Let’s look back at the MacBook Pro to understand its origins, the changes Apple made over time, and how it’s remained so popular.
The MacBook Pro is one of Apple’s few products in the slimmed-down Mac line. It’s been the choice of many professionals for years, but how has it changed since its inception?
Introduction to the MacBook Pro
Introduced in 2006 and based off Apple’s innovative PowerBook G4 laptop, the MacBook Pro is designed to be what its name says. This laptop is a high-end model designed for professionals and people who need an extra bit of punch on their device.
It sits above the consumer-focused MacBook Air models, and is currently sold with 13- and 16-inch screens, 15- and 17-inch versions were sold from January 2006 to January 2020, and April 2006 to June 2012, respectively.
Now up to its sixth generation, and with rumors of a redesigned MacBook Pro sixth generation spreading, the MacBook Pro has been one of Apple’s most consistent devices in its design and technology. Let’s see how.
Improvements Made After the PowerBook G4
A colour-coded timeline of the development of all Apple Mac laptop devices, from 2006 to 2022Image Credit: Wikipedia
The MacBook Pro model that Apple released directly following the PowerBook G4—another groundbreaking Macintosh laptop—made some large optimizations in terms of speed and usability. By many reports, the Pro doubled or tripled the speed of the G4 in areas of video processing and rendering, gaming, and Universal Application operation.
With a new dual-core Intel processor powering the device, as well as features like an integrated iSight webcam, a brand new magnetic (or MagSafe in Mac-speak) power connector, and improved wireless internet range, there were many positives.
The thinness of this new model did bring some drawbacks, however. Even with a slower optical drive, battery life that was only on par with the G4, and no FireWire port, it was still a major step forward for performance-hungry users. MacBook Pro models in 2008 would introduce a unibody design, a trackpad where the entire surface was clickable, more powerful Intel i5 and i7 processors, and Thunderbolt connectors.
2012—the year of the most successful and longstanding model—would see an even thinner device equipped with solid-state storage and an HDMI port, as well as a more vibrant Retina display. If you’re interested, check out our 2012 article on the revamped MacBook Pro for an idea of reactions at the time. giveaway macbook pro
2016’s revision saw the introduction of USB-C, as well as the controversial Touch Bar that attempted to add further functionality to the top row of keys. 2019 and 2020 saw minimal improvements, with the implementation of the Apple M1 “system-on-a-chip” processor the most significant.
What Makes the MacBook Pro So Special?
Simply put, the Pro’s power and design make it a hugely useful device for both personal and professional purposes. It’s powerful enough to run demanding apps like Photoshop with great speed, and its display is beautiful and rich. The trackpad is easy to use, while the whole laptop is thin, portable, and built well. Plus, it has the benefits of other Mac computers. The user interface of macOS is streamlined and effective, and it’s well-integrated with the entire suite of Apple products.
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