After a ton of announcements last year, Apple didn’t show off any new hardware at its developer conference earlier this summer. It’s becoming clear why.
The company quietly announced today (July 12) that it had refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup. It first launched this line of Pro laptops in October 2016, and gave them a minor internal refresh last summer.
The new designs have been criticized by many; the higher-end models replaced the function and escape keys with a tiny touch screen called the Touch Bar, which has yet to prove more useful than a regular set of keys. More recently, the keyboard design has led to a class-action suit against Apple. The loud, clacky keys break easily, according to the suit.
Today’s refresh seems to address this, as the new computers will have a third version of the keys first introduced on Apple’s relaunched MacBook in 2015 that are supposed to be quieter. It’s unclear if they have been changed to address the issues in the lawsuit, however, and Apple wasn’t immediately available to comment.
The new models feature significant upgrades in memory and storage. The 15-inch version can now be equipped with a 2.9 GHz Intel Core i9 processor, 32 GB of memory, and a 4 TB solid-state hard drive. All the new laptops also feature a new “True Tone” HD display that’s supposed to be easier on the eyes in a range of situations, and the ability to activate Siri just by saying “Hey Siri,” like on iPhones.
But beyond that, the updates are minimal. The laptops still have the awkward Touch Bar, only have a few USB-C ports, and the same general design. Many of their Windows competitors have touch screens, and smaller profiles.
The 13-inch and 15-inch models will start at $1,799 and $2,399, respectively, and are available from Apple’s website today. But if you weren’t tempted to pick one up last year, it seems unlikely that these updates are going to be enough to spur you to drop so much cash this time around.