These 2018 MacBook Pro models are the best values

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2018 MacBook Pro
Figuring out which 2018 MacBook Pro is fastest or cheapest is easy. We puzzled out which offers the most bang for the buck.
Photo: Apple

You need a 2018 MacBook Pro, but there are a bunch of configurations to choose from, with the top model more than twice as expensive as the base one. Of course, Apple is asking you to pay extra for a faster processor, but is the additional cost worth it?

We took benchmarking scores for all the variations of the newest macOS laptop and divided them by the cost of each. The results might well surprise you.

2018 MacBook Pro: the good, the great, the ugly — this week on The CultCast

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CultCast 2018 MacBook Pro
The new MacBook Pros are shockingly fast.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: The 2018 MacBook Pro is both a beauty and a beast. In fact, it’s one of the most exciting MBP refreshes in years. We’ll tell you why.

Then: A popular tech reviewer warns that the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s i9 processor upgrade suffers a major flaw; Apple quietly updates MacBook Pro’s keyboard to be more reliable; and we pitch you our favorite new gear and gadgets in an all-new Under Review!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off your first hosting plan or domain.

Secret ingredient in new MacBook Pro? Glue. Lots and lots of glue

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A look inside the 2018 MacBook Pro finds lots of bad news, but some good too.
A look inside the 2018 MacBook Pro finds plenty of bad news, but some good too.
Photo: IFIXIT

Apple makes no attempt to have MacBook Pro models easy to repair. The ones released just a few days ago are no exception. We all have to hope that the redesigned key mechanism fixes the previous problems because the keyboard is solidly glued to the battery and speakers. And that’s just the most obvious way that Apple frustrates the do-it-yourself crowd.

But the news isn’t all bad. At least one version of the 2018 MacBook Pro boasts a major battery improvement.

2018 MacBook Pro performance shows dramatic improvement

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The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar up the ante for pro users.
2018 MacBook Pro performance offers the biggest year-over-year improvements since the release of the 2011 models.
Photo: Apple

The 15- and 13-inch MacBook Pro models launching this week boast significantly faster processors. Tests with the Geekbench benchmarking tool show speed increases as high as 86 percent.

The improvements come from faster Turbo Burst frequencies and more processor cores.

Teardown reveals MacBook Pro keyboard is redesigned to prevent keys sticking

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The third-generation
The third-generation "butterfly" MacBook Pro keyboard has a membrane to keep out damaging grit.
Photo: iFixit

Apple made potential buyers of the new MacBook Pro models very nervous when it said no effort had been made to fix the problems plaguing the keyboards in earlier versions. Happily, it turns out the company was fibbing.

Taking apart this just-released Mac laptop shows that Apple definitely modified its butterfly keyboard mechanism to make it less likely to jam.

2018 MacBook Pro extends True Tone to external displays

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This week brought the first True Tone MacBook Pro.
This week brought the first True Tone MacBook Pro. And that also goes for some external screens, like this Apple Thunderbolt Display.
Photo: Apple

The 2018 MacBook Pro models just released are the first with True Tone, adjusting the display to match ambient lighting. Even better, these new laptops can do the same trick on some external screens.

True Tone can “automatically adapt [the] display to make colors appear consistent in different ambient lighting conditions,” according to Apple.

MacBook Pro’s third-gen ‘butterfly’ keyboard doesn’t fix its worst problem

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MacBook butterfly keyboard
The keys of the "butterfly" keyboard in the 2016 MacBook Pro get stuck very easily. It's possible that's true of the 2018 models too.
Photo: Apple

Editor’s note: There’s good evidence that the new MacBook Pro keyboard actually does address the problems experienced by some owners. Read our: Teardown reveals MacBook Pro keyboard is redesigned to prevent keys sticking


People around the world are hoping the new MacBook Pro models introduced today have a keyboard that’s been carefully designed to not have the same sticky keyboard keys as their predecessors. But it didn’t happen.

A company spokesperson says the problem of grit causing the keys to stick in previous macOS laptops was not addressed.

But that’s not necessarily the whole story. It’s possible Apple did fix the problem but doesn’t dare talk about it.

Redesigned MacBook Pro keyboard might fix problems [Updated]

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There's a MacBook Pro keyboard design in the models introduced today.
There's a new MacBook Pro keyboard design in the models introduced today.
Photo: Apple

Editor’s note: There’s fresh evidence that the new MacBook Pro keyboard actually does address the problems experienced by some owners.

Read our: Teardown reveals MacBook Pro keyboard is redesigned to prevent keys sticking


The MacBook Pro models just introduced include faster processors and better displays, but the most important new feature might be the keyboard. This has been redesigned, hopefully to fix serious problems that plagued earlier versions.

The “butterfly” keyboard in MacBook Pro models since 2016 have sparked a well-publicized recall petition and multiple lawsuits. This makes the reliability of the keyboard in the new devices a critical matter.

‘Coffee Lake’ chips could give 2018 MacBook Pro a jolt

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The 2018 MacBook Pro is expected to look much like its predecessor.
Despite faster connections, display support hasn’t improved.
Photo: Apple

Apple is apparently planning to upgrade the MacBook Pro line to the latest generation of Intel processors. Benchmarks for a macOS laptop running a “Coffee Lake” chip showed up on Geekbench.

The eight-generation Core i7-8559U CPU in this device has a base frequency of 2.7GHz, but a maximum turbo speed of 4.5GHz. It has 4 cores and 8 threads, and was built with a 14nm process.