2015 MBP vs Donglelife?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by m4a, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. m4a macrumors newbie

    m4a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    #1
    EDIT: Accidentally posted in MBP section, not buying guide section, if someone could move it, that would be great.

    Hi everyone.

    I have a tough choice to make. Hope you guys can help me out here!

    Currently looking to upgrade from my 2012 Macbook Air. Not that I really need to, but from time to time 4GB of RAM is not enough. Although it can pretty smoothly run tens of chrome tabs and photoshop simultaneously, sometimes i wish it was a bit faster. I would probably keep the Air for at least a year more but my gf needs a laptop so I am thinking of passing Air to her.

    So what are my needs?
    • Run external monitor (95% of the time). Need HDMI;
    • Since I am using MX Master, most likely I will need to use USB wireless connector;
    • Charging. Since most of the time my laptop is used plugged in to an external monitor (not the new USB-C one) I need one port for charging.
    • 1 free USB 3.0 port.
    In total: 2x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI (or miniDSP), charging port.

    Couple options:
    2015 MBP, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSB (probably harder to find but still cheaper than 2017 MBP)
    2017 MBP (w/o TB) entry level, just 256GB SSD (I don't want or need the touch bar, and $300 more for 2 more ports is just way too much.)

    I know that 2015 MBP would fit my need perfectly for the next 3-4 years, no dongles, no weird keyboards.
    It is an older laptop though, so if I could find a dongle that would fit my needs, 2017 model probably would not be a bad choice.

    So far the dongles that I have found seems to not be very reliable. HooToo dongles have about 10-20% 1 star ratings on amazon. Most are HDMI related issues. Form factor is great for it, since I could stick it under the table. Apples own dongle seems to be even worse. Also I am not really ok with paying more than $70-80 for a dongle.

    Last and the cheapest option is to buy a refurbished 12inch Macbook for my gf, keep my 2012 Air until it's done or until USB-C becomes more refined and accessible?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Shanghai
    #2
    Dongles: If you think it will be a problem then you're sure to find reasons why it's a problem. If you think it won't be a problem you're likely to have no issues what-so-ever.

    That's the simple truth of it, if you read forums and ask for opinions you'll only get 50/50 splits, it's up to you who you decide to believe...

    Personally, USB-C is great, I love not having to carry an array of cables with me wherever I go and haven't had a single issue with reliability. I keep a USB-C - HDMI cable for when needed, and you shouldn't expect other people to be using USB-C, so always make sure you have backwards compatible. But the point is it's backwards compatible, so you're getting something current and new whilst places catch up. In the mean time you've got 4 ports of anything, and are not limited to only have 1 HDMI, or 2 USB, they can be anything. So right now you say you need 1 free USB-3 port, well you have 4. Or get a dock as you said and you can have more than you could ever need. You've also got the benefit of being able to just have the dock wherever and plug stuff in and out at ease. Instead of having to have a spiderweb looking setup and unplug everything whenever you need to take it somewhere, 1 cable solution works very well.

    But again, if you think it's a problem then you'll get one and spend ages complaining that you need a USB-C/A adapter. So really up to your own opinions.

    If you want current, get USB-C, if you want something being phased out then get the dedicated individual port solution of an older machine. You have options.
     
  3. m4a thread starter macrumors newbie

    m4a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    #3
    Thanks for the insights.

    Really the only issue is that I am not sure how reliable are those multi-port hubs. Like the one from HooToo or Apple. Hundreds of people are complaining about reliability issues. Can you suggest some good quality USB-C hubs that would house HDMI and USB 3.0 ports?
     
  4. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #4
    buy a thunderbolt usb type c dock with ports, plug in one cable, be happy.

    usb c / thunderbolt 3 is the future. buy for tomorrow not yesterday.

    2c
     
  5. m4a thread starter macrumors newbie

    m4a

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    Sep 17, 2017
    #5
    Sure, Any good docks that are for a reasonable price? The one that seemed ok from HooToo has hundreds of poor reviews.
     
  6. irontiger82 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    #6
    Get the CharJenPro USB-C Premium Hub or the MacBar Adapter+

    I have been using the former for half a year and been working great. I got the MacBar Adapter+ a month ago and it's just as nice as the hub but more portable to put in my messenger bag. I was looking into Satechi's and Hyperdrive but those reviews aren't the greatest, so I waiting for something better.

