First MacBook Pro Purchase - 4 Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BigMcGuire, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. BigMcGuire, Apr 20, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018

    BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #1
    My wife and I decided to upgrade our Macbook Air 11 2015 laptops. Saved up the $ and we ordered 2 Macbook Pro 13' TB models. Expensive but we're planning on keeping these for 5+ years each. My wife starts her PhD this fall so she really wanted to upgrade (works for me too! :)). So we did.

    1 - We ordered on Apple.com - I was surprised to see that it is going to take until May 9th till these are ready to pick up? Figured Apple would have these in stock and ready to go? Not complaining, just interesting how long this will take. We have them set to be picked up at our local Apple store (40 mins away). Possible this comes earlier?

    2 - I have a plethora of Anker batteries (2 - 20,000 mAh, 1 - 16,000 mAh, and 1 - 10,000 mAh) that I charge with solar panels as a hobby to keep our iPhones "solar" powered. I should be able to get a USB A to C cable and charge the Macbook (when it's not running) right? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071G5YCS6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?smid=A294P4X9EWVXLJ&psc=1

    3 - We will order AppleCare+ for these when we pick them up. Our Airs have been flawless for the 3 years we've had them and they've been used heavily. I'm a heavy typist (155wpm+ for extended periods) - the Air's keyboard is great and has handled all abuse. Looks like the Pro's keyboard is a little more delicate - do you recommend getting an external keyboard and trying to use that mostly?

    4 - https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Delive...255947&sr=8-4&keywords=anker+usb+c+pd+charger - looking at getting this and this - https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerL...8&qid=1524255985&sr=8-13&keywords=anker+USB+C x2 for a backup / travelling power supply for our Macs - sound good?

    Just got my mail in box to resell my Air via Apple because I thought we'd be getting our Pros a bit faster than 3 weeks from now. Selling that back to Apple for $330 (when we bought them for $750 each - not bad)! :)

    Thanks for your time,
     
  2. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #2
    1. were they base models or custom specs?
    2. are you charging the MBP directly from the panels or loading the batteries up and then using the batteries?
    3. function of how poundy you are when typing (that's a technical term, BTW). If it's not working for you, go with external. Worst case, you drop in a new keyboard in a year or two. Or bat your eyes at the tech staffing the genius bar.
    4. Depends on use. If you're champing at the bit to buy, then have at it. Personally, I'd see how quickly the computer looses charge over my typical workday and then decide.

    Sending back to apple, eh? Don't want to sell here or swappa? MacOfAllTrades gives a solid price that may beat apple's. If you saved up for the MBPs, might be worth the extra money to just look around at rehoming options.
     
  3. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #3
    1. It has the mid cpu option (3.3Ghz), 16GB ram, and 1TB SSD. I noticed even doing base models (checking out) it showed May 1 as pickup / delivery date. Hoping for earlier :)

    2. Charging the batteries via solar panels, then using them to charge devices.

    3. Sounds good - thanks.

    4. Good point, I know my Air held one heck of a charge - I could go half a week and not have to charge it. Thanks for the info.

    I've gotten scammed on Ebay before (even though paypal saw fault with the seller, only got a fraction of $ back) - I don't mind a few hundred missed. My wife is giving her Air to our mother in law.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond!
     
  4. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
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    #4
    Talking people out of "selling" back to "apple" is a soapbox for me: the machines go to a big 2nd party rehab place who just want to make a quick buck, not connect people with a really good computing deal.

    I've had nothing but years of great experiences selling directly to macofalltrades/macmeanoffer. They're showing $460 each right now...

    *gets off soapbox* :)
     
  5. AuricBlue macrumors member

    AuricBlue

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #5
    13 inch MacBook Pros have a 61 W power adapter. The battery packs may not provide that. USB-A is 5 V and if your battery packs are like the Anker battery packs I saw on Amazon then they are 6 A. 30 W may not charge it.
     
  6. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
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    #6
    Yeah, I figured it probably wouldn't charge the Macbook Pro while the laptop was on, but definitely charge it slowly while the laptop was off. (A light charger to bring on short trips, etc...). Yeah, I am really starting to doubt that the battery bricks are really going to do much, but I'll give it a try (with the laptop off too).
    --- Post Merged, Apr 20, 2018 ---
    I just hope the thing shows up way before May 9th. :/ Was kinda hoping for the store to be like - yep, in stock, come pick it up today! :p Oh well, may still happen - if not, anticipation is 3/4th the fun! :)
    --- Post Merged, Apr 20, 2018 ---
    Wow, I didn't realize it was THAT much of a difference. If my mother in law wants a Windows laptop (she's never used Mac) then we'll definitely do that with my wife's Air. Thank you for the info!
     
