Apple’s MacBook Pro

Apple’s MacBook Pro

Apple’s MacBook Pro laptops have for long been the benchmark for premium laptop design. But, of late, slim and powerful Windows laptops with high-resolution screens. And all-day batteries have somewhat taken the sheen off Apple’s portable Pros. The range sees its biggest shake-up yet, with the radical new Touch Bar and a big bold leap into a USB-C-only future.

Pretty much everything in the MacBook Pro is different. Right from the reduced footprint and the insanely slim dimensions to the ginormous by-any-measure track-pad. The keyboard uses the same low-travel keys from the 12-inch MacBook. But the keyboard is actually oddly satisfying to use.

The display renders the same 2,560 * 16,00 pixel resolution (on the 13.3-inch). It is way brighter and more colour accurate. And it is easily the best screen on a laptop you can buy today. Same goes for the new speakers. The raw horsepower under the hood, from the capable sixth-gen Intel Core i5 chips to the speedy 8 GB memory and class-leading solid state storage, is up to anything regular folks will throw at it. But if you’re a “Pro’’, possibly with video editing aspirations, consider the 15-inch Core i7-equipped model with 16 GB of memory instead.

Yet, the biggest change is right above the keyboard. A thin multi-touch display gives you dynamic buttons and sliders to quickly do various tasks. It depends on which app you have open. Many apps provide quick formatting tools, others emoji or text-autocomplete-suggestions, and Apple’s done a fine job making all of its apps Touch Bar enabled.

It’s a slick, inviting and well though-through implementation. But Touch Bar to be a tad too narrow-double height would have been nicer, especially when you’re working with creative apps. How useful it is depends a lot on how many third-party apps come on board. And while it isn’t a solid reason on its won to buy the MacBook Pro, it certainly sweetens the deal. At the moment, the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor right next to the Touch Bar is a far more useful feature. It also makes the login and authentication experience, say for buying apps, super convenient.

The big hiccup most folks are likely to experience is the lack of regular, old fashioned USB ports. Because it makes way for four of the new USB-C/ Thunderbolt 3 ports – no SD card reader, no USB, nothing. Any of the USB-C ports can be used to charge the laptop, and to connect external dongles for all your older peripherals.

It may be the port of the future. But as it stands today, the number of dongles you have to carry for simple everyday tasks like connecting a monitor or a USB drive is frustrating. All this added cost and growing pains add up when you’re looking at a laptop. If your wallet is willing though, the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar rewards you in good measure.

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