2016 MacBook Pro 13" Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Huntn, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Huntn, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017

    Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I looked around for an existing thread, but did not locate one. If there is one, please send me a link and I'll ask that this thread be combined. I've got another thread floating around here where I complain about the cost of new Macs. ;)

    I've had my 2016 MBP 13" for several weeks now and overall, I am pleased with it except for it's excessive price, which I talk about in the Cons section. I downgraded from a 15" 2011 MBP with dedicated graphics and so far have not taken much of a hit using it (the 2011 model) as a benchmark.

    • MacOS- still as wonderful as always.
    • Typical Computer Tasks- It shines for everything I need, utility, productivity, graphics, (except gaming).
    • Touchbar- added functionality as long as it has longevity.
    • SSD- is a step up for speed on Mac hardware.
    • Lighter- less weight, smaller profile.

    • Gaming Pt1- The Mac should not primarily be considered a gaming machine. I'm about where I was with my 2011 15" MBP, because while very capable, my 2011 would not play ARK: Survival Evolved or Fallout 4. For those specifically interested in gaming, I've started a thread to identify suitable games for the 2016 13" Mac (see my sig for specs). Based on where I'm at in my life, retired and not traveling as much, I could not justify the $$ increase for dedicated graphics while traveling. See expense and gaming below.


    • Expense- Overpriced for what you get. I predict that the high cost of owning Mac hardware will eventually be it's Achilles heal in both computers and tablets. Right now people are still willing to pay the price, but will this continue? Yes, the MacOS is wonderful, but it's not everything.

      I am still a Mac fan and could of opted for a MacBook Air, but I wanted a heftier computer and do resent paying this much ($2000) for a laptop with limited graphics capability. I find my self seriously considering the dark side for my next primary computer. (Note, I all ready have a PC desktop that I use for AAA gaming ($1000), and could switch right now, but I'm still vested in the Mac ecosystem.
    • Touchbar- No dedicated ESC key, although there is a provision to assign the ESC key to another key, but you'll have to give up something like your Caps key. Question about longevity, in other words, it's something new that can break. Fingers crossed it holds up.
    • Windows- The Touchbar may be a hindrance when using Windows. As does it work under Windows? I've not fully explored this.
    • USB-C- Is small always better? I'll vote no. The loss of the mag-safe power connection is a significant step backwards, no matter how you cut it, size be damned. In addition while small, the USB-C connection used for both the power connection and peripherals is appears more fragile and susceptible to bending versus traditional USB connectors. I've not researched it, but this may be the trend for all laptops including PC.
    • Gaming Pt2- In general paying approx $3000 for a laptop to get dedicated graphics is an outrage. This is why the 15" MacBook Pro is no longer a viable option for me and why I chose the the 13" MBP this time. Yes, I could afford to spend $3000 on a computer, but I could not justify it, period.

      Back in 2011, the 15" MBP with dedicated graphics (approx $2400) was actually competitive for AAA gaming, but my impression is that in this regard, it has slid backwards for graphic power, as compared to it's PC competition. If this is your only computer, and you feel the need for gaming on it as a primary activity, go with a PC for $500 or more in savings. Look at these prices for PC Laptops reported to have dedicated graphics.
  2. darkloki macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2012
    Orange County California
    I love the reliability of Macs I've only been a 15" inch user and I've been absent from the PC laptop world since 2008 I wanna say or maybe 2006. But I'm an Everyday Laptop user for sure and I can tell you that I've never seen a laptop survive the everyday utilization like a Mac. I don't doubt that PC's have gotten better in their builds in the last 10 years and I also realize that perhaps in some circles you could probably buy 2 PC's for the price of 1 Mac but I just love having a product I know that will last for such a long time and deliver.

    I personally have developed the belief that Gaming Desktop with a Macbook as your Portable System is like the best setup, I have yet to be convinced otherwise. This type of belief is also the sole reason why I was able to graduate from college and make a decent living lol, I was sooooo doomed with gaming laptops... HAha....
  3. ThisBougieLife macrumors 68000


    Jan 21, 2016
    SF Bay Area, California
    You have some valid points, but I am going to disagree on the loss of MagSafe. With the USB-C power, you can now power the laptop from either side. Restricting it to the left side often meant that my power cable had to be bent in unusual ways, which weakened the cord. The new cords are also thicker so they seem stronger to me rather than weaker. My 2012 MBP's power unit had to be replaced twice during the three years I owned it. With the USB-C power, its only the cord that needs to be replaced, since it's removable rather than attached to the power brick. Thus replacements should be cheaper.

