What changed on Apple’s new MacBook Pro (and why you’ll care)

After a lackluster response to the redesigned MacBook Pro, Apple took user criticism to heart in an attempt to put the “pro” back in MacBook Pro. But what exactly did it change? The Touch Bar is still around, but did Apple address the reduced connectivity and sticky keyboard that marred the Pro’s release?

We got our hands on a new 15-inch MacBook Pro with the Core i9 processor, 32 gigs of RAM, and all the other top-level specs. We’ll walk you through all the features on the new MacBook Pro 15, and go over what changed (and what didn’t) since last year’s model.

The Outside

Not much changed in terms of style from the 2017 to 2018 version of the MacBook Pro. In fact, the dimensions, aluminum, and color options are all nearly identical to last year’s model. The screen is also the same, with a 2880 x 1800 resolution, 15.4-inch IPS display, and a maximum 500 nits of brightness. The only thing that changed on the screen from last year is that it is now compatible with Apple’s True Tone technology, which changes the color of your display based on the ambient light in the room you are in.

Under the screen, we still have the Touch Bar from the previous model. It also has True Tone enabled, but the differences are subtle to the naked eye and nearly impossible to capture on camera. There is also a Touch ID power button. Below the Touch Bar is the new-and-improved keyboard. Apple won’t say exactly how it’s been improved or what’s been done to address dust protection, but it is quieter, if only slightly.

Below the keyboard, is a large force touch track pad, which allows you to use different levels of pressure to perform different actions. Surrounding the keyboard are your stereo speakers; above the screen, there’s a 720p webcam. Two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports adorn the sides of the device, for a total of four ports that can be used for charging, Thunderbolt, and DisplayPort.

The Inside

Where you’re going to notice the most differences from earlier models of the MacBook is under the hood. Powering the MacBook Pro 15 is either the Intel i7 or i9 processor. The device can also house up to 32G of RaAM and either a Radon Pro 555x or 560x graphics card. For storage, you can choose between 256GB (for the Radon Pro 555x models only), 513GB, 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB. However, the prices differences between these options start to get a bit ridiculous and may not be worth the expanded SSD for the price. The options can quickly drive its price over $6,000.

The new MacBook Pro also comes with an 83.6 watt hour battery and an 87 watt USB-C charger. It also comes equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi 802.11. On the software side of things, the MacBook is running the latest version of MacOS, High Sierra. Something new to this iteration, though, is the ability to  say, “Hey, Siri” whenever your screen is unlocked and give voice commands to your virtual assistant. This feature has been around on your iPhone for quite a while, but is finally making it’s way to the MacBook Pro.

David Cogen — a regular contributor here at Digital Trends — runs TheUnlockr, a popular tech blog that focuses on tech news, tips and tricks, and the latest tech. You can also find him on Twitter discussing the latest tech trends.

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