CNET First Look
The new MacBook Pro: How Apple added touch without a touchscreenApple's latest laptops have a particularly neat trick up their sleeves.
[MUSIC] The key thing that stuck me about Apple's new Macbook Pro line was that it was much more different than I expected are first saw during exclusive hands on walk-through of the new MacBook Pro several days before Apple's launch event. And it was immediately clear this wasn't just the same old MacBooks squeezed down into a slightly slimmer package with an updated CPU Nearly every part of it has been remade for what is essentially the tenth anniversary edition of this iconic laptop. The headline here is the Touch Bar, a slim strip of an OLED display that sits above the keyboard. It's just 60 pixels high, but it's a tool that has the potential to be the Swiss Army knife of laptop input Changing itself on the fly to work across different apps, imitating a series of touch buttons, control sliders and even jog dials. This is Apple's answer for the question of how to do a Mac version of a touch screen without actually adding a touch screen. Aside from the Touch Bar, the force touch trackpad has been blown up to double it's previous size. And now dominates the wrist rest even more than before. With force touch, the pad doesn't actually click down, saving space and allowing for general laptop design. The keyboard is a major departure for the MacBook Pro. It looks and feels a lot like the very flat, very shallow keyboard in the 12 inch MacBook. I like the 12 inch MacBook but putting the same style of keyboard in a MacBook Pro is gonna be a big learning curve for some, and some people are just never going to love it. The bodies on these new 13-inch and 15-inch models available in traditional silver or now space gray, are both a few millimeters thinner than before and each is a half-pound lighter than the previous version. These are thinner in part because they only have to fit in USB-C ports. Four of them for power and data accessories, video output. Just remember to bring all your dongles. But don't worry, the headphone jack is still there. For now. But you ask, what about the MacBook Air with retina display I've always wanted? Well, there's no new Air but there is a compromise. Apple also has a less expensive version of the 13 inch Macbook Pro. It's got the same updated design, keyboard, and track ads but no touch bar. That's about as close to Macbook Air as you're going to get. [MUSIC]