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Portables (Apple) Apple Hardware

Apple Unveils New MacBook Pro Featuring OLED Touch Bar, Touch ID - Powered By Intel Skylake Processor (arstechnica.com) 361

At an event on Thursday, Apple unveiled the new 2016 MacBook Pro. The redesigned MacBook Pro comes with "incredible extreme" all-metal body. The main attraction of the new MacBook Pro is an OLED touch strip at the top that Apple is calling the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar comes with a fingerprint scanner Touch ID that users can tap to log-in quickly to their computer as well as make online payments. The touch strip offers on-screen button that changes according to the application you're running. Schiller, Apple SVP, said it was time Apple gotten rid of the dedicated function keys. The new MacBook Pro is thinner and lighter than the existing model, and it is powerful too. It comes in two screen sizes: 13-inch, which weighs 3 pounds and measures 14.9mm -- down from 18mm from older MacBook Pro. The trackpad is larger too, Apple says, twice as larger than the older one. Also, it's Force Touch trackpad. ArsTechnica adds: Both laptops are still recognizably MacBook Pros, but in keeping with Apple's design priorities they've got slimmer profiles and smaller footprints. This is made possible in part by the move to USB Type-C ports like the one in the MacBook, all four of which support Thunderbolt 3. All four ports can be used to charge the system, too. Compared to the measly one port in the MacBook, the MacBook Pros are much more appealing to people who plug lots of stuff into their computers at once. Apple has also made the cowardly decision to retain the headset jack. Both systems include new Intel Skylake processors -- dual-core chips in the 13-inch Pro and quad-core chips in the 15-inch model, just like before. The 13-inch Pros ship exclusively with Intel Iris 540 GPUs, while the 15-inch models ship with Polaris-based AMD Radeon graphics at the high-end.The 13-inch model MacBook Pro starts at $1,799, whereas the 15-inch model starts at $2,399.
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Apple Unveils New MacBook Pro Featuring OLED Touch Bar, Touch ID - Powered By Intel Skylake Processor

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  • by bsharp8256 ( 1372285 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @01:18PM (#53162791)
    And I don't see an escape key. :(
    • Apple Menu -> System Preferences... -> Keyboard -> Keyboard Tab -> Modifier Keys and select Esc for Caps Lock.

      I mean, you had that mapped already, right?

    • It does when it needs it. Virtual Fn keys. Which can also become controls or other things when the program wants them to.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Virtual Fn keys

        I prefer real f'n keys with real f'n tactile feedback. Virtual keys don't make any f'n sense to me.

        • Then get a model M and annoy the hell of your office mates!

          • by alexandre_ganso ( 1227152 ) <surak@surak.eti.br> on Thursday October 27, 2016 @01:47PM (#53163005)

            Don't forget the $80 adapter from thunderbolt 3 to normal thunderbolt so you can plug in your $200 thunderbolt-to-usb dock where you can have a usb-to-ps2 adapter, connected to a ps2-to-xt keyboard adapter, though! IT'S MAGIC

            • It's a thunderbolt/usb-c port, so you don't have to convert to usb. You can go straight from usb to ps/2, though I don't know if they make a usb-c to ps/2 adapter.

              • Ok, so you buy a USB-C-to-Thunderbolt2 adapter, plug your Thunderbolt-to-USB adapter into that, and then plug your USB-to-PS/2 adapter into that.

                Dongles on dongles.

            • I actually do have a circa 2001 split keyboard with no brand name on it anywhere and PS2 connectors plugged into a PS2-USB Dongle and then the KVM Switch Port 2 on the KVM is connected to the OWC Thunderbolt 2 dock and a 2013 Macbook Pro.

        • Well, that's your f'n problem. Go buy some other f'n laptop that doesn't dynamically f'n adjust to the f'n program that's currently f'n running.

    • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @01:32PM (#53162909)
      You are doing it wrong. "Siri, press the escape key" :-)
    • I'm sure apps that need escape, such as terminal and Vim, will have a way to get it mapped to the corner of the touch bar. And as others noted, there's always remapping that caps lock key.

      No doubt someone will come out with a little hack to keep the escape key always in the corner.

      • It appears as standard. When nothing maps to the the bar, esc is always there.

        Now I want to see vi mappings for this bar!

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Harder to hit without a physical key. Even not having the standard 4-4-4 spacing is a deal-breaker for me.

        The suggested uses for the touch bar are stupid. Spelling suggestions? I'm looking at the screen, not the keyboard. Reconfiguring shortcut keys defeat the purpose of shortcut keys.

