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First impressions of the new Touch Bar iMacs, MacBooks, and MacBooks Pro lines

When Apple announces the date of an event, many of us look forward to some software or hardware new features that are apparent to the eye such as a new feature, a new design, a new sensor type, new colors, and so on. But what about things that aren't so noticeable (visually speaking), the so-called internal upgrades like improvements in processor, RAM, etc.? Can't we look at this as news, too? For I can assure you: yes, we can and we should!

I recently had the opportunity to make aTest drive on all newly released Macs, and by the way, play with some software that really exploits Touch Bar use intelligently. Maybe you will read this article and it is difficult to measure the perception I had when using the devices. So, I will try to put a comparison parameter here: I am a user of a MacBook Pro with 13 inch Touch Bar, 3.3GHz Core i7 with 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. That is, a super-fast machine!

Some of the machines I tested had the maximum configuration available, so, like my Mac, I can give you an idea if I was working on a slower or faster computer. Just watching the opening keynote of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017, I can't assess what upgrades represent in practice.

MacBooks

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Official image: https://www.apple/shop/buy-mac/macbook

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Moving the MacBook (that slim, 12-inch screen with a single USB-C port), I was surprised by the evolution of new processors and faster SSDs. I even had such a machine (first generation as soon as I launched), but I found a Mac a bit slow for my work needs when compared to some of the Pro line and as I was used to this more “professional” performance

Still, she was a cool machine for simple everyday things like surfing the web, reading emails, writing texts, etc. In this new generation, however, the speed has improved a lot! Without a doubt, those who need mobility and do not want to carry weight are the best choice.

The issue of lack of USB ports I find a very particular topic; for me it has never been missed so it will vary from case to case. It's worth it to put it in the balance when choosing. I don't like to put genres on Apple computers, but in my mind this is a perfect computer for my girlfriend to put in her purse without much regret, freeing her to carry a backpack just for that.

MacBooks vs. MacBooks Pro

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press kit

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An interesting strategy from Apple (in my view, of course) is that this machine has a starting price of $ 9,799 (in Brazil; out there, $ 1,299), exactly the same price as the MacBook Pro entry version (without Touch Bar). ). I'll talk a little about my perception of these machines and I'll tell you why I think this is a good strategy.

Input MacBook Pro outperforms MacBook Pro, plus more USB-C ports available; On the other hand, he is a little more “heavy”. With the new generation of processors, it seemed to me that the applications and basic tasks I tested flow much faster / naturally. Do you know when you are back, for some reason, to use an older Mac model and notice the performance difference? Because . Assuming I had a top-of-the-line 2013 MacBook Pro until recently, those who opt for such a machine with few upgrades have a computer for at least about 6/7 years regardless of the surprises to come. virtual.

If you need performance and more available ports, on the other hand, you don't care about both the Touch Bar and having a slightly heavier computer. vs. 1.37kg), that's your option.

Taking into account the initial price of these two options, it is up to the user to analyze what is most essential: mobility or performance. It is worth noting that we are talking about machines for everyday use (to surf the internet, send emails, create documents, edit some video on a not so professional level, mess with photos, finally things beyond the “bean” with rice").

So far I have talked about things that most of you probably already knew. But the idea is to reinforce that these are great machines. Considering the machine I use daily, I really liked what I saw on these models.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

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Official Image: https://www.apple/final-cut-pro/

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However, one thing that changed my mind because maybe I had not yet used tools that really exploit the functionality well was the Touch Bar.

I picked up a 15 ″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro model with the new processors and, looking at it, was very similar to mine (visually speaking only the screen size and speakers are different). So I started playing in Photoshop. Clearly the machine performance surprises! You practically don't have time to wait for image filter processing, at least in the basics I joked about how to change colors, distort something in the photo, crop a part and put it in another part of the image, work with different layers. Conclusion: It makes a good difference. have a dedicated (and improved) graphics card for it.

What surprised me was that I was able to play with changing effects on photos using just the Touch Bar. All the effects and tools appeared in the choice bar in a very intuitive way. Only then did I realize that what is basically lacking in the popularization of the feature, that developers look more fondly at it.

I'm not a designer (so forgive me those who have been using the tool for a long time without the Touch Bar); I am a manager of multidisciplinary teams and there are designers. It may sound silly, but I have to realize that tablet professionals will save a few good seconds by switching tools / effects with the other hand at Touch Bar which in the long run can be an interesting time saver. If you already use this feature, leave your options in the comments!

I can not imagine using the Touch Bar to choose the words that appear as suggestions while typing because in my case, I type without looking at the keyboard, but to work in Photoshop, it makes perfect sense!

The point that I was really amazed at was the speed in Final Cut Pro. Editing videos, changing the background color of the sky, moving objects, including text all made me feel like I was working on a still photo: any effect that I applied, like changing the color of the sky, already reflected in the whole video almost instantly.

In Final Cut Pro, the affection given to Touch Bar was also high (because of Apple's own software). Just like Photoshop, I was able to swap and test effects practically using just her. It has shortcuts to see before / after and, oddly enough, * stupidly * quick to put on and off all effects.

iMacs

iMacs 21.5 and 27

I took the same video and kept fiddling with it on a 27 ″ 5K screen iMac, which has dedicated graphics cards and processors quad core. I felt that my current MacBook is "slow," so absurd that the processing speed and rendering of the video. Applying 3D effects to a video looked like I was messing with some simple text editor and changing the font color.

If you are a person who needs connectivity, this machine has a reasonably good number of ports. She has P2 output, slot for SDXC cards, four USBs 3, two Thunderbolts 3 / USB-Ce and one Gigabit Ethernet 10/100 / 1000BASE-T (RJ-45 connector). The cool thing that this Mac supports one more monitor 5K or two 4K I just imagined myself on a TV editing island!

IMac Connectivity

Some think that just because we're fans of Apple, we don't criticize Apple. Anyone who follows all our articles and our podcast knows that neither I nor anyone on the team fails to criticize when something from Apple surprises us. But in that case, the improvements in machine speed overall surprised me a lot! And using two tools (Photoshop and Final Cut Pro) that explored the good use of Touch Bar made you even more surprised!

People often ask me a lot if it's worth it to pay dearly on an Apple computer; I usually answer that, depending on what you do, have a machine for many years! I sold my 2013 MacBook Pro to someone who undoubtedly uses it for another six years quietly. So it is worth investing in a Mac, because in the long run you will notice that you have made a great investment.

Conclusion

The internal upgrades really surprised me. I didn't quite understand the reason for so many machine options and today I see this:

  • MacBook Air: Apple input machine; Good, no Retina display but with more affordable value.
  • MacBook: mobility because it is super light and currently performs very well in addition to a very quiet machine.
  • MacBook Pro (without Touch Bar): who needs a little more performance and available USB-C ports and doesn't care what Touch Bar can offer (I thought it was little until I actually saw it being used).
  • MacBook Pro (with Touch Bar): computer use with a new top bar concept, possibility of a major machine upgrade, in addition to the fingerprint reader, which greatly facilitates everyday life.
  • iMac: Machine for those who need big screen and a lot of sensational performance fiddling with photos and videos on a giant screen!

Which Apple product did not surprise you so much at the presentation and after you used it came the snap: “How did I live without it?” Comment!