Ap­ple adding speed to MacBook Pros

The Niagara Falls Review - - Business - HAY­LEY TSUKAYAMA

Ap­ple on Thurs­day an­nounced a long-awaited up­date for the MacBook Pro, giv­ing the lap­tops a much-needed per­for­mance bump but not any mean­ing­ful change in de­sign.

Most no­tably, Ap­ple has not fully changed the de­sign of the lap­tops’ key­boards, which have drawn se­ri­ous com­plaints from con­sumers who find them un­re­li­able.

The new mod­els — one 13-inch model and one 15-inch model, both with Ap­ple’s Touch Bar — have new chips that Ap­ple said should dra­mat­i­cally in­crease per­for­mance.

The com­pany said in a news re­lease that the 15-inch model is up to 70 per cent faster, while the 13-inch model is twice as fast.

Both have more stor­age than be­fore: The 15-inch model can go up to a four-ter­abyte solid-state drive, while the smaller model maxes out at two ter­abytes.

The lap­tops will also have a new “Hey Siri” ca­pa­bil­ity that al­lows peo­ple to trig­ger Ap­ple’s voice as­sis­tant with­out hav­ing to hit a com­bi­na­tion of keys .

The com­put­ers start at $1,800 for the smaller model and $2,400 for the larger ver­sion; with all the bells and whis­tles added, the most ex­pen­sive ver­sion of the new mod­els could cost $6,700.

De­spite the up­grades, con­sumers may be un­happy to hear that these new com­put­ers re­tain the MacBook’s ba­sic key­board de­sign — which has drawn three class-ac­tion law­suits that claim it’s faulty.

The slim de­sign is sup­posed to cut down on bulk, but con­sumers re­port its keys are prone to stick and break eas­ily — they can even be flum­moxed by a sin­gle piece of dust, as was the case for the Out­line’s Casey John­ston.

Ap­ple says only a small num­ber of peo­ple who use the MacBook have key­boards that are ac­tu­ally faulty and has launched a pro­gram of­fer­ing free re­pairs for those peo­ple.

But while the up­dated Mac­Books have an “im­proved third­gen­er­a­tion” key­board that it prom­ises will be qui­eter, the com­pany has re­mained com­mit­ted to its key de­sign.

Fans of Ap­ple’s lap­tops have also been ex­pect­ing up­dates to the more ba­sic MacBook, as well as the light­weight MacBook Air.

A re­search note from re­li­able Ap­ple an­a­lyst Ming Chi-Kuo of KGI Se­cu­ri­ties pub­lished Thurs­day in­di­cates there will be some up­grades this fall, though Ap­ple may re­place the MacBook Air with a “low-cost” MacBook model, 9to5Mac re­ported.

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