Mac pro 13.3 retina review

For some applications, such as Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro X, the Touch Bar is very useful, allowing you to scrub through a video or swap editing tools with the swipe of a finger. If a program is written to leverage the Touch Bar, it adapts the tools you see on the Bar when you have that program active.

Today's best Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13-inch (2017) and deals

For other apps, especially third-party web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, the Touch Bar offers no advantage, and simply displays virtual versions of the usual function keys. As a result, I continue to recommend that most consumers who don't need the higher processing power and loftier storage options of this Touch Bar MacBook Pro consider the entry-level inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar. It's only worth paying extra for a Touch Bar-equipped model if you need access to the more powerful component options, which, sadly, aren't available on the non-Touch Bar version.

The new MacBook Pro includes Bluetooth 5. The Four Thunderbolt 3 ports is more than most of the MacBook Pro's competitors offer, but you'll need to buy an adapter to connect pretty much any older peripheral.

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inch MacBook Pro review: Apple's lofty promises are finally realized

As usual, Apple offers an included one-year warranty that is extendable to three years for an additional charge. Inside, there's a new 2.


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Read speeds are also slightly improved, up from 2,MBps to 2,MBps. There's also an improved secondary processor that acts as a system management controller SMC for the SSD, speakers, Touch Bar, camera, fingerprint reader, and other features. This so-called "T2" chip, designed in-house by Apple, is powerful enough to enable an always-listening mode for Siri.

As you would with the iPad or iPhone, you can now say "Hey Siri," and the personal digital assistant built into the MacBook Pro will respond with no physical input necessary. The new T2 chip also enables secure booting, which you can configure using the macOS recovery utility.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display (2015): Unboxing & Overview

Just as intriguing, it also provides hardware encryption for the entire SSD, a welcome supplement to macOS's built-in software encryption if you're privy to extremely sensitive data. The MacBook Pro initially shipped with faulty thermal-management firmware that reduced CPU power if it detected too much heat, resulting in unecessarily slow overall performance.

Apple has issued a firmware patch to correct the issue, and after applying it on our test unit, I found some benchmark results improved by as much as 25 percent. All of the results listed below are from tests performed with the firmware update installed.


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See more about our before-and-after analysis of the test results. The new MacBook Pro took just 1 minute to encode a four-minute HD video file into an iPhone-friendly format using Handbrake, a task that's a hard grind for the CPU and makes use of the most cores and threads it can get its mitts on. The four cores and eight threads in the MacBook Pro's Core i7 chip are telling here.

The encoding time is more than twice as fast as last year's dual-core base-model inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and even better than last year's inch MacBook Pro 1: Some decidedly bigger Windows laptops we've tested with the latest CPUs were significantly faster on this test; I included a few here not because they are direct competitors an Alienware machine certainly is not but for the context of what a higher-powered CPU can do. With its beastly Intel Core i9 processor, the Alienware 17 R5 gaming laptop accomplished the Handbrake conversion in just 48 seconds.

Note that the also-revamped inch MacBook Pro is available with a Core i9 CPU as an upgrade option, along with a dedicated Radeon graphics chip that comes standard. We haven't tested it yet. The performance story is much the same when it comes to our Cinebench R15 test, which almost exclusively harnesses CPU performance.

The more cores and threads a CPU has, the better it will do on this test. Unsurprisingly, with a score of , the MacBook Pro is almost twice as fast as its predecessor , which, in our test configuration, had an Intel Core i5 with half the number of cores and threads.

Key Change: Quieter Butterfly Switches

It did perform much better than the HP ZBook x2 , a detachable 2-in-1 workstation-grade tablet that, like the MacBook Pro itself, is marketed as a powerhouse for creative professionals. Remember that the machines with inch chassis and higher-power Intel Core H-series processors as opposed to the ultra-low-power U-series ones in the MacBook Pros are not strict competitors, but charted here for perspective, an indication of how far the four-core CPU brings the MacBook Pro relative to bigger notebooks that cost roughly the same.

