I think it is a great computer, Apple did a TON of things right, but it is not perfect. This is just my personal opinion. At the end of the day, the nice thing with Apple is the two week return policy, so I don't want to discourage someone from trying one of these systems.
I was not completely satisfied with the 5500M version I initially had and the more I used the 5500M model, the more hesitant I was to recommend it to anyone using externals without them understanding the implications carried by that GPU...and even without externals, the GPU generated quite a lot of heat, and more than I would prefer on something I hope to use for a 5-10 year run.
I read a lot of reviews before buying, but did not peruse forums...and looking back I feel like most reviews were not as comprehensive as I would have liked. If I could write a collective summary, I might highlight areas where it excels, such as:
- stellar form factor,
- fit and finish,
- trackpad...10 cuts above the rest,
- display color reproduction and brightness,
- powerful processing,
- great battery, especially when compared to other laptops with these high-wattage CPUs,
- capable IO,
- ability to dissipate a ton of heat despite using such a tiny frame,
- great implementation of Bluetooth (even though Bluetooth kind of sucks but Apple makes the best of it),
- generally excellent support with individual issues,
as well as its shortcomings, such as:
to try to give a comprehensive overview to a reader before their shelling out a substantial sum of money on a product likely to see major revisions in the near future (at most a year or so). IMHO, this is a design that should have used a GPU with HBM from the very start...the system is absolutely brilliant with the 5600M.
- Occasional OS bugs (applies to any computer but Catalina seems to be more quirky than other macOS versions),
- 5300M/5500M GPU power draw and heat, which can become especially problematic with external displays,
- UI microstutter with the iGPU (which many don't notice),
- some reports of issues with screen refresh rate (not personally had an issue with this),
- webcam quality,
- USB-C's charge limit of 100W = battery discharge in Windows under extremely heavy loads when on AC power,
- reported ongoing compatibility issues with some professional/prosumer audio equipment,
- Apple's way of dealing with systematic issues is not always consistent or predictable, and they don't always do a great job communicating what they are doing to address systematic issues,
Also, the proportion of individuals satisfied with the system is likely extremely high. Forums are where we are going to see discussion about issues and weaknesses rather than continued discussion of strengths. If everything is working perfectly, there likely isn't a lot to be said. All laptops are going to have their pros and cons. I like the MacBook Pro 16-inch a lot, but I do think individual usage scenario will strongly (more so than ever) determine how good of a match it is, or if a certain spec is a must-have.
I think the bigger issue is buying 1st Generation Apple hardware. It is the one that gets left behind. From memory from MacPro (intel) to iPhones, iPads and watches, it seems the first generation is the beta test. Updates only extend back to version 2. I am itching to buy the new tech, but I have been bitten so many times. I skipped a whole generation just to avoid that keyboard. Think about buying what works. By the time it needs an upgrade, A-silicon will be well established.I've only been seeing negative reports as of late, and am curious if there's anyone who is happy with their 16"?
Exactly my thoughts.
Things I love:
Things I don't love:
- Build quality is just top notch, there are only 2-3 other laptops that come close but are nowhere near the MBP's.
- Display is amazing, I recently purchased and returned (before getting my MBP 16) a Gigabyte Aero 15S XB (4K OLED) gaming/content creation laptop and my god the display on this laptop was amazing. Color accuracy wasn't all there as everything was way over saturated but for gaming and watching movies it was excellent. The MBP 16's display is the only non-OLED screen I've had the pleasure of seeing that comes anywhere close to it, yes it doesn't have inky blacks like OLED's but it's damn good compared to other non-OLED displays.
- Speakers, man oh man the speakers. To this day I have no idea why other laptop makers haven't put quality speakers into their laptops. Yeah I understand space and thermals play a part but if the MBP 16 can do it then others can as well. I'm specifically referring to gaming laptops that are typically way thicker than a MBP 16, there's no excuse as to why they're cutting their customers short. The speakers on the MBP 16 blow me away every single day. Simply amazing.
- Keyboard, what else can I say that hasn't already been said? They're amazing to type on and feel excellent.
- Trackpad, another home run for Apple. Nothing on any other laptop even comes close. Best there is.
- Processing power is excellent with the i9 and the combination of the 5600m GPU, editing 4K+ content on this thing handles it like a dream. Gaming is also a big plus since the 5600m GPU doesn't draw as much power so it runs cooler, a big plus.
- Connectivity is a breeze on my MBP 16, I've never had any WiFi issues and even though we don't have WiFi 6 I'm constantly getting over 600mbps down. I am however using a WiFi 6 capable modem/router (Xfinity XB-7).
- Battery life is also excellent, I've never had a Windows based laptop last as long as my MBP 16.
- Lastly, to me at least, the biggest positive is having FULL performance while on battery. This is truly a powerhouse on the go, you know, what a laptop is supposed to be. Windows based laptops may have better GPU's but you'll never get their full performance while on battery. This is a major win for Apple.
Overall, there are more things I love about my MBP 16 then I hate. It's a keeper for sure and I'm super excited to see what Apple has in store for us when they transition the MBP 16 over to their Apple Silicon.
- Apple's optimization of how the iGPU (Intel UHD 630) is being utilized. There's a lot of stuttering while on the iGPU that can be resolved if Apple simply didn't throttle it down so much. As I've already mentioned on these forums over and over again the Gigabyte Aero 15S XB had a 10th gen Intel i7-10875 that uses the same iGPU (UHD 630) and it had zero issues pushing 4K as the native resolution. It ran everything so god damn smooth that I was amazed at how smooth everything looked and felt. Not once did it struggle to display contents for me in sites that had a heavy dose of high quality photos and videos/gifs.
- Only having USB-C ports.
- No ethernet port.
- Some ghosting is noticeable on these displays, not up to the standard I'm used to seeing with MBP's but I can live with it.
- Trash webcam, just trash. Might as well not include one if it's going to be this bad.