Apple has just announced an update of its two priciest MacBook Pros – the 13inch and 15inch laptops with Touch Bars. This move is basically a spec bump with no major or groundbreaking developments. This moment also marks the 25th anniversary of Apple’s first notebook.
The flagships MacBooks Pro are being update today:
- 13-inch MacBook Pro with TouchBar
- 15-inch MacBook Pro with TouchBar
However, these editions are NOT updated:
- 12-inch MacBook
- 13-inch MacBook Air
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (without TouchBar)
Unboxing the new MacBook Pro 13inch:
From the outside of the box, it will be difficult to see much difference between the new MacBook Pro 13inch and the previous model.
Once the box is open, you’re greeted with the instantly recognizable white Apple logo and bare aluminum lid of the MacBook Pro line. There is the classic power adapter (same rating but plastic port inlet vs the previous metal one) and a packet of documentation.
One very useful update to the earlier 2016 and 2017 13-inch models is all four of the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 2018 models are full speed. The older models only offered full-speed data on the two left-side ports as they are limited to the slower PCI Express bandwidth.
Overall Specifications for the new MacBook Pro (2018):
A. 13-Inch MacBook Pro:
Quad-core Intel 8th generation (Coffee Lake) Core i5 and i7 processors up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz and double the eDRAM
Intel Iris Plus 655 integrated graphics with 128MB of eDRAM
16 GB of LPDDR3 memory.
Up to 2TB of SSD storage
True Tone displays
Apple T2 chip
Touch Bar and Touch ID
B. 15-inch MacBook Pro:
Hex-core Intel 8th generation (Coffee Lake) Core i7 and Core i9 processors up to 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.8 GHz
Up to 32GB of DDR4 memory
Radeon Pro discrete graphics with 4GB of video memory
Up to 4TB of SSD storage
True Tone displays
Apple T2 chip
Touch Bar and Touch ID
What’s new for the Design and build:
From the exterior there’s no change in these models. The 13-inch models measure 304.1 x 212.4 x 14.9mm and weigh 1.37kg, while the larger 15-inch models all measure 349.3 x 240.7 x 15.5mm and weigh 1.83kg.
The new keyboard is said to be quieter – less clicky (new butterfly mechanism)
What’s new for the Display:
The screen on the new MacBook Pro, with its wide color gamut, is simply amazing.
The new 13-inch (actually 1.3-inch) model has a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels (227ppi), the same as the 2017 models. The 15-inch model (actually 15.4-inches) has a resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels (220ppi), again, the same as 2017. The new models are equipped with True Tone.True Tone uses sensors to detect the ambient lighting and adjust the white balance to adapt to the colour temperature of the ambient lighting. That should lead to a more natural display experience.
What’s new for the Hardware and power:
For the 13-inch MacBook Pro quad-core CPUs offer twice the speed of the 2017 model; on the 15-inch model six-core Intel Core i7 and i9 hardware is offered, claiming a 70 per cent boost
The 15-inch model can now be specced up to 32GB DDR4 RAM, while the 13-inch can have up to 16GB RAM. Storage is SSD, topping out at 2TB on the 13-inch and 4TB on the 15-inch
The 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t get a discrete graphics option, so it relies on the Intel Iris Plus 655 with 128MB DRAM. While the number of execution units is unchanged, at 48, maximum frequency is now 1200MHz instead of 1100MHz and you get twice the eDRAM cache memory, with 128MB instead of 64MB.
The 15-inch model carries the Intel UHD Graphics 630 for lower power graphics tasks and to save you power.
Now there is a new Apple T2 chip. This is a chip dedicated to security that was introduced on the iMac Pro, handles encryption and also enables Hey Siri commands on the new models. The T2 is also Apple’s SSD controller, so this means that the MBP 13 Mid-2018 is getting a SSD upgrade and it also means that said storage is now always encrypted.
With the new thunderbolt controller, there is added support for the Blackmagic eGPU standalone external graphic unit. The eCPU comes with a Radeon Pro 580 graphics card with 8GB of video memory, with two Thunderbolt 3 and one HDMI output, allowing you to connect two external displays. It’s also a USB hub with four USB-A 3.1 ports and a charger with 85 watts of power delivery.
Lastly, there is support for Bluetooth 5.0 instead of 4.2. Bluetooth 5.0 is the latest version of the Bluetooth wireless communication standard. Bluetooth 5.0 also enables a cool new feature that allows you to play audio on two connected devices at the same time.
has four times the range, two times the speed, and eight times the broadcasting message capacity of older versions of Bluetooth. Again, these improvements apply to Bluetooth Low Energy, ensuring devices can take advantage of them while saving power.
With Bluetooth 5.0, devices can use data transfer speeds of up to 2 Mbps, which is double what Bluetooth 4.2 supports. Devices can also communicate over distances of up to 800 feet (or 240 meters), which is four times the 200 feet (or 60 meters) allowed by Bluetooth 4.2.
Pricing & Availability
The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at S$2,188, features a 2.0 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships today.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with the revolutionary Touch Bar and Touch ID starts at S$2,588, and features a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships in two to three weeks.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro starts at S$3,388, features the revolutionary Touch Bar and Touch ID, a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz, 16GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships in two to three weeks.
The new Macbook Pro 13 can handle most workloads, except for the most demanding audio, photo, video and 3D editing, which run more smoothly on the more powerful Macbook Pro 15, which is equipped with a six-core CPU, up to 32GB of RAM and a dedicated graphic card.
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