    • It sounds like it's software configurable, and that there will be an API to control this, from how it's described. That would be the ideal solution, so if someone just wanted to put the old function keys back, they can do that, rather than having to hold the Fn key down, which sounds awkward - maybe even allowing it to be toggled. It sort of depends on how much control Apple allows, of course.

      It's hard to say without using it, but this could turn into a neat feature. Function keys are nothing more than a

    • And I don't see an escape key. :(

      I guess you didn't watch the video of the Apple event, where the touch bar had, in many scenes, a button on the left hand edge marked "esc". (As I said in comments for the rumor article, it's not directly above the {~ `} key, so your muscle memory may have some issues with it.)

    • Actually there is a new model with escape and function keys. A model without the Touch Bar.

      http://www.apple.com/macbook-p... [apple.com]
    • You must not have looked to hard, I saw it multiple times during their presentation.

  • Is this where the fabled escape key has been banished to? It's going to be awkward using vim, but I won't have to worry about that for a while, hopefully. My 2011 MacBook Pro is still fulfilling my needs.
    • Is this where the fabled escape key has been banished to?

      Yes - there were several scenes in the video of the Apple event showing a virtual key labeled "esc" on the left-hand edge of the touch bar (although, as I've noted elsewhere, it's not directly above the {~ `} key, which may get in the way of muscle memory).

  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @01:23PM (#53162827) Homepage Journal

    You've introduced the capacitive touch bar my wife's 10 year old HP Pavilion Media laptop has been rockin' forever!

    (I really do to this day think that part of the laptop is really cool, except when I swipe to change the volume and it doesn't work the first time)

    • It's not as trivial as a simple touch bar. It's basically one big long retina touch screen. It's actually pretty cool.

      Too bad the rest of the laptop is a steaming pile of wank, at a price that's even more ridiculous. I mean, not even an HDMI port?

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      The touch bar on your wife's machine will change its controls to suit the app you're using?
      Oh... no. It's just gimmicky media controls you can't operate by feel.

  • by Godai ( 104143 ) * on Thursday October 27, 2016 @01:24PM (#53162839)

    I can see some interesting use cases for that TouchBar, but dear God, when that Photoshop lady was demonstrating using the mousepad & TouchBar at the same time, I cringed. I mimicked it on my keyboard in front of me and my wrists cried out in pain -- I can't imagine how it'd be if the keyboard was in my lap (i.e. on a laptop).

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I do a lot of repetitive motion in my lap and my wrists are fine.

    • I can see some interesting use cases for that TouchBar, but dear God, when that Photoshop lady was demonstrating using the mousepad & TouchBar at the same time, I cringed. I mimicked it on my keyboard in front of me and my wrists cried out in pain -- I can't imagine how it'd be if the keyboard was in my lap (i.e. on a laptop).

      Anyone that is doing much more than casual, every once in awhile Photoshop work...already is using something like a wacom tablet and pen.

      You can get more control and that combine

  • by rthille ( 8526 ) <web-slashdot@ranga t . org> on Thursday October 27, 2016 @01:36PM (#53162931) Homepage Journal

    Waited years for an update and this is it? Seriously? A touch bar? That's what they added? It took years to add something that other manufacturers added and abandoned?

    What I'm most pissed about is that they are offering a "pro" system with a max of 16GB of RAM.

    I'll be looking elsewhere and seeing what better, truly "pro" laptops can be hacked to run MacOS.

  • I suppose neither RAM nor SSD can be upgraded or replaced.

    I know I am miserable, but it gets expensive to buy maximum RAM from the beginning. And it sucks to have too little RAM down the road.
    But with a non repairable/replacable SSD, who wants to spend too much money on a laptop?

    Or am I wrong?

    • You are actually right about the memory. Not sure about the SSD, which is ridiculously small. Come on, 256gb default on the 13"? Is this 2010? That's 200 bucks for a 512gb SD card. Oh wait, no SD card reader anymore...

  • The market for 17" MacBooks only gets stronger.

    Also, all 17" laptops use Optimus video which isn't compatible with Mac OS X.

    Apple has completely abandoned pro users and depends on i-crap zealots to attack us and keep up quiet.

  • Being that Apple has more cash in the bank that many Western countries currently do, it's obviously understandable that supporting a 17" model just isn't something they could afford to do; a no-holds-barred, high-performance machine with mondo ports that would serve the needs of the very same faithful but demanding professional users who have been supporting them all these years through thick and thin and historically were spending mucho dineros buying quantities of these beasts. (a.k.a. the small vocal min
  • "...comes with 'incredible extreme' all-metal body..."
    "The touch strip offers on-screen button..."
    "Schiller, Apple SVP, said it was time Apple gotten rid of the dedicated function keys"
    "Apple says, twice as larger than the older one"

    Summary written by Tomik and Bellgarde: http://familyguy.wikia.com/wiki/Tomik_and_Bellgarde [wikia.com]
  • I've been an Apple user since 06 when they went Intel (strictly *nix for 22 years before that other than a brief, self abusive period using Windows in the late 90s) and I don't understand why the retina, multi-touch tech of the TouchBar isn't implement in the screen as well. Touch may not have seemed important 8 or 9 years ago but between tablets and smartphones touch has become a much more common part of the computing experience.

