As we had speculated, Apple revealed its new MacBooks and MacBook Pros yesterday. After 2 years of disappointment in a row, we expected Apple to bounce back and give us something better, which they did by giving us better disappointments. This may make me seem like someone who dislikes Apple, but I am someone who religiously recommended the MacBook Air to people over something like the Sony VAIO.
Apple unveiled two different size variants of the MacBook Pro 2016 with two different color schemes. The MacBook Pro 2016 is available in two different 13” and one 15” options clad in either silver or gray colors. As usual, they are made from aluminum (which admittedly, is not a big deal anymore).
MacBook Pro 2016 13 inch Base variant
There are two 13 inch variants are targeted at the MacBook Air audience. It is 14.9mm thick and comes with two ThunderBolt 3 ports and weighs at around 3 pounds. The base variant 13-inch model is powered by a 6th gen Intel Core i5 dual-core processor that is clocked at 2GHz. The laptop features an inbuilt Iris Graphics 540 which is actually adequate and comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It costs USD 1,499 and is already available for purchase.
MacBook Pro 2016 13-inch High end variant – Touch ID awesomeness
The top end 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 comes with similar exteriors and similar weight distribution It comes with Touch ID and Touch Bar. We were amazed by what the Touch ID could do. You can set up multiple Finger Prints associated with different user. When you plan on logging in, you just have to touch the Touch ID that’s integrated into the Power Button and the user account associated to the User will be logged in. In my opinion, this is a cool feature and something Windows laptops can learn from, kudos to Apple for this.
The top end 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 also features a faster 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5 processor and an Intel Iris Graphics 550. It has four ThunderBolt 3 ports as opposed to the two on the base variant. And costs around USD 1,799.
Don’t worry, we’ll talk about the that Touch Bar in the end. We think it deserves its own attention.
MacBook Air 2016 – The fighter is back
Just kidding, it appears like the MacBook Air line up is dead for good. Rest in Peace, old friend.
MacBook Pro 2016 15 inch – The Bomb!
The 15-inch top end MacBook Pro 2016 features a 15-inch retina display. The display panel on all of these MacBook Pros is great and the bezels look thin enough.
The 15 inch MacBook Pro is powered by a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, It should also be noted that the SSDs on all the MacBook Pros are new and improved to offer speeds up to 3.1 GB/s. The laptop is also thin at around 15.5mm.
It features Four ThunderBolt 3 ports, a Touch ID and a Touch Bar. The graphics is handled by a Radeon Pro 450 which tops out at around 1 TeraFlops. If you are not familiar with the technical numbers, this actually puts the Radeon Pro 450 below the Nvidia GTX 950m (Okay Gtx 950m owners, quit laughing already).
The MacBook Pro 15 inch variant retails at around USD 2,399. You can also re-configure the laptop with a higher capacity SSD, better GPU and take it all the way up to a ridiculously expensive USD 4,000.
That Touch Bar – Amazed, Yet Skeptical
Apple has designed the Touch Bar beautifully well. The matte finish gives it a physical buttons type of look while the brightness is just right to be visible and not distracting at the same time.
The Touch Bar looks and feels great in Final Cut, where you can use it as a Timeline and in Photoshop where you can set it to display the history of edits. It also has a couple of other nifty features.
To be very honest, its good but it’s not something that’s necessary. You can very well use the MacBook Pro without it.
In my personal opinion, instead of bending my head down and looking at the Touch Bar, reaching in all the way across and scrubbing the Timeline, I would rather use the ForceTouch equipped mouse pad to help me get the job done without even having to look away from the screen.
If I were to give my stand on the Touch Bar. I would say it definitely looks and feels great, but it’s not a must have and is definitely not worth spending the extra premium when you are low on cash.
So, What do we think?
When you price the base variant of a laptop at USD 1,499, “okay” is not okay. It has to be nothing short of amazing. In all honesty, yes, the MacBook Pro line up has received a much needed refresh and they do look and feel better now. But is it all worth the hype? I mean, it has a better build, a better screen and a marginally better specification list along with a Touch Bar. If not for the Touch ID, (let me remind you that we have had finger print recognition in Windows laptops for ages now) I don’t think the MacBook Pro is worth any hype.
To the MacBook lovers and those who wanted a refresh to the air, now you can get one similar to it. To those looking to upgrade their 2015 MacBook Pro, I would suggest you wait till the next refresh.