MacBook Pros have always looked gorgeous, but of late, the likes of HP Spectre and Asus ZenBook Pro 2018 have started catching up. Apple fans need not be worried, though, as the new Mac, available in 13-inch and 15-inch, has been built as an ambitious powerhouse. It still sports the all-metal unibody design that Apple adopted a couple of years ago by trading off the USB ports and the memory card slot with Type C Thunderbolt ports to achieve the sleek form factor. There are four ports, two on each side, and any of them can be used for charging. It is 15.5 mm thick when the lid is closed, weighs 1.83 kg, quite compact compared to my 15.6 inch Toshiba laptop and features 15.4 inch, 2,880x1,800 Retina display. This device also integrates the new 'true tone' display (available on iPhones and iPads), which automatically adjusts the screen's brightness and colour tone based on the data from the ambient light sensor. However, I turned off this setting while using the laptop.
The Touch Bar is also here, a sleek OLED strip at the top of the keyboard and shows all relevant details of the task/programme/app on the screen, which comes in handy. For instance, if you are working on a presentation, the Touch Bar will display different types of slide, all of which can be accessed with a touch. While using the Safari browser, I was able to switch between open tabs and access favourites. Also, predictive text appeared on the Touch Bar when I was writing a mail. Touch ID for biometric authentication has been integrated into the power button placed at the end of the Touch Bar, and fingerprint scanning worked without a hitch when I unlocked the Mac. The much-criticised keyboard has improved as well, making it smoother to type. The huge trackpad supports gesture control.
Our review unit was a top-of-the-line 15-inch gadget with an Intel Core i9 processor, 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB SSD for storage. It continues to run on macOS High Sierra out of the box and is powerful enough to process and edit large 4K videos and RAW images with ease and offers professional-grade performance. Focusing on security, Apple has used the T2 chip that enables secure boot and encrypted storage. Along with the increased power, a larger battery has been added under the hood. But the battery backup - close to 10 hours - remains the same as in previous models as the larger battery compensates for high power consumption. All these make it an expensive kit, which may put off many buyers.