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New MacBook Pro has DCI-P3 color space & dynamic OLED 'Touch Bar'

28 Oct 2016 | Rasmus Larsen |

Apple has unveiled a new MacBook Pro with a display that can reproduce the full DCI-P3 color space that covers more of the visible colors than the aging sRGB color space. It also has a new dynamic OLED 'Touch Bar'.

MacBook Pro gets DCI-P3 color space

Apple has already made the jump from the aging and relatively small sRGB color space to the larger DCI-P3 color space – originally developed for Hollywood – on iMac, iPad, and iPhone.

Now DCI-P3 is coming to the MacBook Pro.

Apple MacBook Pro

DCI-P3 covers 25% more colors than sRGB / Rec.709
DCI-P3 is a color palette that covers 25% more colors visible to the human eye compared to the old sRGB (or Rec.709) color space. It enables the display in MacBook Pro to reproduce colors such as Coca Cola rec and true grass green.

To handle DCI-P3 properly an operating system must support "color management" on a system level, otherwise all content will be stretched to fit the larger color space, which leads to highly inaccurate colors. Apple has had color management integrated in macOS for many years and recently brought it to iOS and tvOS. This ensures that video or photos shot/recorded in sRGB (or Rec.709) will continue to be reproduced at accurate colors.

Apple said that the “Retina” display in MacBook Pro is also 67 percent brighter (up to 500 nits) and has a 67 percent higher contrast ratio than the previous MacBook Pro. It is still a LCD panel.

One detail that Apple largely refrained from talking about is that the new display supports variable refresh rate. It is not clear how exactly the refresh rate system has been implemented but it sounds like it is utilized primarily to reduce power consumption. However, variable refresh rate can offer several advantages, depending on the implementation. One such advantage is to improve video playback.

Apple MacBook Pro

Dynamic OLED 'Touch Bar'

With the new MacBook Pro, Apple is also introducing a 'Touch Bar' based on an elongated OLED display. It sits just underneath the big display.

The Touch Bar replaces the function keys on a conventional keyboard with a dynamic system that can change tools depending on which application you are using. In Photoshop for example the Touch Bar can dynamically adapt to the tools you are using; crop, brush etc. You can also customize the tools on the Touch Bar.

Apple MacBook Pro

- “With the groundbreaking new Touch Bar, the convenience of Touch ID, the best Mac display ever, powerful performance, improved audio, blazing-fast storage and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity in our thinnest and lightest pro notebook yet, the new MacBook Pro is the most advanced notebook ever made,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing.

To the far right there is a fingerprint reader – or Touch ID as Apple prefers to call it. With a new T1 chip it locks down all communications ensuring a secure connection. It appears to be based on a separate ARM chip. Touch ID can be used to unlock the machine (and login to your user account) and to pay for stuff online.

The new computers have four Thunderbolt 3 ports based on the USB Type-C connector. All four can be used for charging as well as connecting external monitors, USB devices, and more.

The new MacBook Pro comes in 13 and 15 inches. Prices start at $1,799.

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