Apple's New MacBook Pro: Everything You Need To Know

After approximately 27 years, Apple is finally giving us a new MacBook Pro. Image: Apple

As rumoured (and leaked by Apple!), Apple showed-off a brand new MacBook Pro design at a press event in Cupertino. This is the first design refresh the MacBook Pro has seen in more than four years.

Like previous models, the design is all aluminium, but the 15-inch and 13-inch models are smaller and thinner than the previous models.

The 15-inch will weigh just 1.83kg, around 200g lighter than the old MacBook Pro.

Image: Apple

The MacBook Pro has a brand new ginormous trackpad that features Force Touch and a new keyboard using the same butterfly key mechanism first introduced with the MacBook.

But the big news is that in place of the function keys is a new OLED strip. It's a Retina display and multi-touch and it responds to gestures.

Image: Apple

Dubbed TouchBar, it replaces the standard system functions. But it can do more -- it can adapt to whatever software you use. So if you're a web browser, your TouchBar shows you your favourites. You can slide along and tap.

The TouchBar can also act as a predictive QuickType suggestion bar for typing, like on your phone keyboard.

Image: Apple

Importantly, it also includes a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. This means you can login to your Mac with your fingerprint. It will also work with Apple Pay. The sensor is smartly located on the power button, for easy access.

Image: Apple

TouchBar is part of the keyboard and by default, all of your function keys will show up. But when you're entering text, for instance, formatting controls show up and you can also access QuickType suggestions. This also means you can use TouchBar to display all your favourite emoji. That's big!

Inside apps like Safari, you can move between tabs and you can even see a preview of your tabs right on the TouchBar.

Image: Apple

In Photos, you can use the TouchBar to access quick edit features like rotate and levelling controls. And because it's multi-touch, you get a lot of granular control.

You can customise your TouchBar for ultimate nerdiness too. This means you can give one-touch access to terminal commands and system controls. You can even take a screenshot by tapping on the TouchBar. Cool!

Image: Apple

The Touch ID sensor on TouchBar also works with fast user switching, which is useful for machines with multiple users. Just tap on the Touch ID sensor and switch away!

The display on the new MacBook Pro has the same resolution as the old models, but is 67 per cent brighter and has 25 per cent more colours. It also features a sixth generation Core processor (Skylake) with new AMD Polaris graphics for the 15-inch model. The processor is quad-core for the 15-inch and dual-core for the 13-inch. The 13-inch MacBook Pro will use Intel's integrated graphics. The base RAM configuraiton is 8GB for the 13-inch and 16GB for the 15-inch.

Apple is eschewing MagSafe and opting for Thunderbolt 3 powered USB-C ports. That means all these ports can be used for power, Thunderbolt, USB, HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA.

Image: Apple

You can also daisy-chain gear across these ports, so you can add a ton of gear. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is capable of powering two 5K external displays at once, in addition to the built-in display.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro will start at $3599, the 13-inch MacBook Pro will start at $2699. A less-capable MacBook Pro 13-inch is available with standard function keys, starting at $2199. The new MacBook Pros go on sale today and will be shipping in the next few weeks.



    So, is there a physical power button? Because I can't see an obvious one. How do you turn it on? If it's on the touch bar with the escape key, how do you turn it off when there's a kernel panic and the touch bar stops responding?

    It's looking to me that Apple have brought their weird tradition of putting the power button in an awkward spot from their desktops to their laptops.

      Just watched The Verge's video, the TouchID sensor doubles as a power button

      to turn the laptop off you leave your finger on the touch id for some period of time. To power the laptop you open the laptop and it turns on automatically. I think this is kind of stupid but thats apple for you.

        and if there is a problem with the touchbar then you can no longer use your computer :'(

          The touch bar isn't turning the laptop on, opening the lid is. Besides, there's dozens of component inside a PC that if they were to fail, may render it unusable.

    Ugh! Why the hell does Apple keep significantly raising the prices of their products?

      Because there are IDIOTS AROUND that keep giving them their hard earned MONEY!! That's why!