    MacBar Adapter+
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0746381W6

    Hub:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MXKJC4M

    As far you the dongle life or getting a previous gen. Macbook Pro it's up to you. I think you won't have a problem with it. I had my previous generation Macbook Pro for 7 years and switch over to this gen. MBP when it first came out. I had a little adjustment with plugging in my legacy drives in the beginning but now it's just part of my work flow.

    As long as you get a quality USB-C hub or Adapter, I think you'll be fine.
     
  7. m4a thread starter macrumors newbie

    m4a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    #7
    I totally agree.

    Have you used a wireless usb plug for a logitech mouse with those hubs? As well as HDMI display? I read that the toughest part for these dongles is to get everything work together nicely without any lag. I found some Lenovo solution, that seems nice as well.
     
  8. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #8
    If you buy a cheap hub then you can only expect so much. What do you consider 'Reasonable'? If you want a decent one, then you want a Thunderbolt 3 which will cost money, but you may consider that more reasonable than going through several $50 docks.
     
  9. m4a thread starter macrumors newbie

    m4a

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    Sep 17, 2017
    #9
    I think that spending $2130 on a macbook (that's how much non-TB 265GB base model costs in Europe) and then adding a $200 dock to do what I was doing without any dongles or docks is pretty unreasonable. I found a $65 dock from Lenovo that has pretty good reviews. That price is reasonable.
     
  10. ntc3freak macrumors newbie

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    Jun 9, 2012
    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    #10
    Can't vouch for the HooToo as I can't find it here (Malaysia), however I do have the Apple Multiport adapter (with HDMI). I too was worried with the horrendous reviews the Apple dongle was getting on Apple's website, but I bit the bullet anyway and bought it together with my 2017 Macbook Pro 15". Immediately upon plugging it in, the dongle asked to be updated, and I did. I do wonder however, if all the bad reviews are from pre-update.

    IMO, I feel that the dongle situation has been massively overblown. To me it's amazing to think how versatile one port can be, it can literally do anything from power to data to video, etc. . In my setup currently, I have the Apple dongle connected to power (stock Apple 87W charger), HDMI cable to my LG 29UM65 monitor (29" ultrawide, 2560 x 1080 resolution), and the USB port is connected to a 4-port USB hub which powers my Logitech Unifying receiver (for MX Master), Logitech G402 gaming mouse, and Ducky One mechanical keyboard.

    Granted, my setup might not be as demanding as you or others out there, but I can't begin to tell you how amazing it is to come home and plug a single cable into my laptop and transform it instantly into a workstation, powering everything I need with one single cable. I can't wait until the rest of the industry catches up and releases more USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 products. Just my 2 cents
     
  11. m4a thread starter macrumors newbie

    m4a

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    Sep 17, 2017
    #11
    Are you seeing any stuttering with this setup? Bluetooth doesn't seem to be reliable with MX Master, so this USB receiver is needed. If there is no stuttering when using it through dongle, then this might be very feasible. My setup is not demanding, you have more things plugged in that I need, so this gives me a bit of confidence. Thanks
     
  12. ntc3freak macrumors newbie

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    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    #12
    I too notice the stuttering over Bluetooth with MX Master in MacOS (works miles better in Windows through Bootcamp, go figure), not sure if it's an issue with High Sierra or what. It comes and goes, though, so I hope it gets fixed soon.

    But I can say that it works beautifully in my setup with the hub and the Unifying receiver, with zero tracking issues.
     
  13. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #13
    Then you have a problem, you shouldn't buy an expensive computer and expect cheap accessories. If you're spending £1449 on a computer and can't justify £100 on an accessory, then you're in for a long road of hurt. If you want a dock then you have to buy a 3rd party one, otherwise use cables; these are cheap and plentiful, similar price to any other cable. Anyway things cost money to make, you can make them cheaper but there are sacrifices, personally $65 for a whole dock is exceedingly cheap and I wouldn't touch it, it's not cheap value, it's cheap construction; there will be things they've cut to keep the costs down and maintain that price point, such as slower bus speeds, weaker materials, etc.

