Apple has updated its MacBook Pro laptops with new processors, keyboards and display technology, and hands-free Siri.
The update is slightly more than an expected specifications improvement for Apple’s popular “Pro” laptops. Both the 13-inch and 15in MacBook Pros with Touch Bar will now come equipped with the latest eighth-generation Intel Core i5, i7 and i9 processors, bringing them into line with competition from Windows PC manufacturers such as Huawei, Dell and others.
The 13in laptop gains quad-core versions of the i5 and i7 processors, up from the dual-core versions used until now, which Apple says will be up to twice as fast. The larger 15in laptop gains 6-core i7 and i9 processors, replacing the quad-core versions, which Apple says will be 70% faster. The maximum amount of RAM available in the larger laptop has also been doubled to 32GB.
Aside from more power, the updated machines also gain the True Tone colour control system from Apple’s iPads, which uses light sensors to adjust the colour temperature of the display to best match the light in your environment.
Apple has also put the new T2 chip from its iMac Pro into the MacBook Pro, which handles fingerprint scanning, the Touch Bar and other duties. The T2 chip also enables users to interact with Apple’s virtual assistant using the wakeword “Hey Siri”, similar to iPhones. Previously MacBook Pro users had to press a button to trigger Siri.
Lastly, the new MacBook Pros come with Apple’s third-generation of butterfly switch keyboard that promises to be quieter. The update to the keyboard does not address problems with dust that causes dead keys, however.
The rest of the machines stay untouched, including the four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, battery life and screen resolution.
Only the 13in and 15in MacBook Pros with Touch Bar have been updated, leaving the model without a Touch Bar unchanged, along with the smaller MacBook and iMac. Updates for Apple’s other Macs, as well as iPads and iPhones are expected later in the year.
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