15in MaBook Pro w/ Touch Strip --- Worth It?

ECB

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 31, 2014
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4
Lexington, KY
Hello everyone,

I'm a recent college graduate and moving to DC this summer with a PR job. My birthday is coming up and I have my eye on the new new 15in MacBook Pro with the touch strip on it. It's a pretty penny and my parents willing to get it for me, but is it worth it?

I have a 2011 15in MacBook Pro and I love having such a big screen on it. It's not necessary but I like having the huge screen to do work and write emails.

Thanks guys!
 

Sanpete

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Nov 17, 2016
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Whether it's worth it depends on what you value. Among Apple laptops it's the best--as long as you're OK with the large track pad, new keyboard, and super-fast ports that require adapters for most existing devices. It's got a better screen, speakers, SSD, graphic processor, it runs cooler and more quietly, gets better battery life for light use, and it's smaller and lighter.

If you compare to non-Apple alternatives, there are cheaper ones with better specs, but I think you get what you pay for.
 

The Mercurian

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2012
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2,058
To my mind no it is not worth it. I would sooner buy a refurb 2015 model MBP without the touch strip and save some money.
But each to their own - you won't know if you like the touch strip until you try it. Best thing is to try a friends or failing that go into a store and play with one for a while. See if you think the touch strip is worth the premium
 

noteple

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2011
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Compared to the 2015
+ Better screen
+ Better speakers
+ Better Trackpad
+ Better SSD
+ Better graphic processor
+ Runs cooler
+ Better battery life
+ Smaller
+ Lighter
+ Touch ID
+ Touch Bar
OR
Get a refurb 2015 and save someone else a few hundred dollars
 
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peraspera

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2016
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A friend who owns an ad agency ordered a few 2016s without checking them first in an Apple store. They all were sent back because the noise from the loud keyboards is not something he feels is professional to inflict upon clients nor does he want the racket in meetings even when clients are not present.
 

thesaint024

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2016
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... the noise from the loud keyboards is not something he feels is professional to inflict upon clients nor does he want the racket in meetings even when clients are not present.
Yes, it's not professional to "inflict" anything upon clients. The "racket" from a keyboard as the cause? Your choice words makes this sounds like a whole lotta bo-s**t. Although the keyboard has been reportedly louder than past MBP's, I haven't heard it inflicting pain on people yet.
 
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tryrtryrtryrt

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Sep 10, 2016
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Compared to the 2015
+ Better screen
+ Better speakers
+ Better Trackpad
+ Better SSD
+ Better graphic processor
+ Runs cooler
+ Better battery life
+ Smaller
+ Lighter
+ Touch ID
+ Touch Bar
OR
Get a refurb 2015 and save someone else a few hundred dollars
Compared to the 2015
/ for some noticeably better screen, for some barely noticeable change in screen - go to store and see for yourself
/ quite the same speakers IMHO, might be wrong
- different trackpad, your hands will always touch it accidentally while using keyboard
/ technically better but practically indistinguishable SSD
- relatively worse integrated graphic processor, better discrete graphic processor, so more switches, more glitches, degraded performance before switch, more battery consumed after switch and this happens more often
- quite the same battery life achieved by cutting the battery Wh almost 1.5 times and being much more aggressive on battery saving (computer will consider it's idle much faster thus more deeds will start with initial small lag)
+ indeed smaller
+ indeed lighter
+ Touch ID
- Touch Bar disrupts your standard keyboard usage: if you don't find any use to its intended functionality - context dependent buttons - which many don't, it will only worsen your keyboard experience; if you find use to its intended functionality then it's both minus and plus
- more mistyping on new keyboard (if you don't type fast this will likely not affect you)
+ universal Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
 

Sanpete

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Nov 17, 2016
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Compared to the 2015
/ for some noticeably better screen, for some barely noticeable change in screen - go to store and see for yourself
/ quite the same speakers IMHO, might be wrong
- different trackpad, your hands will always touch it accidentally while using keyboard
/ technically better but practically indistinguishable SSD
- relatively worse integrated graphic processor, better discrete graphic processor, so more switches, more glitches, degraded performance before switch, more battery consumed after switch and this happens more often
- quite the same battery life achieved by cutting the battery Wh almost 1.5 times and being much more aggressive on battery saving (computer will consider it's idle much faster thus more deeds will start with initial small lag)
+ indeed smaller
+ indeed lighter
+ Touch ID
- Touch Bar disrupts your standard keyboard usage: if you don't find any use to its intended functionality - context dependent buttons - which many don't, it will only worsen your keyboard experience; if you find use to its intended functionality then it's both minus and plus
- more mistyping on new keyboard (if you don't type fast this will likely not affect you)
+ universal Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
Sure, for some people 50% more contrast is barely noticeable, and clearly better speakers too, barely noticeable, and they always touch the track pad accidentally and type wrong on the keyboard many say they type better on, and a better dGPU and better battery life are somehow worse. Those people should definitely get a different computer!
 
