The new MacBook Pro with Apple’s inventive Touch Bar and Touch ID fingerprint recognition is too expensive to be the go-to MacBook. Yes, the Touch Bar is impressive — it’s a 60-pixel-high OLED touch screen that replaces the traditional function key row with an ever-changing series of buttons and sliders. But right now I’d call it a want, not a need.
Instead, this most mainstream of the new MacBook Pro models has the same familiar Function key row found on almost every laptop. It sits above the keyboard, with its F1 to F12 keys still labeled for screen brightness, volume controls and other system tasks. It’s a disappointment to miss out on the most headline-grabbing feature of the new MacBook Pro line, but with that one exception, nearly everything else about this system is new. A new keyboard with shallower keys, modeled after the nearly flat keyboard on the 12-inch MacBook, joins a larger touch pad and a pair of USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. Lost in the shuffle is the traditional port collection of a MagSafe power plug, USB-A ports — the familiar rectangular ones that match all your existing accessories — HDMI output and mini-DisplayPort Thunderbolt connections. The old SD card slot is gone, too.