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
A report out of Bloomberg last month 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.
With that in mind, penny pinchers would be wise to look after remaining 2016 MacBook Pro stock to see a price reduction in short order. Given Apple’s 15.4% increase in overall notebook sales in Q1 2017, a price drop on old models would be a smart (and expected) move for Apple.
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.
On the other hand, if you need even more power than that, you’ll be elated to know that Apple is selling its own Thunderbolt 3-powered external graphics card enclosures to amp up your MacBook Pro. This will assuredly come in handy as HTC Vive makes its way to Mac developers soon enough.
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, you should notice marked improvements to the MacBook Pro’s battery life as a result of retaining the same exact screen alongside Intel’s more energy efficient Kaby Lake processors.