Apple’s top of the line MacBook Pro’s have been plagued by criticism since their launch in 2015. Besides the questionable usability of the Touch Bar, the main issue has been the reliability of the keyboard.

The Butterfly mechanism has apparently been re-engineered to be quieter, but not necessarily more reliable. And if you spend thousands of dollars on an expensive laptop only for the keyboard to die over a mere grain of sand.

Today, however, Apple announced refreshed models for the Touch Bar 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Touch Bar 15-inch MacBook Pro. The changes are internal, as the design remains unchanged.

In Apple’s own words:

“The latest generation MacBook Pro is the fastest and most powerful notebook we’ve ever made,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Now with 8th-generation 6-core processors, up to 32GB of system memory, up to 4TB of super-fast SSD storage, new True Tone technology in its Retina display and Touch Bar, the Apple T2 chip for enhanced security and a third-generation quieter keyboard packed into its thin and light aluminum design with all-day battery life, it’s the best notebook for pro users.”

Anyway. If the above doesn’t bother you, let’s see what your well-earned cash can get you at Apple.

8th gen Intel Processors

The 15-inch Pro gets a processor upgrade, going from the outdated quad-core processors to current-gen, six-core i7 or the i9. The 13-inch MacBook Pro, on the other hand, goes from the current dual-core CPUs to 8th-gen quad-core i5 and i7 models, giving them the much needed and expected performance boosts.

Memory and storage upgrades

If you are a power user, you will be pleased to know that the 15-inch MacBook Pro can be fitted with up to 32 GB of RAM. The 13-inch MacBook Pro version is still limited to 16 GB.

Also, maximum storage has doubled, from 1 TB for the 2 TB for the 13-inch model and from 2 TB for the 15-inch model to a whopping 4 TB of SSD storage. Keep in mind though: that upgrade will costs you, on itself, a cool USD 3200!

True Tone Retina Display

True Tone originally found on the most recent iPhones and iPad Pros, comes now to the MacBook Pro. This tech uses light sensors to automatically adjust the color temperature of the display to best match the lighting of your environment. While this can improve your viewing experience, you will be glad to know that, if needed, you can switch it off, to ensure color integrity while photo or video editing.

Specifications Overview

15-Inch MacBook Pro Highlights

  • 6-core Intel Core i7 and Core i9 processors up to 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.8 GHz
  • Up to 32GB of DDR4 memory
  • Powerful Radeon Pro discrete graphics with 4GB of video memory in every configuration
  • Up to 4TB of SSD storage2
  • True Tone display technology
  • Apple T2 Chip
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

13-Inch MacBook Pro Highlights

  • Quad-core Intel Core i5 and i7 processors up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz and double the eDRAM
  • Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics 655 with 128MB of eDRAM
  • Up to 2TB of SSD storage2
  • True Tone display technology
  • Apple T2 Chip
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

Early Thoughts

The processor, RAM, and SSD upgrades should please professionals that were worried Apple would wait until after the summer to launch the new MacBooks. On the other hand, the most worrying issue remains the unreliable keyboard. And while Apple says this third generation version is quieter, it doesn’t say anything about being more reliable.

It’s true that every tech product has its flaws, but risking a faulty keyboard because of small dust particles is a bit too much to ask, in my opinion. Hopefully, tests will show later on that Apple got it right this time.