Earlier today, Apple officially unveiled brand new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. After the event, the company held its obligatory hands-on time for journalists and developers that made it.
As is par for the course, the hands-on time with the new devices is quick, and relatively to the point. It’s a means for publications to see the new material, but to only get a glimpse at it. With that said, the early views on Apple’s new hardware are positive, with many focusing on the high-end hardware, some on the new Space Gray color option for the MacBook Pro lineup, and obviously many pointing out the OLED Touch Bar (which is available on two of the three new MBP models).
“We’ll start with the marquee feature, the Touch Bar. What you might not have gathered from the keynote is that it has a matte finish, which makes the buttons on it somehow feel a little more physical. It’s bright, but not so bright that it distracts — it seems to be about on par with the brightness of the backlit keyboard.
I have questions about whether or not all these changing function buttons will be comprehensible, but in my brief time with them they all made sense to me. There’s no haptic feedback on them, unfortunately, but obviously they all worked perfectly. That included quickly applying filters in Photos and sorting emails in Mail.”
“Aside from the Touch Strip, the laptop itself is an engineering marvel. It feels super solid, like a solid slab of aluminum, and I’m particularly enamored with the space gray finish. It’s remarkable that Apple managed to cram fully fledged MBP internals into a chassis that weighs even less than a MacBook Air — I held my Air in one hand and the new 13-inch Pro in the other, and I couldn’t tell a difference between them. The 15-inch model is a bit heavier, of course, but it’s still a relatively svelte machine for how powerful it is.
And I can’t discuss the hardware without mentioning the new screen. The wider color gamut it provides isn’t something that most civilians need, but it is a noticeable upgrade when you see the difference side to side. Colors really are richer and more vibrant, particularly with warmer colors: reds and yellows in particular.”
“The Touch Bar (a much catchier name than the rumored Magic Toolbar, mind) is, in a word, neat. Sure the company put the new feature through its paces on stage, but press conference demos in an in-person usage are two different things entirely. The strip itself is glossy. Not quite slick, but frictionless enough so as to run a finger across with little effort.
It’s a secondary Retina Display, which mean it’s capable of displaying some fairly high-res graphics, in spite of the fact that most of what you’ll be interacting with will be big and button button-like functionality. Click into Photos, however, and you’ll get little thumbnails that you can scroll through. Click into Safari and you get small images of the tabs you have open.”
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