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peraspera

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2016
67
38
Yes, it's not professional to "inflict" anything upon clients. The "racket" from a keyboard as the cause? Your choice words makes this sounds like a whole lotta bo-s**t. Although the keyboard has been reportedly louder than past MBP's, I haven't heard it inflicting pain on people yet.
"Obnoxious racket" was his actual description to me. Rude and inconsiderate behavior that can easily irritate others is not welcome at my friend's firm.

This is first time my friend has ever done an en masse Mac return after having used them at his firm for 29 years.
 

slingshott

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2017
76
38
If you compare to non-Apple alternatives, there are cheaper ones with better specs, but I think you get what you pay for.
True, but better specs doesn't mean better performance. I've yet to use a windows PC that doesn't crash constantly. You pay a premium for Apple products, but they work. I don't want to encourage you to spend your parents money OP but you won't regret the 15" TB.
 

Sanpete

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Nov 17, 2016
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"Obnoxious racket" was his actual description to me. Rude and inconsiderate behavior that can easily irritate others is not welcome at my friend's firm.
Ha, no one should tolerate an obnoxious racket or other rude and obnoxious behavior! Thankfully my new MBP doesn't make a racket, obnoxious or otherwise, when I'm typing on it. It's not like it's an IBM Selectric.
[doublepost=1492654671][/doublepost]
True, but better specs doesn't mean better performance. I've yet to use a windows PC that doesn't crash constantly. You pay a premium for Apple products, but they work. I don't want to encourage you to spend your parents money OP but you won't regret the 15" TB.
Yeah, performance depends on more than specs. People say the better Windows machines are more stable than they used to be, so hopefully that's true.
 

tryrtryrtryrt

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Sep 10, 2016
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Sure, for some people 50% more contrast is barely noticeable, and clearly better speakers too, barely noticeable, and they always touch the track pad accidentally and type wrong on the keyboard many say they type better on, and a better dGPU and better battery life are somehow worse. Those people should definitely get a different computer!
Don't advise most people to get different computer please. MBP'16 is not that bad.
BTW you still haven't provided any proofs in nearby thread. Just saying.
[doublepost=1492656127][/doublepost]
You pay a premium for Apple products, but they work. I don't want to encourage you to spend your parents money OP but you won't regret the 15" TB.
On the contrary I want to encourage you to try it at the store first. Apple is not what it used to be, just read nearby threads, it's might be the time to make BSOD jokes about macOS rather than Windows. However they still have certain inertia so MBP'16 is far from the worst laptop computer out there. Try it and you'll understand whether it suits you or not. The premium you pay for Apple products is much more debatable nowadays.
 

Sanpete

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Don't advise most people to get different computer please.
I'm not, obviously. I described exactly who should buy something else, and it isn't most people. Most people can easily see a 50% increase in contrast, can clearly hear clearly better speakers, don't type with their hands where the track pad is, don't make more mistakes on a firmer keyboard, and actually do think a better dGPU and battery life are good things.
 

tryrtryrtryrt

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I'm not, obviously. I described exactly who should buy something else, and it isn't most people. Most people can easily see a 50% increase in contrast, can clearly hear clearly better speakers, don't type with their hands where the track pad is, don't make more mistakes on a firmer keyboard, and actually do think a better dGPU and battery life are good things.
So you recommend most people to buy a PC laptop? What you've listed can be said about some newer PC laptops...
Please don't, MBP'16 is quite nice.

P. S. Please stop saying for all or "many" people. Or provide proofs.
 

doitdada

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On the contrary I want to encourage you to try it at the store first. Apple is not what it used to be, just read nearby threads, it's might be the time to make BSOD jokes about macOS rather than Windows. However they still have certain inertia so MBP'16 is far from the worst laptop computer out there. Try it and you'll understand whether it suits you or not. The premium you pay for Apple products is much more debatable nowadays.
I've had five 2016 models on my desk. The screen is a little bit better, the speakers have improved some, but I keep getting BSOD and Safari quits. Beachballs. Frozen keyboards and touch bars. I've had problems with the dock. Lags in the UI.

Tried both touch bar and non touch bar, both 13" and 15". Still get bugs. Problems are very evident using an external display. Artifacts, sleep wake failures. You name it.

Going to buy 2015 15" for stability and prosperity, or build a Hackintosh. DIY is more stable ;) Probably best to wait for a MacBook 12" refresh and follow the feedback.
 

