Update, July 24: Apple has confirmed the widespread Reports of throttled CPU Performance have emerged since the laptops were released earlier this month. CPU clock speeds were slowed down as internal temperature spiked during high-load computing sessions. The company says the issue was due to a previously undiscovered Software Problem, OS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update that should address it.
Check out our forthcoming review to see test results before and after the patch is applied. The first take originally published July 12 follows.
Apple delivers a bit more for your money with this year’s version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The $1,799 starting price remains unchanged and you now get Intel’s newest eighth-gen quad-core CPU, a bigger SSD and twice as much RAM.
Here is everything that’s new and improved with the 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar:
- New eighth-gen quad-core Intel CPU (i5 or i7)
- Twice as much RAM (now up to 16GB)
- Twice as much SSD storage capacity (now up to 2TB)
- New display featuring True Tone tech, which optimizes colors to ambient light conditions
- New T2 subprocessor for Touch ID security and encryption
- Hands-free Siri (say, “Hey, Siri” to activate)
- Modest tweaks to the super-flat butterfly keyboard intended to quiet key clack
Otherwise, this machine is virtually identical to the version it replaces. Same design, same color schemes, same Touch Bar. Apple has also released a new Version of the $2,399 15-inch MacBook Pro with a similar batch of incrementally upgraded components.
For now, the remainder of the Mac portfolio remains unchanged, including the entry-level $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar. The rumors suggest that Apple may update the rest of the lineup — the 12-inch MacBooks, the iMacs and the aging MacBook Air– before the end of 2018. Of course, that’s completely unofficial; the company hasn’t announced anything yet.
Alongside the new 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Apple also introduced a few new accessories — a $179 13-inch leather laptop case and a $699 Blackmagic external GPU, which features an integrated AMD Radeon Pro 580 card. College students can pick up a free pair of Beats headphones with the purchase of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro under Apple’s annual Back to School program.
Here’s how the new 2018 MacBook Pros with Touch Bar compare with their 2017 predecessors: