Apple Overhauls MacBook: Thinner, Lighter with Touch Bar and Touch ID

On the 25th anniversary of the Apple notebook, the company has overhauled its MacBook.

The new laptop is thinner and lighter than any before. It also has a new ForceTouch trackpad that is significantly larger. The keyboard has also been refreshed.

But the real update is a long horizontal touchscreen at the top of the keyboard. It replaces the row of function keys, which has become outdated with modern computing. Apple has named it Touch Bar. The new MacBook also has Touch ID integrated into the bar.

Touch Bar’s row of command options responds to whichever app is open, such as Safari or Photoshop. The default controls can be customized and developers can choose what appears on Touch Bar when their app opens.

Apple also improved the MacBook screen—it’s now brighter with more colors and a higher contrast ratio. The speed has also been improved, speeding up gaming and video processing. The 13-inch runs a dual-core Intel i5 and 8GB of RAM, while the 15-inch has a quad-core i7 and 16GB.

“This week marks the 25th anniversary of Apple’s first notebook; through the years each generation has introduced new innovations and capabilities, and it’s fitting that this all-new generation of MacBook Pro is the biggest leap forward yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the groundbreaking new Touch Bar, the convenience of Touch ID, the best Mac display ever, powerful performance, improved audio, blazing fast storage and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity in our thinnest and lightest pro notebook yet, the new MacBook Pro is the most advanced notebook ever made.”

The 13-inch starts at $1,500 while the 15-9nch starts at $2,300. Models with the Touch Bar can be ordered today and will ship in two to three weeks, says Apple.

“Changing How We Watch Television”: Apple Makes Updates to TV