15" MacBook Pro gets Force Touch, faster graphics and storage

Apple breathed fresh life into its highest-end notebook this morning. The 15" MacBook Pro now features the Force Touch trackpad that was introduced with the 12" MacBook. In the variant with discrete graphics, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 750M from the old version has been traded for an AMD Radeon R9 M370X. The new MacBook Pro also features a PCIe-based SSD that's claimed to be up to two times faster than the storage in the older model.

The Radeon R9 M370X might be the most interesting upgrade on the list. AMD doesn't list the specs for this product on its website, and Apple only goes so far as to say that the new GPU performs "up to 80% faster" than the outgoing GTX 750M. In a world dominated by Nvidia mobile graphics, it'll be interesting to see how the Radeon performs.

Strangely, the refresh doesn't include a move to newer Broadwell CPUs—Haswell Core i7 mobile chips are still handling CPU duties. Apple also hasn't changed the port configuration—there are no USB 3.0 Type-C ports, for example. But Apple did upgrade the battery, which should now be good for up to nine hours of web browsing or movie playback.

The new 15" MacBook Pro is available from Apple's website today, starting at $1,999 for the version with Iris Pro graphics or $2,499 for the R9 370X-equipped config.

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