MacBook Pro Overview Updated February 2, 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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MacBook Pro Stories February 2

AAPL: 128.53

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After what felt like an incredibly long wait, Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup last fall, bringing a new design, improved specifications, and the new Touch Bar. The biggest change to some users, however, has been the switch to USB-C. Following suit from the 12-inch MacBook, the new MacBook Pros switched entirely to USB-C with the refresh.

While the switch to USB-C brings a handful of benefits, there are some users who are still longing for legacy ports.

If you could add one port back to the new MacBook Pro, what would it be?

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MacBook Pro Stories February 1

AAPL: 128.75

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9to5toys 

MacBook Pro Stories January 31

AAPL: 121.35

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These days, the SIM could be an embedded virtual one instead ...
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Apple has been toying with LTE-enabled MacBooks for many years. It even created a prototype MacBook Pro with a SIM slot and cellular antenna way back in 2007.

These days, doing so would be far neater, the latest Apple patent showing how the antenna could be hidden within the hinge mechanism, and an embedded virtual SIM could eliminate the physical one illustrated above. While the company has so far argued that using an iPhone’s WiFi hotspot or carrying an iPad provide plenty of options for mobile Internet use, the threat of competition from LTE-capable Windows laptops might just provide the nudge needed to change Apple’s mind …

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MacBook Pro Stories January 30

AAPL: 121.63

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Apple discontinued its Thunderbolt Display last summer after five years on the market, and now Apple recommends the LG UltraFine 5K Display ($974 through March 31, regular $1299.99) for new MacBook Pro customers. While the industrial design doesn’t match Apple’s hardware, the UltraFine 5K screen is Retina resolution like 5K iMacs and connects using the new Thunderbolt 3 I/O.

LG UltraFine 5K Display has a critical usability issue, however, that doesn’t affect other external monitors: the hardware can become unusable when located within 2 meters of a router.

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