    In that way, the loss of MagSafe seems to be a plus on all sides.
  4. Huntn, Jan 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017

    Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I agree completely- Gaming PC desktop for gaming, Macbook for everything else, as long as the price does not bug you too much. ;)
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2017 ---
    I understand what you are saying, and acknowledge more flexibility with connecting it to either side, but I've already noticed situations where the connectors can easily be bent, they stick out perpendicular to the body of the mac versus snug against the body as the magsafe connector used to be and it did not bend ever, it just came off.

    Even with mag safe, it could have been designed as a cable that plugs into the brick if they had wanted to...
  5. scoobysnax macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2016
    I see what you did there.
  6. sunapple macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    You can add USB-C to the pros as well as far as I'm concerned. Might depend on the use case, I just use a 4-port USB hub that connect to my 15" via USB-A USB-C adapter and the charger. The hub, which I've had for years, handles USB receivers and a USB audio DAC. On-the-go I bring my Apple Digital AV adapter with HDMI that I've got from my 12" MacBook.

    Along with being able to charge from both sizes, you can also charge from third party adapters/cables and portable batteries. That adds to the point that it became cheaper to replace the adapter. Those MagSafe cables break so easily and you have to replace both the adapter and cable...

    Touch Bar in Windows (Bootcamp) has the same functionality as it would have with a non-Touch Bar model. Special functions first, press fn-key to get the normal function keys. It's not yet customizable I think, but in the future who knows.

    What's up with the esc-key? It's in its original place most of time, in the worst case you have to click twice in the same spot. I don't really use it that much.

    Yes, it's expensive. Will probably be returning my 15" base model with 460 graphics and wait for the next iteration. I'm not convinced it's worth 2700 euros (with student discount).
  7. macmee Suspended


    Dec 13, 2008

    1. it runs MacOS
    2. It has USB-C
    3. thin
    4. big touchpad
    5. touchbar


    1. non-upgradable, cant even upgrade ram lol
    2. overpriced
    3. crap battery
    4. crap video drivers
    5. crap specs
    6. crippled bandwidth in right hand side usb-c ports
    7. poor controller support in USB-C implementation so that not all USB-C devices are supported
    8. no magsafe
    9. keyboard is crap
    10. missing the escape key
  8. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    Nothing new. Been moving towards this for years and I hear a lot of complaint but no real issues.

    Read #1

    Mine's been great. So all evidence, including Consumer Reports (not nearly enough of a sample to come to any scientific conclusion) is purely anecdotal at this time.

    First I've heard this, especially concerning the 15"

    This is just ridiculous and shows how ignorant or a troll you actually are.

    First I've heard this. The spec is Thunderbolt for ALL USB-C ports


    Your source?

    Source please.

    Really? You do understand that USB-C is the future. Unless you like proprietary charging cables. You'll be able to buy a charging cable for ANY computer in ANY store. I think the future might be scaring you.

    No, it's not. Again, the future.

    Nope, it's there. Just not like how YOU like it. One more time, the future. Get used to it. Or, you COULD opt for the non touch bar version which features your ESC key. Function keys too.
  9. d14b0ll0s macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2011
    The keyboard is great (seriously, it rocks, and I'm a Das Keyboard user), and so is the screen. But the trackpad doesn't register gestures well, in particular the 3-finger drag (which you can turn on in Accessibility btw).

    Battery is so-so. 7 hours of light use.

    Many graphic glitches - some random, logging out when switching displays, etc. Mission control sometimes has a lag (may be due to Parallels though).

    Portable, fast in daily tasks, and nice. But I miss a quad-core CPU for more serious stuff (even OCR software worked much faster on my 2012 Mini).

    Ah, the Touch Bar. Well, cool to show off. Sometimes useful with media playback. Still waiting for Office 2016 support.
  10. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    USB C- Since owning this MacBook Pro as described in post 1, I've ordered two different sets of USB A to USB C cables from Amazon. Neither one of them will power an external portable HD which has a USB A connector. Link 1, Link 2. The Apple USB to USB C adapters work fine, and they fit snug into the side of the MBP, but the item from Link 1, the USB C connector looks identical, but when plugged in it sticks out a little bit. In other words, I can see metal, when it's plugged in, where I can't with the Apple adapters. I have returned both of these cable sets as defective.

    Is there something I'm not getting about them?

    1. An applestore employee made it sound like ram could be upgraded at the store.
    2. Agreed- mentioned in my post.
    3. Seems ok to me.
    4. Unaware of crap video drivers- look fine to me.
    5. Crap specs- hmm, well if you are talking about overpriced compared to what you get in a pc laptop video card wise, then yes, but that's covered in 2, the spec otherwise are fine.
    6. not sure, I'm having trouble getting 3rd party cables to work with existing external portable HDs.
    7. Don't know.
    8. Agreed- mentioned in my post.
    9. Disagree, keyboard is fine.
    10. Agreed- mentioned in my post.

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