The latest 15-inch Macbook Pro is a worthy redesign indeed to this solid line of machines. It’s sleeker and lighter, but retains the build quality, powerful processing and long battery life that have long been the hallmarks of the Pro experience. Additionally, it plays host to Apple’s new Touch Bar, which allows for a more intuitive interaction with apps. Of course, it isn’t perfect – it’s missing USB 3.0 ports and the keyboard is on the thin or shallow side. And, at a starting price of $2399 ($2799 if you’re considering the second level configuration with a faster processor, graphics chip and twice the SSD storage), it’s not exactly light to the wallet. Then again, what Apple product ever is? But, if you want a laptop that can bring home some serious PC chops, this might well be the choice you stop at.
Like we said, the new laptop’s lighter, almost half a pound lighter than its predecessor at 3.99 pounds. While the 15.6” IPS Retina display is largely the same from 2015 at 2880 by 1800, it now also has a nit brightness rating of 500 that’ll prevent glare from the sun. And it’s able to differentiate between more reds, oranges and greens than the screens could previously, leading to a remarkable clarity of detail in the images.
While the shallowness of the keyboard may detract, the trackpad should win over some hearts. It’s twice the size of the one on its predecessor, and the user can swipe with all five fingers for multi-touch gestures. Plus the Touch Bar is a pretty inventive feature, one that brings up a touch screen to replace the physical function keys so users don’t have to remember what function each key maps to in a particular application. The Touch ID can also unlock the MacBook Pro from sleep mode and can be used for security during online shopping sessions.
The machine has four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, two on each side, though an additional USB 3.0 port would have helped users connect to older accessories without buying adapters and cables.
The MacBook Pro is the fastest non-gaming laptop currently on the market, with its config of Intel Core i7-6820HQ CPU, 2GB AMD Radeon Pro 455 discrete graphics processor. As far as graphics projects go, this machine is more than up to the challenge. And while not built for hardcore gaming, the MacBook Pro should comfortably let you play at medium settings on 40 to 60 fps. Plus, the battery is a major win with around 11 hours of life, even if it does compare relatively unfavorably with the 2015 version by about 12 minutes.
So the verdict is in: the MacBook Pro is a powerful machine that’s as close to comparison with a desktop as possible thanks to the powerful core i7 processor and extremely fast SSD. Plus it mostly improves on earlier MacBook Pro models with brighter screens and lighter weight. If you can splurge on an upgrade, this is definitely the time to do so.