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We all expected it, and now it’s here. Apple has unveiled the latest in their line of MacBook Pros and it comes with some fancy new features while omitting a few others. But is it a step in the right direction for Apple?

The new 2016 MacBook Pro comes at a time where Apple seems to be losing traction in its efforts of being the most innovative company around. It also faces some pretty stiff competition from Microsoft who just unveiled their new Surface Book and Surface Studio. The new MacBook Pro is a much need redesign of Apple’s flagship notebook, offering a few new interesting features.

First of all, and probably the biggest design change to the new MacBook Pro is the addition of a Touch Bar, an OLED touch strip at the top of the keyboard which can be used for various different things. It can be used to add shortcuts to apps, it can help with video and music production, and it can also help you sift through your pictures a little easier. It also comes with its own Touch ID sensor which allows users to unlock their MacBook’s with their fingerprint as well as pay for products.

The Touch Bar works with both taps and gestures giving users newer ways to interact with their favourite apps and programs. It feels like a slight gimmick, but there’s no doubt some usefulness in this new feature.

As for the MacBook Pro itself, it’s much thinner and much lighter than its predecessors at 3 lbs and measures 14.9mm. It’ll also come in both silver and space gray. In terms of improvements, the Force Touch trackpad is much bigger, being twice the size on the larger 15-inch model, and also comes with Apple’s butterfly mechanism keyboard.

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Interestingly Apple has completely done away with standard USB ports on the new MacBook Pro deciding to stick four Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C ports, any one of which can be used to charge the device. What this means for the average user however is that you’ll be required to use an adaptor if you want to, say, plug your iPhone into the new MacBook Pro…

Apple says that these USB Type-C ports replace power, Thunderbolt, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA ports, which I’m sure is definitely convenient if you have the adaptors to actually use these inputs. This also means that the MagSafe power cord no longer exists, something many users are a little disappointed about.

 

 

Did I mention that there’s a headphone jack?

The MacBook Pro will come in three configurations, a 13-inch and 15-inch model with the Touch Bar, and a 13-inch model without – this is said to take the place of the MacBook Air.

As for pricing, the non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro will start at $1,499, with the first 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro running in at $1,799. The 15-inch MacBook Pro on the other hand will run at $2,399. All three can be pre-ordered from today, with the low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro being available to purchase from today. The Touch Bar models are set to launch in around three weeks.

I can’t help but think that Apple may have shot themselves in the foot with the pricing of these notebooks. I mean, for what they offer that are pretty damn pricey, and how much use is that Touch Bar really going to offer?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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