MacBook Pro 2016 Revealed: Everything You Need to Know

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

In case you were wondering why the internet-connected people of the world appear to have regressed to the point where they’re wanking over shiny metal, Apple has followed up its own leaks with the unveiling of the latest MacBook Pro.

Here’s what you need to know about it.

The 2016 MacBook Pro comes in 13-inch and 15-inch options. That’s right -- 11-inch is no more. Even without the logo, it’s immediately recognisable as an Apple machine. The MacBook Pro design blueprint hasn’t changed very much, but there’s one headline-grabbing new addition.

We’re of course talking about the Touch Bar (official name). Sitting right above the numbers row, it’s a Retina display, multi-touch OLED strip designed to be more useful than function keys, and will bring up contextual commands you can prod and stroke with your fingertips. If, for instance, you’re using Chrome Safari, it’ll display browser navigation controls and favourites. Launch a messaging app and you'll get word suggestions and emoji.

A Touch ID scanner sits within the home button, which is immediately to the right of the bar, allowing you to quickly log in to your Mac and confirm purchases you can barely afford with the touch of a finger. The Touch ID sensor also works with fast user switching, which is handy for big households.

The speakers run along each side of the keyboard, and you'll no doubt be delighted to hear that Apple's decided to do away with the HDMI and MagSafe ports. Instead, we have four Thunderbolt 3 powered USB-C ports. All can be used for power, Thunderbolt, USB, IO and more, and you can also daisy-chain gear across them. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is capable of powering two 5K external displays at once, in addition to the built-in display.

The display on the new MacBook Pro is 67% brighter and has 25% more colours. It also features a sixth-generation Core processor (Skylake) with new AMD Polaris graphics for the 15-inch model. The processor is quad-core for the 15-inch and dual-core for the 13-inch. The 13-inch MacBook Pro will use Intel’s integrated graphics.

Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros promise 10 hours of battery life.

It also features a new trackpad and keyboard using the 'butterfly' key mechanism. You won't be surprised to hear that it's significantly thinner than its predecessors, with the 13-inch model measuring in at 14.9mm and 1.37kg, and the 15-incher coming in at 15.5mm and 1.83kg.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro will start at £2,349 ($2,399 in the US, which translates to £1,971) and the 13-inch MacBook Pro will start at £1,749 ($1,799 in the US, which translates to £1,478). A less-capable 13-inch MacBook Pro is available with standard function keys, starting at £1,449 ($1,499 in the US, which translates to £1,231). The new MacBook Pros models go on sale today and will begin shipping in the next few weeks.