Got a fully loaded macbook pro... now returning it

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alpinadvl, Sep 19, 2015.


What Do you think ?

  1. That Sucks

    17 vote(s)
  2. That Doesn't Suck

    13 vote(s)
  1. alpinadvl, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015

    alpinadvl macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    I bought a retina Macbook Pro 13" after agonizing over the decision for some time.... I think this will be helpful to others in the same predicament :

    1. I own a MBA 2011, with 256gb SSD, and upgraded processor, and 4gb of ram.... thats the back story...

    2. I have been waiting desperately for something "new" or worthwhile in the MBA line to really motivate a new purchase... that did not come... in fact... the recent upgrade was really a disappointment

    3. I started a thread (in the MBA forum) wondering about what we could realistically expect in the next revision of the MBA ... I, and other concluded the same thing : the MBA is about to become an EOL (End of life) model.. I don't think there is a question about this now. (I will happily be wrong about this... but... the writing is on the wall.. and, as everyone can see... apple is focusing on the new macbook, the macbook pro, and the iPad pro... there is no reason for the MBA to exist in this lineup... unless it gets reincarnated into the next generation Macbook .. which probably will happen... or a revision of the macbook pro line will look more like the MBA in terms of design )

    4. What I bought :
    2015 Macbook Pro (Retina)
    upgraded BTO processor 3.1Ghz i7
    upgraded memory to 16gb ram (<-- wow!)
    upgraded hard drive to 1Tb

    As you can see, I went "all -in" into the new macbook pro line
    5. My impressions :

    *caveat, I am returning the computer.... and the reason (see below) may have marred my opinion of it... which I am fully aware, but I want to provide some insight to others...

    a) size and weight :
    1/2 a pound... .is a lot heavier than 1/2 a pound ! and here is why :

    the tapered design of the MBA is so svelte (only word I could think of)... it makes the computer feel even lighter... simply because of the way it feels in your hand.

    (if I were to give you a really light, but big pencil to hold in your hand.... versus a simpler pencil... it wouldn't matter that the bigger pencil was lighter.... the regular pencil would feel much better)
    (oh boy... no idea why this is the analogy that came to mind... don't read into this too much)

    trust me... the size, weight, and design dimensions of the MBA are superior to the "lets make a rectangle" Macbook Pro

    the macbook pro footprint is smaller (rMBP 13" compared to MBA 13") ... but this does not give it a lighter feel... it makes it feel more dense and compressed weight

    b) retina screen:
    It looks good... its clear... its really nice.... For some reason, a retina screen on an iPad is much more noticeable improvement than a retina screen on a laptop. I do a lot of work in design... and I am doing a lot of editing with photos ... and although I certainly appreciate the "retina" display... its not overwhelming how much better it is. But.... it is better.... But then again.... if I could get the same specs as the MBP inside a MBA without the retina screen... I would be just fine with that

    c) design and use :
    this is a continuation of "size and weight" from above ...

    almost every time I put the MBP down to use... I put it the wrong way down (back end facing me) before opening the lid of the screen....this was never an issue with the macbook air... because it has intelligent design ... you have a tactile feel of the computer without even realizing it.... maybe this is a non issue for non-MBA users... but.... it is something I haven't seen anyone else mention

    force touch trackpad... cool. but useless. sorry. you will find yourself trying to force touch your way on many different sites, applications... nothing will happen. Trackpad feels fine... i actually find the haptic feedback very intelligent (the different types of vibration you feel with clicking vs force touch)....

    note: other people have reported, and i have experienced... some times the trackpad falls "asleep"... annoying

    d) performance and why I am sending it back :
    this laptop purchase of the rMBP 13" was probably the single worst purchase experience I have ever encountered.... and I fully accept (hope) that maybe I just have had a defective unit :

    within the first week... I noticed on 2 occasions that wifi was not connected... when going through the menu... there was nothing listed... and .. either under this menu or under system profile (through apple menu "about this mac") it listed "no wifi hardware installed" .... what the?

    performance... now... what would you think is faster ?:

    2011 MBA / 4gb ram / 256gb / 1.8 Ghz Single Core i7


    2015 retinaMBP / 16gb ram / 1Tb / 3.1Ghz dual core i7
    the 2015 felt slower... this is after spotlight indexing.... this was a "new install" not a migrated computer... everything was started new and fresh !

    it would take time to redraw a finder window when resizing the window ... there were hiccups all over the place... scrolling through safari web pages... I won't even get into Photoshop or Illustrator... everything felt slower... delayed....

