MacBook Pro: No longer the king of high-end laptops, but still royalty

The MacBook Pro received minimal updates between the 2016 and 2017 models, reviewed here; Since that year, it has received zero, not even a basic update, for the latest 8th generation Intel Core processors. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it—the saying makes sense, but whose keyboard has been the subject of what we call “an acquired taste”? class-action lawsuits, with apple Finally agreed to fix all MacBook Butterfly keyboard models. And the Touch Bar really turned out curse more than blessing for some people. Plus, in a year of 4K options, its formerly “high resolution” Retina display no longer stands out, though it maintains its reputation for good color. Because of all this, we have reduced the design rating from 9 to 8.

MacBook Pro

In addition, the competitive landscape has really changed over the years, as many innovations made by manufacturers for Windows models have become mainstream: the MacBook Pro is up against more flexible models with detachable keyboards and 360-degree displays. that flip around. Both clamshell and tablet operation, all of which have touchscreen and stylus support. In addition, there are some comparable clamshell models at similar or better prices, such as Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga And this Dell XPS 15 2-in-1.

On the other hand, the performance of MacBook Pro has stood the test of time. While it’s not the fastest in its class, it’s still solid on multicore processor tests and its battery life is still one of the best 15-inch laptops we’ve tested.

we hope to see improvement As part of Apple’s annual hardware follow-up for the MacBook line in October 2018 WWDC Software announcements. So, unless you’re in a rush to upgrade, you can hold off on buying this model until we know what its future holds.

Best 15 inch laptop

Full review of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, originally posted on July 2, 2017 and updated on May 11, 2018.

I’ll start with the good news. If you splurge on one of Apple’s very expensive high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops, when its The major redesign was launched in the fall of 2016.Well, you’re not going to feel particularly left out by this minor mid-2017 update.

The aluminum exterior remains the same, as does port selection, excellent Retina-resolution display, new keyboard, larger touchpad, and even a second-screen Touch Bar.


The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for 2017 keeps the same design as last year. Sarah Tu/CNet

7th generation Intel Core i-series CPUs

What’s new is a move towards the current 7th generation Intel Core i-series CPUs, sometimes referred to by the code name Kaby Lake. MacBook Pro Models We Reviewed Late last year there were older 6th-gen Intel chips (though they were certainly fast enough for almost any task). Of course, Intel is already starting Talk about 8th generation core chips Now, that’s why it’s best not to focus too much on the exact CPU model in any laptop you buy – there’s always something new coming.

The 2017 Pro also gets an updated set of graphics hardware options. Integrated graphics chips go from the Intel HD 530 to the HD 630 (part of that leap on the Kaby Lake platform), and discrete graphics AMD Radeon Pro 450 and 455 parts go from — you guessed it — Radeon Pro 555 and 560 options. Every 15-inch MacBook Pro laptop includes an AMD GPU, while the 13-inch models work with Intel’s built-in graphics.

MacBook Pro design

If that’s good news, it might be bad news. If one or more of the new MacBook Pro design features put you off, (SuperFlat keyboard, Touch Bar, USB-C port) then this set of 2017 revisions has its own take. Not going to do anything special to change.


It’s still Apple’s most powerful laptop. Sarah Tu/CNet

On the other hand, if you’re thinking about making the move to the MacBook Pro, or upgrading from a much older model, the jump to newer Intel CPUs and faster AMD graphics cards keeps the MacBook competitive. It’s still Apple’s biggest, most powerful laptop (and it has been since) 17-inch MacBook Pro was discontinued in 2012) it remains a top choice for professionals, creative and otherwise, who want desktop-like power in a reasonably portable package.

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) with Touch Bar

price as per review$2,799
Display Size / Resolution15-inch 2,880×1,800-pixel Retina Display
PC CPU2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7820HQ
pc memory16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz
graphics1,536MB Intel HD Graphics 630/4GB Radeon Pro 560
StorageApple 512GB SSD
networking802.11ac Wi-Fi Wireless; bluetooth 4.2
Operating SystemmacOS 10.12.5 Sierra

The 15-inch MacBook Pro has two default configurations. The Core i7/16GB RAM/256GB SSD/AMD Radeon Pro 555 model starts at $2,399 (£2,349 or AU$3,499). The step-up version, which we tested, offers a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and an AMD Radeon Pro 560 for graphics at $2,799 (£2,600 or AU$4,099).

If you’ve noticed that even the high-end configuration tops out at 16GB of RAM, you’re not alone. This is one of the most common complaints about the current Pro. iMac All-in-One Desktop LineInterestingly, it has doubled the RAM options in its 21.5-inch and 27-inch models (now up to 32GB or 64GB).

Touch and go

Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops still have the OLED Touch Bar that extends across the top of the keyboard, replacing the old function key row. It allows for fingerprint login, quick access to volume and brightness controls, the macOS version of Siri, and special touch features in various software apps. It’s the same size in both the 13-inch and 15-inch models, measuring 2,170 pixels and 60 pixels high.


The Touch Bar includes a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a Siri button. Sarah Tu/CNet

The Touch Bar is a feature that some people love and others barely use. I fall right in the middle of the spectrum using the Touch ID fingerprint reader (similar to the one on the iPhone) as well as the touch controls for volume and screen brightness. In Safari, I often use the Touch Bar to jump between tabs, where each open browser tab gets a small Touch Bar thumbnail. Those tasks probably account for 90 per cent of my Touch Bar usage.

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