Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro models introduces a touchscreen and a fingerprint sensor

3:58:00 PM Dick Wyn Yong 0 Comments

During Apple's special event in their Cupertino campus this morning, the company unveiled new Macs that are not redesigns of the existing ones but more of a feature upgrade. The announcement of the new Late 2016 MacBook Pros come in 25 years after Apple announced their first latop, the Powerbook 170. The highlight of the new 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro is the new Touch Bar which replaces the existing function keys on the keyboard. 

Apple's new Touch Bar on the new 2016 MacBook Pros is essentially just a contextual touch screen that changes according to the application. First party apps like Photos, Safari and Final Cut Pro X will be able to take advantage of the Touch Bar when these MBP go on sale but Apple is opening the hardware to software developers to integrate their own features. 

In addition to that, the new Touch Bar is also where the new MacBook Pro power button is located. Situated on the top right corner is Apple's TouchID sensor that allows users to securely sign into the device and also authenticate other things like Apple Pay. There's even the ability to sign in to a specific user's account just with TouchID. 

All of these authentications with TouchID is managed by Apple's new T1 chip that stores and authenticates fingerprints in it's Secure Enclave. 

Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Key Specifications

— 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina Display
— Intel 6th generation Core i5/i7 processor
— 8/16GB 2133MHz DDR3 memory
— Intel Iris Graphics 550
— 256/512GB/1TB PCI-e SSD
— 720P Facetime HD camera
— Bluetooth 4.2
— Wi-Fi 802.11ac
— 4x Thunderbolt 3 ports
— 49.2-watt-hour Li-Po battery
— 14.9 x 304.1 x 212.4mm
— 1.37kg
— macOS Sierra
— Silver/Space Gray

Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Key Specifications

—15.4-inch 2880 x 1800 Retina Display
— Intel 6th generation Core i7 processor
— 16GB 2133MHz DDR3 memory
— Intel HD graphics 530
— Radeon Pro 450/455/460 graphics
— 256/512GB/1/2TB PCI-e SSD
— 720P Facetime HD camera
— Bluetooth 4.2
— Wi-Fi 802.11ac
— 4x Thunderbolt 3 ports
— 76.0-watt-hour Li-Po battery
— 15.5 x 349.3 x 240.7 mm
— 1.83kg
— macOS Sierra
— Silver/Space Gray

But beyond that, the new MacBook Pros are also thinner and lighter than ever before. There's also a new Space Gray color option which adds upon the Silver color that we are accustomed with. In terms of other changes, Apple is also overhauling the keyboard on the new 2016 MacBook Pros that are now similar to the keyboard on the 12-inch MacBook. The trackpad in the other hand is still Force Touch but Apple has doubled the size of the trackpad surface area.

Moving on to the screen of the new 2016 MacBook Pro models. Apple retained the screen resolution from previous generations but they made it thinner and the colors are now 60% better. What this means is that Apple managed to improve the battery life which now goes up to 10 hours on a single charge.

Last but not least is the new hardware. All 2016 MacBook Pros now come standard with 256GB of flash storage and they are all powered by Intel's new 6th generation Skylake processors. The new Intel processors also powers the MacBook Pro's 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports which is the only interface present on the new 2016 MacBook Pro. No SD card slot nor is there any video outputs.

Charging will be through the USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and Apple says that these new ports will enable the MacBook Pro to output video to dual 5K monitors. In terms of other new hardware improvements, Apple has improved the speaker array on the new models and there's now 3 dedicate microphones on the MacBook Pro to enable better Siri voice recognition.

The 2016 MacBook Pros will be shipping in mid-November for a starting price of US$ 1,799 (MYR 7,599) for the 13-inch model and US$ 2,399 (MYR 8,399) for the 15-inch model. There's also a more affordable MacBook Pro model without the Touch Bar that begins at US$ 1,499 (MYR 6,299). You can learn more about that here