Apple unveiled an update to its 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display this week, as well as introducing a price reduction in the iMac line: a 27-inch version with a 5K Retina display, priced at $1,999.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro now has the Force Touch trackpad, a haptic feedback touchpad that Apple says allows greater precision, just like the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook models. It also received a speed upgrade to its solid state drive (SSD), improving the transfer speed by 2.5 times, to 2 GB per second.
The Force Touch trackpad does not actually click down, like Apple’s previous Multi-Touch trackpads, but instead uses a kind of haptic feedback to trick the user’s brain into thinking that it actually is clicking down. Apple also announced it is working on an application program interface (API) so third-party developers can create new apps and gestures built around the technology.
Apple did not boost the MacBook Pro’s internals, meaning it still has the same Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and Intel Iris Pro graphics processor (configurable to AMD Radeon R9 M370X). The higher-end MacBook pro features a 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost, which can increase speeds up to 3.7 GHz, and 16GB of memory. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is the only model that has not been updated to the newest generation of Intel CPU, but CNET reported that MacBooks with the new technology didn’t see much of a performance increase, other than in battery life.
“The performance boost, as in most Broadwell systems, is slim to negligible, but the greater power efficiency of those new chips pays a significant dividend.”
Despite the increased transfer speed, the MacBook Pro is still only available with up to 1 terabyte (TB) of PCIe-based flash storage space, meaning users’ ever-growing library of photos, videos, and applications will continue to make for a tight fit.
Much like the MacBook Pro, the new 27-inch iMac did not receive an upgrade in its CPU or GPU technology, but did add faster versions of both. The more expensive version ($2,299) features a 3.5GHz CPU and an AMD Radeon R9 M290X GPU, while the $1,999 version comes with a 3.3GHz Core i5 processor and AMD M290 GPU.
Last week, it was rumored that Apple was allowing its stock of 15-inch MacBook Pros to dwindle because they were planning to launch new MacBook Pros at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Since Apple did not wait for that event, could there could be new MacBook Pro, a new iPad, or maybe a brand new Apple product announcement at WWDC instead? Let us know what you expect in the comments below.