Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Touch Bar 2017 – Especially faster hardware

Only eight months after the introduction of the completely renewed MacBook Pro, Apple is already bringing the successors onto the market. The big difference? Intel's newer Kaby Lake processors that weren't available in 2016. We confess the new MacBook Pro 13-inch.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar 2017

Price € 2249,-

Processor Intel Core i5-7267U


Storage 512GB SSD

Screen 13.3 inches (2560 x 1600 pixels)

OS macOS Sierra

Connections 4x USB-c (Thunderbolt 3), 3.5mm audio output

webcam Yes (720p)

wireless 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (3x3), bluetooth 4.2

Dimensions 33.4 x 21.2 x 1.5 cm

Weight 1.37 kilograms

Battery 49.2 Wh


8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Good screen
  • Housing
  • fast ssd
  • Quiet
  • Negatives
  • Price
  • USB-C only

In 2016, Apple introduced really renewed MacBook Pros for the first time in years, so a variant with a new design. Compared to its predecessors, the MacBook Pro became even thinner and the notebook came on the market in space gray in addition to silver. We can be brief about the 2017 version of the MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar tested for this article: it looks exactly the same as the 2016 version. That's not a bad thing, because the thin, attractively designed housing weighs only 1.37 kg, which is almost the same as the MacBook Air, which was once the epitome of the thin and light laptop.

USB-C only: living with gradients

A striking choice in 2016 was that Apple drastically pruned the available expansion ports: the only choice was USB-C equipped with Intel's Thunderbolt 3. With this port you have to do everything: connect equipment, connect screens and charge the laptop. Depending on the version, the 13-inch variant is equipped with two or four USB-C connections. The tested version is the variant with Touch Bar that is equipped with four USB-C connections: two on the left and two on the right. Although it seems that USB-C is the connection of the future and a lot is possible thanks to support for Thunderbolt 3, in practice you will probably have to work with adapters. In any case, it is a pity that Apple does not include a simple adapter to USB-a.


The variant that we received from Apple is the variant with Touch Bar with an upgrade to a 512 GB SSD and costs 2249 euros. The standard version with Touch Bar equipped with a 256 GB SSD costs 1999 euros. The processor is an Intel Core i5-7267U with a standard clock speed of 3.1 GHz and a turbo up to 3.5 GHz. The same version last year had an Intel Core i5-6267U with a standard clock speed of 2.9 GHz and a turbo up to 3.3 GHz.

In Geekbench 4, the 2017 variant in the multicore test achieves a score that is about eighteen percent faster than last year. That is therefore somewhat better than the increase in purely the clock speed, which amounts to about six percent. Kaby Lake is therefore somewhat more efficient than Skylake. In practice, the MacBook Pro is a smooth-feeling computer capable of a wide range of tasks. It is nice that the laptop does its work inaudibly during normal work, during everyday tasks such as browsing or office applications we did not even hear the fan once. Apple has been playing a pioneering role in the field of SSDs for some years now and the 512GB version with the type number Apple SSD AP0512J is also excellent. A read speed of 2254.3 and a write speed of 1820.0 MB/s impress.

Apple claims that the laptop lasts ten hours on the battery, we came to about eight hours. Still not bad of course. Incidentally, the tested version has a battery with a capacity of 49.2 Wh, while the variant without Touch Bar has a battery with a capacity of 54.5 Wh. That cheaper version has a battery that has more than ten percent more capacity, while the Touch Bar does not need to be controlled and the processor is theoretically slightly more economical. In other words: the cheaper variant will probably reach those ten hours.


Just like last year, the MacBook Pro uses Apple's second-generation butterfly mechanism: the keys that stand out because of their low height that you can only press about half a mm. Compared to keys with more travel, the resistance is a bit higher and you feel a fairly clear click. If you are used to tapping hard, the keys make a lot of noise. Whatever you think, if you want a modern MacBook, you'll have to get the Butterfly keyboard. It takes some getting used to, but then it is fine to tap with. But the fact remains that a little more travel is actually nice and that Apple seems to have come up with this type of keyboard mainly to make their notebooks as thin as possible.

Above the keyboard you will find the Touch Bar that replaces the classic function keys and offers context-sensitive functionality. In fact, little has changed in terms of functionality and we have not come across any very spectacular handy new options. Logically, there are some more programs suitable for use with the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar is nice, but we feel that Apple should be able to get more out of it and it remains a bit of a gimmick. You can read more about how it works in the review of the MacBook Pro 15-inch 2016.

Also notable, but again the same as last year, is the huge Force Touch trackpad. The trackpad still looks gigantic. That is useful for making gestures, but we ourselves had few problems with the previous buddy. In any case, you don't have to worry about it. It's no problem to rest your palm partly on the trackpad while typing. Also known, but perhaps nice to point out is that you physically hardly press a Force Touch trackpad, while thanks to a vibration the suggestion of a nice click is still created. You can also set the strength of that 'click'.

Fantastic screen

Of course, in 2017 the MacBook Pro will also use a Retina screen in the same improved variant that was applied for the first time in 2016. With 2560 x 1600 pixels, the resolution of the screen is the same as that of previous 13-inch Retina screens, but just like in 2016, this screen is suitable for a wide color reproduction (P3). This allows the screen to show even more colors and in combination with, for example, suitable photos, you do indeed see a difference compared to older Retina screens. In practice, you may not have much in the way of wide color reproduction, but then the screen remains a good IPS panel with good viewing angles and excellent brightness that many other laptops leave behind. Simply a picture.


Apple drastically revamped its MacBook Pro last year, making this year's only change from Intel's Skylake to Kaby Lake processors. The MacBook Pro has become a bit faster as a result. Apple has encased the whole in an attractively thin housing and provided it with a fantastic screen. Just like last year, the small thickness does lead to some concessions. For example, the butterfly keyboard with its low keystroke is not everyone's favorite and thanks to USB-C you will have to work with adapters for the time being. The price is a minus, because although the MacBook Pro is an impressive appearance, the entry price of 1999 euros is a lot of money. Especially when you consider that upgrades to, for example, 16 GB of RAM and a larger SSD cost a lot. But that doesn't take away from the fact that this is just a great laptop.

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