Apple bumps MBPs

(Simon) #1

New MBPs. Quad-core on the 13", 6-core on the 15". 32 GB RAM, but only on the 15". Better screens (TrueTone) and supposedly better KBs (just quieter or actually more reliable?). TouchBar is still there. Entry price for an i5 is $1799. :astonished:

(Simon) #2

The non-TB model was not updated. My guess is that model together with the old MBA will be discontinued and replaced by an updated MB. That MB would have a lot of ground to cover though price wise though, $999 - $1799.


Though dearly beloved, my million year old MacBook Pro is about to give up its ghost. I’ve been waiting for this announcement, but it doesn’t answer one of my big concerns:

Does it have the dreaded butterfly keyboard?

I’m glad it runs so much faster, but what about battery life? If there’s a bigger battery, will it be heavier? I will have to schlep it around on public transportation from time to time. I know it says “all day battery life” and “light,” but…

And I wish there was a new model without the TouchBar, though I love Touch ID.

(Adam Engst) #4

Almost certainly, since nothing about the industrial design seems to have changed, but we’ll have to wait until someone can touch one to find out for sure.

(Fearghas McKay) #5

The 15" is not really a machine for schlepping around, I used to do that but I treat my 2016 15" as my transportable and use a MacBook Retina for schlepping.

They should be available in some stores today or tomorrow if someone wants to have a fiddle. Like Adam I am pretty sure that it will be the same keyboard but at least there is a repair process now. I have 3 butterfly keyboard Macs and they have been fine, personally I quite like the touch of them, others don’t of course.

(Adam Engst) #6

I take it back. Ars Technica says that the keyboard is a little different.

(Simon) #7

I expect a new MB is around the corner. If it gets slightly thinner bezels it could reach a 13" display making it a nice replacement for the 13" MBA. Not sure how that’s supposed to extend down towards the $999 price point though.

The 12" MB is very light and appears rather ideal for people worried about schleppability. Personally, I’d like to see it get a second port and I don’t get using USB-C vs. actual TB3 like every other Mac, but there’s no doubt it’s a very svelte Mac.

Same here. But my best guess is TB is here to stay.

In a way, this reminds me of the single-button mouse. Every once in a while Apple simply cannot admit they were wrong.

(Fearghas McKay) #8

As does TechCrunch:

from the third last paragraph: “Though the addition of Siri functionality and that newer, quieter keyboard are certainly welcome.”

(Simon) #9

I used to be a 15" guy 100%. I must have gone through about 8 different 15" PBs/MBPs. But at some point I realized it just doesn’t work well in today’s economy seats and my shoulder was aching from all the weight schlepping it around airports, on trains, on the way to work, … At that point I decided to switch to a 13" MBP and to this day I don’t regret it. My 2013 13" has served me very well.

At the high end there’s definitely a performance penalty and anybody whose work requires a beefy GPU doesn’t really have a choice (not that the AMD in the 15" is something to write home about). But if you want smaller and lighter IMHO the 13" is fairly close to the proverbial sweet spot. Now with quad-core i7s I think Apple just reinforced that angle.

(Fearghas McKay) #10

TechCrunch also have an article on the new keyboard:

"To answer all of your no doubt burning questions on that front, I can say definitively that the keyboard is noticeably quieter than its predecessor. I wasn’t able to get a side by side comparison yet (we’ll have to save that for the inevitable review), but as someone who uses a Pro with the second-gen keyboard every day, I can confirm that the improvement is immediately apparent.

That addresses one of the key complaints with the system and should make life a little easier for users who regularly bring their MacBooks into meetings — or worse yet, the library. If John Krasinski was using last year’s MacBook in that quiet film, he almost certainly would have been eaten by one of the murder monsters or whatever that movie is about (no spoilers). The new Pros should give him a bit more of a fighting chance.

Otherwise, there’s really no difference with the new keyboards from a mechanical perspective. The butterfly switches are the same, and they offer the same amount of key travel as their predecessors. The company won’t actually say what it’s done here to lower the clickity-clack (that’s going to be a job for some teardown artists), but it’s certainly an improvement."

