13" MacBook Pro - TouchBar or non-TouchBar?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by teobilly, Oct 16, 2017.


TouchBar or non-TouchBar?

  1. TouchBar

    18 vote(s)
  2. non-TouchBar

    22 vote(s)
  3. other (comments)

    1 vote(s)
  1. teobilly macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2011
    Hi guys

    I need to buy a new MacBook Pro.
    Now the big questions is TouchBar or non-TouchBar?
    The use I have to do is home stuffs and office work (excel, mails, billing...).
    I would like a mac that does not become obsolete after a few years.
    What do you recommend me?
  2. heisenbergg, Oct 16, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017

    heisenbergg macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2017
    I have the Macbook Pro 13" nTB, 16gb/512gb and I have to say it's the worst laptop I've ever owned. (Previous laptops were 2008 macbook, 2010 macbook pro, 2012 macbook pro, 2015 macbook pro).
    That being said, I don't regret not getting the TB because I think it's badly designed, has no purpose and drains the battery.

    Some constructive feedback for the 13" nTB..

    - Looks beauitful
    - Lightweight
    - Sound/Audio is good

    - The keyboard is clunky and is difficult to type on. Also the tap-tap-tap-tap sound it makes is super annoying, on every key stroke.
    - Overheats a lot. Fan kicks in way too easily. Good luck watching anything in HD.
    - You need to buy all those useful ports back via dongles/adapters
    - The up/down arrows are unusable due to being super tiny.
    - No magsafe
    - No charging indication
    - Trackpad is unnecessarily massive. Sometimes it won't respond if your other hand is resting over it.
    - $$$$$$$$ for an underpowered, overheating, loud piece of ****

    I personally felt stuck when I needed to buy a new macbook. I considered switching to a non-Mac laptop but I'm frustratingly tied to software that's only available on the mac.
  3. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2011
    As above you will see many people with the non touch bar MBP complaining about heat and fan noise. This is because the NTB only has one fan. The touch bar model has two. My TB MBP does not get hot or have loud fans, and I use plenty of pro apps including Logic, Photoshop etc. So regardless of the usefulness of the touch bar, it seems it is the better designed of the two models as far as cooling is concerned.

    I have found the touch bar useful in several apps, and you can customise it for whatever buttons you like so if you can't make use of it, you're not trying hard enough.

    And as for your obsolescence question, if resale value bothers you, I can 100% guarantee the TB models will be the more valuable in 3-5 years time.
  4. teobilly thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2011
    Thanks for the reply.
    So from what I understand, I recommend buying the TB version?
    In short, this will become my "main" Mac at home and I'll take it with me to work (although I'll have an iMac at my office).
    The iMac problem is that it is a 2010 and I do not know how much it can still work since it already has some problems.
    My future idea is to connect the macbook pro to an external monitor.
    Here the price in Italy:

    Attached Files:

  5. heisenbergg macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2017
    What evidence do you have for this?
  6. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2011
    The higher the initial cost, the higher the resale value later. The NTB is effectively the 'budget' model of the MBP. It's not just the touch bar, it also has two less USB-C ports and only one fan, hence all th over heating problems. You don't seriously think a $1299 MBP will be worth more than a $1799 MBP in 5 years do you?
  7. legioxi macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2013
    In my experience, that is a maybe. And if it is, it isn't proportional to the premium paid initially. The base models always get the best bang for your buck on resale when compared to original purchase price.

    I've bought and sold a lot of IT gear over the last 15 years, including MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads. It is a pretty safe bet that base models are a better purchase if resale value is important.

    Now for my personal laptop, I still buy what I want which is typically something in the middle between base a fully loaded. But I don't sweat the resale value on my personal laptop.
  8. heisenbergg macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2017
    So it's based on your assumption.

    I have no idea what anything will be worth in the future. You may wish to think spending $500 more on a machine, it will be worth a higher value...but then you're spending $500 more to begin with.
  9. teobilly thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2011
    I really care about the future support for upgrades and features.
    So I want a Mac that stay "updated" for 3-4 years.
  10. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2011
    I never said the TB model offers a better return on investment or "bang for buck", you guys are assuming that. I agree that you probably would not recuperate the extra $500 when selling in a few years time. However there is only a very slim chance that it would not be worth SOMETHING more than the NTB version in future. It's just common sense, better specs cost more second hand. You don't see 27" iMacs selling for less than 21" iMacs, or i7 MBPs selling for less than i5 equivalents.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 16, 2017 ---
    By the way there are dozens of threads on this exact subject (which I have been reading myself having only just upgraded) this one is particularly informative:

  11. heisenbergg macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2017
    Not always. A used-condition 2007 2G iPhone can be found on eBay for $1000+. That's way more than a new iPhone 8+, which has 4G, 12MP camera, 4K video etc..
  12. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2011
    You're comparing collectables/antiques with current hardware. Show me two same-generations phones or laptops where the higher spec version is worth less than the base model. OK you might find one, but it will be in the vast minority.
  13. Jamalogo10, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017

    Jamalogo10 macrumors member


    Jun 13, 2017
    Haha what a joke. You stating that you can, "100% guarantee the TB models will be more valuable in 3-5 years." is complete nonsense... This is the first iteration of the touchbar. It is grainy, and MANY people are already reporting problems. Check the threads. The complexity means its more likely to fail... and they are. Function/actual keys will not go out of style. Has anyone told you that the nTB gets an additional hour to two hours of battery life over the touchbar? it requires less energy and the battery is 10% larger. Probably not, cause a lot of people are clearly uniformed. Simple economics says you'll probably get a better return on your investment if you purchase the nTB.

    I have the nTB and the "electric razor" sound has kicked in exactly 3 times in 3 months. I could have bought a nearly maxed out TB for the price I paid for a nTB but I value longevity, better battery life and don't purchase Apple's first iteration of anything. If you see yourself plugging in 3-4 items all at once then clearly you have to buy the TB. I look at the Touchbar as a gimmick, it's not a necessity to my workflow.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 17, 2017 ---
    Jesus you guys. But you paid $1799 for the device!!! Basic economics could go a long way here.
    And secondly the $1299 computer comes with a smaller ssd so lets compare apples to apples please.

    For this example we'll compare the $1499 nTB to the $1799 TB.
    Both with 8gb of ram and 256 ssd.

    Lets say in 3 years you get an 70% return on your devices.
    1500 x .7 = $1050 resale value
    1800 x .7 = $1260 resale value

    1500 - 1050 = It will only cost you $450 dollars to run for 3 years
    1800 - 1260 = Compared to $540 for 3 years

    It's not a big difference so please buy the machine that meets YOUR NEEDS.
  14. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2011
    Wow there's a lot of touchy people on this board when it comes to the touch bar, most of whom haven't owned or even used one. Interesting that you say my claim is 'complete nonsense' yet you then go on the tout imaginary resale figures.

    As a Mac user of 15 years I'm well aware of the differences thanks, personally I chose the TB model's extra feature, more ports and better cooling over the marginally better battery life of the budget version.

    Let's revisit this topic in three years and see which version is worth more used. I stand by my claim, the TB MBP will be worth more (as in total value, not return) than the non-TB. It's just common sense, it has an extra feature whether you like it or not.
  15. evec macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2016
    For your usage, as Kaby Platform able to pay 4K HEVC 10bit video,
    both of them is sufficient for at least three years.
    The TB version with extra function you pay for with more port and better cooling.
    The speed for the light usage is almost some, as better add ram 8GB to 16GB and consider 512GB version.
  16. Jamalogo10 macrumors member


    Jun 13, 2017
    It does have more features there's no denying that. But lets compare them at similar prices points shall we.

    Let's upgrade the nTB to 512/16gb for $1900
    and compare it to the base TB which is 256/8gb for $1800.

    I think a lot of users would value significantly better battery life, double the ram, and double the storage space/speed, and a lower chance of future failure (search the threads) over the TB model withs its (minimally) faster cpu, two additional ports (a lot of users don't have 3-4 things plugged in at once, I never do), igpu upgrade (they integrated, that says it all. you can't do anything crazy on either devices) and the led strip.

    To each their own. I know which one I would choose.
  17. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2011
    Yes I agree with you, it costs more and that's a choice people can make. If battery life was my main concern forget the touch bar, I wouldn't have got an i7 or even a Macbook Pro, I'd have bought an M3 Macbook. And it's not really fair to say the TB is plagued by issues and the non-TB isn't, one of the busiest threads in this forum right now is about a faulty non-TB so like any electrical item they can all have problems.
  18. Geminist macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2012
    Had to replace my 2012 MBA, and this was the exact question in my mind. My use case is mainly word processing, internet surfing, Netflix, Matlab, light 3D modelling and programming.

    I went with a nTB. Coming from a MBA, which was fine, until it got stolen :( the nTB version would be right for me. The fan will be noisier (similar to MBA) and the base will be hotter (mine is mainly docked) but I can live with them.

    And the extra money I saved from the TB version went into 16 GB RAM.
  19. teobilly thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2011
    I'm still confused and tomorrow I have appointment at the aple store :(
    from what I understood:

    _ best battery life
    _ it warms easily
    _ different interior architecture than the TB

    _ less battery life
    _ best cooling
    _ more silence

    Is it true that the 128gb SSD are very slow compared to 256GB ?
    If I'm going to consider only the 256GB I have a difference of 300euros between the NTB and TB, so I think in that case I'm going for the TB version.
    If the 128GBSSD is fine I can consider the NTB (500euros less) than the TB.
    Remember the use I have to do and the fact that it will become my main Mac at home.
  20. heisenbergg macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2017
    I think we can all agree that the new Macbook Pro's are underwhelming -- nTB or TB. So it doesn't matter too much which one you choose, you'll be ok with either one.
  21. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    I ordered the 13 inch touchbar over the non

    Arrives today. Just wanted to have the new bit of tech that’s different from the past MacBooks. Will see how I like it.
  22. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    The 128 GB SSD is quite fast - but, it is so small, that it fills up fast, and as it fills up, write speeds decrease and wear increases. IMO it is worth going for at least 256 GB.

    For your stated needs, I think the retina MacBook, MacBook Pro nTB, and MacBook Pro 13TB will all meet your needs quite well. Each obviously have their own advantages but they are all nice machines. If you are drawn to the MacBook's form factor or fanless design, or the TB's touchbar or more powerful CPU, or the nTB's battery life, I would let that attraction drive the system, budget permitting, FWIW.
  23. project_2501 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017
    I had the same experience. Really regret upgrading from a MBP 2015 to 2017. Only reason I did was to drive a 4k display better.

    My detailed review - including experience over 3 months of the device itself and of Apple dealing with the over-heating issues (or not).

  24. teobilly thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2011
    And if you have to buy a Mac today what do you choose by considering your experience with nTB ? TB or nTB again ?
  25. project_2501 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017
    Today I'd buy a 2015 MBP 15" for the discrete GPU. That would have fixed the only flaw with the 2015 13.

    Today I'd avoid any 2016/2017 model.

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27 October 16, 2017