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Everything you need to know about Apple’s new MacBook Pro collection

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David Cornish
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Apple has unveiled three new models of MacBook Pro at a suitably polished event in at its campus in California, showing off a brand new adaptive 'Touch Bar' that replaces your function keys with more useful, intuitive shortcuts. Here's everything you need to know.

There are three models

  • A 15-inch MacBook Pro, with the new Touch Bar and TouchID finger print scanner, brighter screen and improved internal specs. It's available for pre-order now, from £2,349
  • A 13-inch MacBook Pro, that also features the new Touch Bar and TouchID finger print scanner. It's available for pre-order now, from £1,749
  • A 'budget' model 13-inch MacBook Pro, that lacks the new Touch Bar but features improved specs over previous MacBook Pro models. It's available from 1 November, from £1,449

What does the Touch Bar do?

When was the last time you used a 'Function' button (that's F1 through to F12 for the uninitiated)? No, on purpose - not after accidentally hitting one when you went to wipe something off your screen? 

Apple has a much better idea for a function bar; an OLED (sexy screen) touch bar that changes depending on whatever program you're using on your MacBook Pro. Listening to something on iTunes? The Touch Bar will change to useful playback controls. Typing something into a messenger service? You'll be presented with emoji shortcuts. Safari will display each tab in miniature on the bar for you to swap between. Other programs will allow you to chose custom controls. 

No, it's not a full touch screen. If you want one of those, get a Microsoft Surface Book. 

Anything else?

The other most notable changes are what Apple has taken away from the MacBook Pro: there's no longer an SD card reader (don't worry, the old headphone hole is clinging on in there), nor are there any 'old' USB ports. 

Each of the new models has shifted to using new USB Type-C ports - they're smaller than old USB ports, can be plugged in either way up and can transfer data at faster speeds. The budget 13-inch MacBook Pro has two of them, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (with Touch Bar) has four and the 15-inch has four. 

If you want to plug your iPhone into your MacBook Pro, you'll need to buy a new Lightning-to-USB-C cable (it doesn't come with the MacBook). 

There's also a new MacBook - not a Pro, nor an Air, but a thinner, more powerful MacBook. It looks identical to the new one that came out last year, and is available from £1,249.

Which MacBook should I buy?

Want the hottest machine in town? Get the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

Want a massive screen to watch loads of stuff and edit sweet images? Splash out on the new 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Need a new laptop that can still kick ass? Save some cash and get the standard MacBook - not the Pro.

Not fussed about insane hi-res screens? Get the MacBook Air - it's still a thing.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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