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13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display review and new Force Touch trackpad

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The latest 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display might not look any different to the last model but one big change is the new Force Touch trackpad that allows users to interact with the computer and their documents in a different way.

Apple has re-engineered the new MacBook Pro’s trackpad with a re-invented mechanism and new capabilities.

The old track pad had a “diving board” design which meant clicks were best registered on the bottom half of the pad.

But the new Force Touch trackpad has a sensor below each corner so now you can click anywhere on the surface and get the same result.

And it goes even deeper than that in every sense.

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It has a capacitive glass surface with a Taptic Engine to provide a slight vibration to let you know that action has been registered.

There are also force sensors so the trackpad can distinguish different levels of pressure being applied.

So this means you can apply a different type of click instead of the traditional single click and double click.

Before now these were the only choices on offer because there was only a single mechanism.

Now with the added sensors and technology you can now do a Force Click which means you can press deeper.

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The new Force Touch trackpad on the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

For example, if you hover over a word and do a Force Click the word is highlighted and the meaning of that word pops up.

If you see a date you also do a deeper press and create a new event on your calendar.

The Taptic Engine below the trackpad gives off a small vibration to let you know your press has been received and understood.

It does this because the surface of the trackpad doesn’t actually move – it stays fixed.

But the different reactions you get to the different pressures makes you think you’re pressing deeper but the only physical thing you’ll feel is that haptic feedback.

The pressure sensitivity of the new Force Touch trackpad can also be used for drawing and painting applications to create thicker and darker lines and different kinds of pen and brush strokes.

A deeper press produces a different result than a click
A deeper press produces a different result than a click

The Force Touch trackpad can also be used to speed up videos you’re watching on Quicktime or even zoom in on a location on Maps.

It did take us a long time to realise what was literally at our fingertips after years of using the computer in the same way.

Clicking and double clicking are things we do subconsciously but Force Touch really provides a whole new way of interacting with the computer.

After only a couple of days using the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display we found we had worked Force Touch into our daily workflow.

There are even rumours Force Touch may be making its way into the next iPhone which will be introduced later this year.

The other new feature aboard the MacBook Pro is the new 2.7Ghz dual-core fifth generation Intel Core i5 processors which can be configured up to the 3.1Ghz Intel Core i7 processor.

It comes standard with 8GB RAM but that can also be upgraded to 16GB RAM before purchase.

Also under the hood is the faster flash based storage which speeds things up remarkably whenever you want to get to your documents and run applications.

Force Touch allows users to set new events by making a deeper press on a date
Force Touch allows users to set new events by making a deeper press on a date

The speed of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display is obvious from the moment you hit the on button and see the computer ready to go in under 10 seconds.

Another added benefit of the new processors apart from speed is energy efficiency so battery life is now an hour longer than the previous model – something heavy on-the-go users like us appreciate.

And of course you’ve still got the gorgeous Retina Display which has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 so everything looks great in the screen whether it’s your photos and videos, applications, games and websites.

VERDICT

The latest 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display ticks all of the boxes and adds ticks to boxes you didn’t realise existed with its new Force Touch trackpad.

This feature alone will herald a new way for us to interact with the computer.

But add on top of that the flawless design, knockout Retina Display screen and even faster processors and flash memory and you’re looking at the best laptop computer on the market.

13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display and Force Torch trackpad

Price:  From $1,799