2016 Macbook Pro 15" first impressions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SVTM, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. SVTM, Nov 14, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016

    SVTM macrumors member


    Sep 6, 2016
    I received my Space Grey 15" Macbook Pro this morning and after spending the day with it these are my initial thoughts/impressions.

    -Full specs 2.9Ghz/2TB SSD/16GB ram/Radeon 460 dGPU

    -Upgraded from a 2012 15" MBP 2.6Ghz/1TB SSD/16GB ram/GT 650M 1GB

    Design: Space Grey looks fantastic in person, especially for people that have gotten bored with the same old silver option. The entire laptop is extremely thin compared to previous MBPs yet the computer is silent during light normal day to day tasks.

    Keyboard: The keyboard is not as bad as some have made it out to be. It will take some getting used to but it has good tactile feel to it, it does not feel muted like previous macbook keyboards. I will miss the travel of prior MBP keyboards but overall it's not a bad keyboard and I think most will get used to it after a few weeks. The two added benefits of the keys being a lower profile is no LED light bleeds out from under the keys like previous models, and the keys are a lot easier to clean without worrying about debris getting under them.

    Trackpad: I love the size of the new trackpad. I've already used it in photoshop today and photo editors will absolutely love the extra room while editing. I will miss the more mechanical click of my previous MBP but overall I feel the size is a good trade off.

    Battery: It seems on par with previous Macbook Pros. I'm usually the type to unplug/plug in throughout the day and so far it doesn't seem to be performing better or worse.

    Screen: The screen has gorgeous color and contrast and is very bright. Even at full brightness it doesn't lose contrast or detail which is another plus for video and photo editors.

    Performance: So far I've done some video editing/rendering and some light gaming. When the computer is under heavy load
    you will hear the fans kick on but it is not in anyway louder than my previous MBPs. That is a pleasant surprise to me considering how much thinner the computer is and how much smaller the fans must be. It also runs slightly cooler than my previous MBPs and does not get uncomfortably hot if you are using it on your lap.

    Speakers: They are definitely louder than previous MBPs and have way more low end bass. Side by side my 2012 seems to have a little more clarity on the highs but overall the speakers are improved.

    TouchBar: The only app I have used that incorporates it in some way is FCP and I actually really like the way they implemented it. It works very smoothly when editing and I do feel like it adds a level of productivity that I didn't have prior to having the touchbar. During normal day to day tasks I do not feel like it adds anything to the computer but it also doesn't take anything away from it either. It really is going to be up to software developers to make it useful but even if most don't it is still nice to be able to arrange your own shortcuts as you want them. Also touch ID works perfectly as advertised for quickly signing.

    Ports: So far I've purchased 2 aukley USB C to USB A adapters, an aukley USB C SD card reader, 2 USB C to USB A cables, and all of them work flawlessly. I don't see the lack of other ports being a daily hindrance once you have the few adapters you need. If carrying small adapters really bothers you just wait a year or so and most accessories will be switched over to USB C anyway. The only port that I really miss is MagSafe, not only because it was a safety feature but because it made unplugging/plugging the computer in a breeze. Maybe apple just spoiled us with MagSafe but now it does feel more finicky to charge the computer when it used to just snap into place. I do have hope that some third party companies will design a MagSafe adapter but even if they do it will most likely be an eyesore sticking out of the side of the computer.

    So those are my overall day one impressions. I hope they help out anyone that is on the fence about ordering one. If anyone has any questions about hardware or features feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer them.


    Geekbench 4

    AJA read/write speeds
    Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 12.24.02 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 12.43.19 PM.png

  2. zokstar macrumors regular


    Aug 15, 2016
  3. radus macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    Thank you for the review, have a lot of fun with it.

    Did you benchmark the SSD ?
  4. powertoold macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2014
    -Full specs 2.9Ghz/2TB SSD/16GB ram/Radeon 460 dGPU

    Holy BLING Jebus!
  5. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Thank you for posting your Day 1 observations! I am currently using a mid-2012 MBP, so I enjoyed reading your thoughts since you came from the same model machine. Do you feel like you see a significant performance increase compared to your 2012 MBP?

