It’s finally here, Apple’s latest version of the MacBook Pro. Revealed at this year’s WWDC 2017 keynote, the new MacBook Pro models aim to address the mixed response to the models launched late last year.
The new MacBook Pro models use new hardware, namely the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors. Inside you’ll find that the SSDs are 50% faster and are accompanied by stronger native graphics solutions.
Getting right into it, here’s everything you need to know regarding the newly-debuted 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro for 2017.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The new MacBook Pro’s successor
- When is it out? All models are shipping now
- What will it cost? 13-inch starting at $1,299; 15-inch starting at $2,399
MacBook Pro 2017 release date
Back in May, a report out of Bloomberg quoted sources “familiar with the matter” stating that Apple plans to debut three different MacBooks during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote held on June 5, 2017.
- Can’t wait it out? Save with these MacBook Pro deals now
Now, we know for certain that the new MacBook Pro models have begun shipment, no pre-order needed. After you’ve placed an order, you can expect to receive your shiny new MacBook Pro in just two days – no shipping costs required – in classic Apple Store fashion.
MacBook Pro 2017 price
In the lead up to their reveal, we said it would be safe to expect the next line of MacBook Pro models to start at the same prices they did last year. However, Apple managed to surprise us a bit here.
Now that the announcement has come and gone, we now know that the new 13-inch MacBook Pro will, shockingly, start at $1,299/£1,249/AU$1,899 without the Touch Bar (200 more in all currencies for the Touch Bar version), while the 15-incher will start at $2,399/£2,349/AU$3,499 – always including the Touch Bar.
However, to get to that lower starting price for the 13-inch model, Apple simply halved the available storage to 128GB. That’s one way of bringing the price down, we guess.
MacBook Pro 2017 specs
Probably the biggest point of discussion regarding the new MacBook Pro was what Apple would place inside. It was one of the most divisive points surrounding the previous range of MacBook Pro models.
The MacBook Pro has been criticized for its low RAM, or memory, threshold of 16GB as well as its use of “dated” 6th-generation (Skylake) Intel Core i-series processors. Naturally, the new MacBook Pro contains the latest, 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i-series chips, but alas, it still maxes out at 16GB of DDR3 RAM.
Still, Apple teased that the 15-inch MacBook Pro houses stronger discrete graphics, specifically naming AMD’s Radeon Pro 555 and 560 with 2GB and 4GB of VRAM, respectively. As for the 13-inch models, they’re all equipped with Intel Iris Plus graphics this time, whether 640 or 650.
Unfortunately, although this MacBook Pro is more powerful than all the previous models, according to BareFeats via 9to5Mac, some early CPU and graphics benchmarks have been outperformed by the latest iPad Pro.
Something to keep in mind if you’re undecided between Apple’s professional-grade laptop range and its tablets.
The rest of the specs are mostly the same. Though we hoped to see a higher resolution screen, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is still locked at 2,560 x 1,600 pixels whereas the 15-inch version supports a 2,880 x 1,800 display. In comparison to other notebooks in its price range, Apple’s “Retina” displays still don’t reach the crisp heights of true Ultra HD 4K.
Even so, VR lovers will be elated to know that although Oculus Rift support is out of the question for the time being, HTC Vive is coming to Mac, as is support for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, which is now in early access. Still, you might need one of Apple’s own external GPU boxes when VR support for Mac inevitably makes its way to consumers.
By Joe Osborne
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