Yesterday, we were introduced to Apple’s latest lineup of MacBook Pros. Today, we meet one of three new models announced. This is the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2016). It will be sold alongside the 13-inch MacBook Pro. I know, it’s a little confusing but this is the lesser expensive MacBook Pro that is a little bit more underpowered and lacks the Touch Bar and Touch ID sensor that the more expensive MacBook Pros have.
The box is a pretty typical MacBook. It comes in a slightly smaller box than the previous generation MacBook Pro 13-inch because of its smaller footprint. It is both shorter and narrower than the last generation MacBook Pro.
Once you peel off the wrap and lift up the lid, you are greeted with the new MacBook Pro in the color you selected. This one in delicious Space Gray. The first feeling when you lift this thing up is the solidness of the machine. It has a super dense feel to the light 3 lbs weight. Its cold aluminum surface just screams high quality. Also in the box is the charger, now a USB Type-C charger that does not come with the extension cable. The charger is 61 watts, which is much more powerful than the MacBook’s 29 watts battery charger. You also have a small sleeve that contains some documentation and the ever famous Apple stickers.
Back to the MacBook Pro itself. This thing is absolutely beautiful. It’s 14.9mm thick all around, weighs 3 lbs and is completely made out of aluminum. It’s also physically smaller in volume than the previous generation 13-inch MacBook Pro. This all means that it’s much closer to the 12-inch MacBook in size than its own predecessor.
The big news with the new MacBook Pros is the Touch Bar. This model, however, is the less expensive one without it. So what does this have going for? Well, it still shares the same new display, which is now rated at 500 nits; the brightest display on any Mac ever produced. It also has the 2nd generation butterfly mechanism underneath its keyboard, a slightly improved keyboard from the MacBook’s keyboard that just has a hair more travel. And look at that trackpad. It’s about 2 times larger than the trackpad on the last generation MacBook Pro. Even when compared to the current MacBook’s trackpad, which is quite large for its size, the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s trackpad is absolutely massive.
Also new is the I/O. The death of basically everything except USB Type-C or commonly known as Thunderbolt 3 and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Yes, I said a headphone jack. Apple hasn’t quite killed off that on their notebooks. But I feel the same fate will eventually come to their notebooks at some time.
Hardware-wise, this MacBook Pro comes with pretty disappointing specs. It’s packed with a 2GHz dual-core Intel i5 6th Gen chip with 8GB of super fast RAM and 256GB of even faster SSD storage. It has Intel’s 540 integrated graphics and that’s about it. I’m sure it’s capable of video editing and other more intensive tasks but you won’t be getting the same performance that the 15-inch MacBook Pro offers. It’s kind of a shame to not see dedicated graphics or even a quad-core processor being offered on the 13-inch MacBook Pro. For the price, which is still pretty high at $1500, the biggest internal competition is the MacBook that’s all specked out. Is the MacBook Pro a better choice? I’ll definitely get around to answering that in due time.
That wraps it up for this unboxing and first look of the new 2016 MacBook Pro.