MrGuder

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2012
2,685
1,643
Compared to the 2015
/ for some noticeably better screen, for some barely noticeable change in screen - go to store and see for yourself
/ quite the same speakers IMHO, might be wrong
- different trackpad, your hands will always touch it accidentally while using keyboard
/ technically better but practically indistinguishable SSD
- relatively worse integrated graphic processor, better discrete graphic processor, so more switches, more glitches, degraded performance before switch, more battery consumed after switch and this happens more often
- quite the same battery life achieved by cutting the battery Wh almost 1.5 times and being much more aggressive on battery saving (computer will consider it's idle much faster thus more deeds will start with initial small lag)
+ indeed smaller
+ indeed lighter
+ Touch ID
- Touch Bar disrupts your standard keyboard usage: if you don't find any use to its intended functionality - context dependent buttons - which many don't, it will only worsen your keyboard experience; if you find use to its intended functionality then it's both minus and plus
- more mistyping on new keyboard (if you don't type fast this will likely not affect you)
+ universal Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
I agree with some of this but other things you noted are incorrect in my opinion.
I had both the 2016 and 2015 and did a thorough side by side and I found that the speakers on the 2016 are far superior in sound volume. I literally had Star Wars The Force Awakes playing on both side by side muting one, listening to the other vice vs and the 2016 was so much louder and clearer in dialog. It made for a very impressive movie experience. The 2015 I had turned up to the same volume level and it just didn't have any punch and was more muddy sounding. I turned the volume all the way up on the 2015 and it just wasn't as nice as the 2016.

I also think your wrong about the battery life, yes the 2016 might have had some battery issues at the start of production but it's been ironed out with updates. I was getting much better battery life on the 2016 than the 2015, by at least a 2 or 3 hours, coupled with the brighter display and better color gamut I took that as an amazing feat. The 2016 display is much better to look at regarding colors and contrast, the smaller bezels add to the nice look.

I do believe if some of these things don't matter to one person such as smaller, lighter, nicer display, touch ID or the touch bar or an extra hour or 2 than the 2015 is still a worthy purchase.
 

tryrtryrtryrt

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Sep 10, 2016
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I also think your wrong about the battery life, yes the 2016 might have had some battery issues at the start of production but it's been ironed out with updates. I was getting much better battery life on the 2016 than the 2015, by at least a 2 or 3 hours, coupled with the brighter display and better color gamut I took that as an amazing feat. The 2016 display is much better to look at regarding colors and contrast, the smaller bezels add to the nice look.
Let's talk physics.
MBP'15 - 99.5 Wh battery, 47W CPU with highest iGPU, 35W dGPU, good display, no TouchBar draining energy, bought year ago i. e. battery is losing its capacity.
MBP'16 - 76 Wh battery, 45W CPU with just high iGPU, 35W dGPU, same resolution brighter display, has TouchBar draining energy, bought recently i. e. battery is pretty much new (difference in battery drain of memory and SSD is negligible).

25% less battery, negligible difference in CPU battery efficiency by default, worse iGPU battery efficiency thus more often switching to dGPU, TouchBar wants energy. These are all minuses to battery life and they're at least minus 25% (considering battery volume), more like 30-35% (considering more often switching to dGPU and TouchBar).
On the bright side we know for sure they've optimized display battery efficiency. Not without some lies connected to it (read nearby thread where there is an explanation that you can't even achieve advertised max. brightness until you're under direct sunlight or something like that) but ok, display is at least not worse for sure and quite likely quite better. Just to have the same battery life display battery efficiency must have been optimized for like 40-50% i. e. half of its battery drain. Do you believe this can be achieved in one generation? What were they doing before that?

We should also not forget that along with claims about display battery efficiency optimization they've also made it "brighter"... so it should have eaten some optimization result if they're not ********ting us. So even more display optimization is necessary to achieve same battery life.

If you claim MBP'16 lives 2-3 hours more (i. e. something like +35% to MBP'15) we need to find where they got this additional 35% optimization from. Have they optimized display efficiency 3-4 times? Highly doubt, not in one generation. Where could they get this efficiency from? More aggressive CPU standby, more aggressive switch back from dGPU to iGPU (hence initial lags after idling for short time), very aggressive TouchBar standby... Still too little to achieve 35%.

But if we talk in reality, it's likely that display optimization gave them roughly 25% battery efficiency, no more. Aggressive standby of CPU, GPU, TouchBar etc gave 5-10% more. Thus exactly compensated battery volume difference. And this is what can be seen in real life usage - new MBP'16 after recent fixes to macOS lives on battery for quite the same time as new MBP'15 did out of the box.