    The only thing I did notice (good) was that this (slower) speed did not change even as I was running 10 applications at a time... and bouncing actively through at least 4 of them... with 3 of them running processes at the same time.... that... I attribute to the motherload of ram I had...

    So... i could only conclude I had a "dud" computer... so... please don't draw huge performance comparisons from my experience... but... do consider what I am writing....

    *also, when I brought my computer to the apple store for them to check - they said the computer was performing "normally" ... I believe there is a more thorough test they could do... I still have the computer, return is due this week... if there is a test someone wants me to run... I will gladly do it...

    e) Applecare
    I have never had any issues with applecare... in all the 20 or so years I have owned apple products, which include 4 generations of MBA, 5 generations / versions of iPhone , Mac Pros, etc....

    This was the worst experience with getting care... what I was trying to get was a new computer sent to me... and then transfer my data over... and then send the POS MBP BTO crap I got back...

    They confirmed this first in the store... but then said I have to go through Apple directly because of a BTO status... Apple phone care said they would take care of that... and after 1.5 hours on the phone with them... they confirmed that : "NEW computer will be sent to you" ...and then "you can send the old one back"

    1 week later I called to confirm, and find out the status of the New computer.... but found out that arrangement was "cancelled" after a "review" ... and that they were waiting (as of a week prior) for me to send my OLD computer back in.... without even telling me this info !!!

    That was not acceptable... I called apple again.... went through 2 supervisors... and they said it would be reviewed... supervisor called me back on Saturday night (!)... after an additional hour they said they would figure it out on monday... monday I call back... Tuesday I called... they called me back - said they wanted my OLD computer first.... and here is the catch... originally, they said : "when we received confirmation your OLD computer was dropped off at FedEx, we will send out the replacement to you right away.... " .... this then changed to :
    "when you drop off OLD computer at FedEX facility we will start building your BTO MBP... and THEN send it out"

    catch that? not only did they not send the replacement first.... now they required my computer back first... and, additionally... when my computer gets dropped off ... then and only then would they start to "build" my NEW computer. !... you know what ? F$%) This.... I want to return the computer for a complete refund.

    "OK... we can do that".

    Thats what I ended up doing.

    You would think someone who orders a top of the line, BTO Laptop would get treated slightly better than the amateur hour that occurred by the apple "review" people. yes... i am pissed.

    Also, the macbook pro.... not impressive.

    f) And....
    BTW, for all my "trouble" apple put me through..... they sent me a coupon....
    .....$45 off....
    .... if I spend at least $300 at apple....
    ....only via apple online.....
    ..... and only within the next 14 days......​
  2. ChrisDB macrumors member


    Oct 29, 2014
    Bucharest Romania
    Return it . The 13 inch macbook pro with retina display is the worst laptop . I've sold over 5 laptops because of their performance . Retina screen is too much for the integrate intel iris and the sistem lags everywhere , that's why the macbook air is FASTER !
  3. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Possibly different with el capitan.

    Yes, sometimes there is a slight bit of graphical lag. I'd still rather have the retina display, faster CPU, faster SSD, faster wireless networking, better keyboard, larger trackpad and higher RAM capacity.

    YMMV - seems like what you deem important does not require those things.

    The MBA may be faster at updating the screen whilst not doing anything, but if you actually start doing any serious work the MBP will wipe the floor with it.

    Going "all in" on the MBP 13 spec is expensive and of questionable value...
  4. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    "Slight bit of graphical lag" is rather an understatement.

    The lag is quite apparent when working with Adobe CC apps, which is why I sold mine. I've honestly tried to understand the fascination with retina displays and, while they're nice, the processing power trade-off to power the display in the 13" rMBP just isn't worthwhile for me. My i7 MBA doesn't lag ... and that's more important to me than the quality of the display.

    The MBA display isn't, I'll grant you, much to look it. But the machine doesn't lag, which means I'm more focused and more productive.
  5. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2015
    I doubt any company is going to send you a second product before receiving the first one in a return/swap.

    Also, upgrade to El Capitan. It fixes the lag you're experiencing.
  6. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

    Jul 25, 2011
    It would have felt like a better value if you didn't spend so much on unnecessary upgrades!

    The screen not a huge upgrade from the air? WOW!
  7. kahkityoong macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    I agree. I've sold two 13" MBP. The 15" feels way faster.
  8. ilikewhey macrumors 6502a

    May 14, 2014
    nyc upper east
    return it and wait for skylake, skylake's gpu alone is enough to power 4k/5k contents.
  9. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Depends what you're doing I guess. Most of my work is not heavily graphics biased, but i do need the pro feature-set (more RAM, more ports). The display for me is a deal breaker though, i could never go back, text is so much more readable on a retina display, and the viewing angles on the MBA displays are just crap to put it bluntly.

