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Apple's refreshed MacBook Pro 2018 models: Here's what's new, spec by spec

Surprise! Apple upgraded its MacBook Pro range with everything from more RAM to improved keyboards. Here's a look at everything new, spec by spec.
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The 2018 MacBook Pro laptops are available now

The long-awaited MacBook Pro refresh has landed.

Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar were given a significant hardware bump. All-in-all, Apple says that the 15-inch model will have a 70 percent performance increase, and the 13-inch model should double its performance.

Let's take a look at what's new.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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New 8th-generation Intel Core processors

Apple shifted the processor up to the 8th-generation Intel Core platform.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID got a 2.3GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor. The higher-specced 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID got processors ranging from the 2.2GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor to the 2.9GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i9 chip.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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Wow! 32GB of RAM

Another big upgrade is the expansion of the 16GB RAM ceiling for higher-end MacBook Pros.

It's been raised to 32GB. Speed of the RAM has been upgraded, too, on the 15-inch model, with the aging DDR3 technology replaced with higher-performing 2400MHz DDR4.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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Beefier graphics

Graphics performance has also been beefed up to offer the Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory at the high end, offering up to 2.6 TFLOPS performance.

Even the 13-inch MacBook Pro gets a decent graphics upgrade, powered by an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 integrated graphics chip with 128MB of embedded DRAM -- twice as much as the previous generation.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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More storage!

Storage has also been expended for the higher-end 15-inch MacBook Pros to 4TB of SSD storage on selected models (up from 2TB), but this option adds $3,200 to the price tag. For the 13-inch model, the maximum storage has been doubled to 2TB.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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"Hey Siri"

The updated MacBook Pros will also be the first to support " Hey Siri," allowing you hands-free access to the voice assistant. This feature, along with the Touch ID security features and the Touch Bar, are all powered by a custom chip that Apple calls the T2.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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So long, MagSafe 2

The MacBook Pro was the last holdout for the MagSafe 2 connector, but with this refresh, Apple's entire laptop lineup has switched over USB-C charging.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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True Tone on the Mac

The updated MacBook Pro laptops also come with True Tone displays that change their color temperature based on the color temperature of the room. In addition, the Touch Bar will also now support True Tone technology. So, that's neat.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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Bigger battery, same battery life

Apple has bumped the battery capacity in this refresh.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch ID now has a 58-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, with that increased 83.6-watt-hour (from 54.5- and 79-watt-hour, respectively). This increased battery capacity, however, doesn't translate into increased battery life, with Apple still sticking to the usual "up to 10 hours wireless web/iTunes movie playback and up to 30 days of standby time."

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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Third-generation butterfly keyboard

There have been claims that the MacBook keyboards with "butterfly" technology are susceptible to damage from dust and debris. Apple claims that the updated MacBook Pro laptops feature a "third-generation butterfly keyboard." Apple also now offers a four-year repair warranty on them.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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Ouch. Those prices, though...

Now, let's talk about pricing...

For the base model of both sizes, the prices remain the same ($1,799 for the 13-inch model, and $2,399 for the 15-inch model). However, super-sizing to the 2.9GHz 6-core 8th-gen Intel Core i7 or a 2.9GHz 6-core Intel Core i9 adds an extra $300.

Plus, bumping the RAM from 16GB to 32GB adds another $400. But it's storage that really gets out of hand fast, with the 4TB option add a whopping $3,200 to the price tag.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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One more thing: Leather sleeves

Lastly, yes, Apple makes leather sleeves for the new MacBook Pros.

They are priced at $179 for the 13-inch version, and $199 for the 15-inch version, and they will be offered in brown, blue, and black.

Read more: Everything you need to know about buying Apple's 2018 MacBook Pro

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