pro machines come with 6th generation dual-core i5 Intel processors and quad-core i7 processors, making it the most powerful MacBook so far, according to Apple.

At 14.9mm thin, the 13in MacBook Pro is 17pc thinner and has 23pc less volume than the previous model. At three pounds, it is nearly half a pound lighter.

The new 15in MacBook Pro, at 15.5mm thin, is 14pc thinner and has 20pc less volume than before, weighing four pounds.

“This week marks the 25th anniversary of Apple’s first notebook; through the years, each generation has introduced new innovations and capabilities, and it’s fitting that this all-new generation of MacBook Pro is the biggest leap forward yet,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“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.”

Pricing and availability

The 13in MacBook Pro starts at €1,749, features a 2.0 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships today.

The 13in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID starts at €2,099, and features a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships in two to three weeks.

The 15in MacBook Pro starts at €2,799, with Touch Bar and Touch ID, a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 3.5 GHz, 16GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships in two to three weeks.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com