    Also if you're just looking at currencies and converting into dollars without taking into account taxes and logistics, then you're going to get even more upset. These kind of things only truly matter if you earn money in one country and spend it directly in another, it costs what it costs which is locally the same price everywhere once things are taken into account.
     
  14. m4a, Sep 18, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017

    m4a thread starter macrumors newbie

    m4a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    #14
    Probably the best answer to my question from your perspective should have been "buy 2015 MBP, if cost matters and wait for docks to become cheaper and USB-C more common." But instead you are shaming me because I cant justify buying $200 accessory for already very expensive computer just to plug in my mouse and external screen. And no, cables wont work with non-TB macbook. And yes, I cant justify $300 increase for 2 more USB ports.

    Regards to currencies. I converted to USD because it is easier to understand how relatively expensive it is outside the USA. And actually I do earn money in other country. I get paid in USD and It is almost cheaper for me to fly to the USA and buy a macbook there with my USD card than it is to convert and buy here.

    Thank you for letting me know that I need to buy 2015 MBP.

    EDIT:
    Well, not always. If you compare the macbook prices in Latvia to USA where average wage is exactly 8x higher, it does not cost the same everywhere. I understand why prices are higher here, but they are not the same everywhere. ;) At the end, thats not the point.
     
  15. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #15
    The more cost-effective route is going to be the 2015 MBP. If cost is an issue, or you flat out do not want to deal with any adapters/hubs, then I would favor this provided you are OK with opting out of the benefits seen with the 2017.

    The more versatile route in the long run is going to be the 2017 MBP. If you are a highly mobile user, the single cable solutions with a hub (or a monitor that has a built-in hub and supplies charging) are awesome - however, they come at a financial price. Further, if you plan to use extremely high resolution displays, the 2017 is favored here as well. If you like using external SSDs, the inclusion of USB 3.1 gen 2 is also very significant in that it enables far faster SSDs than gen 1 on the 2015, and yet unlike Thunderbolt we can expect to see low-cost external USB gen 2 SSDs.

    USB-C options will grow. Unfortunately, at the present time, 3rd party options for hubs that supply power, have a video out, and are USB-IF Certified are extremely limited - and gen 2 hubs are yet to hit the market. This will change, but not overnight.
     
  16. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #16
    No one's trying to shame you... All I said originally was if you think it'll be a problem, then get the 2015. If you're willing to embrace it, then get the USB-C version. It's all new tech so things cost money, and you should bear that in mind when choosing a computer. The cost of the machine is just a part of the budget, how much will it cost to get the machine you need? If that's the computer, plus a dock, plus a case, and a new mouse etc. then that's all part of the budget, and if it's too much then look elsewhere. That's not shaming, just a reminder of the fact these are expensive machines.
     
  17. irontiger82 macrumors member

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    Sep 2, 2011
    #17
    I have, been using the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 through bluetooth since there is that known issue from Intel about older 2.4 gHz wireless band that gives it trouble on any hub, which I was using the older MX Anywhere 1. Not really the hub's fault, you'll see a lot of threads about it with Intel's white paper and explanation.

    I have used the hub with my Asus 4K monitor and works just dandy without any lag. I just got to make sure you have the USB-C power delivery port plug in with the supplied Apple USB-C cable to give it more juice for more power hungry devices, like my external hard drives or it will eject. Typical from what I read with all hubs.

    What kind of Logitech mouse do you have?
     
  18. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

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    United States
    #18
    Agreed, and I really don't get why this is so hard for people to figure out. You don't walk into a BMW dealership and just assume your entitled to afford the most expensive car they make, let alone be entitled to afford a BMW at all.

    Why is that people feel they are entitled to determine how much Apple should charge for their gear. All these people on the forums complaining about the prices because they really want Apple gear... and yet think they should get it for whatever arbitrary price they think is fair (usually a similar price to the Windows gear they don't want as much). Last time I checked, Apple was selling a LOT of Macs.

