With six cores of pro­cess­ing power in a 1.5cm body, this is a pocket(-ish) rocket A

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

Six cores of pro­cess­ing power in a 1.5cm body... Dang, Ap­ple! It sent us the high-end ver­sion for test­ing, and we dis­cov­ered some pretty in­ter­est­ing things dur­ing the re­view

From $3,499 ($7,139 as tested) ap­ple.com/au

pple’s high-end lap­top fi­nally gets a big leap for­ward in power this year, put­ting six-core pro­ces­sors in as stan­dard (the 13-inch model gets a tidy quad-core pro­ces­sor). The ba­sic $3,499 model (2.2GHz Core i7 pro­ces­sor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of ultra-fast flash stor­age) is pretty handy it­self, and com­pares well to the T3- favourite 15-inch Sur­face Book 2: for the same price, you get the same stor­age (but faster), the same RAM, two ex­tra pro­ces­sor cores, but a weaker GPU. We got the XXXTREME ver­sion to test the MacBook Pro, a ma­chine that comes in at tear-in­duc­ing $7,139, kit­ted out with a 2.9GHz Core i9 chip, 32GB of RAM, AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB graph­ics card and 2TB stor­age.

Small change

Out­side of a big boost in pro­ces­sor power, the only other changes of note in the new MacBook Pros from last year’s model are a new key­board that Ap­ple prom­ises is qui­eter (but oth­ers say should be more re­li­able too, as sev­eral peo­ple had is­sues with the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion) and a True Tone screen, which changes its colour tem­per­a­ture to match the am­bi­ent light in the room, mak­ing it more com­fort­able to use. This is one of our favourite fea­tures on iPad and iPhone, and once you try it, ev­ery com­puter with­out it will feel hor­ri­ble to use.

The good news, then, is that the beastly pro­ces­sor proves to be as much of a bonus as ex­pected – com­pared to last year’s model (which had a sim­i­lar pro­ces­sor to the Sur­face Book 2), hard­core video en­cod­ing was nearly 30 per cent faster in our tests. For pro stuff that taxes the pro­ces­sor, this is the per­for­mance ma­chine, even at the more ba­sic end. How­ever, gaming per­for­mance doesn’t com­pare to the likes of Nvidia 1060 in the Sur­face Book 2 (es­pe­cially since macOS isn’t good at it).

The MacBook Pro still has other ad­van­tages, in­clud­ing be­ing thin­ner and lighter than any­thing else in its power range. The screen is also sharp and re­ally vi­brant, with wide-colour sup­port. Keep in mind that there are four Thun­der­bolt 3 ports here, a head­phone jack, and noth­ing else. No reg­u­lar USB, no SD card reader, no HDMI – it lacks flex­i­bil­ity. It’s also strictly a lap­top, so no touch­screen or 2-in-1 shenani­gans.

That trou­ble­some key­board is also di­vi­sive: it’s very low-travel, and feels ‘clicky’. We re­ally like it, but some de­test it. You’ve been warned.

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