The MacBook Pro line just got simpler. Or did it? The 13” model still comes in two flavors, but they’re harder to tell apart—the only clue being the number of ports. Did Apple keep the entry-level model and find room for a Touch Bar somehow, or is this new model a stripped-down version of the existing (expensive) Touch Bar design? Or is it something entirely new? Let’s shake all the parts loose and see what falls out.
- The new 58.2 Wh battery capacity slightly exceeds the 54.5 Wh battery found in the old function key model.
- To make room for the Touch ID sensor alongside the Touch Bar, Apple seems to have trimmed a little mass off the heat pipe, left of the exhaust.
- The speaker opposite the fan also looks emaciated compared with its 2016 predecessor.
- Apple’s audio engineers are basically wizards, but we’re skeptical that even wizards could maintain the same sound quality in a speaker this much smaller.
- The Touch Bar-ification brought a soldered SSD (bad), modular ports (good), a shrunken speaker and heat sink (eh?), and a T2 chip/
- The keyboard gets its updated materials, but is still on the service program list. Like the butterfly, this keyboard design may soon prove ephemeral.