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Apple Announced New Macbook Pro With Dynamic Touch Bar But Missing A Key Ability

By Justin Heyes on October 27th 2016

In what seemed like ages, today Apple finally showed off their new MacBook Pro design not revisited or updated since 2012. The new MacBook Pros come in 3 flavors 2 13-inch models and a 15-inch model; each thinner and lighter than their predecessors, and more powerful.

The show-stealing feature of the event in Cupertino was the new ‘Touch Bar’. A dynamic replacement of the now ‘defunct’ function keys, the Touch Bar is a retina touchscreen strip which changes on-the-fly based on what apps are in use, whilst retaining the functions (volume, brightness, and much more.) You can also hold down the function key to show all the old function keys on the Touch Bar

[REWIND: Microsoft’s New Touchscreen Desktop All-in-One: The Surface Studio | iMac Beater? ]

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The far right portion is a Touch ID sensor which unlocks the Macbook, can be used for Apple Pay, and quickly swaps between users. The Touchbar tools allow for photo and video editing in full-screen mode without having to clutter up the image with a variety of modules and sliders, and in Mail the Touch Bar adds quick keys for the most used actions like, ‘Send to trash’ and ‘reply’. Predictive text will be included, much like it is on the iPhone keyboard, but by default pulls up app-specific functions. That said, it is also fully customizable for those who want to change their workflow at the system level.

The display on the new MacBook Pro are 67% brighter and has 25% more colors (DCI/P3 or 25% larger Color Gamut than sRGB) while retaining the same resolution as the old models. The top-configured 15-inch model features a sixth generation 2.7 GHz Core i7 processor (Skylake) with new AMD Radeon Pro 455 graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The processor is quad-core for the 15-inch and dual-core 2.9 GHz i5 for the 13-inch w/Touch Bar, and 2.0GHz for the one without. The 13-inch MacBook Pro will use Intel’s Iris Graphics 550 integrated graphics, and the base RAM configuration is 8GB LPDDR3 for the 13-inch (upgradable to 16 GB) and 16GB LPDDR3 for the 15-inch. This is perhaps one of the glaring problems a certain number of creatives will face, that you are still limited to 16GB RAM without the ability to add to it.

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Gone are the myriad of ports being replaced by 4 (2 in the base 13inch) Thunderbolt 3 powered USB-C ports each providing up to 40Gb/s bandwidth; all of these ports can be used for power, Thunderbolt, USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, and more. The 15-inch MacBook Pro, in addition to the built-in display, is capable of powering two 5K external displays at once.

Apple also announced a partnership with LG electronics to launch a new high-resolution 5K display. The monitor itself will be branded as an LG Electronics device and is designed specifically to work with the new USB-C port included on all of the newest MacBook Pro models. The display is being marketed at LG’s first 5K display with USB-C support, and it’ name is officially the LG 38UC99.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro will start at $2399, the 13-inch MacBook Pro will start at $1799. Expected delivery is 2-3 weeks.

[RELATED: How Apple Views Photography | Here’s What’s Coming & It’s More Than Just Raw Capture]

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About

Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Peter Mark

    great article.

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  2. Rob Levandowski

    I’m surprised there’s no mention of the fact that the new MBPs do NOT include an SD card slot. If you want to read an SD card, you’ll need an external reader with a USB-C cable. If you want to use an existing USB2 or USB3 reader, you’ll need a USB-C to USB Type A adapter as well.

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    • Tim Clayton

      If like me you use a USb2/3 card reader that connects via cable, you don’t need to buy an adapter, just a new cable. you can get usb-c to any flavor of mini or micro usb your card reader is designed for for about 5 dollars.

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  3. Pye Jirsa

    Once again, I feel like Apple falls more and more behind in terms of innovation. Nothing new here, and the bar… nice, but nothing revolutionary.

    Case in point, better version of the new MBP > http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade-pro

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  4. Kim Bentsen

    The display is being marketed …, and it’ name is officially the LG 38UC99.

    Come on man, that’s a different display!

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  5. Patrick McLeod

    32GB option coming in the spring refresh along with Jet Black option.

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  6. Will Ryan

    Am I dumb or did you not talk about the “key ability” it’s missing?

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    • Kishore Sawh

      The key ability to surpass the 16GB RAM limit.

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    • Justin Heyes

      Apple has been behind the times for years. No Macbook Pro as ever supported more than 16GB of RAM (both officially and unofficially).

      The iMac only got official support for 32GB of RAM in 2015 (unofficially 2010).

      Since the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, I don’t see a Macbook with more than 16GB in the near future.

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