The MacBook Pro is Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop. It offers top-notch performance for demanding users who need processing power and are willing to spend top dollar for it. Learn more about the MacBook Pro by reading about its main features below.
Editor’s note: Updated 8/2/19 with a report that 5G is coming in 2020.
The latest rumors about the MacBook Pro: Cellular 5G support in 2020?
DigiTimes (subscription required) reports that Apple is “expected” to ship MacBook laptops with cellular 5G access later next year. The 5G report follows rumors in the media of a 5G-equipped iPhone coming in 2020.
In order for Apple to equip a MacBook with 5G, the company is said to be using a ceramic antenna, which is pricier than a metal antenna but a stronger performer. Also, Apple needs to configure the antenna so that it can work with the MacBook’s aluminum case, which acts as a shield against 5G.
Apple recently announced that it is purchasing Intel’s smartphone modem business, but that deal does not include Intel’s desktop or mobile division, so there’s no connection between that deal and the DigiTimes rumor.
Rumors of a cellular-equipped MacBook have floated through the internet for a while, yet Apple has not shipped such a laptop. DigiTimes has a shaky reputation when it comes to the validity of the rumors it reports, so treat this one with some dubiety.
Processor, memory, graphics, and SSDs
The MacBook Pro uses Intel’s eighth- and ninth-generation Core processors. Apple also uses DDR4 RAM in the MacBook Pro. The maximum amount of RAM supported is 32GB in the 15-inch model, 16GB in the 13-inch laptop.
The 13-inch models have only an integrated graphics processor, either the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 or Graphics 655. The 15-inch models have the integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 processor, as well as a discrete 4GB Radeon Pro 555X or Radeon Pro 560X graphics card.
Apple also has available for the $2,799 15-inch MacBook Pro two Vega graphics upgrade options you can choose from. For an additional $250, you can upgrade the graphics to a Radeon Pro Vega 16, or you can spend $350 for a Radeon Pro Vega 20. Both options come with 4GB of HBM2 video memory.
The $2,399 15-inch model offers a Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. You can upgrade to a Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory for $100.
The solid state drives (SSDs) range from 128GB to 512GB in the standard configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. In the 15-inch models, you start with either 256GB or 512GB. You can upgrade the SSD to up to 2TB on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, or up to 4TB on the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Pro has the Touch Bar, a strip that’s located where the function keys are usually at the top of the keyboard. The Touch Bar is an OLED screen that lights up with different icons, buttons, and functions you can use relative to the tasks and app you are using on your Mac. For example, if you are using Messages, the Touch Bar will show a set on emoji, and you can tap the emoji you want to use. Learn more about the types of controls the Touch Bar offers.
For a better idea of how the Touch Bar integrates into your daily use, read our review of the 2016 MacBook Pro, when the Touch Bar made its debut. You can also watch the video below.
Models and prices
Apple offers four standard configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and two of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. All laptops are available in Space Gray or Silver. Here’s the rundown on each model. (Each model can be customized at an additional cost.)
13-inch MacBook Pro
$1,299: 1.4GHz quad-core eighth-generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, 128GB SSD, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 (integrated graphics), two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
$1,499: 1.4GHz quad-core eighth-generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, 256GB SSD, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 (integrated graphics), two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
$1,799: 2.4GHz quad-core eighth-generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, 256GB SSD, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 (integrated graphics), four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
$1,999: 2.4GHz quad-core eighth-generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, 512GB SSD, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 (integrated graphics), four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
15-inch MacBook Pro
$2,399: 2.6GHz 6-core ninth-generation Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, 256GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 630 (integrated graphics), 4GB Radeon Pro 555X (discrete graphics), four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
$2,799: 2.3GHz 8-core ninth-generation Core i9 processor, 16GB of memory, 512GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 630 (integrated graphics), 4GB Radeon Pro 560X (discrete graphics), four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
How to buy a MacBook Pro
Apple has refurbished MacBook Pro models available in the company’s Refurbished and Clearance Store. Scroll to the bottom of the list to find the 2017 models. Refurbs offer a modest savings over new models.
Apple tests and certifies all products in the Refurbished store. Supply is limited, so Apple could run out of refurb stock, and you’ll have to check back if you missed your opportunity to buy. But once Apple receives your payment, the company guarantees your purchase.
Refurb products come with a one-year warranty.