MacBook Pro 2016: It’s only about that Touch Bar

Apple has finally revealed its much-awaited new MacBook Pro. Here’s everything that comes with this shiny new offering from Apple.

Thinnest and lightest MacBook Pro to date, but with few surprises

While new MacBook Pro lineup looks pretty much the same, Apple made them thinner and lighter than before.

thinner macbook pro

Here’s what’s to expect:

  • 13-inch MacBook Pro: 14.9mm thick, weighs 3lbs
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro: 15.5mm thick, weighs 4lbs
Bigger trackpads and better keyboard

Both the trackpad and keyboard have been updated on the MacBook Pro. The trackpad gets Force Touch capabilities, and is now two times bigger.

bigger macbook pro trackpac

Also, the MacBook Pros’ keyboard will now use the butterfly mechanism previously found on the 12-inch MacBook.

Magsafe and USB dropped; USB-C takes over

Older MacBook Pros came with a selection of USB 3.0 ports, Magsafe ports, Thunderbolt 3 ports and USB Type C ports. But with the new MacBook Pros as Apple has decided to drop the Magsafe and USB ports, sporting only 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, which also doubles as USB Type-C ports.

mbp ports

With this iteration of the MacBook Pro, the Thunderbolt 3 ports will handle battery charging, display outputs, and even peripheral support. Curiously enough, Apple has decided not to remove the headphone jack on the laptops.

Here’s an overview:

Macbook Pro (2015) New Macbook Pro (2016)
2x USB 3.0 ports 4x Thunderbolt 3 ports
1x Magsafe 2 port 1x Headphone jack
2x Thunderbolt 2 ports
1x HDMI port
1x Headphone jack
1x SD card slot
Retina Display Gets Brighter, More Colors

The new MacBook Pros will come with an updated Retina Display: 67% brighter, 67% higher contrast ratio, and 25% more colors.

mbp retina display

The resolution for the displays will be 2560×1600 for the 13-inch MacBook Pro and 2880×1880 for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The displays will also support the DCI-P3 color gamut.

A Smart & Responsive Touch Bar

Of course, the biggest highlight of the new MacBook Pros is the presence of a brand new feature: the Touch Bar.

Changes according to apps

By itself the Touch Bar is a touch-sensitive OLED screen that replaces the function keys. The magic happens when different apps appear on the monitor. The Touch Bar will show various new app-specific features to assist you in your tasks.

mbp touchbar

For example, when nothing is on the screen at the moment, the Touch Bar will come with buttons that will allow you to adjust the volume or brightness of the MacBook Pro.

When you boot up an app like Final Cut Pro, the Touch Bar will immediately display a different set of tools, such as a seeker that lets you navigate through the entire project without needing to use the cursor on screen to do so.

final cut pro

The multi-purpose nature of the Touch Bar has third-party support as well. You can expect Photoshop to roll out an update in the near future to take advantage of it and even Microsoft’s Office Suite for Mac will also be updated to make full use of the Touch Bar.

Has a touch ID

Touch Bar also makes it possible to bring fingerprint scans to the Macbook Pro. On the right hand side of the Touch Bar, Apple has embedded a Touch ID button, the kind found on an iPhone or Apple Watch. This allows Macbook Pro users to access their Mac or authenticate payments on Apple Pay with just their fingerprint.

mbp touch id

In shared Macbook Pros, putting a user’s finger on the Touch ID will automatically log the person in and bring up their personal session. No more logging in and out of sessions. Just let your fingerprint do all that.

Models & Specifications

Now the new MacBook Pro will come in 3 separate configurations: you have two sizes of course, but while the 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with a Touch Bar, there are two variations of the 13-inch Macbook Pro: one has the Touch Bar, the other doesn’t.

For the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the variant that comes with the Function Keys is comes with:

  • a 2.4GHz Intel Skylake Core i5 processor
  • up to 16GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • up to 1TB of SSD storage
  • Intel Iris Graphics 540 chip

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar comes with:

  • 3.1GHz Intel Skylake Core i5 processor
  • up to 16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • up to 1TB of SSD storage
  • Intel Iris Graphics 550 processor.

Finally, we have the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Being Apple’s flagship MacBook Pro model, this laptop comes with:

  • 2.9GHz Intel Skylake Core i7 processor,
  • 16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • up to 2TB of SSD storage
  • a Radeon Pro graphics chip that is constructed using the Polaris architecture.
Pricing & Availability

The base models for these three MacBook Pros are USD1499, USD1799 and USD2399 respectively, with Apple taking orders for the laptops starting today.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Function Keys will begin shipping today, while the MacBook Pros with Touch Bars will begin shipping in two to three weeks’ time.