When it comes to editing images in Photoshop CS6, one of the quintessential Mac computing tasks, the new MacBook Pro again showed itself vastly improved compared with last year's model. It finished applying our lineup of 11 sample image filters in just 2 minutes and 35 seconds, compared with 3: Only the Alienware 17 R5 fared better in our competitive set, at 2: See How We Test Laptops.

This year's Iris Plus silicon recorded more than the 30 frames per second fps minimum for enjoyable gameplay on our Heaven and Valley simulations at Medium quality settings. But even the Iris Plus silicon is not capable enough to play demanding games at HD resolution and maximum quality settings, or to serve as a proficient accelerator for video-editing suites like Davinci Resolve. But the fact that Apple still doesn't offer any form of discrete graphics chip on the inch MacBook Pro is somewhat disappointing, especially if you're eyeing the top-of-the line version. Both of these machines are roughly the same size as the MacBook Pro, but even thinner.

During each of the performance tests, and even while typing this story, the entire chassis of the laptop grew quite warm to the touch, though not uncomfortably hot. Despite the heat, fan noise is rare. I was able to hear the fans spooling up only once during a full day of mixed use. Battery life did not take the hit it could have by this machine moving to four cores. At 14 hours and 35 minutes of nonstop video playback at halfway screen brightness, battery life is excellent, and nearly identical to last year's model.

It will certainly last you through a full day of web browsing, typing, and other light use without visiting a wall plug. The battery life is even more impressive considering the more powerful processor, though sustained, hard use that hits the CPU and RAM often will likely shorten the number. As an incremental improvement over last year's Touch Bar-equipped inch MacBook Pro, the model is not worth an immediate upgrade if you have a or later model MacBook Pro, unless you absolutely need both the raw processing uptick and, for whatever reason, cannot sacrifice any portability to get it.

If you're on a longer upgrade cycle, though, and like to order a top-of-the-line laptop in the hopes of future-proofing, it's worth a closer look. Everything you need to know about buying Apple's updated laptop Apple has updated both the inch and inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Here's everything you need to know about the changes. If your MacBook fails, it may be nearly impossible to recover data: Here's why TechRepublic The Apple T2 chip found in MacBook Pros is meant to improve security and encryption, but makes it harder to save your data from the system.

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Finally, a Retina display…

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MacBook Pro 13-inch (2018): A perfect choice for creatives Review

Ulefone Armor 6 8. But we can still draw a few conclusions from the video conversion app HandBrake. When we tried to transcode a second 4K clip with the software's Super High Quality p setting, the new MacBook Pro averaged an encoding speed of 7. Last year's i5 model, on the other hand, clocked 4. And in Cinebench, a popular cross-platform benchmark, the new MacBook Pro reached a score of , while the older one clocked in at I was also surprised that I could play games decently on the new machine without lowering the screen resolution.

Tacoma hovered between 30 and 35fps while playing at 2, by 1, You wouldn't mistake the inch MacBook Pro for a gaming laptop, but at least you have the option of dipping your toes into something fun. Another nice upgrade: Apple has rebounded with some decent battery performance.

Our laptop lasted 12 hours and 25 minutes in our standard battery test, which involves looping an HD video until it dies. That's a great jump forward from , when it clocked just under 10 hours. Though it's heavier, the inch model is better suited to serious work. And if you're dealing with complex audio and video editing, you'll appreciate the larger screen.

There's also, finally, an external graphics option specifically designed for Macs: That could just end up being a gimmick, but in theory it can do much more than the Touch Bar. If you've been a Mac loyalist for years, it's worth taking a look to see what else is out there. While this latest generation of the MacBook Pro might seem understated, it's a more significant upgrade than last year's, when Apple just added some aging CPUs. These new models are more powerful than ever -- though, if that's your main concern, you should probably lean toward the inch model.

But it's also clear that Apple has been falling a bit behind the competition, which has been offering the same CPUs and better graphics for months. It's clear that these machines are meant to appease Apple's fans, not win over new ones. All products recommended by Engadget were selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company, Verizon Media. If you buy something through one of our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. The Buyer's Guide. US Edition.

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