Apple has finally updated its more expensive MacBook Pro lineup, packing their devices with newer processors, True Tone displays, and a ‘quieter’ keyboard. Apple claims that users of the 15-inch model will see a 70 percent performance increase, while the 13-inch model should double in speed.
Unfortunately for consumers, only the more expensive Macbook Pro models with Touch Bars are getting the update. There are no updates to the base-model 13-inch MacBook Pro. Also missing out are updates to the entry-level MacBook or the MacBook Air.
For those purchasing the Pro models, Apple claims the updates are more than just mere spec bumps. The 15-inch MacBook Pro can be outfitted with a six-core, eighth-generation i7 or i9 Intel processor and the ability to load up the RAM to 32GB of DDR4 memory and the storage to 4TB.
The new processors can dial up to 2.9GHz and can further Turbo Boost up to an eye-popping 4.8GHz. The GPUs are Radeon Pros and handle 4GB of video memory. However, this configuration will come at a wallet-busting $6,699. For those of modest means, the base model is available at the same price as before; $2,399.
Meanwhile, the smaller 13-inch model is kitted out with a quad-core i5 or i7 chip, with clock speeds in the range of up to 2.7GHz and a Turbo Boosted 4.5GHz. Storage can up to 2TB.
In terms of ports, four Thunderbolt / USB-C ports and a headphone jack should be plenty.
Apple has also increased the battery capacity to counteract the extra power drawn by the new processors and RAM. Apple does point out however, that its battery life estimates for these machines remain unchanged.
The devices also pack True Tone displays. The screen adjusts its colour temperature by measuring the colour temperature of the room. Touchscreens however remain absent.
The laptops also feature “Hey Siri,” which allow users to activate the Siri digital assistant by voice instead of the keyboard. Apple has developed a chip it calls the “T2” to handle this.
However, perhaps the most welcome addition is the addition of an extra layer of silicon below the keyboard. The padding offers a significantly quieter typing experience to previous iterations. However, it also serves an additional function which the MacBook Pro service document indicates; “prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism.”
“CAUTION: THE KEYBOARD HAS A MEMBRANE UNDER THE KEYCAPS TO PREVENT DEBRIS FROM ENTERING THE BUTTERFLY MECHANISM. BE CAREFUL NOT TO TEAR THE MEMBRANE. A TORN MEMBRANE WILL RESULT IN A TOP CASE REPLACEMENT.”
Whether this will be enough to sway buyers into shelling out for the new devices…we will find out very soon.