    Much appreciated!
  6. SVTM thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 6, 2016

  7. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    Ordered the same thing but mine doesn't arrive until thursday :-(
  8. Amorie macrumors newbie


    Jul 23, 2014
  9. EnesM macrumors 6502


    May 7, 2015
    I don't think you'll miss once you get used to it. Do I miss those clunky keyboards from the 90's? Hell no. Did the people from the 90's miss the typewriters? I don't think so. You should come back to this thread in a few weeks to tell us your updated impressions :)

    They do already, and lo and behold, it sticks out like a mf. I had the link somewhere, if you're interested. MagSafe will be missed, no doubt about that...
  10. shareef777 macrumors 68020


    Jul 26, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Got a similar setup (2.9GHz/1TB/460M) and came from a similar 2012 (2.7GHz/16GB/768GB) and was pleasantly surprised at the performance increase (considering how much people booed this release). First, the machine is deafly quiet. Just so eerie. Second, the battery life is amazing (again, my 2012 is over 4yo now, so going back up to 10 hours is awesome). TouchBar is great. It adds features that we simply didn't have before. For example, I can keep my hands on the keyboard, change the text color to red without touching the trackpad.

    I can right justify,
    1. Or return to left justify, and add numbered points​
    • or bullet​
    All without moving my hand away from the keyboard.

    And obviously, I can add emojis​
  11. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    It's the worst keyboard Apple has ever released. And I've been using Macs since the Mac Plus (although the Mac Plus keyboard is probably runner up). I think I'm going to return the MBP tomorrow. It's that bad.
  12. monkeydax macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2012
    To each his own, lots of people love the new keyboard too. I've tried it myself, sure it takes some getting used to, but I don't deny that there would be some people who would like it. I know I can type faster on that, but it does get slightly louder.
  13. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    I just don't get the hate for the thinner keyboards. Besides the fact its loud when typing i don't see the issue with it. Then again i don't type for hours on end so it may affect other differently.
  14. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    If that is the only thing you don't like, it seems like an over-reaction on your part. Once you use it for awhile, you will grow into it.
  15. SVTM thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 6, 2016

    Theres absolutely a performance increase. I mainly use my computer for video editing and rendering times have been 1/4 what they were with my old machine.

    Hang in there! The wait has been long for many of us but you are almost there now.

    Will do.
  16. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Overreaction? The lack of key travel makes it literally painful to use with extended typing. It is not ergonomic and will probably cause RSI issues if I continue to use it. Sure, I can use an external keyboard, but that's not the point.
  17. monkeydax macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2012
    You're right, should not be the point to using alternatives with a $3k macbook pro. I think it's just a matter of your opinion and he feels it isn't that big an issue. You may think it's that big an issue to return it, if so, you should really return it! Apple did lose a customer then, because of its new keyboard design, but surely a another 99.9% of the users are going to get used to it and like the new keyboard.
  18. Maccotto macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2012
    Thx for review.
    A question: what gaming/video editing have you tried?
    Do you think that 450 can be good for both tasks?
  19. fokmik macrumors 68030

    Oct 28, 2016
    so is your 15" MBP reaching 10 hours when you do little/low things?
    " It seems on par with previous Macbook Pros" and thats a step back since the 2012 has 7 hours for web surfing for example. So a difference of 3 full hours...it is a big thing. Maybe after your mac indexing etc you can test that, just with it at 100% surf the web for 3-4-5 min
  20. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    I'm sure that's what Apple is hoping, but I'm not sure. All I know is that I don't think shaving off a few more millimeters was worth it. I think the loudness is equally problematic. I'm not sure you could type in a quiet coffee shop or open office without annoying people around you. Even the sound of the keys is not very pleasing. The old keyboards had this muted, pleasing thump to them. These keys have this sharp plasticky sound. There's something un-Apple about the overall industrial design of it.
  21. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Strange, I believe your read score should be around 50% higher? Ars got almost 3GB/s. Maybe the 2TB SSD is slower in that aspect.
  22. monkeydax macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2012
    Think he was using the BlackMagic Speed Test which seems to max out at 2GB/s.
  23. CarbonX macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2010
    How is the keyboard clearance from the screen? Do the keys leave marks on it?
  24. EnesM macrumors 6502


    May 7, 2015
    Wait, are you saying this keyboard is louder than previous ones???
  25. monkeydax macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2012
    Yep, pretty much. It seems to hit the base with a much louder tick sound rather than the muffled sound on the old ones.

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