Wednesday, September 26The Voice of London

Apple’s new Macbook Pro – 8 things you need to know

The touch bar is big, and the price is even bigger

Reporter: Joe Carey | Sub-Editor: Ryan Yeo

Last week Apple announced their new line of Macbook Pro’s — the new design is thinner and lighter with internal specs making these things absolute powerhouses. But that’s all to be expected when you announce the newest version of anything.

Although these new laptops are new and meant to be the best Macbook Pro’s you can buy, you do get a few caveats with this generation of laptop – having to live a dongle life is one of them. With that said, this is the Voice of London’s top eight Macbook Pro features you need to know about before you throw out your old laptop and upgrade:

1.The Touch Bar replaces function keys

The biggest change to the Macbook Pro line is the introduction of the OLED Touch Bar in place of the traditional function keys that control settings like brightness and volume. This is a tiny screen that sits as a strip across the top of the keyboard that allows you to do all these features through touch, but adapts its buttons depending on what apps you’re using. This means if you’re in Safari, all your tabs will be accessible through the Touch Bar.

Touch ID finally makes its way over to the Mac, meaning entering your password multiple times as you get it wrong will be a thing of the past.

A guest looks at a the Touch Bar on MacBook computer shown in a demo room following the announcement of new products at Apple headquarters Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

2. 2nd generation butterfly keys…for better or for worse

When the 12-inch Macbook released last year it came with a new generation of butterfly keys that reduced the distance you had to press to type and made the keys thinner themselves. This makes for a sexier looking laptop but opinions are still very much divided on this new type of keyboard – some still find it incredibly foreign typing with radically less feedback. Apple promises this second generation of butterfly will be more responsive and accurate, but we’ll have to see what opinions are as the devices roll out.

3. A much better display

During the announcement of the new hardware, Apple threw out statistics about the new screen like 67% brighter, 67% higher contrast ratio and 25% more colours. All that really means is that everyone is going to have a much better viewing experience with these new laptops — whether you’re browsing the web or editing video, things are going to look more vibrant and crisp.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new MacBook during an announcement of new products Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

4. Colour options!

For the first time in the Macbook Pro line you now have colour options — and although you can only choose between silver and space grey, it’s good to be able to choose. The standard silver looks traditional but the space grey just oozes elegance.

5. No more illuminating Apple logo on the back

This is probably one of the biggest changes for those who lecture at universities; no longer will they see a whole room full of illuminating Apple logos. This is a small change, but arguable one of the most noticeable.

6. Wave goodbye to your ports!

The new Macbook Pro’s only have five ports in total — 4 USB-C ports and one, surprisingly, headphone jack. These four USB-C ports are used for charging, display control and also function as Thunderbolt ports. But if you’re used to plugging your phone into your computer or copying SD card files across it’s dongle time.

7. The Macbook Air is still for sale, but Apple has made a successor…kind of

So you have two new Macbook Pro’s right? The 13-inch and the 15-inch. Wrong. There were actually three new Macbook Pro’s announced last week. You’re able to pick up a 13-inch Macbook Pro without the Touch Bar that Apple is positioning as a replacement to the Macbook Air, although the Air is still for sale on the company’s website…

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, speaks about MacBook computers during an announcement of new products Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

8. These things don’t come cheap

We mean it. They really don’t come cheap…

The baseline model for the new Macbook Pro comes in at £1,449.00, almost £500 more than the previous bottom end model. If you want the new Touch Bar, which is arguably the biggest selling feature of the new laptops, you’ll be looking at forking over at least £1,749.00. The cheapest of the 15-inch versions comes in at a whopping £2,349.00.

The Macbook Pro laptop line is incredibly popular with students so you can’t help but feel that Apple is putting their new lines beyond a much higher price barrier than even the most die-hard of Apple users are accustomed to.