Apple Upgrades MacBook Pro With Improved Keyboard, True Tone Display, More

Posted on July 12, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, Hardware with 21 Comments

It’s finally here. If you are like me and have been long waiting for a new MacBook Pro, you will no longer have to wait much further — Apple has just taken the wraps off its new, refreshed MacBook Pros. The company is making a couple of significant-ish changes to the MacBook Pro, while the existing design intact. Here’s what it’s all about.

First off, Apple’s new MacBook Pros come with True Tone displays that can adapt the screen based on your room temperature. Apple is also including a T2 chip on the device that’s capable of enabling the “Hey Siri” command for the first time ever on a Mac, so you no longer have to use the keyboard to access the personal assistant on your Mac.

But more importantly, the new MacBook Pros come with an improved keyboard. Don’t get too excited yet, though. Apple says the new MacBook Pros come with a third-generation keyboard that’s quieter than before, but it continues to have the same butterfly switch mechanism and key travel that made the previous gen of MacBook Pros so controversial. So yes — the keyboard is technically improved, but we aren’t quite certain whether it will fix any of the issues that users had with the previous gen MacBook Pros.

And then there are the usual spec bumps. The new MacBook Pros are seriously powerful, with Intel 8th gen Core processors on both the 15-inch (6-core, 2.6GHz, Turbo Boost to 4.3GHz) and 13-inch (quad-core, 2.3GHz, Turbo Boost to 3.8GHz) variants. The 15-inch model is now 70% faster, while the smaller 13-inch model is “twice as fast.” Professional users can take things to the next-level with upgrade options to 32GB memory on the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and up to 2TB SSD on the 13-inch and up to 4TB SSD on the 15-inch. That’s full-spec, of course, and it will cost you a lot.

Along with the new MacBook Pros, Cupertino is launching new, official leather sleeves for the devices. The new devices are available for purchase right now, starting at $1,799 for the 13-inch model and $2,399 for the 15-inch model. But here is the thing: the entry-level 13-inch models haven’t been upgraded, so you still get the crappy keyboard and old processors in those.

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Comments (21)

21 responses to “Apple Upgrades MacBook Pro With Improved Keyboard, True Tone Display, More”

  1. djross95

    Soooo like Apple to leave the old 13" MBP as is. So it's even less desirable than before---the real price entry point is now $1800 for a 13" laptop. Wow.

  2. TallGuySE

    Very nice spec bump, but they could have also upgraded the 720p webcam to 1080p. And at this price point, the Retina display could use a resolution increase so the default setting is rendered at native resolution.

    I like the keyboard on my 2017 MBP and have had no problems with it. Will be interesting so see if these prove to be more reliable for the general population.

  3. GT Tecolotecreek

    Just made the Surface Book 2 even more overpriced and under powered.

    Time for MS to push out a SB2 product upgrade.

  4. Skolvikings

    Wow. If you take the most expensive 15" MacBook Pro and choose all the hardware upgrades, the cost is $6,699.00 before tax.

    Of course, you could argue that's because 4TB of SSD is expensive. I disagree because you can buy quality 4 TB SSD drives for around $1,000 (certainly less than $2,000 even for pro drives), whereas Apple is charging an extra $3,200 for their 4 TB SSD drive upgrade. But okay, go with the 512 GB instead. It's still a $3,499.00 device.

    I personally find it crazy that anyone would actually buy one of these things.

    • GT Tecolotecreek

      In reply to Skolvikings:

      Or you could compare two equally configured MBP and SB2 systems and see the MBP is $300 less even though it has a much faster processor. So much for the Apple tax.

      • VancouverNinja

        In reply to GT_Tecolotecreek:

        But for 300 less you are stuck with OSX / for 300 bucks more you have Windows 10. Essentially the Mac is the lesser of the two.

        • GT Tecolotecreek

          In reply to VancouverNinja:

          Oh snap I feel the burn!

          Want to try again with something objective?

          • the_real_entheos

            What evs, you're the one who compares a Mac to Microsoft's hardware and forget about at least 10 ultrabooks/convertibles running Windows. And snaps sting, they don't burn.

            In reply to GT_Tecolotecreek:

            • GT Tecolotecreek

              In reply to the_real_entheos:

              Thank you for proving my point! The Surface SB2 is overpriced, under spec compared to the other windows OEMs premium products, and no where near Apple in term of reliability. It's marketed as the "premium leader" in the Win marketplace and MB Pro "killer" and isn't even close. Just picked up a HP 15" Spectre last week, way nicer than any Surface product we shopped. I'm not the one making comments about the MBP costs, but compared to the current iteration of the SB2, the new MBP is more power for the $. And as I said earlier Microsoft needs to get a a SB2 revision out soon. I'm not going to waste any time on Vancotninja's W10 vs OS X pissing match.