And that's exactly what I stated in my post you quoted.
I do believe if some of these things don't matter to one person such as smaller, lighter, nicer display, touch ID or the touch bar or an extra hour or 2 than the 2015 is still a worthy purchase.
So yes, mostly it depends on the person, but the last point about battery life is a huge overstatement anyway. All my points from the post you've quoted still stand.
Compared to the 2015
/ for some noticeably better screen, for some barely noticeable change in screen - go to store and see for yourself
/ quite the same speakers IMHO, might be wrong
- different trackpad, your hands will always touch it accidentally while using keyboard
/ technically better but practically indistinguishable SSD
- relatively worse integrated graphic processor, better discrete graphic processor, so more switches, more glitches, degraded performance before switch, more battery consumed after switch and this happens more often
- quite the same battery life achieved by cutting the battery Wh almost 1.5 times and being much more aggressive on battery saving (computer will consider it's idle much faster thus more deeds will start with initial small lag)
+ indeed smaller
+ indeed lighter
+ Touch ID
- Touch Bar disrupts your standard keyboard usage: if you don't find any use to its intended functionality - context dependent buttons - which many don't, it will only worsen your keyboard experience; if you find use to its intended functionality then it's both minus and plus
- more mistyping on new keyboard (if you don't type fast this will likely not affect you)
+ universal Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports
 
Last edited:

Sanpete

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2016
2,123
839
Utah
Let's talk physics.
MBP'15 - 99.5 Wh battery, 47W CPU with highest iGPU, 35W dGPU, good display, no TouchBar draining energy, bought year ago i. e. battery is losing its capacity.
MBP'16 - 76 Wh battery, 45W CPU with just high iGPU, 35W dGPU, same resolution brighter display, has TouchBar draining energy, bought recently i. e. battery is pretty much new (difference in battery drain of memory and SSD is negligible).

25% less battery, negligible difference in CPU battery efficiency by default, worse iGPU battery efficiency thus more often switching to dGPU, TouchBar wants energy. These are all minuses to battery life and they're at least minus 25% (considering battery volume), more like 30-35% (considering more often switching to dGPU and TouchBar).
On the bright side we know for sure they've optimized display battery efficiency. Not without some lies connected to it (read nearby thread where there is an explanation that you can't even achieve advertised max. brightness until you're under direct sunlight or something like that) but ok, display is at least not worse for sure and quite likely quite better. Just to have the same battery life display battery efficiency must have been optimized for like 40-50% i. e. half of its battery drain. Do you believe this can be achieved in one generation? What were they doing before that?

We should also not forget that along with claims about display battery efficiency optimization they've also made it "brighter"... so it should have eaten some optimization result if they're not ********ting us. So even more display optimization is necessary to achieve same battery life.

If you claim MBP'16 lives 2-3 hours more (i. e. something like +35% to MBP'15) we need to find where they got this additional 35% optimization from. Have they optimized display efficiency 3-4 times? Highly doubt, not in one generation. Where could they get this efficiency from? More aggressive CPU standby, more aggressive switch back from dGPU to iGPU (hence initial lags after idling for short time), very aggressive TouchBar standby... Still too little to achieve 35%.

But if we talk in reality, it's likely that display optimization gave them roughly 25% battery efficiency, no more. Aggressive standby of CPU, GPU, TouchBar etc gave 5-10% more. Thus exactly compensated battery volume difference. And this is what can be seen in real life usage - new MBP'16 after recent fixes to macOS lives on battery for quite the same time as new MBP'15 did out of the box.

And that's exactly what I stated in my post you quoted. So yes, mostly it depends on the person, but the last point about battery life is a huge overstatement anyway. All my points from the post you've quoted still stand.
Let's talk facts. Controlled tests by pro reviewers show that as a matter if fact the 2016 15" gets better battery life than the 2015 for light to moderate use. That was true long before recent software updates. Your "physics" is obviously missing some key facts.

Apple hasn't lied about anything related to this. You're the one misrepresenting facts. And no, the silliness from your earlier post doesn't stand.
 

tryrtryrtryrt

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Let's talk facts. Controlled tests by pro reviewers show that as a matter if fact the 2016 15" gets better battery life than the 2015 for light to moderate use. That was true long before recent software updates. Your "physics" is obviously missing some key facts.

Apple hasn't lied about anything related to this. You're the one misrepresenting facts. And no, the silliness from your earlier post doesn't stand.
Please provide proofs. You've failed to do it for 3 or 4 times lately. At least until then all my points stand.
Apple hasn't lied about anything related to this.
Bees say honey is sweet. Who could've thought!

P. S. Physics is mostly facts.
 
Last edited:

Sanpete

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Nov 17, 2016
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Utah
Please provide proofs. You've failed to do it for 3 or 4 times lately. At least until then all my points stand. Bees say honey is sweet. Who could've thought!

P. S. Physics is mostly facts.
More utterly empty hand waving and ... ? Have you actually looked at reviews? Look at the reviews by Ars Technica and Notebook Check for the 2015 and 2016 15" MBPs. Same tests. The facts are there.
 
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