    And generally speaking, Apple gear has ALWAYS been expensive. Thirty years ago, a Mac SE (9" B&W / 1MB RAM /20 MB HDD) cost at least US$3,000 (at a time when you could pick up a similar spec'd DOS PC for literally half that). Not nearly as cool as the Mac II of the time, the SE was still the slick new Mac for the typical user, and had the HDD internally. But hey, if you couldn't afford the latest and greatest, they still sold the older Mac Plus for a few hundred less, you just had to have the HDD in an external enclosure sitting underneath it. Oh, and The Mac Plus had the old style serial ports, while the newer Mac SE & II had switched to ADB ports (wow, those were the days where people actually got excited to get the newest ports :rolleyes:).

    So here we are, and Apple still has a number of price points and models to choose from in each lineup, including staying with the more mature tech and cheaper prices 2015 MBP models. The Dell's & HP's of the world choose to spend their resources updating thousands of configurations every year, and in order to keep the prices low, they cut lots of corners from top to bottom. So what if Apple chooses not to follow the rest of the industry?... as though the moment a new CPU or GPU is released, the old ones become worthless.

    Seems like Apple is being pretty smart about this. They're offering an alternative. I shared the Mac SE example above, but they've been doing this with iPhone & iPad for a few years now. Apple is a luxury brand, but the majority of people (who are in the market for $1K+ computers) can still afford the same high-quality Apple products that just a year or two ago were the latest & greatest, and now more limited number of configurations.

    If you want the latest & greatest, you have to pay more for it (again, how did this become such a foreign concept? o_O).
     
  19. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

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  20. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #20
    Unfortunately that is the reality as USB C/TB-3 are both still upcoming technologies with fast reliable docks being $200 and upwards. Dongles can be and are a "mixed bag" dependent on the environment; static i.e. home and a fixed work position they are generally manageable. In more mobile roles where the computer will be used in areas and or facilities where one does not control the computing environment dongles can and do result in the inability to connect to other devices at times.

    I am now on my 3rd USB C notebook so very far from a detractor, equally I know the pitfalls, with some companies having far better implementation than Apple regarding dongles etc. As others have stated dock's, dongles are now a factor of the MBP, therefore one needs to budget accordingly, as Apple has set it's path with the MBP...

    Personally I would opt for the 2015 design, offering the legacy ports which are still far more prolific and avoiding any potential keyboard issues, equally as my notebooks are employed professionally and only kept in the rotation for 24 months, therefore a forward looking system is not a pressing concern to me.

    Q-6
     
  21. m4a thread starter macrumors newbie

    m4a

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    Sep 17, 2017
    #21
    I have no problem paying $2k for a computer that does what I need it to do. I just wished that $2k computer would fit very basic and simple needs out of the box. $900 Apple Macbook 5 years ago did fit my needs perfectly. Then again, I have no problem buying some accessories to make it fit my needs. But $200 to plug in a mouse and a screen (and leave one regular USB port open) is way too much for what I need it to do. So I was looking for some cheaper alternatives of which there are couple, but reviews aren't that great. I just don't need it that much to justify those extra costs. I couldn't care less if it is the latest and greatest, I just love OSX and I hoped that in a year companies had managed to build decent quality dongles / docks for a great price. I am rocking a 2012 Macbook Air. If it had 8GB of RAM i would be fine with it for couple more years no problem.

    For some reason couple of you thought that I want to buy top of the line macbook for half the price. I stated that "Not that I really need to" buy it, just that my gf needs one and I could pass my current Air to her if I find a solution that works for me. It would be a different story if I NEEDED that top spec macbook, then of course it is just the part of the costs.

    MX Master. Awesome mouse, I love it, just upset that USB receiver is needed to use it properly.


    Thank you for all the rest who participated in this disscussion. You helped me to make choice!
     
  22. ntc3freak macrumors newbie

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    #22
    So what have you decided? :)
     
  23. m4a thread starter macrumors newbie

    m4a

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    #23
    MBP 2015
     
  24. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #24
    Am thinking on the same, equally not convinced given the strength of the competition...

    Q-6
     
  25. m4a, Sep 19, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

    m4a thread starter macrumors newbie

    m4a

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    #25
    I just love OSX and the build quality of macbook's too much to give it up just yet! :) Windows 10 is the step in the right direction for Microsoft, but it is nowhere near as polished as OSX.
     

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