For the first time in four years, Apple made a major update to its MacBook Pro laptops, adding a customizable strip above the keyboard called a "Touch Bar" and adding other hardware refinements and speed improvements.
The Touch Bar is a color OLED strip that responds to touch and sits where the function keys (F1-F12 plus the escape and eject keys) previously sat. It changes based on the application used and can do things like adjust volume, file emails, post emojis and in applications such as Photoshop and Final Cut Pro, provide easy-to-access designer tools on the fly.
The innovation comes at a price. The 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models that have the Touch Bar start at $1,799 and $2,399 respectively. A 13-inch MacBook Pro without it will sell starting at $1,399.
Other improvements in the line include faster processors, faster graphics from AMD, improved display and a redesigned keyboard evolved from Apple's 12-inch MacBook. They're also thinner than the previous generation and lighter at three pounds and four pounds for the 13-inch and 15-inch Touch Bar models.
One thing the new models won't have is a variety of ports. The Touch Bar laptops each have four USB-C ports which are capable of charging the laptop, outputting to an external display and connecting USB devices, but for each of those functions you'll need an adapter unless the what you're connecting has a USB-C connection.
The Touch Bar MacBook Pros will ship in a few weeks but are already available to order.
The announcement comes a day after Microsoft unveiled an eye-catching assortment of hardware aimed at content creators, an area traditionally dominated by Apple.
Apple didn't announce any plans for its aging Mac Pro or iMac line of desktop computers, but it's likely some form of Touch Bar technology will make its way to them eventually if the function proves successful for users.
Also in its Thursday press event, Apple unveiled "TV," a new app for watching streaming TV on Siri-enabled Apple TV devices, and iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads. The point of the app is to make it easier to find and watch TV content and make it easier to sync what you're watching across different devices. The app will be out in December and, in a bit of a surprise, does not allow the streaming of Netflix, though Apple TV devices have long supported the service.
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