Apple Intros Lighter, Faster MacBook Pro With Touch Bar

macbook-pro-touch-bar

Apple today introduced its updated MacBook Pro, touting it as thinner, lighter and faster than its predecessor and replacing traditional function keys with the Touch Bar – a dynamic touchscreen toolbar. 

Key updates include:

  • The Touch Bar replaces static function keys with dynamic touchscreen controls;
  • Brighter Retina display;
  • Touch ID;
  • New keyboard design;
  • Larger Force Touch trackpad;
  • Audio system with double the dynamic range;
  • The most powerful MacBook Pro ever, featuring sixth-generation quad-core and dual-core processors;
  • Up to 2.3 times the graphics performance over the previous generation;
  • Faster SSDs; and
  • Up to four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

The Touch Bar replaces static function keys with a touchscreen toolbar that adapts when using the system or apps like Mail, Finder, Calendar, Numbers, GarageBand, Final Cut Pro X and others

For example, the Touch Bar can show Tabs and Favorites in Safari, enable easy access to emoji in Messages, provide a simple way to edit images or scrub through videos in Photos and more.

Here’s the official video intro:

The new MacBook Pro’s Retina display is brighter, thinner and supports wider color gamut.

The display is 67 percent brighter than the previous generation, features 67 percent more contrast and is the first Mac notebook display to support wider color gamut. And the display consumes 30 percent less energy than before.The Most

Speed Improvements

The new MacBook Pro features sixth-generation dual-core Core i5 with eDRAM, dual-core Core i7 with eDRAM and quad-core Core i7 Intel processors.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro features Radeon Pro discrete graphics, delivering up to 2.3 times more performance than the previous generation; while the 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with Intel Iris Graphics that are up to two times faster than before.

All models feature SSDs with sequential read speeds over 3GBps and Thunderbolt 3, which consolidates data transfer, charging and twice the video bandwidth in a single port — letting you drive a 5K display and power their MacBook Pro with a single cable.

The new MacBook Pro also offers larger Force Touch trackpads — 46 percent larger on the 13-inch MacBook Pro and twice as large on the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Pricing and Availability

  • 13-Inch MacBook Pro – Starts at $1,499 (US), features a 2.0 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships today. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at Apple.com.
  • 13-Inch MacBook Pro – Starts at $1,799 (US), and features the Touch Bar and Touch ID, a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships in two to three weeks. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at Apple.com.
  • 15-Inch MacBook Pro – Starts at $2,399 (US), features the revolutionary Touch Bar and Touch ID, a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz, 16GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships in two to three weeks. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at Apple.com.

62 thoughts on “Apple Intros Lighter, Faster MacBook Pro With Touch Bar

  1. There was no mention of Logic Pro X integration with the Touch Bar in the presentations by Tim Cook, Jonny Ive and Phil Schiller. Amongst other things, I would love to see how synth plug-ins could be controlled from the Touch Bar …

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  2. Hourra, I can now add a new expensive adapter to my firewire audio interface : usb c to thunderbolt 2 to firewire 800 to firewire 400. Completely pro bulletproof setup for stage 😉
    Ciao apple. Hello Windows and Linux.

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  3. I’m a big Apple fan, let me start with that. Was using the Apple //e in the 80s and even had a LISA. Grabbed a Bondi Blue iMac as fast as I could (literally threw it out of my front door onto the sidewalk a couple years later, but that’s another story). Today, I’ve rethought my devotion to Apple. After being blown away by MS Surface Studio trailer, I have serious doubts that Apple has their heads screwed on straight. As an experiment I went around the office and had people pull up the Surface Studio video while watching their reaction. Wish I had recorded it. Every last one (about 12) reacted in wonder. Now, I know these are two different animals, yet it is clear that Apple received a big slice of humble pie. I’ve never lashed out at Apple, but as I write this, I’m shaking my head.

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    1. To be fair I think we should wait for Surface Studio sales numbers to come back before anybody declares it a success. The innovation part made our jaws drop here as well but are there enough studios who’ll shell out $4K? Time will tell.

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      1. Good point – we’ll watch and see where it goes. I’m thankful that we’re seeing exciting innovations that will only drive/push companies like Apple and MS forward.

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  4. apple is like visiting a dentist:

    1.painful
    2.expensive
    3.they remove something you use

    (written using my 2011 imac – with dvd drive and full keyboard)
    i can use in bootcamp windows as well as osx

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    1. The interesting thing is that I live in Microsoft country near Redmond. The Surface is quite abundant around these parts. Never ever do I ever see anyone using the touch features. Its always attached to a keyboard. The only time I see people using their pen or even touching the screen is in their commercials. The same applies to other touch PCs. Apple describes the benefit of the touch bar quite well in the demo….you eliminate on screen tool bars. In addition, you don’t block what you’re looking at with your hand, finger prints, the ergonomics are better (can live your arms an wrist on your desk / computer – the uncomfortable ergonomics of touching a laptop screen are well documented) , fingers are not as precise as a pointer, and I personally still think the Apple track pad and gestures work better than anything else I have tried, including my iPad (which is 10x more comfortable to hold as tablet than a surface, and its software is built from the ground up and completely conceptualized as a tablet). In other words I think the new MBP looks functional as hell and easy to make music on. The big surface thing that just came out is impressive for MS in taking that chance, and it looks impressive at first glance, but I don’t see it being efficient or comfortable to use, but that’s just me.

