Apple updated its MacBook Pro laptops with Intel Kaby Lake processors today, and it also announced changes coming in the next version of the macOS: High Sierra. The company shared the news at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose, California.
We were on site to get a look at what Apple showed onstage. We saw demos of the laptops working with HTC Vive virtual reality headsets, including with support for external graphics cards.
Here’s a demo of the new MacBook Pro 13-inch model. It has a touch bar that you can use to modify the size of a paintbrush you are using to shade an image on the screen. The change in the effects is instant. It features an Intel Kaby Lake processor, dubbed the Core i7, running at 3.5 gigahertz with turbo boost up to 4.0 GHz. The 15-inch model goes up to 4.1 GHz with turbo boost.
The base MacBook Pro 13-inch model has Intel Iris Plus 650 graphics, while the 15-inch model uses the more powerful AMD Radeon Pro 555 discrete graphics chip or a Radeon Pro 560 as an option. The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,300 with function keys, or $1800 with the touch bar. The machines are available to order today and will be in Apple Stores on Wednesday.
Photos are another area where you can see the difference in the graphics horsepower. You can change a photo so that it uses long exposure settings. That makes the mist around a waterfall come to life, for example.
Apple also showed features in High Sierra that make changes to its Safari browser. And you can take advantage of privacy features, such as preventing advertisements you don’t want to see from initializing.
The new macOS also shows how you can offload video graphics processing to the graphics chip.
You can also copy files quickly in the new macOS, as the processor can hand off the task to the graphics chip. This comes from bringing the Apple File System to Macs, after the technology was added to iOS in March.