MacBook Pro Overview Updated January 21, 2017

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August 2010 - January 2017


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Apple finally updated its MacBook Pro range in October 2016 – the first major update since the original Retina models in 2012. The main changes include:

  • Skylake processors
  • Radeon Pro GPUs (15-inch models only)
  • Faster PCIe SSDs in capacities up to 2TB
  • Improved display, with greater brightness & contrast, and a wider color gamut
  • Four USB-C sockets incorporating Thunderbolt 3 (replacing all older ports except the headphone jack)
  • Touch Bar replacement for hardware function keys (a Retina OLED display)
  • Touch ID power button for log ins, Apple Pay
  • Larger Force Touch trackpad
  • 2nd-generation butterfly keyboard
  • Smaller and slimmer form-factor
  • Space Gray color option in addition to the usual silver

2016 MacBook Pro

The flagship is the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, available in two standard specs: a 2.6GHz Core i7 processor, Radeon Pro 450 GPU and 256GB PCIe SSD, and a 2.7GHz Core i7 processor with Radeon 455 GPU and 512GB PCIe SSD. This can be maxed-out with a build-to-order 2.9GHz i7 CPU, Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory and 2TB PCIe SSD. All models have 16GB RAM and four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. Pricing starts at $2399.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is also available in two models: a 2.9GHz Core i5 CPU, Intel Iris 550 GPU and 256GB PCIe SSD, and a 2.9GHz Core i5 SSD, the same Intel Iris 550 GPU and 512GB PCIe SSD. Both models have 8GB RAM. The maxed-out version offers a 3.3GHz i7 CPU, 16GB RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD, but there’s no option for a discrete GPU. All models have four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. Pricing starts at $1799.

Additionally, Apple launched a new 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar, with a 2GHz i5 CPU, Intel Iris 540 GPU, 256GB PCIe SSD and just two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Older models

Premiered in 2012 as a successor to the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is sold in 13.3″ (2560×1600-pixel) and 15.4″ (2880×1800-pixel) versions.

Non-Retina models (discontinued)

First released in 2006 and last redesigned in 2008, the non-Retina MacBook Pro was at one time known as the ‘MacBook,’ and remained on sale right up until the launch of the 2016 models.

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Read below for all of our MacBook Pro coverage

MacBook Pro Stories January 21

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In this week’s top stories: Flying with AirPods, iPhone 8 and MacBook update rumors, we explore what’s next for iOS, Apple releases Logic Pro X and GarageBand updates, and much more.

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MacBook Pro Stories January 18

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The 2016 MacBook Pro has endured criticism for its lack of I/O ports, but what that it does have — two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports based on your configuration — has lots of potential. For example, it’s now possible to connect an external GPU (eGPU) box via Thunderbolt 3 and tap into the power offered by a full-sized graphics card.

In this hands-on post, we’re going to showcase how to power the 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro with an eGPU using Sapphire’s AMD RX 480. The RX 480 is modestly-priced GPU with a decent amount of power that’s good enough for 1080p gaming. The connection is made possible by means of the Akitio Node — an external GPU box with an embedded 400W power supply, and enough room inside for a full sized card like the RX 480.

The nice folks at Akitio provided us with an early unit for testing with macOS. Unlike Akitio’s other Thunderbolt 3-enabled enclosures, the Node features the newer Texas Instruments TI83 controller and is immediately recognized in macOS. While that makes for one less hurdle to clear, there are still lots of factors to consider before taking the eGPU plunge.

As you’ll see in this post, the setup takes some effort to get right, but it’s fairly simple to get working if you follow the steps correctly. If you’re a Mac gamer or video editor, then the benefits are very apparent, especially if you’re using a MacBook Pro with an integrated Intel Iris GPU like the 13-inch 2016 model. Have a look at our full hands-on video walkthrough for our step-by-step guide through the setup process. expand full story

MacBook Pro Stories January 16

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Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is out today with a new investor note, offering up some more information about what’s in store for the Mac lineup in 2017. Kuo claims that all MacBook models will be upgraded in 2017 with Intel’s latest Kaby Lake chipset, while there will also be a new 32GB RAM option for the 15-inch model.

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9to5toys 

MacBook Pro Stories January 13

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I first discovered Joli and their handmade leather sleeves a little over a year ago. Back then, I reviewed the company’s sleeves for the iPhone, iPad Pro, and 12-inch MacBook. Now, I’ve moved on from the 12-inch MacBook to the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

Wanting to protect my pricey investment, I immediately set out to get a Joli leather sleeve for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and have been using it for about a week now…

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MacBook Pro Stories January 12

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Consumer Reports has published new results for their MacBook Pro battery testing today after having previously given the system a Do Not Recommend rating. CR has officially changed their recommendations and can now recommend the new 2016 MacBook Pros. The new tests come after Apple and CR worked together to decide what went wrong during the original testing. After becoming aware of a Safari bug that may have impacted results, CR recently started retesting on a newer build of macOS Sierra in which the bug was supposedly fixed.

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MacBook Pro Stories January 11

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