This event was never going to be the main Apple event of the year, that title always goes to the iPhone event, after all it is Apple’s main revenue stream and their most popular product ever! (along with the iPad of course). After learning from Tim Cook himself that “this week happens to be a huge week in the history of the Mac, and the History of Apple” (it was the 25th anniversary of the first notebook) After a few updates, Apple got to the meat of the event, the new MacBook Pro’s.
The biggest feature on the new machines is a retina display touch bar that sits where the function keys use to be (that’s right, they removed the function keys) Along with Touch ID that is integrated with the power button.
At first glance you could easily be forgiven for thinking, that’s it? that’s the new MacBook Pro’s? and in a sense, yes, but it’s a little more complicated than that.
The new touch bar is going to be a great feature for at least one set of professional users, and they are the editors, anyone who has edited video, will tell you that using a mouse or trackpad to fine tune and edit, is a very time consuming process and often a frustrating one.
After seeing Apple demo the touch bar with Final Cut Pro X, i instantly wish this feature was something i had access to at University a couple of years ago. The amount of time and effort that would of been saved, in itself would of been worth the purchase price of these new MacBook Pro’s.
The Touch bar looks very impressive, it not only works with Apple apps, but 3rd party developers will also be getting access and adding features for their apps also.
At the event, we saw Adobe show off how the Touch bar will work with photoshop, another professional application that photo editors can take advantage of, and in the long run may be thankful for when editing their images.
As well as the new Touch bar Apple also updated the screen making it more brighter, adding 25% more colours than sRGB and 67% higher contrast ratio. The speakers were also updated to add more bass and up to 58% more volume. The trackpad has been made 2x larger and the overall weight and thinness has been brought down to the same size as the MacBook Air (which is impressive when considering everything that has been put into these machines.)
Battery life remained the same at 10 hours, which again is an impressive feat considering the new Touch bar, Touch ID and the higher specs that have gone into the new thinner and lighter MacBook Pro.
Now for the only negative thing i can think of for these machines, and that is simply the price:
£1,749.00 – for the entry level 13” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID
£1,949.00 – for a higher spec 13” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID
Both of these are base models, user upgradable configurations are also available at higher prices.
The 15” MacBook Pro is priced as follows:
£2,349.00 – for an entry level model with Touch Bar and Touch ID
£2,699.00 – for the higher spec with Touch Bar and Touch ID
The most expensive 15” model when maxing out all of the customer build to order options, is an eye watering £4,049.00
These prices are indeed high, but i must point out the obvious, these machines are not meant for the average consumer. It was very clear from Apple’s event yesterday that these MacBook Pro’s are aimed at professional users (hence the Pro name in MacBook Pro). The video editor, the DJ, the Photo editor and so on are all people who will benefit from using the new MacBook Pro’s and who are probably the people who not think twice about stumping up the cash for these machines.
On a more personal level, i like the look of the new Touch Bar (i will get a hands on in an Apple store soon) i really wish it was something i had access to while at university, i would not of thought twice about buying one for editing purposes. The Touch ID feature is also a great way of logging into a Mac without the need for a pass code, but also using it for Apple Pay (as I’m sure anyone with an iPhone who has used Apple Pay will tell you) is a great way of paying for things.
Overall the event was a short one, it was not a mind blowing or impressibly wowing, but i don’t think it was meant to be, Apple seem to be taking their time with innovation, adding features that will actually help and be useful. I personally feel this is a better process than what Microsoft seem to be doing just lately (just look at their new Surface Studio, a.k.a the one that looks like an iMac).
If at some point i get to try out one of these new MacBook Pro’s and or i feel it is worth an upgrade to my current MacBook, i will update this post with a hands on review.