Another time of the year and Apple launches yet another laptop that will magically change your life forever. Almost!
While hardware wise the new MacBook Pro might be an incremental update, it does provide something that was long rumoured and awaited. A touch based LED bar that lets you interact better with the apps that you use.
What it does is that it replaces the physical function keys you’d find on the top of your keyboard with something that you can literally physically interact with and get a lot of stuff done. As you use various apps, the bar dynamically changes depending on what you indulge in. For example, if you are in a messaging app, you’d see a bar of emoticons, on the other hand in you are working with a photo editing app, a set of tools relevant to that app would be shown. Apple has also, for the very first time, made Touch ID available on a Mac. The Touch Bar does make things easier, funner and more involving in the real world as I work with a plethora of apps. Not to mention I can even play Pacman and Doom on it (drool).
Jony Ive’s voiceover
Now that we’ve spoken about the highlighting feature about the new MacBook Pro, lets dive a bit into the way it is designed and the way it looks. It is a no brainer that the new MacBook Pro is skinnier when compared to the earlier model and it is lighter too. The 15in model which I had my hands on is 15.5mm thin and tips the scales at 1.83kg which is lighter than the outgoing 2015 model which weighed 2.04kg. Glance on the sides of the Pro and you will notice the absence of the friendly USB ports. Instead, Apple has gone with four USB-C/Thunderbolt ports.
Overall, it is the gorgeous metal work you’d expect from Apple with some new inclusions. The next major one after the addition of the Touch Bar is the massive football field sized trackpad that now supports Force Touch. It is really massive, so massive the Apple had to sit down for a chat with its keypad and literally tell it that they will be stealing its real estate.
Also Read: Inside Apple’s New Macbook Pro
In the real world, that means that the keys are closer and some if not all of you might not like it very much. If that’s not all, the arrow keys are almost inaccessible if you have reasonable sized fingers. Apple has also, in its quest to make the Pro thinner, gone with its butterfly mechanism keypad, hence there is barely any travel when you type. I can live with this bit but I do miss the older MacBook Pro keypad.
Then there is Touch ID through which you can login in to your specific account via your digit. It is a fantastically simple way to access your personal space and a boon when you have multiple family members using the same laptop. Yes, you get the point. I know. It gets better if you own an Apple Watch, because now you simply have to arrive at your desk and the MacBook Pro will unlock itself for you thanks to its proximity unlock feature. Darn it, I don’t own an Apple Watch. But then, I don’t own the new MacBook Pro either.
On the new MacBook Pro you can opt for a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, with 8MB shared L3 cache spec at the maximum level. That is some serious firepower and it helps when you work with compute intensive applications such as video editing on iMovie or working with Adobe Indesign, Photoshop and more. Gaming too is a lot of fun and an effortless process on the new Pro. The 16GB of memory on the inside makes a mincemeat of things and I love it like that. What I also absolutely adore is the Retina display, with its lickable resolution of 2880 x 1800, watching HD movies and gaming is a gloriously enjoyable experience.
Let me put this in the simplest manner possible. I absolutely love the new Touch Bar, simply because it not only adds that bit of exquisiteness to the Macbook Pro visually but it is practically useful. As more and more developers latch on and build specific apps for the Touch Bar, things will only get more involving and fun. The Force Touch trackpad is nice and extremely usable and I truly appreciate the inclusion of Touch ID. What I don’t like about the new Pro is that its new keypad could have been much better and are you kidding me with that price tag Apple? I am a huge fan of your products but for that price, its not exactly an impulse buy.