        A comparable surface book cost the same, go troll somewhere else

      They effectively have a monopoly as they're the only one that makes mac os products so they charge w/e they like.

    Yeah - I bought my late 2013 for $2700, I had a 10% off voucher but still, it was maxed out (i7, 1TB SSD, 950m, 16GB etc)

    Th new one is $1000 dear in US dollars... no thanks.

    Last edited 28/10/16 7:34 am

      Yep! I have a 2012 MBP I got for $2k, and have maxed the ram and put a 512GB SSD in it and it still keeps up with last years rMBP. I still have the option of turfing the optical drive and putting a second drive in also.

      $4700 for this new one is lunacy....

    Well shit. How disappointing. They just scrapped actual useful parts of the machine (where the fudge is the SD card reader?!) and replaced it with this gimmick and bumped the price up. Wld have been noce to keep the card reader and at least one USB 3 port. Also no magsafe!? Who the hell is this thing aimed at!? Looks like I may finally have to maoe the switch back to PC after 15 years. Apple has lost their focus bigtime. Everyone wants new macbook airs, but now a peep about that either :/

    Surely it has to be an error on the apple store/site, but there are no storage upgrade options for the 13 inch with the touchbar! Meaning you are limited to 256gb of storage!! If this isn't a mistake on the apple site, and actually not an option to upgrade then this would by far have to be the worst mac event/announcement/downgrade in history.

      Then it is the world's most expensive netbook.

      It sadly isn't a mistake - but fortunately, Apple will gladly sell you some iCloud storage at very reasonable rates.

      You can pay to upgrade storage up to 1TB SSD

    I'll be buying an XPS or Surface book, or maybe a Lenovo... after 10+ years with the 15" MacBooks.

    MagSafe, Standard USB and SD Card I could probably look past, but the keyboards being the same as the the 12" MacBook (too shallow, very unpleasant to type on after coming from ThinkPads at work all day) is a deal breaker.

    Well that the and huge price hike for a gimmicky touchscreen panel. Real disappointment.

      Same boat here. Now looking at the Surface Book!

        Yep, same here too. After having Macs for the last 10 years I am moving back to PC. Apple have lost the plot.

      Been using the Surfacebook which cost me 4200 for 4 months now and its crap. Its 12 months away from being software integrated, nothing works as it should, all its special function lag or freeze up the PC. It has no grunt.

      my 2012 Macbook pro was the best laptop I ever owned, will be flogging this crapola and ordering the 2016 15" with top CPU and top GPU. I can run OS X and Windows 10.

      I dont think the touch bar is gimmic, its perfect a touch screen laptop is useless, never use it and when you do it leaves smudges. This tool bar will do it faster with less effert

      My judgement on Microsoft is coming from Windows 95. I think I now have to look at other brands and seriously consider a switch.

      The Surface range is truly impressive.

    "The 15-inch MacBook Pro will start at $3599, the 13-inch MacBook Pro will start at $2699"

    This nailed it for me that I'm getting a Surface Book 2 when they're available. I was so keen and set on getting a MBP but that AMD card amongst all the other small things is just to bad for me.

    The base cost of this years MacBook Pro is too damn high. Plus, for a "Pro" product 255GB should not be the starting point.

    And in one fell swoop they have made it more difficult to download my photos. No SD card slot; can't plug in my Lexar USB card reader; can't plug in my DSLR for tethered shooting.

    Adapters adapters adapters!

    (Edit: speling)

    Last edited 28/10/16 10:06 am

      Presumably you need cables to hook up your DSLR and maybe for the card reader. All you'd need here is different cables. You don't necessarily need more cables than before, or adapters.

    Yeah as I posted on one of the other articles I think I'll be holding on to my 2011 MBA until I can afford to buy one of the new Surface Books.
    Which is a shame because I have an iPhone and the ability to easily move stuff from one to the other and to reply to messages on my MBA is pretty nifty.

    I absolutely love my 2015 MacBook Pro and this "upgrade" makes me love it even more.

    The MacBook has one of the worst keyboards on a laptop and the Pro model should not be using one. It's not like this keyboard has any benefit to battery life as was the excuse for its inclusion in the MacBook, this Pro actually has less battery life than its predecessor according to Apple's official specs "2015: 12 hour itunes playback, late 2016: 10 hours itunes playback".

