MacBook Pro Overview Updated August 23, 2017

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August 2010 - August 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 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

MacBook Pro Stories August 15

AAPL: 161.60

1.75

TrendForce’s latest global laptop shipment report, seen by us, says that MacBook shipments grew by a healthy 17.1% in Q2, helped in large part by sales of the updated 12-inch MacBook.

The growth boosted Apple’s market share from 9.3% to 10%, bringing it very close to challenging ASUS for the #4 slot behind HP, Lenovo and Dell …

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MacBook Pro Stories August 10

AAPL: 155.32

-5.11

MacBook Pro Stories August 7

AAPL: 158.81

2.42

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with cases for iDevices. My general view is that we pay a lot of money for a beautifully-designed device, so it seems a great shame to hide them away inside a case.

On the other hand, there are some cases that are beautiful in themselves. For example, my iPhone 6 lived in a Mujjo Leather Wallet Case most of the time. That was mostly, though, for the convenience of being able to carry a couple of cards with me when I wanted to go out without my wallet. My iPhone SE travels naked.

My iPad spends a lot of its time attached to a Brydge keyboard, which also protects the screen, but doesn’t sit inside a case. My MacBook Air does still live inside a Burkley hardshell leather case because I’m a big fan of leather and think that looks just as good as the machine itself.

But the portability of my 2016 MacBook Pro means that this, not the Air, is the machine I carry with me when I need more than an iPad. That meant I did need to think about protecting it …

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MacBook Pro Stories July 28

AAPL: 149.50

-1.06

Last year I went hands-on with a few Akitio Thunderbolt 3-enabled drive enclosures for 9to5Mac, but none of the previous enclosures came with out-of-the-box support for macOS. Instead, users had to rely on a hack in order to enable support for these enclosures, due to the fact that macOS wasn’t compatible with the Thunderbolt 3 chipsets being used.

In today’s world, things are a bit different. Much of the Thunderbolt 3 hardware shipping today is no longer “Windows only”, which is a great thing for recent MacBook Pro and Mid-2017 iMac hardware with Thunderbolt 3 I/O capabilities.

Akitio’s Thunder3 Quad Mini is one such example of Thunderbolt 3-enabled hardware made with the Mac in mind. This four-bay enclosure comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports in a small aluminum enclosure that supports passive cooling for noiseless operation. In other words, it’s a quiet enclosure that’s perfect for RAID 0 SSD setups for maximum speed. Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough for more details. expand full story

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