15in MacBook Pro (2017)

Macworld - - CONTENTS -

£2,699 inc VAT from fave.co/2tJWXjO

Did you hear cries of re­gret in the back­ground dur­ing Ap­ple’s World­wide Devel­op­ers Con­fer­ence key­note? If you did, it was from those who bought a MacBook Pro in the past few weeks. You see, dur­ing WWDC, Ap­ple re­vealed an up­grade to the MacBook Pro to re­place the mod­els that were re­leased just last au­tumn.

Now, on the sur­face, the new MacBook Pro looks ex­actly the same, but all of the changes are

found un­der-the-hood via per­for­mance bumps. And our test re­sults do show an ex­pected in­crease in speed, but it’s not enough to in­duce se­ri­ous buyer’s re­morse in any­one who re­cently bought a MacBook Pro of the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion – though it may spark a bit of envy.

(This review cov­ers Ap­ple’s top-of-the­line model, a 15in MacBook Pro with a 2.9GHz pro­ces­sor. This par­tic­u­lar model sells for £2,699.)

What’s changed

The heart of the MacBook Pro is where you’ll find the ma­jor change. All MacBook Pro mod­els now fea­ture In­tel’s Kaby Lake pro­ces­sors, which re­place the Sky­lake pro­ces­sors found in the pre­vi­ous MacBook Pro. For this review, a Kaby Lake 2.9GHz quad-core Core i7 in the model I re­viewed re­places a Sky­lake 2.7GHz quad-core Core i7.

Another ma­jor change is the graph­ics tech­nol­ogy. The £2,699 model now has the In­tel HD Graph­ics 630 in­stead of the In­tel HD Graph­ics 530 as in­te­grated graph­ics. The dis­crete high­per­for­mance graph­ics chip is now a 4GB Radeon Pro 560, which re­places a 4GB Radeon Pro 460.

What’s the same

Just about ev­ery­thing else about the MacBook Pro is the same as be­fore. The alu­minium uni­body case de­sign (avail­able in Space Grey or Sil­ver), the 15.4in dis­play with a 2880x1800 na­tive res­o­lu­tion and P3 colour gamut, the Thun­der­bolt 3 ports, and the Force Touch track­pad are un­changed.

Dis­ap­point­ingly, the MacBook Pro still sup­ports a max­i­mum of 16GB of RAM, which is what’s in­cluded in the £2,699 model. Ap­ple uses LPDDR3 mem­ory rated at a speed of 2133MHz, and in or­der for the MacBook Pro to sup­port 32GB of RAM, Ap­ple would have to use mem­ory that needs more power, thereby af­fect­ing bat­tery life.

It comes with a 512GB solid-state drive. Ap­ple says that the per­for­mance of the SSD is 50 per­cent faster than the pre­vi­ous SSD. The speed in­crease comes from im­prove­ments in the SSD’s hard­ware con­troller.

Let’s touch on the Touch Bar

The Touch Bar made its de­but on the MacBook Pro last au­tumn. Since it hasn’t changed, I’m not go­ing to dive into what it is and how it works.

My per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with the Touch Bar? I don’t use it that much. I like us­ing Touch ID to

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