    I was also lucky enough to pay about $1500 for mine with student pricing before they increased prices. I love what I got, but I couldn't imagine paying double the price for such minor upgrades. The Mac I have now will be my first and last one.

    Been hanging out to buy a MBP for over a year, think i'll be going intel. I don't give a stuff about thinner or lighter I need a machine that can perform. Bugger all storage, no option to upgrade ram, they're specs you'd expect on mid level machine not something you pay top dollar for. Apple need a serious change in design and development i'd have happily bought and MBP if it was twice the size/weight as long as it had space, speed and battery life. A computer is a tool not a piece of jewellery.

      Don't worry..

      MBP is intel already, If you like your old MBP you should love a top-of-the-range Windows workstation.

      For the same price as a 15 inch MBP you can get a certified workstation for real productivity (true but jk.)

    It has pretty much everything I want, but the price is steep. The model I want is about $4500 Aussie, the price in the US is only $200 better when you add GST, so it isn't an Australia tax thing, the new models are just pricey.

    I'll wait another year, Windows 10 is shitting me on the desktop, so I'm not buying a laptop with it on it. Hopefully in 12 months the pricing will be more aggressive.

    Disappointed. It seems, that they really think, that we have to start using ipad Pro instead.

    AU$4200+ for the 15 with 500gb SSD. That is madness.

    I don't get Apple. Are they solely relying on fanbois to buy the new Macbook. Anyone who is looking at a new laptop will surely be looking at the XPS or Surface book as an alternative just based on price alone. They are gifting the competition an easy in.

    RIP Apple. Your days are over. Microsoft the day before shredded you.
    Watch the share price drop now and the fanboys start weeping.

      Wow you stop short of grunting and thumping your chest

    Looks good to me. I'll be getting one. I currently have the 13" Retina, but I think I'll go 15" this time around.

      get the 4GB GPU upgrade, only $165 extra, this is a must upgrade

    while this touchbar is prob. a great feature for those who look @ their keys when they type; to the real ''pro'' touchtypers, this kind of feature is more of a hindrance then a help.. I think i preferred apple when their primary market was people who worked in creative industries.

      The touch bar has great application in final cut, being away from the Mac Pro and design peripherals means I can still get stuff done quick and without a mouse.

      I like it

        Then they should have added it as an extra, instead of replacing the function key row with it.

        As a developer, I couldn't use a keyboard that didn't have physical function keys.

    "This also means you can use TouchBar to display all your favourite emoji. That’s big!"

    Are you f'n kidding me. Please tell me that was dripping with sarcasm.

      I actually find that incredibly useful. I use emoji's a lot and was already happy with OS X's double key shortcut access to the Emoji Keyboard, but this is just even better.

      I thought the point of emoji's were that you could express emotions without having to type them out due to keyboard restraints. You have a full sized keyboard!

      It will go nicely with the recent upgrade to iMessage where you can draw stick figures RIGHT IN THE APP!

    Looks like a good iteration. Touch bar seems handy, don't care about price they hold their value.

      yep sold my 3 year old Macbook pro for 2800, bought it for 4K.

      You cant buyers for windows PC's that are 2 years old, its give aways

    A simple solution - DON'T BUY APPLE PRODUCTS!! If you want to stick with Apple - STOP WHINGING AND COUGH UP THE MONEY!!

    Can't wait to annoy my friends by touching the screen because Apple still don't have touch in 2016.

      Omg! I do this all the time instinctively, trying to scroll pages etc on friends' macbooks. I get so annoyed!

    mmmm, that touchbar is not going to help much.
    I'm a touch typer and dont look at the keyboard anymore, why would I want to add buttons in an area when my eyes dont look there?
    Even if it is nice and changes with the context this doesnt help the professional, only the novices.

    It seems that Microsoft are bringing more interesting peripheral enhancements with the dial thingy as at least that is on the screen and makes touchscreens a textual experience and makes you WANT to use the touchscreen

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