Apple’s “Hello Again” event has just ended and the main attraction was the new 2016 MacBook Pro, that comes with the rumored OLED touch strip which is now known as the “Touch Bar”.
The overall design of the new MacBook Pro is similar to what’s already available. However, Apple has made some significant refinements. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is 14.9mm thin ( 17% skinnier than the previous MacBook Pro ), has 23% less volume and comes in at just 3 pounds.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro is 15.5 mm thin ( 14% skinnier than the previous MacBook Pro ), has 20% less volume and comes in at just 4 pounds.
MacBook Pro removes the function and hardware keys at the top of the keyboard and replaces them with the new Touch Bar which will offer contextual options based on what you’re doing.
For example in Mail, it will display buttons for creating a new message, replying, flagging or deleting an email.
In Safari it shows you a list of your bookmarks and in Messages it shows a list of commonly used emojis.
There’s also an escape key and if, for any reason, you need the functions key all you have to do is hold down the function key which is still available at the bottom left corner of the keyboard.
The Touch Bar also features a Touch ID button which you can use to unlock your MacBook Pro or use Apple Pay.
If you share the new MacBook Pro with another user, all he/she has to do is touch the Touch ID button with a registered fingerprint and macOS will be automatically switched to that user.
The Touch Bar can also be customized to your liking for native macOS apps. Most native apps come with support for the Touch Bar. Even Terminal.
Third party apps will also be able to take advantage of the new Touch Bar. So expect your favorite apps to add support for the Touch Bar with future updates.
The screen on the new MacBook Pro is 67% brighter than the last gen MacBook Pro, offers 67% higher contrast, has 25% more colors and is as thin as the 12-inch MacBook’s display – Apple claims.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro is powered by a quad-core Inter i7 processor, 2,133Mhz RAM and Radeon Pro Polaris graphics.
The 13-inch MacBook Pros powered by a dual-core i5 or i7 processor and features Intel Iris Pro graphics.
Both models of the new MacBook Pro come with the same second-generation “butterfly” keyboard and feature trackpads that are twice as large as before with Force Touch functionality.
The new MacBook Pro features four Thunderbolt 3-equipped USB-C ports on the side ( 2 on each side, and each can power the new MacBook Pro ) and the headphone jack.
The entry-level MacBook Pro starts at $1,499, while the 13-inch model with the TouchBar and Touch ID runs $1,799. The 15-inch version starts at $2,399.
All three models can be ordered right now. However, only the low-end MacBook Pro ( without Touch Bar ) is shipping immediately. The Touch Bar models will ship in two to three weeks.