Apple's Unveils MacBook Pro with Chameleon-Like Touch Bar

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The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro is a chameleon of a laptop, offering a new Touch Bar above the keyboard that lets you do all sorts of different things, depending on which app you have open.

Available for pre-order today at starting prices of $1,799 and $2,399, the laptop also offers Touch ID support, so you can log into your Mac and make Apple Pay purchases. The company also announced a $1,499 version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which is thinner and lighter than the Air, but has standard function keys instead of the Touch Bar.

MORE: Get Our Hands-on Impressions of the New MacBooks Here

MacBook Pro Touch Bar

The Touch Bar lets you do basic things like adjusting the brightness and volume. You can also get to Siri with a tap. But it gets more interesting when you launch programs.

If you're in Safari, for example, you'll see shortcuts for your favorite websites. In Photos, you'll see tools for editing like a crop button. And if you're in mail, you can add some of your favorite contacts with a tap.

Apple showed how the Touch Bar will integrate with its own apps, such as Final Cut Pro, as well as third-party programs like Photoshop. In the latter app, for instance, you can adjust the size of your brush on the Touch Bar.

MacBook Pro Sizes

With and without the Touch Bar, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is very thin at just 14.9mm, which is 17 percent thinner than previous generous It's also 23 percent less in volume. It weighs 3 pounds, which is the same as the older 13-inch MacBook Air.

MacBook Pro 13-inch vs Air

MORE: The Best Laptops for Every Need

The 15-inch MacBook is 14 percent thinner than its predcessor and has 20 percent less volume. It weighs just 4 pounds.

Apple MacBook Touch Bar Close-UpA new Force Touch trackpad is 2x as large as before, which is made possible because it's not mechanical. The keyboard uses a second-generation butterfly mechanism. 

As for the displays, Apple says that they are 57 percent brighter and more colorful, as well as more power efficient. The company says that both MacBook sizes will last 10 hours on a charge.

Apple MacBook 2016 Profile

Starting at $2,399, the 15-inch MacBook Pro comes standard with a 2.6-GHz quad-core Core i7, Radeon Pro 450 graphics, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of Storage.  You can configure it with up to a 2.9-GHz Core i7 CPU, a Radeon Pro 460 GPU, and a 2TB SSD.

The base configuration of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar costs $1,799 and comes with a dual-core Core i5 CPU, Intel Iris graphics, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Both Touch Bar-enabled MacBooks come with four Thunderbolt 3 ports. You can configure it on Apple.com with up to a 3.3-GHz Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512 or 1TB SSD.

The non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro starts at $1,499 and comes standard with a 2-GHz dual-core Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, Intel Iris Graphics a 256GB SSD and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. You can configure it with up to a 2.5-GHz Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.

MacBook Pros

In all sizes and configs, the new MacBook Pro will come in silver and space gray. The two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports, which also support USB Type-C, are used for both charging and data. And, yes, there's a headphone jack. 

 

 

Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on
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