25 years after the first Mac laptop, Apple's got a brand new pro machine.
The laptop Mac is back and better than ever. Senior vice presidents Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi were on-hand Thursday to preview Apple's latest pro laptop, the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro. But first, they gave the original Mac laptop — and all those following — a touching nod: The 25th anniversary of the Mac was just two days prior, on October 25.
From there, Apple sped through 25 years of Mac laptops to bring us the new and improved MacBook Pro. Here's what you need to know.
The MacBook Pro retains its aluminum shell, but it's been reengineered to be lighter, thinner, and plastic-free: The hinge is now made up entirely of metal.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is now 14.9mm (17% thinner) and weighs only 3 pounds (a half-pound less), while the 15-inch comes in at 15.5mm (14% thinner) and 4 pounds. They've also reduced the overall volume of the computer: 23% less on the 13-inch model and 20% on the 15-inch. It also comes in both silver and space gray.
The keyboard and Force Touch trackpad
The MacBook Pro features the second generation of Apple's butterfly switch mechanism: The keys are similarly-designed to the Magic Keyboard and new MacBook keyboard, but offer a better sense of keyboard travel. And the Force Touch trackpad is twice as large as prior MacBook Pro models.
The Touch Bar
Apple's 21st-century version of the function keys, the Touch Bar melds the company's erstwhile Control Strip interface with iOS's QuickType keyboard shortcuts to offer a multitouch bar for custom app shortcuts and system controls alike.
The new Control Strip (comprising Brightness, Volume, and Siri virtual buttons) remains constant while your MacBook Pro is awake, but left side of the toolbar can be completely customized by app developers to highlight the most contextually-relevant tools. Apple showcased various custom Touch Bar controls with Safari, Mail, Messages, and Notes, as well as professional tools like Final Cut Pro and Photoshop. It supports up to ten simultaneous inputs, so you can use multiple fingers (or other capacitive tools) for various interactions.
In addition, the Touch Bar offers a Touch ID sensor on the right side of the display and a T1 chip with Secure Enclave, keeping your fingerprint information encrypted and offline. Touch ID is great for Apple Pay on the web, but Apple also offers Fast User Switching with Touch ID: This lets any authorized user open the computer, place their fingerprint on the sensor, and have their account automatically appear and unlock.
The wide-color retina display
Apple's new Retina display in the MacBook Pro offers 67% more contrast, is 67% brighter, and offers 25% more colors with the addition of Wide Color — all while remaining as thin as the 12-inch MacBook display.
Inside the MacBook Pro
Apple calls the MacBook Pro its most powerful Mac ever. The 13-inch model offers a dual-core Intel Core i5/i7 processor with a standard 8GB 2133MHz memory and Iris Graphics with 64MB eDRAM (2x faster than the prior 13-inch MacBook Pro). The company claims it brings 103% faster gaming speeds, 76% faster video editing, and 76% faster 3D graphics.
On the 15-inch side, Apple offers the quad-core Intel Core i7 standard, along with the Radeon Pro graphics processor, which uses the Polaris Architecture and includes 4GB VRAM and 2.3x faster graphics than the previous version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. You can also get a solid-state hard drive with up to 2TB of storage, which Apple claims is up to 50% faster than previous models. Overall, the company boasts 130% faster 3D graphics, 60% faster gaming speeds, and 57% faster video editing.
Or, if you want a sillier comparison, listen to Phil Schiller: At the Mac event, he compared the new MacBook Pro to the company's original Mac laptop. Spoiler: It's 6.8 million times faster.
Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro offer up to 10 hours of battery life.
Yes, the MacBook Pro retains its headphone jack — and gets quite a bit more, to boot. The MacBook Pro is shipping with four Thunderbolt 3 ports with up to 40GB/second bandwidth; those ports can also be used with the USB 3.1 standard (data transfer speeds of 10GB/second), or the DisplayPort 1.2 standard. And all of them can be used for charging via USB-C.
There are three versions of the MacBook Pro: The low-end (MacBook Air replacement) 13-inch MacBook Pro with no Touch Bar, along with the Touch Bar 13-inch and 15-inch models. They start at $1499, $1799, and $2399, respectively.
You can pre-order all three today from Apple.com; the low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro is shipping today, while the latter two will begin shipping in 2-3 weeks.
Let us know below in the comments.