              Now you can apply this: ;-)

              • Skolvikings

                In reply to GT_Tecolotecreek:

                I don't buy Microsoft's Surface products because they're overprice and underwhelming too. All of which is a handy distraction on your part against my original point that the new MacBook Pros are way overpriced, IMO. I could buy a decked out Dell ultrabook for 1/3 that cost. Anecdotally, I know several professional photographers who have switched from MacBook Pros to Windows devices and their #1 cited reason was cost.

    • GT Tecolotecreek

      In reply to Skolvikings:

      Wow. If you take the most expensive 15" MacBook Pro and choose all the hardware upgrades, the cost is $6,699.00 before tax.

      I suspect these high end portables are targeted for the professional broadcast/video/film industry. If you were are a video news editor where time is the non-renewable resource and deadlines = $$$, then any tool that makes the job faster and easier can be cost justified for a business.

  5. Andi

    The True tone feature is great. One step above f.lux. Windows OEMs need to adopt it as well. The keyboard however will still be crap; even if more dust proof, it's still an ergonomic nightmare for the sake of thinness.

    Also, leaving the entry level 13" unupgraded seems deliberate to force sales of the higher margin laptops and at the same time force adoption of the total gimmick known as the touchbar.

  6. MikeGalos

    Wow. Talk about just reprinting a feature branding name without understanding what it is.

    The article says "Apple’s new MacBook Pros come with True Tone displays that can adapt the screen based on your room temperature." as the description of really the only new feature and even adds a True Tone tag for article searching. But you'd never actually know what the feature does from that.

    In actuality, and despite the cute Apple branding of a feature that already exists in the industry, True Tone has nothing to do with whether you have the air conditioning cranked up in your room nor with music (in case "Tone" got you thinking of Apple's latest pushes in the music and headphone worlds).

    For that matter, even Apple doesn't say "True Tone Display" since the feature isn't part of the display. They call it a display with "True Tone technology".

    True Tone is actually Apple's name for ambient room light adjustment to the color balance of the display. If you work in a room with incandescent lights a sensor reads the color of the light in the room and the display uses a warmer (more orange) color balance. If you work with daylight the display uses a cooler (more blue) color balance.

    Oh, and the True Tone technology only comes on the MacBook Pro models that have the Touch Bar. So add that to the "crappy keyboard and old processors" list.

    This is actually a useful feature (and one I use with an external X-Rite sensor on my desktop systems so I get more accurate color balance when editing photos) but you'd never know it from the "I'll quote the press release and hopefully nobody will realize that I don't know what it is" description here.

    • GT Tecolotecreek

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      I disagree with with most of your posts but your True Tone explanation is pretty good. Really don't get all the down votes, but whatever. Reason for the this post is AppleInsider is reporting 2018 MBP True Tone will also work with some external monitors, including some LG UltraFine 4k & 5K units, and Apples last branded display. It's nice if you need the functionality.

    • PincasX

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      The irony of a guy that regularly makes crap up complaining about accuracy in an article is pretty rich.

    • PeteB

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Wall of drivel = scrollwheel

    • Bob Shutts

      In reply to MikeGalos:I think we should take a "wait and see" attitude with respect to the "newish" keyboard. I'm glad there is now a quad core-4TB option for Mac users who do video editing, etc. on the road. As usual, Apple charges a 20-30% premium over other PC vendors for the same specs.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      As a follow-up, while this is a useful feature it's worth noting that even though the displays are color balanced at the factory (as are, to be fair, Microsoft's Surface displays) there is a key part missing and that is a built-in system for regularly recalibrating the color balance since displays' colors drift as they age.

      The old ThinkPad W series that was designed for photographers used to do this. When you closed the case the display would cycle through a series of test colors and a color sensor hidden in the keyboard would read those colors and create an updated ICC profile for the display.

  7. Mike Widrick

    Not the 'usual spec bumps' at all. Double the cores and the RAM maxes out at 32gb, ddr4. Unannounced! This was a serious, whiplash surprise. Looks like the new MBA rumor must be true, given that these were specced up by such a large amount. The keyboards, well, we'll need to wait to see what happens.

  8. Ivan19997

    Specs are crazy. T2 chip is also used for real-time encryption and has SMC and SSD controllers.

  9. Bossy72

    good informative post, but apple dint concentrated on non-touch bar model. Even I found some information on

    MacBook Pro 2017 vs MacBook Pro 2018 Tech Specs Differences.