On Thursday, Apple took the stage to unveil a much needed update to their MacBook Pro line of laptops. While their new top-of-the-line portable computers still tout the minimalist design that is intrinsic to Apple’s modern style, some major changes have been implemented to make the new MBPs ready for the future.
Primary among the changes is Apple’s rethinking of the uppermost row of function keys, replacing them instead with a thin OLED touchscreen bar that will dynamically change depending on how you’re using the computer. Called Touch Bar, it’ll still give you access to utilities like volume and brightness control but now it can double as a bookmark bar when in Safari or a shortcut bar for editing in Photoshop.
In fact, given the touchscreen nature of the bar, it can be customized to do anything you want, depending on your habits. The Touch Bar also includes a TouchID sensor on the far right, ready to be used to unlock your MacBook or initiate an online payment via ApplePay.
This also marks the demise of the MagSafe charging cable, one that has saved us many times when tripping on the power cord would have meant an expensive laptop crashing to the floor. It’s replaced with four thunderbolt ports that, while versatile, plug firmly into the MacBook Pro’s fully aluminum body.
Other changes rounding out the new new 13” and 15” MacBook Pros are a trimmer overall design, a bigger trackpad, an improved keyboard, a brighter screen and, finally, the addition of the darker space gray color to the original brushed silver of the last generation.
The new MacBook Pros are available for pre-order today and are set to reach customers later this November, just in time for the holidays.
The 13” starts at $1799 and the 15” starts at $2399. Expect a flood of old MBPs to hit eBay as people clear space and pocket cash so they can bring one of these new bad boys home.