Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Updated MacBook Pros With Performance Improvements, True Tone Displays, and ‘Hey, Siri’ Support

Apple PR:

Apple today updated MacBook Pro with faster performance and new pro features, making it the most advanced Mac notebook ever. The new MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar feature 8th-generation Intel Core processors, with 6-core on the 15-inch model for up to 70 percent faster performance and quad-core on the 13-inch model for up to two times faster performance — ideal for manipulating large data sets, performing complex simulations, creating multi-track audio projects or doing advanced image processing or film editing.

Already the most popular notebook for developers around the world, the new MacBook Pro can compile code faster and run multiple virtual machines and test environments easier than before. Additional updates include support for up to 32GB of memory, a True Tone display and an improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing. And with its powerful Radeon Pro graphics, large Force Touch trackpad, revolutionary Touch Bar and Touch ID, dynamic stereo speakers, quiet Apple-designed cooling system and Thunderbolt 3 for data transfer, charging and connecting up to two 5K displays or four external GPUs, it’s the ultimate pro notebook.

I like surprises and I like spec bumps, so this update is very much up my alley.

Dieter Bohn of the Verge was among a handful of journalists invited to a small demo event:

We got only minutes (and no more) to interact with the new hardware. So at best, I can tell you that the keyboard does seem quite a bit less clacky than current MacBooks, though key travel is the same.

[…]

When we asked Apple representatives at the event exactly how the keyboard was changed to make it quieter, they declined to specify.

I’m conflicted about this. There is evidence to suggest that Apple has been improving the durability of the keyboard in the MacBook Pro, and I would be surprised if that trend has not continued given the cost of repairs to them. Nothing has been mentioned to that regard, though; Apple’s statements about the keyboard have been fairly substance-free.

But would Apple mention reliability improvements if they had indeed made any? They’ve maintained that the reported problems with the keyboard are not widespread, and I’m sure Apple would rather not have press coverage around these updates be specifically about the keyboard, thereby refocusing the issue on its susceptibility to defeat by dust. But, also, given the coverage so far about the unreliability of the butterfly keyboards, wouldn’t they want users to know that they’ve heard the complaints and can trust the revised version?