    As long as I'm complaining, I also don't understand why the 13" MBP is limit
    • by berj ( 754323 )

      As long as I'm complaining, I also don't understand why the 13" MBP is limited to 8 Gig of Ram

      It's not.

      • $200 to add 8GB of RAM

        $50 for the RAM and $150 for the Apple tax

      • Yes. I see that in the store now. They didn't mention that as an option in the presentation.

        You can also get 2TB SSD in 15" MBP. If/when I upgrade that may be enough to drag me back to a 15" notebook.
    • I've been an Apple user since 06 when they went Intel (strictly *nix for 22 years before that other than a brief, self abusive period using Windows in the late 90s) and I don't understand why the retina, multi-touch tech of the TouchBar isn't implement in the screen as well.

      I've been an Apple user since 1985, using Unix most of that time -- UniPlus+ on a Lisa, then A/UX on a Mac II, then a bit of a hiatus running terminal programs to get into remote Unix systems until OS X came along. (And, let me tell you, it wasn't always fun.)

      I was a happy Fingerworks TouchStream user during the last decade. I'm still sore at Apple for shutting them down when they bought out their multi-touch technology. I want all that cool gestural technology back.

      I do not want it on my desktop displays,

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Touch Bar comes with a fingerprint scanner Touch ID that users can tap to log-in quickly to their computer

    The courts have said a few times that compelling someone to unlock their phone with their fingerprint is not a 5th amendment violation (forcing them to tell a password would be).

    So don't plan on using this laptop for anything you're not willing to show to the authorities....or anyone else who can mock up a dummy fingerprint, which is surprisingly easy to do. They can probably just lift a print fr

  • For people who type too fast. Now instead of typing away while watching the screen you now have to keep switching your focus between the screen and keyboard/touchbar.
    • That was one seriously weird thing about that part of the demo. Autocomplete suggestions down in the new touchbar? Do they think users are staring at the keyboard as they type rather than at the screen?

      Of course people like Ive and Cook, who designed and approved this move, almost certainly don't do much of their own typing. But it seems like a breathtakingly brain-dead idea from a company that used to obsess over the end user experience.

  • How many TB3 bus's? video card at pci-e 3.0 X8? as well?

  • by Bueller_007 ( 535588 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @01:52PM (#53163073)

    2016 marks the end of Apple brand loyalty. We have quite clearly reached the point where the roadmap Steve Jobs laid out has ended, and now Cook and Ives are on their own, screwing things up as they go.

    The outrage about today's keynote at AppleInsider is palpable. Among the common complaints are:

    - These computers are overpriced and underwhelming. The price of the entry-level MacBook Pro was bumped up hundreds of dollars, and all they did was increase the price and remove ports from it. (The entry-level model only has two Thunderbolt ports (USB, etc. have been removed), and one of the ports has to be used for charging! What kind of "Pro" computer is that???)
    - The mind boggles that they removed the "esc" key from a supposedly "Pro" computer.
    - They removed the MagSafe connector, which is arguably one of the greatest features of Apple's laptops.
    - The only connections are Thunderbolt 3, meaning that you will need a dongle for ~anything~ you want to connect. Do you own an iOS device? Better hope you have a USB-C adapter for it.
    - Removal of the SD drive.

    Apparently Apple has also been sending out emails to some of its customers asking if they use features such as the headphone jack on their laptop. (Because of course, they're going to remove it from there as well.)

    This company has lost its mind.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 27, 2016 @01:57PM (#53163111)

    Did you catch in one of the videos where the Touch Bar changed to show the Accept/Decline buttons of an incoming Facetime call? Imagine being in the middle of an important workflow, and as you move your finger to touch a virtual key, it suddenly changes its meaning, and because you shouldn't have to keep moving your eyes from the display to the keyboard, you end up affecting that call by mistake? The user should *never* have to look at the keyboard to confirm they are typing what they think they're typing. Hell, the way that Touch Bar works, even looking at it isn't good enough if the keys can change meaning right out from under your fingers.

    • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @02:06PM (#53163171)

      Wanted to give this one mod points, but figured I'll have too much to say in this thread.