  7. Mike Boreham, Apr 20, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018

    Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    UK
    #7
    To charge the MBP with a battery pack with it in use, you need one which meets the USB-PD spec. These will charge at 30W, because USB-PD supports up to 20V. USB-PD batteries connect USB-C on the battery to USB-C on the MBP.

    Anything connecting by USB-A is charging at 5V, probably 10W max so is little more than trickle charging.

    I own both these USB-PD battery packs which will charge my 13" MBP at 30W:

    https://www.anker.com/uk/products/variant/PowerCore+-26800-PD/A1375011

    https://www.ravpower.com/26800mah-Type-C-external-battery-charger-black.html

    Dont be misled by meaningless number like "26800 mAh". "mAh" is not a measure of battery capacity. Watt-hours, or Wh is the correct unit

    Both the above batteries are about 100Wh (actually printed on them) and the battery in the 13" MBP is about 50Wh, so, with transfer efficiency of about 65%, a full battery will charge an empty MBP about 1.5 times.
     
  8. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Wow thanks for the info about the battery! Awesome. My guess is using my Anker 21 watt solar panels to charge a PD brick will take awhile. Can’t wait to try!

    I used the Apple Store app on my phone and it looks like any MacBook Pro with base specs is available for pickup at stores. Soon as I did 16GB ram - May 1-10. So I guess I must wait. :)
     
  9. chabig macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #9
    No. That cable will not supply power to the MacBook Pro. The product description notes clearly say, “Not compatible with Power Delivery”.
     
  10. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #10
    When it comes time to sell them, you'll be happy you did the 16.
     
  11. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #11
    Even though we ordered at same time online: Took two days for my wife’s MacBook to change from processing to shipping to store. Two days after that she has a tracking number. May 1st estimated arrival from China.

    Mine took 4 days to change from preparing to shipping to store. They weren’t kidding about the May 9th estimate but looks like it should be sooner for both of us. May 3-4th maybe?
     
  12. BigMcGuire, May 4, 2018
    Last edited: May 4, 2018

    BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
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    #12
    Finally got them! My wife got hers earlier this week and I got mine last night. The screen is the first thing that smacks you in the face saying: WOW. I don't mind the keyboard and actually like it. The touchpad feels weird clicking it but I enable tap to click pretty quickly.

    I used my Anker battery last night to charge it up to 100% while I was sleeping. That was kinda cool.

    Disappointed to see that the Anker 30w USB C charger isn't enough to keep the laptop charging during use. It's using some battery and slowly draining. But it looks like it's enough to charge it when idle. Using coconutBattery it's fun to see battery wattage dump when I plug in a normal Anker battery brick - the power management on this thing is pretty cool. The Anker 30w USB C brick is burning hot just trying to keep the laptop charged. lol.
    (Edit: Yeah, now that the laptop is idling, it's charging with 15+ watts and going back up vs draining at 6-8watts under heavier load).


    But looks like I'm going to have to shell out $ for a higher wattage power supply.

    Finding the touchbar REALLY nice and handy. This thing is noticeably heavier than my Macbook Air. Just thrilled to have a high end computer for the first time ever.

    Getting used to this thing putting out heat is going to take some time. My Air almost never did its CPU fan and ran super cool. I just have to get used to this. :)


    So it looks like the battery bricks can charge it while it's off (lid closed) - trickle charge overnight. The onboard battery usage dumps just a tiny bit when I plug the Anker battery in the USB C port but it's not even worth the "savings" - but in a zombie apocalypse it definitely would recharge the laptop overnight.

    Thanks for the help all.
     
  13. Stygma macrumors member

    Stygma

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    #13
    Glad you are liking them, I would love you to report back after a month / six months ect with what you like, dislike and any other observations.
     
  14. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #14
    Roger roger - will do.
     
  15. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
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    #15
    Looks like the Macbook Pro 13' intentionally allows the battery to drain a bit from 100-95%? Because even with load under 95% the Anker 30w brick can charge the laptop fairly well. But past 95% it must "trickle" charge or something and the laptop seems to intentionally let the battery get some usage and bounce between 95% - 100%? while most of the time being powered directly from the brick itself.

