New MacBook Pros come with 6-core processors, quieter keyboards

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The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar up the ante for pro users.
The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar up the ante for pro users.
Photo: Apple

Apple just updated its MacBook Pro line, ramping up performance and adding various advanced features. Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing VP, calls the new Apple laptops “the fastest and most powerful notebook we’ve ever made.”

The new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models boast 8th-generation “Coffee Lake” Intel Core processors, with 6-core CPUs in the 15-inch model and quad-core CPUs on the 13-inch model.

Additional MacBook Pro updates include support for up to 32GB of memory and a vivid True Tone display. An improved, third-generation Butterfly keyboard brings quieter typing. (It seems the new keyboard also addresses previous concerns about the MacBook keyboard.)

The new MacBook Pros feature True Tone technology for "a more natural viewing experience."
The new MacBook Pros feature True Tone technology for “a more natural viewing experience.”
Photo: Apple

The new Apple laptops are available to order today from Apple’s website, with delivery starting next week.

For the first time, the MacBook includes the Apple T2 chip introduced in the iMac Pro. This delivers enhanced system security, with support for secure boot and on-the-fly encrypted storage. It also enables “Hey Siri” functionality for the first time on a Mac.

New MacBook Pros: Faster, stronger, better

The new MacBook Pros bring "faster performance for complex simulations and data manipulation," Apple says.
The new MacBook Pros bring “faster performance for complex simulations and data manipulation,” Apple says.
Photo: Apple

“The latest generation MacBook Pro is the fastest and most powerful notebook we’ve ever made,” said Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in a press release. “Now with eighth-generation 6-core processors, up to 32GB of system memory, up to 4TB of super fast SSD storage, new True Tone technology in its Retina display and Touch Bar, the Apple T2 chip for enhanced security and a third-generation quieter keyboard packed into its thin and light aluminum design with all-day battery life, it’s the best notebook for pro users.”

The 15-inch MacBook Pro features 6-core Intel Core i7 and Core i9 processors up to 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.8 GHz; up to 32GB of DDR4 memory; Radeon Pro discrete graphics with 4GB of video memory in every configuration; up to 4TB of SSD storage; True Tone display tech; Apple T2 chip, and Touch Bar and Touch ID. Prices start at $2,799.

The 13-inch model, meanwhile, boasts quad-core Intel Core i5 and i7 processors up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz and double the eDRAM; Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics 655 with 128MB of eDRAM; up to 2TB of SSD storage; True Tone display; Apple T2 chip, and Touch Bar and Touch ID. Prices start at $1,799.

MacBook Pro updates are just the beginning

The MacBook Pro update means "developers can compile code faster and more easily run multiple virtual machines and test environments," Apple says.
The MacBook Pro update means “developers can compile code faster and more easily run multiple virtual machines and test environments,” Apple says.
Photo: Apple

When Apple launched the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar in 2016, the new machines received a negative reception for basically no reason at all. Some people called the versatile new Touch Bar a useless gimmick. Others bemoaned the switch to USB-C, which spawned a wide array of USB-C docks and dongles to make up for missing ports.

Since then, Apple has repeatedly confirmed its commitment to the Mac. The company last year promised to build a new, modular Mac Pro. And it delivered a pricey, powerful iMac Pro that blew away reviewers.

Today’s MacBook Pro updates are just the latest proof that Apple still cares about the Mac, even as it works to bring iOS apps to macOS.

Now if we can just get the upgraded Mac mini and cheaper MacBooks we’ve been hearing about. Oh, and the long-delayed AirPower charging mat….