MacBook Pro Overview Updated September 21, 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 September 21

AAPL: 153.39

-2.68

OWC has unveiled the latest addition to its lineup of expansion docks for MacBooks with the new USB-C Travel Dock. Pocket-sized and priced affordably, USB-C Travel Dock adds two traditional USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and an SD Card reader over a single USB-C connection.

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The promise of Apple’s USB-C laptop future is expandability, versatility and flexibility. Plugging in single-device dongles for USB and HDMI is a stop-gap, but is wasting the potential of the port.

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock ($299) better fulfills the idea: one port, one cable, provides power and a multitude of inputs and outputs like normal USB, a 3.5mm jack, SD card, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet and more. It isn’t perfect, but I’ve been using it for months now with my MacBook Pro and it adds so much convenience and utility. Read on for my full review …

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MacBook Pro Stories September 20

AAPL: 156.07

-2.66

Intel has reportedly delayed the launch of its Cannon Lake laptop processors until the end of 2018, putting the CPU architecture a full 18 months behind its original target of mid-2017.

The delay raises questions about both processors and maximum RAM for next year’s MacBook Pro models …

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MacBook Pro Stories August 28

AAPL: 161.47

1.61

Transcend, which has long offered Mac owners the chance to upgrade their SSDs to higher-capacity ones, has announced a new range of drives that support PCIe Gen 3.0. These cards, which use the latest 3D NAND flash chips, offer read/write speeds of up to 950MB/s.

The new JetDrive 820 drives are available in capacities of up to 960GB, and are compatible with a wide range of Macs …

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MacBook Pro Stories August 23

AAPL: 159.98

0.20

I always loved the design of the old ‘cheese-grater‘ Mac Pro, and computer storage company Akitio has used it as the inspiration for its new Thunderbolt 3 drive enclosure.

The company says that the Akitio Thunder3 Quad X was designed for use with the MacBook Pro. The previous version – which had a more generic design – did not support Macs …

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MacBook Pro Stories August 18

AAPL: 157.50

-0.36

Review: Mophie Powerstation & Anker PowerCore+ USB-C battery packs for MacBook & MacBook Pro

As soon as Apple launched the 12-inch MacBook in early 2015 with a USB-C power port instead of MagSafe, it seemed to me the writing was on the wall. I predicted then that Apple would do the same for the MacBook Pro.

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