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Apple unveils MacBook Pro upgrade, plus a price cut for entry-level option

A MacBook Pro sitting on a table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder
At WWDC on Monday, Apple announced the latest MacBook Pros will be getting yet another update, this time bringing Intel’s latest seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” processors to the flagship notebook lineup. While it wasn’t exactly the star of the show at WWDC, it comes as a welcome reminder that Apple remains committed to the MacBook Pro as a platform.

Starting today, the entire MacBook Pro line will be receiving a much-needed hardware upgrade, with Intel’s latest-generation Core processors replacing the sixth-gen Core chips that shipped with the new MacBook Pro lineup in late 2016. This will mean better performance, improved power efficiency, and higher turbo boost clock speeds.

The MacBook Pro 13 can now hit 3.5GHz with the top-end Intel Core i7, while the MacBook Pro 15 will hit 3.1GHz with its own seventh-generation Intel Core i7 chip.

The 15-inch model will also feature more powerful discrete graphics options, as well as more video memory.

Thankfully, Apple isn’t charging more for the new chips. The opposite, in fact: The entry-level MacBook Pro 13 (without the Touch Bar) will not only receive a faster processor, but also a cheaper price, starting at $1,300 instead of its debut price of $1,500. That’s definitely a step in the right direction for anyone eyeballing a low-price MacBook Pro.

We’ll have to wait and see just how well the new seventh-gen processors perform up and down the MacBook Pro lineup, but with strong performance from the current sixth-generation chips, we can expect higher clock speeds and better all around performance. Our tests of Windows 10 systems found that notebooks with seventh-gen Intel Core hardware were 10 to 15 percent quicker than those with sixth-gen chips.

Even the lowly MacBook is getting an upgrade, the new seventh-generation Intel Core i7 hits 1.3GHz, and offers a 50 percent faster SSD and supports twice the amount of RAM.

Meanwhile, the MacBook Air struggles on. Apple announced the MacBook Air will be receiving a similar hardware upgrade, but didn’t get into the specifics. That likely means it will be similar to its predecessors in most respects, but receive a bump to Intel seventh-gen Core.

The latest MacBook Pros and MacBook Air won’t ship running Apple’s new MacOS High Sierra — a refinement to the last major MacOS update — but it will be available for download today via Apple’s Developer program. For everyone else, the MacOS High Sierra will be coming this fall and maybe you can get it at a lower price with Black Friday MacBook deals.

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Jayce Wagner
Former Digital Trends Contributor
A staff writer for the Computing section, Jayce covers a little bit of everything -- hardware, gaming, and occasionally VR.
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