The new Apple MacBooks are here!

Published October 30th, 2016 - 08:33 GMT
Members of the media gather around a table displaying the new Apple MacBook Pro laptop after the product launch event on October 27, 2016 in Cupertino, California. (AFP/Stephen Lam)
Members of the media gather around a table displaying the new Apple MacBook Pro laptop after the product launch event on October 27, 2016 in Cupertino, California. (AFP/Stephen Lam)

After over a year (and after some not-so-sunny-results-compared-to-other-previous-quarters), Apple finally rolled out its new fourth-generation MacBooks.

And from all fronts, the thinnest and lightest Pro line-up looks really promising - and also really expensive.

But before we go to the festivities, let's take a look at the protagonists first, starting with the 13-inch model, compared to its predecessor (yes, yes; we'll get to that really interesting new thing on the upper portion of the keyboard a little later):

 MACBOOK PRO 13" 3rd generation (last update March 9, 2015) 4th generation (October 27, 2016)
 Chipset

 2.7/2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i7

 Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz

 Intel Iris Graphics 6100

 2.9/3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i7

 Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz

 Intel Iris Graphics 550

 Memory 8GB  8GB
 Storage Up to 1TB SSD Up to 1TB SSD
 Display

 13" LED-backlit Retina display

 2560 x 1600

 300 nits brightness

 13" LED-backlit Retina display

 2560 x 1600

 500 nits brightness

 Wide colour (P3)

 Connectivity

 2 USB 3

 2 Thunderbolt 2

 HDMI

 SDXC card slot

 3.5mm audio jack

 4 Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C)

 3.5mm audio jack(!)

 Build 1.8mm thin; 1.58kg 1.49mm thin; 1.37kg
 Battery

 Up to 10h wireless Web

 Up to 12h iTunes movie playback

 Up to 10h wireless Web

 Up to 10h iTunes movie playback

 Colours Silver Silver, space grey

Most of the bump-ups were on the processor, while the RAM and storage remain the same. What is a bit puzzling, however, is why it's a couple of hours less of iTunes movie playback. Hmmm...

Probably the most glaring thing you'll see on the table is with regards to the ports: the USB, HDMI and SDXC slots have all gone into technology heaven (as far as the MacBooks are concerned), but in the new MacBook you have four Thunderbolt 3 ports. While you can now connect your wires without worrying about reversing them to slot them in correctly, you'll be needing a whole bunch of adaptors to do this.

And... surprise! Good 'ol 3.5mm audio jack has been granted a stay of execution. But, let's face it: with Jack gone from the iPhone, it may just be a matter of time before, well, you know what.

And what's that P3 thing on the display row? It's a new thing on the MacBook, which Apple says makes 25 per cent more colours available compared to standard RGB.

And now, for the big-bro 15-inch MacBook Pro:

 MACBOOK PRO 15" 3rd generation (last update March 9, 2015) 4th generation (October 27, 2016)
 Chipset

 2.2/2.5/2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

 Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz

 Intel Iris Pro Graphics

 2.6/2.7/2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

 Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz

 Intel HD Graphics 530

 Radeon Pro 450/455/460

 Memory 16GB  16GB
 Storage Up to 1TB SSD Up to 2TB SSD
 Display

 15.4" LED-backlit Retina display

 2880 x 1800

 300 nits brightness

 15.4" LED-backlit Retina display

 2880 x 1800

 500 nits brightness

 Wide colour (P3)

 Connectivity

 2 USB 3

 2 Thunderbolt 2

 HDMI

 SDXC card slot

 3.5mm audio jack

 4 Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C)

 3.5mm audio jack(!)

 Build 1.8mm thin; 2.04kg 1.55mm thin; 1.83kg
 Battery

 Up to 9h wireless Web

 Up to 9h iTunes movie playback

 Up to 10h wireless Web

 Up to 10h iTunes movie playback

 Colours Silver Silver, space grey

That's better.

The chipset got an uplift and the rest are similar to upgrades to the 13-inchers. But the best news here is that the storage has been doubled to an uber-generous 2TB. Power users requiring more space for their file-size-heavy work should be looking into this.

Alas, while all these figures are indeed a bit kooky for the not-so-geeky, we have the honour of simplifying things for you with the things you need to know about the new MacBooks, according to Apple:

1. They have up to 130 per cent faster graphics.

2. Their display brightness are 67 per cent better.

3. The "thickness" is even thinner by up to 17 per cent. And they're a tad lighter.

4. Battery life is practically the same (sheesh).

5. Flash storage is faster by up to 100 per cent.

6. Audio is better, having twice the dynamic range, up to 58 per cent more volume and two-and-a-half times louder bass. Boom-boom-boom.

7. Keys are four times more stable (good for those who tremble in fear or anger for whatever reason while they type).

8. The Force Touch trackpad is larger by up to two times.

9. The wide colour P3 feature gives you 25 per cent more colours (you already know that).

10. The USB, HDMI and SDXC card slots are gone; in its place are four Thunderbolt 3 ports, while the 3.5mm audio jack is proudly hanging in there (you also already know that).

11. They're a lot more expensive.

12. You can now unlock them using Touch ID...

13. ...using the new Touch Bar.

And about number 13: the Touch Bar is the new MacBooks' standout feature, and it is really another piece of craftsmanship:

Basically, the Touch Bar is a strip of glass located just where the traditional function keys are - or, in this case, were. It's a fully-customisable touch panel in which you can do things such as place and easily access your most-used apps, edit videos, browse images, see previews of already-open tabs in Safari or just scroll away time.

And to give you a summary, here's Jony Ive, whom you can consider is to Apple as what Q is to 007 (in case you don't know who he is):

Oh, and before we forget, there's a third entry in the new MacBook Pro line-up: a 13-inch version without the Touch Bar and only two Thunderbolt 3 ports. It seems to be a replacement for the MacBook Air; The Guardian even termed Apple senior vice-president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller's speech on this particular model as a "eulogy" for Apple's thinnest laptop.

The new MacBook Pros are now available. Depending on the configuration, the 13-inch model will cost you Dh5,999, Dh7,199 or Dh7,899; on the other hand, the 15-inch version will set you back Dh9,499 or Dh11,099. For comparison, the older 13-inch MacBook Pro is at Dh5,199 while the previous 15-inch model is at Dh7,899; no wonder the price jump has startled some.

By Alvin R. Cabral
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.

You may also like