Apple’s updated MacBook brings an innovative OLED Touch Bar to the MacBook family, along with faster processors and a brighter display.
Apple’s been rather quiet on the MacBook Pro front in recent years, with only small processor bumps in the past few years. That’s changed with the 2016 MacBook Pro line which, with the exception of the entry level model, boasts a redesign that includes a touch-sensitive, context-aware OLED bar where the function keys used to be.
Apple MacBook Pro: What is it?
The 2016 version of the MacBook Pro is, like the MacBook Pros that preceded it, a laptop computer running Apple’s macOS operating system, specifically macOS Sierra. It’s available with either a 13-inch or 15-inch screen that Apple refers to as a "Retina Display", although that’s a rather flexible marketing term rather than a technical specification. The keyboard uses the same "butterfly" array found on the 2016 11-inch MacBook model, while the trackpad has been expanded to twice the size of the previous MacBook Pros.
The entry level model of the MacBook Pro features the old school keyboard including function keys, but the mid-level 13-inch and both of the available 15-inch models instead substitute what Apple’s calling the "Touch Bar", an OLED touch sensitive strip that displays functions relative to the application currently on screen. So for example while using iTunes it might display track skipping and volume controls, while in a browser it could display navigation or bookmarking controls. Apple’s opened up the developer controls for the Touch Bar to third party developers, so this shouldn’t be a feature used only by Apple’s own in-house apps; Microsoft notably will be bringing Touch Bar support to its Mac-compatible Office apps.
In terms of ports, Apple’s betting heavily on USB C, with either two or four USB C (and Thunderbolt) compatible ports on the new MacBook Pro models. These are also used for charging the MacBook Pro. It’s worth noting that if you’re using any iPhone model, including the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, you’ll need a USB adaptor to connect directly to the new MacBook Pro models, as there’s no regular USB type A connectors on the new models.
Apple will sell the MacBook Pro models with a range of sixth generation Intel Core i5/i7 processors under the hood, depending on price. The baseline entry level MacBook Pro now comes with a 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, while the mid-range defaults to a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. On the 15-inch MacBook the entry level model has a 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 while the top end model comes with a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor. On the storage front it offers, as it has for a while, solid state non-upgradeable storage that ranges from 256GB up to 1TB for the top-end model.
MacBook Pro 2016: Australian release date
The entry level, Touch Bar free MacBook Pro 2016 model is available in Australia as of 28 October 2016. Apple is taking pre-orders on the Touch Bar 13-inch and 15-inch models with an expected delivery date of 2-3 weeks from 28 October 2016, which should see them available between 14-25 November 2016.
MacBook Pro 2016: Price
Apple sells the new MacBook Pros in a variety of configurations, with pricing increasing depending on internal processor selection, storage capacity, RAM and screen size. At the entry level if you eschew the Touch Bar and go for the basic keyboard only, pricing starts at $2,199 for a model with a 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5. The mid-range 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 13-inch MacBook Pro pricing starts at $2,699. For the 15-inch model the 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 pricing starts at $3,599 while the top end 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 15-inch MacBook Pro is priced in Australia starting at $4,249.
Apple MacBook Pro: Specifications
|Model||MacBook Pro 13-inch||MacBook Pro 13-inch||MacBook Pro 15-inch|
|Pixels per inch||227ppi||227ppi||220ppi|
|Processor||2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5||2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5||2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 or 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7|
|GPU||Intel Iris Graphics 540||Intel Iris Graphics 550||Radeon Pro 450|
|Battery||54.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer||49.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer||76.0-watt-hour lithium-polymer|
|Software||MacOS Sierra||MacOS Sierra||MacOS Sierra|