- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
The hallmark feature of the new MacBook Pro is the Touch Bar, a touchscreen at the top of the keyboard that replaces the traditional row of function keys with digital keys.
The Touch Bar looks great and is clever in its execution, but after using it for nearly two weeks I’ve come to realize it won’t be essential for most people.
I enjoyed how it adapts to the app you’re using, bringing the keys and functions you’re most likely to need. But, for the most part, it didn’t save much time compared to clicking what I needed on the screen or using traditional function keys.
It’s also expensive. The 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro starts at $1,799, or $300 more than the version without the Touch Bar. I imagine that most people won’t notice $300 worth of improvements with the Touch Bar, which is why I recommend average users take a look at the entry-level model instead. You get a lot of the same benefits at a discount.
Overall, the Touch Bar is nice to have, but not mandatory. It’ll help some professionals get work done a little faster in programs like Final Cut Pro or Photoshop, but there isn’t a huge benefit for average users.
I wouldn’t call the Touch Bar a gimmick like some people have, but it’s definitely not going to change the way you use a laptop either.