(Simon) #11

So I just realized that Apple’s new pricing really makes no sense at all. I spec’ed a 13" to my liking, a Core i7 & 16/512 which ends up at $2499. Interesting, my late 2013 13" spec’ed out like that was $2300. But that aside…

If I instead chose the 15" with the same 16/512 config, I end up at $2599. That’s just $100 more.

So Apple gives you a larger screen with higher res, 2 more cores, a better dedicated GPU, better integrated graphics and more TB3 bandwidth all for just $100. Really?

How can the same company that thinks $100 is justified for that upgrade, then charge $300/$400 for a CPU bump, or $200 for 256 GB of SSD or 8GB of RAM?

How does any of that make sense? I understand Apple makes good profits on specs, but the overall line-up needs to make sense price wise too. This is just poorly thought out.

(Tommy Weir) #12

My 2013 13” i7 is still cooking. Though these look like stellar processor updates, I decided a while back to be focussed on a desktop from here on, still awaiting the new modular Pro.

(Simon) #13

I still can’t let this one go.

With component prices having come down significantly in the last 5 years, how can Apple essentially charge $500 $200 more for a similarly configured 13" MBP five years later?

Is this some kind of new Apple tax designed to remind us Mac users that we were supposed to go iPad Pro and iOS-only a while ago already? :wink:

(Dave Scocca) #14

I can almost guarantee that you weren’t getting a laptop with a 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM for $2000 five years ago.

(Curtis Wilcox) #15

Is the custom 13-inch model a rip-off or is the stock 15-inch a bargain? Two sides of the same coin.

Apple, even more than other computer manufacturers, has always charged a premium for upgrading components. I’m sure in part they do it because they can (especially when they aren’t user-upgradable components) but part of a stock configuration’s price is based on the savings from making many of the same configuration. The cost of getting a different processor, more RAM, etc. is not just the wholesale price of the component but also the cost of maintaining the assembly line and labor necessary to build the laptop with those components.

Regarding the price today compared to previous years, it’s true that Apple generally tries to have a new model configuration at the same price point as a previous model. But sometimes they break from that, Retina display models was one of those times as was the introduction of Touch Bar; I think all else being equal, the Touch Bar (including the Touch ID and hardware behind it) added about $200 to the price. The models introduced today also added T2 processors which may have increased the price further (beyond having the latest Intel processors plus other motherboard components to use them).

(Curtis Wilcox) #16

While the 15-inch MBP’s dimensions can be unwieldy, especially on an airplane tray, they dropped half a pound between the 2015 and 2016 models. The 15-inch 2015 weighed the same as the 13-inch Mid-2012 model (4.5lbs); the 15-inch Mid-2012 was 5.6lbs.

I’ve read the battery is bigger but because the components draw more power, battery life is expected to remain the same. The weight of the 15-inch model is the same as for the 2016 and 2017 models, 4.02lbs.

(Curtis Wilcox) #17

Yes, the 13-inch Early 2013 with a 3GHz Core i7 (dual core) processor was $1,899. Upgrading the SSD to 512GB added $300, increasing the RAM from 8GB to 16GB cost $200.

(Dave Scocca) #18

Exactly. $1900 plus $300 plus $200 is $2400, which is a lot closer to $2500 than to the $2000 claim the earlier post was making.

(Simon) #19

Nope, it was a late 2013" model. But it’s moot. I recall I got it with a high-ed teacher discount. That’s what brought it down in price.

So if we assume the late 2013 13" spec’ed to 16/512 was $2399, that begs the question why a similarly spec’ed 13" in 2018 is $100 more rather than less. It’s not like computers have become more expensive. I guess it’s as another poster noted above. Basically when Apple introduce the gimmick bar TB, they added $200 to the price of a MBP.


With component prices having come down significantly in the last 5 years, how can Apple essentially charge $500 more for a similarly configured 13" MBP five years later?

Because they can; Apple is in business to make money. Aside from that, Apple is not just upgrading hardware, they are constantly upgrading the software that runs on every Apple device, screening for bugs and vulnerabilities, etc.

Although I recently had two bad experiences at Apple Stores, I still think Apple stands by its products more so than other hardware manufacturers. Apple’s service is just better, but the cost of all this is factored in to pricing.

When you’re buying a Mac and iOS device, you’re not just buying a hunk of metal and plastic, you’re buying a whole shebang of services and software. It’s a great competitive advantage.