Final Review 13" tMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CaptRB, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #1
    The Computers: Two 13" touchbar MBP with basic configuration, 8 GB ram.

    Well, I've just gotten back from a NY trip and another planned for next week. I've used the new tMBP on two shoots, writers meetings and more. My wife has been using an identical machine for her job as a wound care specialist. I've been processing work from my shoots (mainly Nikon D800 and D810) using the machine alone and with twin Dell 27" 4K@60 monitors.
    From LA to NY, the battery was fine with 21% remaining when I landed. Coming back I plugged in because I was playing Bioshock and that murders the battery!

    Overview:
    We like these machines a lot. The screens and keyboards are great. The touchbar, thus far is of minimal use, but we'll have to see how that changes when more software uses it. Touch ID, trackpad, speakers...all of the upgrades make these the best MBP units we own.

    Battery life:
    No complaints. Very good battery life that compares well with our 15" rMBP.

    Ports:
    On the surface, it's annoying to not have even one standard USB port. In practice, on jobs and in actual usage, it's actually more convenient. Everything works and I don't have to deal with various cables. I terminate my older plugs with adapters, so no issue there.

    Screen, Keyboard, Trackpad and Speakers:
    I bundled these all together to keep it short. They're ALL better. A few will need time to adapt to a new keyboard, but any thread with actual users prove that it's a home-run. The brighter screen is a great for locations where stray light is an issue.

    Price:
    This is fairly priced when you look at so many upgrades overall.

    What's Missing and not to our Liking:
    1) I Think Apple should have kept a single SD card slot. I don't need it for photography because a card reader was always part of the kit, but a SD slot (where it would fully retract into the body) would have been a way to give cheap removable storage. Given that we can't upgrade SSD on these machines, this would have been a great move and I hope they consider it next year.
    2) I want to be able to adjust the brightness on the touchbar or even turn it off.
    3) Put a bit more space between the USB-C ports.
    4) Upgrade the camera. I rarely use it, but the spec is way outdated.
    5) Though this is not aimed at the tMBP, where is the external keyboard to match this unit? Space gray with touchbar and same improved keyboard, please! How about a gray mouse while you're at it?
    6) This will sound a bit silly...but how about little lights for the ports? They can be hard to see in the dark! Maybe they'd come on via a magnetic sensor.


    So most of the above is nit-picking, but I'd love the SD slot back for the reason I outlined, but NOT if it sticks out! It has to go into the case fully or what's the point? Even micro-SD would work fine.

    My score for the new 13" tMBP....is four out of five stars.


    R.
     
  2. maka344 macrumors 6502a

    maka344

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    Great review, especially the travelling aspect - how did you find using it on a flight size wise?
     
  3. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #3
    This is probably the best laptop for flying from Apple, but the Air is also excellent. I brought a 15" on a plane once and it's just too big for me.

    For flying, the 13" is a great pick and no issue with battery life, though you can plug in on most flights anyway.


    Robert
     
  4. macintoshmac macrumors 65816

    macintoshmac

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #4
    I think for the sole purpose of flying, nothing beats the tiny 12 inch rMB !! :D
     
  5. Theophil1971 macrumors 6502

    Theophil1971

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I had the 12" rMB. You're right about it being unmatched for travel and flying. One pound and thinner than a pad of paper. Excellent machine for writing, email, and basic web.

    But... not much else. I traded up to the new 13" tbMBP. Three pounds. A bit bigger and heavier. A LOT more powerful and appropriate for all kinds of work.
     
  6. macintoshmac macrumors 65816

    macintoshmac

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #6
    Absolutely true... about the not much else. He mentioned best for flying so I said. :)

    Your reasons are also why I got MBP 13 with touch bar and not an rMB. Plus, for Indian summers, MBP has a fan. I would like the next MacBook I buy, in 5 years, be the size of rMB. If I was not a moderately heavy user and if I did not have a specific need of fan plus a port for external disk (always connected when I am at home since it downloads stuff), I would have gone for the MB eyes closed.
     
  7. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #7
    I still have the Air, but really no need for it now that I have the 13" tMBP.

    I still prefer the case design of the Air over any other MacBook.

    I'll be trading the 2015 rMBP for the new version on the next cycle.


    R
     
  8. hawkeye_a macrumors 6502

    hawkeye_a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    #8
    Good idea. I might suggest the ports have a chrome rim of somekind if they want to save on battery? Having had the tMBP for a week (space gray), it's near impossible to see the ports in low light.

    Also, care to share any pics from Central Park? :)

    Cheers
     
  9. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #9


    LOL...nope! Flying to from LA to PA tomorrow. Long flight, so another good travel test for the new machine.


    R.
     
  10. Benny L macrumors member

    Benny L

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Location:
    Vegas baby
    #10
    Capt rb
    Spot on review - agree 100%

    I had 2015 macbook pro
    Got 2016 13" ntb
    Once you get dongle situation rectified 2016 is definitely faster smoother .
    Also getting 10 plus hrs on variety of useage so all in all very happy with my purchase
    I upgrade since 2012 on every new macbook and each one is an improvement over the last one
     
  11. bxsonic macrumors member

    bxsonic

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Location:
    Surabaya
    #11
    Great review. Kinda mirrors my thoughts on the new MBP. For the Touch Bar, I'd recommend trying out BetterTouchTool. Using BetterTouchTool has increased my usage of it by a lot. I've started to map additional shortcuts to the touch bar in addition to using BetterTouchTools for shortcuts using the trackpad. It's free to try. Note that it's currently still in beta
     
  12. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    LA, California
    #12
    Just got back from PA, plus a stop in NY with a total on 8 hours flying. Battery did great, but I charged it up after hour 8 because I wasn't sure if the smaller puddle jumper prop plane would have outlets (it didn't).

    After a lot of use, this is just a solid machine. Next week I have another shoot and this will be the primary computer for the job.



    Robert
     

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