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      1. I’m a die-hard Mac fan myself, but I’m also a UI designer. Naturally I’m tempted by the Surface Studio. However, most pro apps (DAWs included, but not just DAWs) are optimized to have lots of controls on the screen at once, which means they’re very small. Fingers require ~50 pixels _minimum_ to be relatively easy to hit as a touch target. While the Surface Studio looks stunning, pro app developers (including Ableton, Steinberg, etc.) will likely have to create new UI to make their applications usable on this device. I’m not entirely sure that will happen.

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  5. Don’t worry. Jonny’s got a lovely xmas tree you can see in London this winter that I’m sure will make up for the disappointments..

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  6. Sorry , but Apple may have had their day – the MacBook Pro is becoming a dinasour – surface pro studio , now that looks the bollox
    Ex apple fan boy

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    1. Surface Studio has 4 old USB 3 ports and none of the new gen USB C/Thunderbolt 3 ports LOL…
      It offers lots of style with yesterday’s internals – dinosaur in disguise.

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      1. Of all the USB devices I own, none of them are USB-C. I wouldn’t need to buy any adapters or replace any cables to use them with the Surface Studio.

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        1. That’s because when you bought your hardware when USBC/TB3 didn’t exist. How are you supposed you use anything you buy from now on if your computer doesn’t have the ports for it?0

          It makes sense apple goes all in on USBC, its very much their MO. But the surface is a PC, not just a PC but a $3-4K PC, it should have support for the latest standards. They shouldn’t get rid of USB A but its expected that a flagship product at least have the latest plugs also.

          USB C is also sorely missing on the new surface book which is priced right in line with the 15″ macbook pros, and considering its lack of USB C, Much slower drives, no quad core option (for the price of a quad core mac), lanky build quality, and its form factor leaving it completely unsealed when closed, i don’t know why anyone would want one.

          I really like Microsoft’s ideas but their execution is flawed at best. and confused at what they are trying to do. The surface studio is the most beautiful desktop ever made on the outside but on the inside its spec’d like a mac mini with a GPU.

          Back on topic of the macs, they look great (holy crap the drives are FAST, expensive, but fast), nothings really a surprise except the giant trackpad, which like I think someone else said is disappointing it doesn’t have Apple Pencil support.

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  7. Don’t know that the entry level 13″ is going to be faster. It has a 2.0Ghz i5 vs. 2.7Ghz i5 in the prior generation. Yes a newer processor but don’t think that’s going to make up for the speed drop. Plus a $200 price increase.

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  8. Apples been making some questionable decisions of late but I’m starting to feel like they’ve officially jumped the shark. Too bad I strongly prefer using their OS to Windows otherwise I’d probably jump ship.

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  9. I bought a surface Pro 3 a couple of years ago excited to have an Ableton touch feature. The expensive thing blue screened on me within 2 days. Blue screens, Windows! Apple is solid and I don’t ever trust Windows. Whatever it is, I will buy the new 15 inch Mac Pro and somehow make it work to make my bread, or music rather. Sigh!

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  10. Everything is changing and we synthlovers just need to cope with it. Imagine being some young dude – probably couldn’t care less about what ports it has or doesn’t. Youngsters are not into hardware synthesizers and many other things. They will eventually discover them one day – and then there will be all the necessary hardware they will ever need to connect everything together.
    I still use my FW400 equiped machinery, so I don’t see a point in upgrading (unless I could upgrade every bit of gear that is connected to the computer – some of which is already discontinued and unsupported).

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  11. If I was buying now, I would go for a Mac Mini. You get plenty of USB, can get a cheaper monitor, etc.

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    1. Best to look for an older version of the Mini. They dumbed down the new ones, dual core only while older ones can be quad core. Plus now the RAM is soldered and they eliminated the ability to add a second drive. Unbelievable really. Indefensible.

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  12. So, now none of the Mac laptops have a CD/DVD drive, and the ‘new’ ones also have no normal USB drives to connect to anything?

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  13. Do you guys think it’s possible that some of the comments here were planted by people who work for Microsoft or Apple?

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 1
    1. YES!11 all of them. Governments of the earth are watching everything we post and “plant” evil posts accordingly… Be careful what you post and think, as nanobrobes posted by Apple and Microsoft can infect your way of thinking… 😉

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  14. Still no new Mac Pro desktop? This new announcement is just lipstick on a pig. Some of us don’t need a mobile solution to everything.

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  15. Er no
    I don’t work for any of them, the apples ain’t as ripe as the oranges at the moment for me –
    But , both still far too expensive

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  16. Garageband already has an update for the touch bar. Would be nice to see some new Logic features: faders, pads, maybe even a step sequencer. Imagine to have all this available without any additional gear, just lying on your couch. If you need the Escape key, remap it.

