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Innovative touch bar highlight of new MacBook Pro
November 21, 2016, 12:59 pm

Apple last week unveiled a new MacBook Pro that replaces the function row on the keyboard with a touch screen. The new mini Retina display will change functions depending on the app you are using. Nevertheless, it looks like the general function keys will still be there around the customizable area. For instance, in the top-left corner is a touch button replacing the Escape key and at the very right, there will be a Siri button, the two volume buttons and a single brightness button that probably triggers another menu.

The keyboard itself is almost identical to the butterfly keyboard found on the tiny MacBook and this could cause some people who find the keys annoyingly small to grind their teeth in frustration.

Apple has compensated for the smaller keyboard with an absolutely massive track-pad where your palms are likely to rest most of the time — hopefully the track-pad will have palm-rejection software. The screen is, of course, beautiful — and it is funny to note that a beautiful Retina Display is basically a staple on Apple products now. And, yes there is a regular 3.5mm headphone jack, the removal of which from the latest iPhone had caused so much consternation. The presence of only Thunderbolt / USB-C ports without any other connection options is also likely to cause disquiet among some users.

Getting down to hard numbers, the 13-inch model starts at $1,499 for a basic model with no Touch Bar, two USB-C ports, a 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, and a 256GB SSD. Go up to $1,799, and you add in the Touch Bar, two more USB-C ports, and a 2.9GHz Core i5 processor, with the 13-inch model topping out at $2,899 for a maximum spec of a 3.3GHz dual-core i7, 1TB SSD, and 16GB of RAM.

All of the 15-inch models include the Touch Bar, and start at $2,399 for the base 2.6GHz quad-core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 2GB AMD Radeon Pro 450 graphics card. Prices max out at a whopping $4,299 for the most powerful MacBook Pro that Apple will sell you, with a 2.9GHz quad-core i7, 2TB SSD for storage, 4GB Radeon Pro 460, and 16GB of RAM.


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