There’s one thing that can never, will never, work again in the modern world: mediocrity. Bygone are the days when speed and performance could suffice by being “adequate”; the new Apple MacBook Pro intuitively understands today’s need to be blazing in both speed and excellence. Equipped with an eighth-generation Intel processor — six cores on the 15” model and four on the 13” — it promises to deliver faster and more fluid performance than you’ve ever experienced before. This, combined with the unfailing style and dazzling display that’s a given with the Apple family.
Sounds lofty? Let’s assess how far the newest MacBook Pro manages to abide by its promise.
Processing Power You’ve Never Seen Before
Yep, it’s every bit as thrilling as promised. The new MacBook Pro 15” runs an incredibly efficient 6-core Intel i7 processor at 2.9GHz. It can achieve up to 4.8 GHz on Turbo Boost. The DDR4 RAM of 16GB (can go up to 32GB) operates at 2400MHz. The performance you get is — wait for it — almost 70 percent faster than that in the former generation of processors!
The 13” MacBook is also a powerhouse, its quad-core processor at 2.7 GHz easily reaching up to 4.5 GHz. It works at twice the speed of its ancestors. So much so, that demanding tasks like video encoding, software code compilation or running virtual machines become a breeze. Sample this: The 15” model speeds up your build-time with Xcode4 by 75 percent, the 13” by 50 percent. The performance of TetrUSS computational fluid dynamics is 80 percent faster, and the processing of well-threaded filters up by 85 percent. Tasks like RAW image import, image repair, HEVC export and screen-to-disk rendering are all swifter — and how!
The processing brilliance is well complemented by the advanced macOS High Sierra operating system that lets you work seamlessly across devices (read: MacBook, iPhone, Apple Watch). It is a highly secure OS, doting heavily on data security and privacy. For instance, the Gatekeeper and Apple Pay keep you safe on the web. The Touch ID offers competent finger-based security. The Apple File System is designed for powerful encryption and backup. The Apple T2 Chip is especially notable for its secure booting and storage. Interestingly, the MacBook does allow you to work with Windows if you so desire. Yes – you can run Microsoft Office or even the entire Windows OS on the MacBook Pro.
Memory & Battery Backup
The love of speed also transcends into the storage territory. The expansive 4TB storage (2TB in the 13” model) is lightning-fast to access, the read-speed reaching up to 3.2GB/s. Let’s talk about that expansive storage again, though: the sheer universe of storage that this notebook makes available is adequate even for entire video libraries.
For all these grueling tasks, you don’t have to be constantly plugged in either. The MacBook Pro, despite its many demanding jobs, has a battery backup of 10 hours. On standby, the 83.6Wh battery can last up to 30 days.
The World of Design, Video and Music
MacBook pro has had a long and fruitful association with the design-minded populace, and indeed, this stylish machine holds design close to heart. Given the history, you’ve probably come to expect nothing short of mesmerizing beauty from a MacBook. Thankfully, the new MacBook pro does not disappoint.
The 15” model supports Radeon Pro 560X graphics with 4GB dedicated memory. The 13”, not to be left behind, complies with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 with 128MB embedded memory. The devices boast of a bright, LED-backlit Retina display (with 500 nits brightness and 227 pixels per inch). This high-contrast display supports In-Plane Switching and P3 wide color, enlivening for you 25 percent more colors than you’d find in sRGB.
The True Tone technology is particularly delightful: it intelligently adjusts white balance in accordance with your lighting conditions and color temperatures. The overall result is a wonderfully sharp, clear and accurate viewing experience, perfect for rendering three-dimensional models in Cinema 4D, working on meticulous Photoshop projects or immersing yourself in Fortnite (yeay!) or PUBG. The MacBook comes prepared to support an impressive array of design-software: Adobe Photoshop CC, Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro X, WebKit Compile, Pixelmator Pro and Blackmagic Fusion Studio, among others. Notably, the new MacBook Pro lets you work with up to nine full-resolution 4K video streams in Final Cut Pro X.
A special word on the external GPU you can pair with your MacBook Pro: the Blackmagic eGPU. Living up to its name, this GPU facilitates desktop-quality graphics without taking away the mobility of your notebook. It’s wonderfully quiet and efficient, realizing a Thunderbolt 3 display and VR accessories, letting you enjoy an immersive virtual reality experience.
Video and audio quality on the new MacBook Pro are both brilliant. You can easily maneuver through a 5120 x 2880 display or, on the 15”, get two displays of 4096 x 2304 (at 60Hz). The 13” model supports two displays of 3840 x 2160 resolution, also at 60Hz. Note that while the MacBook Pro’s native screen resolution is 2880 x 1800 (or 2560 x 1600 on the 13”), you have the flexibility to adjust to smaller numbers. For example, resolutions of 1680 x 1050 or 1024 by 640 are comfortably supported.
The sound is high-fidelity, has more bass and dynamic range, and the speakers allow great amplification. This is useful for mixing tracks or merely sitting back and enjoying pure sound.
Accessibility & Ease of Use
A significant victory of the MacBook is its butterfly-mechanism keyboard with a thoughtfully-designed TouchBar. The keyboard promises to be four times as stable as anything you’ve tried before and ultra-comfortable. The glass TouchBar, intended to replace the function keys, can predict the tools you’re most likely to need. It then changes accordingly. So, when you’re watching a film, you can quickly access volume controls. Or, if you’re composing a message, you can use predictive text/emoji. The TouchBar supports tapping, holding, flicking, you name it.
The MacBook Pro is devoted to keeping things accessible, come what may. Its trackpad experience is spacious, precise, and responsive (Taptic-Engine-enabled). It also has some stellar accessibility features like Voice Over, Reduce Motion and Siri, making it convenient even for users who need additional support with vision, hearing or motor skills.
Portability & Connectivity
At 0.61 x 13.75 x 9.48 inches and weighing 4.02 pounds, the MacBook Pro is reasonably portable. The 15” model comes with a thickness of 15.5mm (14.9mm in the 13”). It has been successfully tested to operate in rather extreme conditions: temperatures of 50° to 95° F and altitudes up to 10,000 feet, for instance.
To ensure you’ve everything you need on-the-go, there is a host of built-in apps, including GarageBand, Keynote, FaceTime (with a 720p camera), Photo Booth and iBooks. There are also four super-fast Thunderbolt 3 ports (two in the 13” model) with up to 40Gb/s throughput, Bluetooth 5.0 (Bluetooth 4.2 in 13”), and support for VGA, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 2 (through separately sold adapters). Bonus: The Thunderbolt 3 ports can support up to two 5k displays!
Coming to the cold cut — the price tag. The new MacBook Pro 15” starts at $2399. The 13” model is priced at $1299. Do the devices justify these prices? Well, let’s say, you’ll be getting home processing speeds you’re unlikely to find elsewhere, a stratospheric viewing experience, and a fluidity of use that genuinely makes life simpler. Add to this the sheer brilliance of design and style — and the range of projects you can smoothly accomplish. So yes, the new MacBook Pro is a gem.