Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro takes light-touch approach to update

For the 2017 Pro with Touch Bar, it's what's inside that counts.

Joshua Goldman

Joshua Goldman

Senior Editor / Reviews

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering laptops and the occasional action cam or drone and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.

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Shop for Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, space gray, 2017)

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The 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is nearly identical to 2016's version.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Good news! If you bought a higher-end 13-inch MacBook Pro (the one with the OLED Touch Bar) in 2016, the new 2017 model is virtually the same. You haven't been gazumped; you need feel no early-adopter remorse.

The big change Apple made to the laptop was updating to a new seventh-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. The system's integrated graphics get refreshed to the newest version, too, and its memory speed is now 2,133MHz, up from 1,866MHz.

The aluminum unibody chassis and everything else -- from the keyboard and trackpad to the display and ports -- remain unchanged from 2016. While we expect some slightly better performance from the new components, you might want to consider last year's model if you can get by without the latest and greatest and save yourself a little money. 

Watch this: Hands-on with Apple's new MacBooks

2017 MacBook specs compared

12-inch MacBook13-inch MacBook Pro13-inch MacBook Pro (w/TouchBar)15-inch MacBook Pro (w/TouchBar)
Starting price (USD) $1,299$1,299$1,799$2,399
Starting price (GBP) £1,249£1,249£1,749£2,349
Starting price (AUD) AU$1,899AU$1,899AU$2,699AU$3,499
Materials AluminumAluminumAluminumAluminum
Display 12-inch 2304x1440-pixel13.3-inch 2,560x1,600-pixel13.3-inch 2,560x1,600-pixel15.4-inch 2,880x1,800-pixel
Pixel density 226 PPI227 PPI227 PPI220 PPI
Dimensions (imperial) 11.04 x 7.74 inches11.97 x 8.36 inches11.97 x 8.36 inches13.75 x 9.48 inches
Dimensions (metric) 28 x 20 mm304 x 212 mm304 x 212 mm349 x 241 mm
Thickness 0.14–0.52 in (3.56-13.2mm)0.59 in (14.9mm)0.59 in (14.9mm)0.61 in (15.5mm)
Weight 2.03 lbs (0.92kg)3.02 lb (1.37kg)3.02 lb (1.37kg)4.02 lb (1.83kg)
Operating system Mac OS SierraMac OS SierraMac OS SierraMac OS Sierra
Processors 1.2GHz 2-core Intel m32.3GHz 2-core Intel i53.1GHz 2-core Intel i52.8GHz 4-core Intel i7
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 615Intel Iris Plus 640Intel Iris Plus 650AMD Radeon Pro 555 (2GB)
Up-spec 1.4GHz 2-core Intel i7 2.5GHz 2-core Intel i73.5GHz 2-core Intel i73.1GHz 4-core Intel i7, Radeon 560 (4GB)
Storage 256GB / 512GB 128GB/256GB / 512GB / 1TB256GB / 512GB / 1TB256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB
RAM 8GB / 16GB8GB / 16GB8GB / 16GB16GB
Battery (Apple estimate) 10 hours10 hours10 hours10 hours
Networking 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2
Ports 1x USB-C, can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), any can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset4x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), any can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset4x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), any can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset
Cameras 480p FaceTime HD720p FaceTime HD720p FaceTime HD720p FaceTime HD
Touch Bar/Touch ID NoNoYesYes
Trackpad Force TouchForce TouchForce TouchForce Touch
Colors Rose Gold, Space Gray, Gold, SilverSpace Gray, SilverSpace Gray, SilverSpace Gray, Silver