    Kinda interesting to see that. Power management on the Macbook Pro 2017 is very different than my Macbook Air 11' 2015.
     
  16. jerryk, May 4, 2018
    Last edited: May 4, 2018

    jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
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    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #16
    A couple of things.

    First, try the 60W charger that came with the unit. See if it has the same issue.

    Second, the last bit of charging really generates a lot of heat and can over-volt the battery. So the battery management system slows down as the battery charge reaches full.

    One more thing. If you are really concerned about making the battery last, charging battery to 100% and running it until it almost dead is not the best practice. Best to do a shallow discharge/charge cycles say run down to 30% charge up to 80%. This article goes into the details. https://www.popsci.com/charge-batteries-right#page-4
     
  17. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #17
    The 60w charger that comes with the unit locks to 100% and then switches to be powered 100% by the power supply vs battery. The Anker 30w charger charges to 100% then does a trickle charge that often times drains the battery from 100% to 95% and then does a charge back to 100% - very rarely being powered completely by the 30w charger unless I'm lightly using the laptop (like now).

    But the Anker 30w brick defnitely has no problem charging the laptop even under heavy usage when the battery is under 95%. For whatever reason Apple switches to trickle charging 95%+ using a combination of the Anker 30w brick and the internal battery.

    Thanks for the info about the 30% - 80% and the trickle charging.

    Finally got the laptop completely set up. Looking forward to many years of usage. Will report back in a few months (or if any problems experienced).
     
  18. jerryk, May 6, 2018
    Last edited: May 6, 2018

    jerryk macrumors 601

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    #18

    Both chargers slow as the battery reaches 100%. You need to separate charging while the unit is sitting idle (not using it, close, or shutdown) from while using it.

    Always, the 30W charger can only output 30W (surprise!). And when you use the system hard your CPU alone can use 28W. Add to that the display, anything plugged into USB ports and you are now consuming in the 50W range. And there is no way the 30W charger can keep up so the battery must make up the deficit. As it does the charge in the battery decreases.

    Some people like the water analogy. Image your battery is a water tank and the charger is the filler pipe running to the tank. The 30W is a low capacity pipe and the 60W is a high capacity pipe. When the 30W is attached, and you are using 50W the tank (battery) level drops. When the 60W is attached and you are using 50W, the supply pipe can keep up and the tank level never drops, and can even increase because of the excess supply.

    Apple has sized their chargers appropriately for their devices and is why they supply a 60W charger.

    Personally I would never use a charger with a lower capacity than the factory unit because I always want all the performance I paid for when connected to AC power. None of that dimming of screen, slowing CPU, decreasing my battery time, etc that can occur when running a lower powered charger.
     
  19. BigMcGuire, May 6, 2018
    Last edited: May 6, 2018

    BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
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    #19
    Wow, thank you for taking the time to write that all! I've used Windows most of my life and this is my first Macbook Pro. I know with Windows I can set the power profile to prevent CPU slowing. Mac does this automatically I assume when on battery? Very good point - thank you. Getting more 61W USB C chargers! (ooh 87W! :))
     
  20. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #20
    The 87W charger is for the 15 MBP, but will work fine with your 13". Just a little heavier and bulky.

    Under Setting | entery Saver there are a lot of things you can set to tweak your power consumption and how it runs under battery versus when plugged in. I have not worked with them much. I just plug it in when power is available.

    Anyway, enjoy your Mac(s).:)
     
  21. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #21
    Figured I'd post this here. Just found out about a System Preferences --> Display --> Scaled -- More Space.

    As a Windows user coming from the Microsoft world - if you chose a resolution other than the native one, it would make reading the screen near impossible.

    I always thought my 2017 MacBook Pro, for the resolution, had windows take up way too much space - and text way too big but figured that this was the acceptable DPI and I shouldn't mess with it (because of my history with Windows).

    WOW, scaling for more space - text is just as readable (for my 32 year old eyes, I imagine this will change with time) - and I get the full benefits of the MacBook Pro's resolution!

    I am a happy camper!!!! Woo hooo.
     
  22. MSastre macrumors 6502

    MSastre

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    Aug 18, 2014
    #22
    System Preferences is your friend. You should explore the adjustments you can make there.
     

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