Apple's new MacBook Pro arrived in October 2016, with a Touch Bar in place of function keys and a hefty price tag. It was then updated in June 2017 with new specs, as was the MacBook Air, while the company also announced new iMacs.

Before you spend all your hard-earned cash on the latest MacBook Pro though, take a moment to compare it to its predecessor. Yes, the old model doesn't come with that fancy OLED touch strip, better graphics or streamlined connections, but if you're on a budget, every little bit counts, and not upgrading to the latest tech may be in your favour.

Here is how the MacBook Pro (2017) compares to the MacBook Pro (2015), based on the specs. You can also read how all the six MacBook options compare to each other in our separate feature.

  • Touch Bar and Touch ID sensor on newer MacBook Pros
  • MacBook Pro (2017) thinner and lighter compared to predecessors
  • New models more portable

The MacBook Pro (2017) features an aluminium enclosure, LED-backlit display, and it comes in 13-inch and 15-inch model sizes, as well as silver or space grey colour options. The 13-inch model comes in two versions, one with the Touch Bar and integrated Touch ID sensor, an OLED strip that sits at the top of the keyboard where the standard function keys normally go, the other without. The 15-inch model is only available with the Touch Bar and Touch ID.

The MacBook Pro (2017) 13-inch model weighs 1.37kg and measures 14.9 x 304.1 x 212.4mm, while the MacBook Pro (2017) 15-inch model weighs 1.83kg and measures 15.5 x 349.3 x 240.7mm.

The MacBook Pro (2015) 13-inch model weighs 1.58kg and measures 18 x 314 x 219mm, though it is no longer available through Apple, while the MacBook Pro (2015) 15-inch model, which is still available, weighs 2.04kg and measures 18 x 358.9 x 247.1mm.

In other words, if you're looking for an Apple laptop with a slightly new design that's relatively thin and light and new functionality, you should consider the MacBook Pro (2017) over the MacBook Pro (2015).

  • Both models offer 13-inch and 15-inch screen sizes
  • Both models offer same resolution
  • MacBook Pro (2017) is brighter with better contrast and colour

The MacBook Pro (2017) offers a choice between a 13.3-inch LED-backlit IPS display with IPS with 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution (227ppi) and a 15.4-inch LED-backlit IPS display with 2880 x 1800-pixel resolution (220ppi).

The MacBook Pro (2015) offers the same display sizes and resolutions, though as we said, the 13-inch model is no longer available through Apple. You may be able to pick one up through the Apple Certified Refurbished programme or elsewhere though.

There is no difference in display size or resolution between the Apple MacBook Pro (2017) model and Apple MacBook Pro (2015) model, but the 2017 model is 67 per cent brighter, offering a higher contrast ratio, more vibrancy and more power efficient.

  • All models and sizes claim to offer up to 10 hours battery life
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro (2017) offers better graphics
  • All have various configuration options

The MacBook Pro (2017) 13-inch base model with Touch Bar offers a 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM and Intel Iris Graphics 650. Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro (2017) 15-inch base model with Touch Bar offers a 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM and Radeon Pro 555 graphics with 2GB of GDD55 memory. Both claim to deliver up to 10 hours battery life.

The MacBook Pro (2015) 13-inch base model offers a 2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 128GB SSD, 8GB and Intel Iris Graphics 6100, though as we mentioned, it can no longer be bought directly from Apple. The larger and still available MacBook Pro (2015) 15-inch base model offers a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM and Intel Iris Pro Graphics. Both claim up to 10 hours battery life like the new models.

The MacBook Pro (2017) offers a better processor over its predecessor and much-improved graphics capabilities. The 15-inch model with Touch Bar specifically switched up a lot when it added Radeon Pro 555 graphics with 2GB of memory in the base model, whereas last year's model with no Touch Bar had Intel Iris Pro Graphics. Therefore, if you want a machine that's a bit faster and better equipped at handling intense graphics, consider the top-end, 15-inch MacBook Pro (2017).

One more thing: all models offer a number of configuration options for CPU, RAM and storage and the prices you pay will vary accordingly. It's no surprise that the 2017 models will outperform the 2015 models.

  • The MacBook Pro (2017) only has Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Adapters will be required for MacBook Pro (2017)
  • MacBook Pro (2015) has more flexibility when it comes to ports

Both MacBook Pro (2017) models features four Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C design) ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. These ports can handle charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.1. The MacBook Pro (2015) on the other hand, comes with MagSafe 2 for power, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, two USB 3 ports, a HDMI port, and an SD card slot.

You can charge and transfer data using the same port (all four of them) on the MacBook Pro (2017), but you won't be able to do things like plug in an SD card without an adapter, which of course costs more. If that matters considerably to you and you don't like USB Type-C, the MacBook Pro (2015) might be the better option for you.

To use the MacBook Pro 2017 with your existing devices, you're going to need a lot of new cables or adapters.

  • The MacBook Pro (2017) with Touch Bar is more expensive
  • Cheaper to buy 13-inch 2017 MacBook Pro than 15-inch 2015 model 

The MacBook Pro (2017) 13-inch model with Touch Bar starts at £1,749, while the MacBook Pro (2017) 15-inch model with Touch Bar starts at £2,349.

As the MacBook Pro (2015) 13-inch model is no longer available through Apple, your only option through the company itself is the MacBook Pro (2015) 15-inch model, which starts £1,899.

It's therefore cheaper to go for the newer MacBook Pro (2017), if you don't mind dropping down a couple of inches in screen size. If not, you're looking at around £500 more for the latest model. That does get you better graphics and better performance though, as well as the Touch Bar and Touch ID features.