Close to the Metal Ep. 19: The new MacBook Pro is revealed, but is it fast?

It finally happened. Apple has announced an update for the MacBook Pro 13 and 15, a pair of laptops that went four years without a chassis overhaul. As you’d expect, the new laptops are thinner and lighter — but they also include the Touch Bar, a unique touch interface that replaces the function keys on some models.

But we’re not here to talk about that. Instead, we’re going to examine the guts of these new Macs. Apple’s hardware began to slip behind in recent years, as the company let more and more time go by between updates.

With this revision, Apple has in some ways exceeded the competition — but also remains behind in other respects. The hard drive is a highlight, with read speeds of up to 3.1 gigabytes per second. That practically doubles what the best Windows laptops provide. On the other hand, Apple has opted to use 6th-generation Intel Core processors, even though 7th-generation processors are available. That’s definitely going to be a demerit in the eyes of some geeks.

Ultimately, though, performance requires a holistic view. All the components come together to form an experience, and that’s either quick, or it’s not. In this episode we’ll go through all the details, from processor, to hard drive, to video card, to give you an idea of how the new Macs beat the competition — or fall behind. And we’ll also examine what you can get from a Windows machine that’s sold for around the same price.

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that focuses on the geekier side of life. It tackles the topics PC enthusiasts argue over in language everyone can understand. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Wednesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.

Editors' Recommendations