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MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar banned from some state bar exams in the US

It’s fair to say Apple’s new MacBook Pro, released towards the end of 2016 drew some criticism. Despite the Touch Bar receiving positive reviews, elsewhere, the computer was received less warmly. Some pointed towards the price hikes on the devices, or problems with battery life.

However, it appears that the Touch Bar has been causing some trouble for exam boards in the US. Some individuals taking a state bar exam might find they will be required to disable the computer’s Touch Bar, or they might even be barred from using that model altogether.

The Touch Bar is a new OLED panel replacing the traditional row of function keys at the top of the keyboard which can be customized based on the app in use.

The issue, reports Apple Insider, stems from the Touch Bar’s predictive text feature, which could affect “exam integrity,” as noted by an announcement from testing software outfit ExamSoft.

It also covers some of the finer details, such as where, and to what extent the restrictions apply. It uses North Carolina as an example where examiners have been told to look out for Touch Bar computers and have technicians available to disable it or return it to a standard set of function keys found on a regular task bar.

However, in both New York and Colorado, it looks as though any new MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar will be banned outright. If test-takers show up with one, they’ll have to write answers by hand, or download the ExamSoft software to another machine in advance.

Other states have restrictions or bans in place too, so anyone looking to take the bar exam soon with a MacBook Pro equipped with a Touch Bar is well advised to check local information.

Keep reading: Watch Apple’s new MacBook Pro ad ‘Bulbs’ to see the Touch Bar in action