Apple has today updated the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with a spec bump refresh. The laptops feature Intel’s latest eighth-generation processors, with a six-core option on the 15-inch model. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro can also be specced with up to 32 GB RAM, with a DDR4 configuration. The new 13- and 15-inch models are available to order today, starting at $1799 and $2399.
The new laptops also bring Apple’s True Tone display technology to the Mac lineup for the first time, as well as a third-generation butterfly keyboard. Apple says the new keyboard enables quieter typing, although hopefully there are reliability improvements as well. There are no changes today to the non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro.
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The new laptops can be configured with up to 32 GB RAM and up to 4 TB SSD. In addition to adding True Tone from iOS, the laptops also bring ‘Hey Siri’ to Mac for the first time. ‘Hey Siri’ is enabled with the Apple T2 chip coprocessor, which also delivers enhanced system security and secure boot — just like the iMac Pro.
Exact specifications vary on screen size. The 15-inch machine can be built with 6-core Intel i7 or i9 processors, topping out at 2.9GHz with 4.8GHz Turbo. It maxes out at 32 GB RAM and 4 TB SSD storage, with Radeon Pro discrete graphics on every model. The 13-inch MacBook Pro features quad-core Intel i5 and i7 processors, paired with Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics. The 13-inch maxes out at 2 TB SSD and 16 GB RAM.
The shift from LPDDR3 to DDR4 RAM to enable 32 GB RAM option theoretically means there would be a negative battery life hit. However, via TechCrunch, Apple has actually increased the battery capacity by 7.7 watt hours in these models to compensate and an average user should see the same battery life on the 2018 MacBook Pro as they did on the previous generation.
The Apple community will naturally focus in on the new third-generation keyboard design in light of the keyboard repair program and the widespread criticism of its reliability. The Verge asked Apple whether the new keycaps would help address these concerns, and Apple responded by saying the new keyboard was not designed to solve those issues. The Verge did say the keyboard seemed quieter (as Apple indicates) but they only got very limited hands-on time with the new units.
The new MacBook Pro models are included in Apple’s 2018 Back to School promotion, which starts today. College students, parents, faculty and staff can receive a free pair of Beats headphones with the purchase of any eligible Mac or iPad Pro.