New MacBook Pro Brings Touch Bar, Sleekier Design Challenges MacBook Air

Apple’s Keynote October 2016 is dedicated to one of the flagship hardware products available from the tech giant: MacBooks. But Apple was very specific about the key hardware features behind the Keynote. Challenging the MacBook Air, the brand new MacBook Pro promises a sleek, powerful design alongside touch screen features.

The biggest, and arguably most hyped, feature within the new MacBook Pro is the brand new Touch Bar. Replacing the upper keyboard row, the Touch Bar allows users to manipulate programs via specific touch commands available while in use. In Final Cut, for example, MacBook Pro owners can the Touch Bar to flip through a video’s timeline to perform edits. FaceTime calls can be accepted or denied via the Bar, payments can be made through fingerprint recognition via Smart ID and videos can be scrolled through. Microsoft is also interested in the Touch Bar’s potential and will be designing Touch Bar features for their Microsoft Office suite.

Most interesting of all, though, is the MacBook Pro’s sheer hardware power. Comparing the new Pro to the original PowerBook from 1991, Apple stressed the massive performance gains that the company has taken on over the years. The company compared the MacBook Pro to the MacBook Air, revealing that the new Pro is shorter in height and width than the Air, while still maintaining the same 3 lb size. This, one can infer, means Apple is attempting to phase the cheaper alternative off the market.

New MacBook Pro Brings Touch Bar, Sleekier Design

The MacBook Pro comes in various offerings. The cheapest offering is a 13in MacBook Pro with 2.0Ghz dual-core i5, 8GB worth of RAM, a 256GB SSD hard drive, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. This offering does not have a Touch Bar, but it’s available today. The entry-level 13in is $1,499 USD.

The mid-level 13in MacBook Pro, meanwhile, comes with the Touch Bar & Touch ID, a 2.9GHz dual-core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and four Thunderbolt 3 ports, as opposed to two. This MacBook Pro ships in 2 – 3 week’s time, and goes for $1,799.

Lastly, the beefy 15in MacBook Pro has the Touch Bar and Touch ID, a 2.6GHz quad-core i7, a Radeon Pro 450, 16GB worth of RAM, a 256GB SSD and four Thunderbolt 3 ports. Don’t expect to get this MacBooks cheap, though. The 15in MacBook Pro comes in at a whopping $2,399. It ships in 2 – 3 week’s time as well.

Is it worth grabbing a MacBook Pro? If you have the cash, sure. But time will tell if the Touch Bar and Touch ID really prove revolutionary for the MacBook line.