Apple MacBook Pro lineup has just been refreshed. The last time this happened was in 2015, when Apple introduced the MacBook Pro with Force Touch Keypad, but the 2016 upgrade brings some crucial new features. For starters, the Apple MacBook Pro is now coming in three variants: the 13-inch version without the new Touch Bar, the 13-inch version with the Touch Bar, and the high-end 15-inch version with a Touch Bar.
The main change to the MacBook Pro is that Apple has gotten rid of the function keys on top, and instead introduced the new OLED Touch Bar which customizes according to the application you’re using. So for Final Cut Pro or Email or Safari, the bar will show specific function keys which apply to application rather than a generic set of function keys.
For each application, the Touch Bar dynamically adapts and shows functions needed for it, although users can bring back a standard set of custom function keys as well for controlling brightness, volume etc. So what has Apple changed in the new MacBook Pro series compared to the earlier version? The chart below gives a quick look at how the new MacBook Pro has changed.
Apple MacBook Pro 2015
The older MacBook Pro comes only in the Silver colour option, and is thicker and heavier compared to the new version. It was first announced in May 2016, and has the same 15.4-inch display size as the new version. In case of the old MacBook Pro (2015), the display is LED-backlit Retina display with 2880 by 1800 pixels resolution, and 300 nits brightness and a standard color gamut (sRGB).
The MacBook Pro 2015 comes with quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with clock speeds of 2.2GHz, 2.5GHz, or 2.8GHz and turbo boost up to 4.0GHz. It also has 16GB RAM, but a maximum of 1TB SSD storage. For graphics, this has the Intel Iris Pro but the new series improves on this bit as well.
However, MacBook Pro 2015 has a lot more ports compared to the Type-C USB exclusive new version. Ports on the older MacBook Pro include: Two USB 3 ports, Two Thunderbolt 2 ports and HDMI port and the 3.5mm headphone slot. If you don’t wish to buy a bunch of adapters with the new MacBook Pro then it might be a better option to stick with the older one, though on paper the newer version is thinner, lighter and more powerful. Battery life promised on the older MacBook Pro is 9 hours on wireless web.
Apple MacBook Pro 2016
The new MacBook Pro 2016 also has a 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Retina display with 2880 by 1800 pixels resolution. The display is also brighter at 500 nits, and Apple has used the Wide color gamut (P3) seen on the iPhone 7 series in its new laptops as well.
The new MacBook Pro runs the sixth generation quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with clock speeds of 2.6GHz, 2.7GHz, or 2.9GHz and Turbo boost option of 3.8Ghz. Apple is giving the option of Intel HD Graphics 530 or AMD’s Radeon Pro 450, 455, or 460 graphics with the new MacBook Pro, which is better than the previous version.
The RAM is 16 GB with upto 2TB SSD storage space options. The company promises 10 hours of battery life, which is not such a big jump.
Apple has completely redesigned the MacBook Pro in this series going for a new all-metal unibody construction. The backlit keyboard has the second-generation butterfly mechanism. Apple’s new MacBook Pro also does away with all other ports, and instead has only four type-C USB Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can be used to charge the device as well. Except this also means you’ll need to buy a lot of adapters, even if you just want to plug in your iPhone into your MacBook.
Of course the crucial feature about the new MacBook Pro is the Touch Bar, which Apple sees as the game-changer. It also comes with a bigger Force TouchPad as well as support for Touch ID. Now the Apple MacBook Pro supports Apple Pay as well.