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    1. I’m sure that all major DAWs – Cubase, Logic, Live, Tracrion and perhaps Reason, will be updated shortly 🙂

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  17. What a joke announcement. Seeing all those people sitting around talking about this revolutionary feature in those promo materials . My god it’s sad.

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  18. That’s freaking expensive, and still no touchscreen.

    And the graphics are slow ass. Either makelower resolution, or better GPU.

    Like this comment?: Thumb up 2
  19. with all this old Mac worshipping I find the presentation of the Apple TV pointless (as the device BTW). And I am disappointed there is NOTHING on Imacs, Mac Pros or even Mac Minis… I ask, what Apple’s 1.6 bn USD in R&D used for ???

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    1. Since S. Jobs returned to apple back in the day there has always been:

      1) Removing the “Standard” and dated peripherals such as, CD-ROM, serial ports, floppy drive, ethernet, etc.
      2) An emphasis on design.
      3) An emphasis on the thin, light, etc.
      4) An emphasis on overall user experience vs. flat out specs. (occasionally their specs were the best)
      5) Doing things “differently”, such as the touch bar.
      6) Higher price.

      None of this seems to new to me, and personally I appreciate the abovev(except number 6). People seem to be however getting more whiny, demanding, and overall cranky by the day. I work in customer service and notice this on Yelp, etc as well. People are more angry by the day. To each their own I suppose. At the end of the day whatever makes you feel comfortable in making music or art or whatever, go for it, enjoy it, and maybe spend less time worrying about Apple.

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      1. Don’t mind 1-5 either and 6 has always been the case even before he came back (heck even from the beginning).
        My big issue stems from the lack of attention to the high end power user since he passed away and keeping them in the dark. Mac Pro seems to be ignored. It’s been over 3 years and
        1) they’re still charging the same $$ for materials which have certainly depreciated in the 3 years since release.
        2) still no word on upgrades leaving people waiting in the dark which leads to
        3) rumors they are abandoning the pro line because it doesn’t make them enough money tempting folks to go elsewhere.
        When Jobs was there, Pros would get regular updates with the rest of them. Now nothing. Keeping people waiting in the dark over 3 years is inexcusable.

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  20. I don’t see why people are complaining about the thunderbolt ports when most Audio Interfaces/Soundcards are moving over to thunderbolt anyway? Young dudes not using synths, what? Again, you just plug that in via your Soundcard. It’s really that simple. As for the Mac not having touchscreen, do any DAW’s apart from Bitwig even support touch? No!

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    1. It’s not the port in question, it’s the extremely low number of them that is the problem. Don’t forget that you need to use one of these for your power cable too. So even with four ports you will need to carry a big external box with you to get enough connectivity to do anything meaningful.

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  21. Going to miss the magsafe, which has saved my laptop a ton of times. Going to miss having at least one USB3 port. Sure I can get an iAdaptaDongle for everything, who knows if they’ll f-up the throughput of my usb hub? Bought a new iPhone7. Can’t use the new headphones directly with either my current or this next gen macbook pro.

    If USB-C is the next big thing apple then why didn’t iphone 7 jump to it as well? Surely moving to a single standard cable would have been more courageous.

    I like the touchbar in theory. TBD whether it is a gimmick or becomes something essential. I have no want or need for a touchscreen on my laptop so I’m glad they didn’t clone the surface. Well, I guess the ipad pro is a clone of the surface.

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  22. Removing the Control Keys is a HUGE mistake. I use a Mac everyday as a designer, and the control keys are essential to my work flow. I use them like a pianist plays a piano – without looking or thinking about it too much. Apple has effectively left people like me (which there are a great number of) in the dust. I don’t want a touch bar that I have to LOOK AT to see which key i’m striking! PLUS, all of my USB devices are rendered obsolete by this thing. One step forward, and ten fucking steps back. Appletarded.

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    1. It’s only yours fault that you want to use macbook “pro” for work, and not to check facebook in starbucks. Seriously.

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  23. These are the most powerful and stable machines that exist. Top class material.
    I could put my macbook pro 15 on flames it would still working. Everyone deserves a beast like this. But excellence has a price. Keep on working on your tracks and one day you’ll afford it like buying a T shirt. I really hope you will guys.

    ps : will miss mag safe though.

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  24. So called MacBook “Pro” is an Overheating, pro wannabe piece of shit. Even worse, no usb anymore, no sd card, still 16gb ram, etc etc, each generation is just more retarded. I had it once and never again. Could be ok for Facebook and Word users but definitely a no go for power users. Apple should just kill it’s pc division because it’s obvious they don’t really care any more. Sad but true.

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  25. i hope that touch bar will be a total failure – just imagine the disaster those windoze-oem laptop manufacturers trying to imitate that… – and imagine also trying to run GNU/Linux on such new macbooks (i always install GNU/Linux on my Apple hardware from the 1st day), having no support for that… – i really hope macbooks with real keyboards (the old good ones, without this touch bar thing) will still being manufactured

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