Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, 2017 Touch Bar Version) Review


Introduction, Design, & Features

People purchase 13.3-inch laptops for grab-and-go comfort and portability that no desktop substitute can fit. Many additionally purchase to make a manner commentary: While there are a couple of easy note-takers just like the $329 Acer Swift 1 within the phase, techniques just like the Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre x360 are govt standing symbols with probably the most most fashionable designs and complex engineering within the pocket book global. And the fanciest, flashiest compact you’ll be able to purchase is the 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

The smaller sibling of the 15-inch MacBook Pro could also be concerning the priciest compact you’ll be able to purchase, beginning at $1,799 for our take a look at unit with a 3.1GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core CPU, 8GB of reminiscence, a 256GB PCIe solid-state force, and Intel Iris Plus 650 built-in graphics. Its Retina show provides 2,560×1,600 decision at 227 pixels in step with inch.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2017 Touch Bar) angle

By distinction, a similar XPS 13—with a lower-resolution 1,920×1,080 display however a quicker Core i7 processor—is $1,249. If you outfit the Dell with a super-high-res 3,200×1,800 contact display, it nonetheless is available in south of the Apple ($1,599). If price is not any object, the MacBook Pro can also be upgraded at ordering time with a 3.5GHz Core i7 chip ($300), 16GB of RAM ($200), and a 512GB ($200) or 1TB ($600) solid-state force.

Is the Pro well worth the cash? What are its highlights and lowlights? And may just its hardest festival come now not from Windows laptops, however from Apple? Let’s take a look at the solutions.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2017 Touch Bar) rear angle


If you are aware of Apple laptops, the MacBook Pro’s aluminum unibody development shall be like an outdated buddy—a clean, narrow slab to be had in silver or our take a look at unit’s Space Gray, with a chrome Apple brand adorning the lid and black keys arrayed in a recessed keyboard deck.

Speaking of being handy to hold, the Pro in the beginning look turns out strikingly small (it is zero.59 via 12 via 8.4 inches), virtually extra like an 11.6- or 12.5-inch-screened pc than a 13.3-inch type—it is thinner and has a significantly smaller footprint than the once-remarkable MacBook Air (zero.68 via 12.8 via 8.9 inches). The bezels on all sides of the display are svelte and the keyboard spans virtually the entire width of the gadget—it is flanked via two slim speaker grilles. If there may be this type of factor as taking a look swish and lovely on the identical time, the petite Pro manages it.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2017 Touch Bar) lid

At 3.02 kilos, the Apple is a couple of oz. heavier than the 2.7-pound XPS 13 or the 2.6-pound Lenovo IdeaPad 710S Plus, let on my own the 2.1-pound LG Gram 13, nevertheless it’d be absurd to name it burdensome. Call it, quite, succesful and solid-feeling; there is no flex while you seize the show corners or mash the G and H keys within the keyboard tray. It’s simple to toss right into a backpack together with its sq. AC adapter (which blocks an adjoining outlet in an influence strip however is sort of sufficiently small to shove right into a pants pocket).

A rundown of the Pro’s ports does not take lengthy: There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports at the left edge and two extra plus an audio jack at the proper edge. As you recognize, modern-as-tomorrow Thunderbolt 3 ports be offering USB-C and DisplayPort capability in addition to high-bandwidth video, docking, and garage enhance; any of the 4 works with the USB-C energy adapter.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2017 Touch Bar) left ports
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2017 Touch Bar) right ports

But that does not forestall us from lacking USB (Type A) and HDMI ports and an SD card slot, or bemoaning the want to lift dongles for present-day peripherals (Apple’s USB-C to USB-A adapter is $19; its HDMI and VGA adapters, with bonus USB-A ports, are $69 every). There’s this type of factor as being too state-of-the-art.


The MacBook Pro has impeccable multimedia chops: Its FaceTime digicam is without doubt one of the sharpest and brightest Webcams now we have ever observed, and its sound is top notch, simply loud sufficient to fill a room at 75 % quantity (audio will get distorted at 100 %) and with wealthy, sensible highs and lows if now not reasonably subwoofer-caliber bass.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2017 Touch Bar) opposite angle

Also flawless is the 13.3-inch show, which provides sterling brightness (500 nits) and wealthy distinction, with inky blacks and pristine whites. Viewing angles are huge and colours pop like poster paints at default colour area or temperature settings, regardless that probably the most different show profiles in a System Preferences conversation (alternatives come with P3, Adobe RGB, and sRGB) glance extra muted.

We’re much less captivated with the Pro’s keyboard, and now not simply because, whether or not it is Apple or HP, we knock any seller who places the cursor arrows in a row quite than an inverted T. The keyboard makes use of Apple’s “butterfly” switches, which provide virtually no vertical trip, leading to a stiffly flat typing really feel accompanied via a pocketa-pocketa raindrops-on-the-window sound. If you incessantly sort on a pill’s keyboard quilt, you can really feel proper at house; in case you are used to a desktop’s or better pc’s keyboard, you can really feel as in case you are drumming your arms on a tabletop.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2017 Touch Bar) keyboard

On the certain facet, the contact pad is colossal—an infinite expanse with very good palm rejection and clean gliding motions and gestures, together with a springy really feel for clicks and the two-stage Force Touch clicks that permit you to choose, then carry out an operation on, an merchandise. The ultimate takes somewhat being used to, in particular if, like us, you just like the tap-to-click possibility, however is an occasional time-saver.

Above the keyboard, changing the old-school row of serve as keys, live the colourful OLED Touch Bar and rightmost-edge Touch ID fingerprint reader. The Touch Bar can mimic the serve as keys (while you hang down the Fn key), however most often provides touch-sensitive icons and sliders for device settings akin to quantity and display brightness or software choices akin to bookmarked websites in Safari or emojis in Messages and Pages. (Anything that encourages using emojis will get docked two stars in our scores device—Ed.)

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2017 Touch Bar) Touch Bar

Some of its purposes, akin to smartphone-style next-word prediction, are simplest marginally helpful, and it is arduous to talk about the Touch Bar with out the use of the notice “gadget” and even the notice “gimmick.” But the Touch ID reader is at hand for protected logins, and exploring the Touch Bar rewards you with a couple of helpful shortcuts.

ComputerShopper might earn associate commissions from buying groceries hyperlinks integrated in this web page. To to find out extra, learn our whole Terms of Service.