MacBook Pro 2017: Something New, Something Old
MacBook Pro 2017 lives up to the old English saying about a bride’s gown: something new, something old, something borrowed, something blue. Brides of the old times chose such an eclectic look in pledge of the happy marriage life.
As to that, we’re sure MacBook Pro 2017 will have a long and happy life, it will be much cooed and swooned about. But let’s see what really changed in the most desirable laptop in the world.
From the look of it the latest MacBook Pro is identical to the last year’s model.
The discrete look remained. The 13-inch MacBook Pro in a silverfish-gray aluminum casing is still the slimmest and lightest in its category (0.59 inches thick and 3.02 pounds). The 15-inch sibling picks up some size and weight as well (0.61 inches thick and 4.02 pounds). But the slightly bezelled desigh of the laptops disguise their true sizes.
The Retina displays stayed as well. A 227ppi screen at a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution for the younger 13-inch model and a 220ppi screen at a 2,880 x 1,800 resolution for the 15-inch model gives the best picture in the PC world. Displays is what Apple can be proud of. Obviously, it’s hard to invent something better than this, if we don’t speak about hologram screens.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2017 also failed to get the Touch Bar. This would be really nice. But perhaps the width of the keyboard makes the installation of this touch device unreasonable. And squeezing it into the smaller casing would have meant a considerate overhaul of the Touch Bar construction. Since the MacBook Pro upgrade took place at rather a short notice, engineers just hadn’t enough time for this.
The greatest change is concealed inside the MacBooks Pro 2017. And this is also the only reason Apple upgraded the line mid-year only six months after MacBooks Pro debut. The reason is called Kaby Lake, the 7th generation of Intel Core processors.
They too came out quite unexpectedly, warping the company’s tick-tock principle. And they are so fast, so cool (in both meaning of this word) and so powerful, that Apple had nothing left to do but to upgrade their iconic products.
Kaby Lake CPUs also come with a much integrated graphics, which is capable of streaming 4K media as well as media editing and creation. Yet the top level 15-inch models feature higher-end discrete graphics on the AMD Radeon chip: AMD Radeon Pro 555 and Radeon Pro 560 with up to 4GB of VRAM. This is quite a departure in hardware design for Apple. Discrete graphics can rarely be found in laptops, especially Cupetino’s laptops as they have never been positioned for gaming and entertainment.
Kaby Lake’s microarchitecture will allow Apple’s latest flagship laptops to prolong the battery life, but the company was careful in their press-release and promised the same 10-hours run.
The CPU upgrade involves the memory tweak as well. Usually because the newer processors can support faster memory than their predecessors. And the faster memory means the faster performance. Now the MacBook Pro line features the memory that operates at a 2,133MHz frequency. The specification for an entry level model of the MacBook Pro 2016 figured 1,866MHz. But the laptops of this year have 16 GB of memory tops. It’s a shame, really. Considering that Kaby Lake can support as much as 64GB and more, it’s a waste of their power.
And now the most painful issue of all – that of a price tag. The 13-inch non-touch bar model of 2017 is priced $1,299 (£1,249, AU$1,899). That’s not because Apple is now into charity, but because this model features just 128 GB of internal storage that is half less than in the previous year. So, if you don’t need the performance boost all that much, there’s no reason to ditch the 2016 model for the new one.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar remains at its original $2,399 (£2,349, AU$3,499) price. And buying this is on the contrary a good deal for you’ll get a better performance for the same money.
Is it worth buying the MacBooks Pro of 2017? Apart from the design and OS these laptops have no other advantages. Surface hybrids and laptops run on the CPU of the same generation and feature more RAM aboard plus the touch screen and not only one thin strip on the keyboard. On the other hand, hybrids sport too many features which start to conflict with each other. Their top models come without the keyboards from the box that somehow ruins the whole idea of the hybrid.
To cut it short, the choice is yours. If you’ve been in Apple’s ecosystem for years, upgrading your laptop seems only natural. If you want to move in from the Windows universe, the MacBook Pro 2017 also looks like a reasonable option. It’s as fast as iMac 2015 and shares the same display with it and it is not so expensive as the iMacs 2017. Some advice to start with Mac minis, but this is ridiculous towards the end of the 21st century’s second decade.
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