13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Late 2016)

After a year and a half, Apple has updated the 13″ MacBook Pro, dropping “with Retina Display” from its name and adding some new features – most notably the Touch Bar.

Touch Bar on Late 2016 MacBook Pro

There are two 13″ MacBook Pro models in the line now, which is bound to add some confusion among buyers. The entry-level model does not have a Touch Bar, and there are enough differences between the two 13″ MacBook Pro models that we have created separate pages for each.

13 inch MacBook Pro, Laet 2016This page covers the version with the Touch Bar, which is more expensive, more powerful, and has twice as many USB-C ports – four.

Slower or Faster?

Compared to the Early 2015 13″ Retina model, the new model appears to have a much less powerful dual-core i5 CPU with a nominal 2.0 GHz clock speed vs. 2.7 GHz for its predecessor. However, when it comes to Turbo Boost, both the Early 2015 and Late 2016 models achieve 3.1 GHz, and the new 13″ MacBook Pro has a larger (4 MB) L3 cache, so you’d expect it to hold its own.

The “better” version now includes a 2.4 GHz dual-core i7 capable of 3.4 GHz with Turbo Boost, which compares favorably with the 2.9 GHz i5 topping out at 3.3 GHz in the previous “better” 13-incher.

Keep in mind that the Late 2016 model uses Intel’s newer Skylake CPU architecture, and very early Geekbench score postings show the following results, according to AppleInsider:

  • 2.4 GHz i7, 3589 single-core, 7299 multi-core
  • 2.0 GHz i5, 2400 single-core, 5702 multi-core

The new 2.4 GHz i7 holds its own against the Early 2015 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display, with single-core scores of 3427 with a 2.7 GHz i5, 3583 with a 2.9 GHz i5, and 3692 with a 3.1 GHz i7. It also fares well in the multi-core department, with scores of 6478, 6767, and 6949 for the Early 2015 model.

That said, the 2.0 GHz i5 scores poorly in comparison to even the entry-level Early 2015 13-incher. To add insult to injury, the new entry-level model retails for $200 more than the previous one – and that model remains available at $1,299 for at least a while.

The 2.4 GHz i7 model costs $300 more – about 50% more raw processing power for a 20% higher price. If performance matters, it’s worth it. If performance doesn’t matter, pick up the 2.7 GHz Early 2015 version while supplies last!

Other Features

The biggest change in the new MacBook Pro models it the elimination of almost all legacy ports. There is no MagSafe, no SD card slot, and no traditional style USB port. Instead this marks Apple’s migration to 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 and 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 using the USB-C connector introduced with the 12″ MacBook in March 2015.

ports on 13-inch MacBook Pro, Late 2016

One difference between this 13″ MacBook Pro and the model without the Touch Bar is that is one has four USB-C ports – two on each side – while the less expensive version has two.

Unlike the iPhone 7, the new MacBook Pro models retain the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack.

Finally, the new MacBook Pro comes in either silver or space gray.

Battery life is claimed to be 10 hours of wireless productivity.

This model ships with macOS 10.12.1 Sierra and supports all later versions, which are free updates.

Closed Lid Mode: All Intel ‘Books support “lid closed” (or clamshell) mode, which leaves the built-in display off and dedicates all video RAM to an external display. To used closed lid mode, your ‘Book must be plugged into the AC adapter and connected to an external display and a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (you might also want to consider external speakers). Power up your ‘Book until the desktop appears on the external display and then close the lid. Your ‘Book will go to sleep, but you can wake it by moving the mouse or using the keyboard. The built-in display will remain off, and the external monitor will become your only display.

To resume use of the internal display, you need to disconnect the external display, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will wake up your ‘Book and restore use of the built-in display.

Details

  • introduced 2016.10.27 at US$1,799 (2.9 GHz Skylake dual-core i5, 256 GB SSD). 3.1 GHz i5 and 3.3 GHz i7 available as build-to-order options
  • Part no.:
  • Model no.:
  • Identifier: MacBook

Mac OS

Core System

  • CPU: 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (3.3 GHz Turbo Boost), 3.1 GHz i5 (3.5 GHz Turbo Boost) and 3.3 GHz i7 (3.6 GHz Turbo Boost) build-to-order options
  • Level 3 cache: 4 MB shared cache
  • Bus: 2133 MHz
  • RAM: 8 or 16 GB from factory, no future upgrades
  • Performance, Geekbench 4:
    • 2.9 GHz: unknown
    • 3.1 GHz: unknown
    • 3.3 GHz: unknown

Video

  • GPU: Intel Iris Graphics 550
  • VRAM: uses 1 GB of system RAM
  • Video out: Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C (VGA, HDMI, and ThunderBolt 2 supported with optional adapters)
    • resolution to 5120 x 2880 on a single display
    • resolution to 4096 x 2304 on two displays
  • display: 13.3″ glossy 2560 x 1600 227 ppi LED-backlit with IPS and “millions of colors”
    • supports 2560 x 1600, 1680 x 1050, 1440 x 900, and 1024 x 640
    • allows mirroring to external display or extended desktop mode

Drives

  • Hard drive: 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB SSD
  • optical drive: external only
  • drive bus: PCIe 2.0 x2 (over 700 MBps real world read and write speeds – 200-300 MBps faster than SATA Rev. 3)

Expansion

  • Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C: 4 ports
  • USB: 4 USB-C ports
  • FireWire 400: via Thunderbolt adapter
  • FireWire 800: via Thunderbolt adapter
  • Ethernet: via Thunderbolt adapter
  • WiFi: 802.11ac
  • Modem: no longer offered by Apple
  • Bluetooth: BT 4.2 built in
  • ExpressCard/34: none
  • SD Card Slot: none
  • expansion bays: none

Power

  • battery: 49.2 Watt-hour
  • AC adapter: 61W USB-C Power Adapter

Physical

  • size: 8.36 x 11.97 x 0.59″ (212.4 x 304.1 x 14.9 mm)
  • Weight: 3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)

Online Resources

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