      In any situation where the display can change out from under an in-progress action -- for example, an Outlook reminder popping up in the middle of a standard Windows keyboard-and-mouse workflow -- the very first thing that a well-integrated system should do is to check the interpretation of the next user action (click, keystroke, etc) against the pre-existing interaction state, explicitly accounting for human reaction times. If I've just hit Return, and that event is going to a confirmation dialog that was displayed 0.05 seconds ago, there is no way that I've seen and read the dialog.

      But I have yet to use any system that does this consistently. If anybody's going to lead the way on it, I'd expect it to be Apple, or Microsoft with the Surface stuff -- but I'm betting that they haven't, at least not yet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wanted to give this one mod points, but figured I'll have too much to say in this thread.

        In any situation where the display can change out from under an in-progress action -- for example, an Outlook reminder popping up in the middle of a standard Windows keyboard-and-mouse workflow -- the very first thing that a well-integrated system should do is to check the interpretation of the next user action (click, keystroke, etc) against the pre-existing interaction state, explicitly accounting for human reaction times. If I've just hit Return, and that event is going to a confirmation dialog that was displayed 0.05 seconds ago, there is no way that I've seen and read the dialog.

        But I have yet to use any system that does this consistently. If anybody's going to lead the way on it, I'd expect it to be Apple, or Microsoft with the Surface stuff -- but I'm betting that they haven't, at least not yet.

        Good idea. Actually, from what I've seen, Firefox (of all places) is leading the way here. When certain popups show up (like file downloads and add-on installers), it doesn't let the user click to accept for a couple of seconds.

        Too bad this idea hasn't been refined or caught on further among "UX experts."

  • Today's announcements confirmed to me that I made the right choice getting a refurbished 2015 MacBook Pro this past spring. Not only do I have all the ports Apple chose to remove from this new laptop*, I don't have to put up with the inevitable problems that occur with the first generation of any Apple product where they've made some major hardware changes.

    As far as the processor generation goes... it's probably been six or seven years since the CPU has been even a marginally limiting factor with anything I

  • No updates or price cut's to other apple hardware!

    Did the new microsoft surface all in one make them scrap / rework the new imac?

    apple planing to kill all desktops? if they do at least let us run mac os server in a VM on any base hardware!

  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @02:17PM (#53163273)

    No new desktops at all. A laptop that has no video ports, no magsafe power, no SD card slot... just 4 stupid thunderbolt ports that will require a rats nest of dongles to make usable.

    And Apple wonders why their revenues are nosediving?

    • by Whatsmynickname ( 557867 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @03:17PM (#53163651)
      Not only that, their entry level model has TWO, count em, TWO total USB-C ports! One of these ports will be probably utilized by the charger, so that leaves ONE ONE ONE open port.

      This replaces a Magsafe charger port, two thunderbolt ports, HDMI port, and a SD card slot!

      Even their so called wide gamut display uses the P3 color space, and is usually used for projectors. If you want to create content, the display should be a Adobe RGB based gamut. This laptop must be designed for consume only purposes, not to create content.

      Really Apple? You must either be attempting to drive your fan base away from laptops or turning your laptops into consume-only devices like your iPhones. Which begs the question why is this laptop labelled "Pro"? Pro what?
  • The good: Amazing screen, speakers, compact build, good battery life, nice sound, comfortable input devices.
    The bad: No 32GB? AYFKM?! Holy crap! JI can go EABOD. Perhaps they'll release an upgrade in the form a Tbolt dongle ;-)
  • by imAck ( 102644 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @09:17PM (#53165933) Homepage

    I went from being a researcher and developer to being in technical management. I also spend much of my time on the road and on the go. I switched to Mac from dual-boot PC's shortly after OSX. It had everything I needed. It just worked. I closed the lid when the plane was about to land, and an hour later, voila. I could be in a terminal running screen on multiple servers, and 'alt-tab' to MS-Outlook to accept a meeting invite. I could go from coding in vim and compiling in a Unix environment to, *gasp*, editing a power point. I even run multiple VM's, and with a simple USB hub could have a complete office on the go. Even iTunes didn't use to be all that terrible. I'd laugh at all those PC people enslaved to the one bank of power outlets at the airport, while I was smugly charging both phones from my computer, confident I'd still have juice for the next flight. And it didn't hurt that the thing looked like a luxury car, and didn't feel like something that looked like it was trying to be a luxury car. Oh and lasted more than a year under substantial use. And lastly that my whole setup weighed less than the power brick for many other machines (I'm looking at you, HP).

    Sadly, I feel those days coming to an end, and I'm honestly not sure what will be next.

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