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article imageApple unveils its new 'groundbreaking' MacBook Pro

By James Walker     Oct 27, 2016 in Technology
Apple has announced its long-anticipated refresh of the MacBook Pro. The new model comes with heavily upgraded performance, a thinner and lighter design and a unique capacitive touch strip above the keyboard called the Touch Bar.
The new MacBook Pro is long overdue. Apple's neglect of its high-end PCs hasn't gone unnoticed by customers and critics. Today, the company caught up with its Windows-powered rivals, launching a new range of laptops with sixth-generation Intel Core processors and up to 2.3 times greater graphics performance than the previous MacBook Pro.
As rumoured this summer, Apple has created a new kind of interface to headline the MacBook Pro's spec sheet. In place of the function keys above the keyboard, the laptop sports a Retina multi-touch secondary display. The "Touch Bar" is contextually aware and provides one-touch access to controls in open apps.
Apple MacBook Pro (2016)
Apple MacBook Pro (2016)
Apple
Touch Bar is integrated into many of Apple's built-in apps including Mail, Finder, Calendar and Numbers. In Safari, it can show open tabs and favourites, letting you switch view without reaching for the touchpad. In Messages, the Touch Bar becomes an emoji strip. Alternatively, in Photos, Touch Bar lets you scroll through thumbnails and edit images from a regular typing position. Third-party developers will also be able to access the Touch Bar.
Apple has improved the MacBook Pro's primary display too. Available in 13-inch or 15-inch form, the Retina panel is up to 67 percent brighter than the outgoing model. It benefits from new power-saving technologies that reduce overall consumption by up to 30 percent, leading to a longer battery life.
Apple MacBook Pro (2016)
Apple MacBook Pro (2016)
Apple
Apple has managed to make the laptop up to 17 percent thinner at just 14.9mm on the 13-inch model. Despite the reduction in interior space, the MacBook Pro is now more powerful than ever. It's available with processors up to Intel's sixth-generation quad-core Core i7 chips with discrete AMD Radeon Pro graphics.
Every model features an SSD with sequential read speeds greater than 3GBps. There's also support for biometric authentication via Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensors, making an appearance on Mac for the first time. It can be used to login to Mac OS and compatible websites in Safari.
Alongside the headline features, Apple has also improved the laptop's speakers, keyboard and touchpad. Apple says the MacBook's sound now has double the dynamic range and additional bass. The touchpad is 46 percent larger on the 13-inch model, rising to 50 percent larger on the 15-inch version.
Apple MacBook Pro (2016)
Apple MacBook Pro (2016)
Apple
The launch of the new MacBook Pro comes during the 25th anniversary week of the first Apple notebook PC. After letting the line stagnate for a while, the release marks a significant improvement in the premium laptop's capabilities.
With the Touch Bar, Apple has brought something new to the traditional laptop form factor, introducing a new kind of input device that replaces the function keys with media playback controls, quick access shortcuts and bookmark links. It's likely to be more useful to typical consumers than the typical F1-F12, although not everyone will appreciate the change.
"This week marks the 25th anniversary of Apple’s first notebook; through the years each generation has introduced new innovations and capabilities, and it’s fitting that this all-new generation of MacBook Pro is the biggest leap forward yet," said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
Apple MacBook Pro (2016)
Apple MacBook Pro (2016)
Apple
"With the groundbreaking new Touch Bar, the convenience of Touch ID, the best Mac display ever, powerful performance, improved audio, blazing-fast storage and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity in our thinnest and lightest pro notebook yet, the new MacBook Pro is the most advanced notebook ever made."
The baseline 13-inch MacBook Pro with a dual-core 2.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage starts at $1,499 and is available to purchase today. A faster model, with a 2.9GHz Core i5 processor, will start shipping in 2-3 weeks. Finally, the 15-inch Core i7 version can be pre-ordered today for shipping within the next month. All models can be purchased from Apple's website at Apple.com.
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