What a second. Apple unveiled brand new, completely newly-designed MacBook Pros a couple weeks ago, including a futuristic Touch Bar and crazy upgrades, along with some precarious specs paralleling some high prices. To be expected, this has caused an overall disagreement among Apple fans. The current focus is directly one of the first re-designed MacBook Pro in four years, Apple’s sparkling new 13-inch model.
However, we do expect two new MacBook Pro models are arriving, fashioned with new screens, new keyboards, thinner and lighter bodies; and this highly discussed touch-sensitive Touch Bar and Touch ID will be featured on the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The 13-incher is the entry-level option, and a better option for the price conscious. Weighing 3 pounds and measuring just .58-inches thick, it’s more comparable to the MacBook Air than anything. Still, it’s sporting a higher quality display, an updated Intel processor, and fast Thunderbolt ports. The keyboard, which has been argued as “too thin” with low-travel keys by some, is, on the other hand, gaining a quick reputation of being MacBook Pro-like, with a nice thickness, and no difference in the keys traveling any farther. This model does not include said Touch Bar, which is expected to reside in the 15-inch model.
Apple folks aren’t fully able to dub this particular model of the MacBook Pro akin to the “Pro” series at all, yet more consonant to a MacBook Air, with “Pro side effects”. As interpreted by Andrew Cunningham of Ars Technica, the $1,499 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has a super-upgraded display, with 2560 x 1600 pixels and more brightness than ever, includes dual-core processors, based on Intel’s Skylake architecture, starting at a base of 2.0GHz (3.1GHz at Turbo) in the Core i5-6360U, and upgradable to a 2.4GHz (3.4 at Turbo) Core i7-6660U chip. Integrated into the CPUs are Intel Iris 540 graphics, plus either 8GB or 16GB RAM options (which is quite limited, isn’t it? Aren’t we used to seeing a 32GB option these days?). As far as solid state drive capacity, storage starts at 256GB, with 512GB and 1TB options to top it off. These higher configurations do make the new MacBook Pro hit the $2,599 dollar range.
One issue Apple had to tackle was whether or not the lack of extra memory (Apple opted for LPDDR3 RAM instead of DDR4, and stuck with the 16GB cap that past generations were limited to) would be worth focusing on upping battery life. This smaller-capacity battery, at 54.5Wh, compares to the early 2015 model at 74.9Wh, which is said to be downgraded due to Apple’s focus on efficiency in its display, and processing power. Either way, Apple quotes the same amount of battery life as before- 10 hours, and tests are proving it true.
Most features do point to this device being a sister Air product. For a MacBook Pro, it’s been completely altered physically- its thinness and lightness pretty much compromise the keyboard Pro users liked before, or at least this is a large argument among consumers. There’s two single USB Thunderbolt 3 ports. That’s all. There’s a limited 16GB of RAM, but graphics and processor performance is much improved. What we have here is a partially positively-upgraded Apple laptop. It doesn’t seem “Pro” enough to be ready for the kind of work professionals do, but let’s hope that’s what the Touch Bar models are going to provide.
Imagine how many Apple users could be quickly turned off by these features and put their wallets back in their pockets? That’s a lot to say for Apple fans, because face it, plenty of MacBook Pro owners have been waiting for that beautiful upgrade to make their eyes and mouths water. But it looks like what they have been waiting for may arguably be just a 2016 MacBook Air. What we must be waiting for, in terms of some real change made by Apple, is the 15-inch iteration of the MacBook Pro, featuring the Touch Bar and Touch ID features that are lacking here.
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