Jason Snell, hands on with the new MacBook Pro and Touch Bar

Jason Snell, writing for Six Colors:

My first impression of the Touch Bar is that the “keys” looked… like keys. It didn’t feel like I was looking at a screen, but at an extension of the keyboard. That was an intentional choice on Apple’s part. Unlike the display and the keyboard, the Touch Bar’s brightness is not manually adjustable.

Instead, the Touch Bar’s brightness varies based on lighting conditions, using the light sensor. I wasn’t able to try and trick it or confuse it, but the entire time I was using it—in a dark room and in a much more brightly lit one—it seemed to match the keyboard well. This is not a bright, glowing screen above a dark keyboard—it’s an extension of the keyboard.


The trackpad on the 13-inch model is more than half again as big as on its predecessor, and on the 15-inch model it’s doubled in size. As Phil Schiller said on stage Thursday, Apple can make the Trackpad bigger now that it’s a Magic Trackpad rather than an older hinged model because even at large sizes the entire surface is clickable.

And (this next one answered a big question for me):

The trackpads are large enough that Apple has had to build in more palm-rejection intelligence, because when you’re typing on these things, you’re going to inevitably slide your palms across them. In my experience writing this article on a 13-inch MacBook Pro, the palm rejection worked well—I never felt that I had to change my typing approach just to avoid weird mouse movements.


Well, it’s my sad duty to report that the MacBook Pro keyboard has the same key travel as the MacBook. Apple says the stainless steel dome switch beneath each key has been honed to give you a more responsive feel, but to me it feels just like the MacBook’s keyboard.

Plenty of divisiveness on the keyboard feel. Many people like it, many don’t. Your mileage may vary.

Lots more chewy goodness in Jason’s review. Read it.