Apple updates the other MacBook Pro, 15 inch now offers the “force”

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If you’ve been holding off upgrading to a new MacBook Pro because you like it bigger than 13 inches and you knew a new model was coming, guess what? It’s here.

When Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro with Retina lineup earlier in the year, the changes were a combination of expected and unexpected.

On the one hand, we saw a refreshed set of specs — the expected changes — updating the processors to Intel’s latest and greatest, the “Broadwell” processors sitting in the fifth-generation of Core technology as well as an update to a new set of graphics from Intel.

And then there was the unexpected change, including a new trackpad called a “Force Touch” trackpad that ditches the button altogether and replaces it with a form of haptic feedback that vibrates from left to right a very slight amount, enough to trick your fingers into thinking there’s a real button there.

Kicking the button to the curb is only one part of the equation, and the real reason Apple has brought a new style of trackpad to the table (or computer, anyway) is because the button action can be tightened and controlled by the user, with a deeper push activating a secondary function, such as loading a map of a destination if you force click the address in an email, or a preview of a webpage when you force click a search engine result.

Those changes were what Apple rolled out to the MacBook Pro 13 in March, and unfortunately, the 15 inch was left behind.

Until now.


This week, Apple is rolling out a refreshed and updated 15 inch MacBook Pro with Retina, bringing Intel’s fifth-generation Core processors to the 15 inch line-up, utilising the Core i7 with on-board graphics in one variant and a Core i7 with AMD’s Radeon R9 M370X in another, providing a graphical workhouse few would likely complain about.

Depending on the model you’re after — and the amount you’re itching to spend — you’ll find either 256GB or 512GB solid-state storage, and a difference in speed (2.2GHz or 2.5GHz processor), but everything else appears to be the same, with the 15 inch MacBook Pro with Retina offering up 16GB RAM, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, up to nine (9) hours of battery, and that Force Touch trackpad which is now standard across the MacBook Pro range.

“The response to the new MacBook and updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been amazing, and today we are thrilled to bring the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage and longer battery life to the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display,” said Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple.

Both MacBook Pros -- the 13 and 15 inch models -- now come with Intel's latest chips and the Force trackpad.
Both MacBook Pros — the 13 and 15 inch models — now come with Intel’s latest chips and the Force trackpad.

Most else about the 15 inch MacBook Pro with Retina stays the same, relying on a 15 inch 2880×1800 resolution display delivering 220 pixels per inch, with the same ports as last year’s model, too, including two Thunderbolt 2 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a single HDMI port, the SDXC card slot, and a 3.5mm headset jack, with Apple’s MagSafe 2 port charging the laptop.

Interestingly, there is no sign of USB Type-C for this computer, suggesting Apple isn’t likely to introduce the specialised USB port until the MacBook Pro goes through a design revision, which could occur in the coming years.

For now, though, we have the 2015 MacBook Pro, and if you’re keen to see it, stores should have it now, with the 15 inch model with Retina joining the current versions for a starting price of $2799.