Apple No Longer Sells a MacBook Pro Without a Touch Bar

With the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro being refreshed with a Touch Bar and other new features today, Apple no longer sells a MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar in its current lineup. In other words, it is no longer possible to buy a new MacBook Pro with a physical escape key directly from Apple.


The Touch Bar has been a controversial feature since its debut on the 15-inch MacBook Pro in October 2016, with some critics describing it as a gimmick. The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro was until now a way around the Touch Bar, with its physical escape key earning it the nickname of "MacBook Escape."

A physical escape key remains available on MacBook Air models.

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This article, "Apple No Longer Sells a MacBook Pro Without a Touch Bar" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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HP’s New Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop Takes Apple’s Touch Bar to the Next Level

HP today unveiled its first dual-screen gaming laptop, the OMEN X 2S. The notebook's primary 15-inch 1080p display is complemented by a secondary six-inch 1080p touchscreen integrated above the keyboard.


Like the Touch Bar on recent MacBook Pro models, the second screen on the OMEN X 2S is designed for multitasking. For instance, while gaming, players could use the screen to message teammates in Discord, browse music on Spotify, or stream Twitch or YouTube, complete with support for dedicated hotkeys.

One compromise of the second screen is that the trackpad is positioned to the right of the keyboard, rather than in a center position, but HP believes that most gamers would prefer using their own mice, according to Engadget.


As far as specs go, the OMEN X 2S is equipped with up to a ninth-generation Intel Core i9 processor, up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. The notebook uses an advanced thermal solution with three-sided venting to enable five-way airflow.

The notebook is 20mm thick with a full metal chassis, but weight and battery life have yet to be disclosed. HP expects the OMEN X 2S to be available by June, with a starting price of $2,100 in the United States.

Tags: HP, Touch Bar

This article, "HP's New Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop Takes Apple's Touch Bar to the Next Level" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Tips and Tricks for the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

With the 2016 MacBook Pro, Apple introduced an all-new design that incorporates a Touch Bar, a small touch-sensitive OLED display that offers up contextual controls depending on what you're doing on your Mac.

Though the Touch Bar has been available, in our experience, many Mac owners don't take advantage of it, so in our latest YouTube video, we thought we'd share a few tips and tricks that might make the Touch Bar more appealing.

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Customize Your Control Bar


Most MacBook Pro owners are probably aware that this feature exists, but may not have delved into the customization options. Customizing the control strip is the best way to get the most out of the Touch Bar because you can choose the features you use most.

To get to the Control Strip settings, open up System Preferences, choose "Keyboard" and then select the "Customize Control Strip" option at the bottom of the window.


You can choose options like quick access to taking a screenshot, Night Shift, Do not Disturb, Screen Lock, Sleep, AirPlay, Spotlight, Mission Control, and more.

Set the Function Keys as Your Default


Want your function keys back as the default option? There's a setting for that. Like the Control Strip settings, it is located under Keyboard in System Preferences.

You can choose to have the Touch Bar display App Controls with Control Strip, which will change the available Touch Bar options with each app you use, or you can set it to display the function keys, an Expanded Control Strip, or just App Controls.


If you go to the "Shortcuts" section of the Keyboard settings and select Function Keys, you can also choose to have the function keys display on a per-app basis.

You can also customize the shortcut the Fn key brings up -- if you set the Touch Bar to function keys, the Fn key on the keyboard can be set to expand the Control Strip or show app controls. With the Control Strip set as the default, you can always bring up your function keys with the Fn key.

Take a Screenshot of Your Touch Bar


Though it's not obvious, there's a way to take a screenshot of the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro. Just hold down Shift + Command + 6 all at the same time, and the screenshot will be saved to your desktop.


Accessibility Options


There are several Accessibility-related options that can be enabled for the Touch Bar for those who need them, including VoiceOver, Zoom, and Switch Control to display the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro's screen.

To check out and enable Touch Bar Accessibility options, open up System Preferences and choose the "Accessibility" icon. VoiceOver controls for Touch Bar are enabled automatically when VoiceOver is turned on, while the other options are under "Zoom" and "Switch Control."

For more information, make sure to check out Apple's Accessibility support document for the Touch Bar.

Improve Touch Bar with Third-Party Apps


There are a few ways to make the Touch Bar more useful through third-party apps.

With Better Touch Tool, you can create your own shortcuts for the Touch Bar. The possibilities are extensive, ranging from tools to empty the trash on your Mac to accessing apps to seeing the time, date, and your battery level. Check out Reddit for some suggestions on how to use this tool.

Similarly, the TouchSwitcher app for the Touch Bar is designed to let you launch and switch between apps by adding a list of your most recently used apps to the Touch Bar.

Do you use the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro? What are your favorite use cases for the feature? Let us know in the comments.


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