    Horses for courses though, if maximum display speed is what you want then yes an MBA or 15" machine with discrete GPU is the way to go.
  10. Queen6, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    On a 2014 2.8Ghz 512 SSD 13" MBP now, nothing the OP speaks about rings true, and I have had more than my fair share of portable Mac`s. We still have a couple of 2011 Air`s kicking about, even my 1.2 Retina MacBook outperforms them, let alone my 13" Retina MacBook Pro. OP needs to seriously review his/her set up or, request replacement hardware.

  11. ChrisDB macrumors member


    Oct 29, 2014
    Bucharest Romania
    I think you need to review your machine , because the problem is there , Iris Pro is too weak to drive the display on OS X , open gl crappy drivers and apple algorythms of pixel doubling is too much for an integrated gpu , without dedicated memory .
    Windows has a very different aproach in pixel scalling , a better one and thanks to direct x mature drivers there is no drawback in performance .

    If you want retina display , than you'll need a 15 inch with dGPU .
    I have a Macbook Air 2014 , the display is crap but I'm happy with the performance , which is miles away better than the 13 inch macbook pro .
  12. Queen6, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    I also own the 15" rMBP with dGPU the UI performance is comparable, if others do not experience the same then they need to address issues in the system. I don't see any slowdown in the UI until around 20+ spaces with the 13" rMB. Enjoy your Air, equally it is what it is, entry level Mac portable. Ironically one of the most important aspects of a Notebook is the display, yet many choose to disregard the same...

  13. alpinadvl, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015

    alpinadvl thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    I had the caveat in the beginning of my post .. that the machine's performance might have been marred by a defect somewhere in my unit. I was expecting the rMBP to be nothing short of "superior" to the MBA. I don't think it is though. Caveat aside, there are definite design / performance compromise... and having UI lag with a fully specced machine is unacceptable.

    15" vs 13" rMBP:
    I think the 15" rMBP should be the way to go for "power users"... the 13" rMBP does not really offer the advantages for me personally... in other words, if portability and retina display was the metric a person was using to choose their purchase... i don't think it is clear cut with the 13" rMBP over the 13" MBA.

    Don't get the CPU upgrade!
    Also, another take away...and this really is for those seeking to purchase one or the other units for themselves... don't bother with the CPU upgrade - definitely don't bother with that. Get your larger SSD (whichever you can afford) and the ram.. and be happy with that ! ;)
    --> maybe this is the source of the problems I had with my unit acting hairy.... ?

    MBA - I fully believe this computer is EOL... which might be good news for the MBP line... because it is due for a design refresh... and those flushed out design qualities of the MBA are too good to just overlook and not incorporate into the MBP line.
  14. alpinadvl thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    Information about "Replacement" Procedure:
    Normal apple procedure (internally, at Level 2/3 customer care) is to send out a replacement laptop prior to receiving the defective one at the owners request if you are in the 30 day window (even though 14 is the published or amount thrown around)... this is to prevent headache for a new laptop owner, and prevent interruption of his/her workflow.

    Alternatively for standard built machines... this is a non issue as they setup the new laptop for you directly in the store.

    "30 day Window" :
    In my case, Apple counted the "30 day" window from the day I placed my order... not from the day I received (10 days later) the order. So, I was 32 days out from when I placed the order. (2 days past their window)

    The "stupidity" of all this... is that even though they would not accept the "30 days" past since the order was placed... for a advanced replacement laptop... they accepted the "30 days" for a full return window... even dumber than that... is they gave me an additional 14 days to make the return ! This is objectively idiotic (sorry) - because, instead of doing a good faith thing, that from a technical point of view (I received my computer 10 days later)... they did a bad faith thing, and will accept my computer return back fully... and gave me an extra 14 days to do it.... thats stupidity. thats just bad customer service. and did I mention.... thats just stupidity ?

    Customer Service:

    IMG_3843.jpg IMG_3871.jpg

    Bottom Line:
    This review is not a "smear campaign " against Apple or the MBP... that is a misunderstanding of the point of the post above... it is to give some information for people looking to buy a rMBP, or a MBA or any other mac laptop. Troll? ...yeah... sure... "I'm Troll" ... missing the point. But that' s ok.
  15. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected

    If portability is key, the 12" rMB is the way to go, from your description your 13" rMBP was defective, potentially the thermal interface, as the Retina Notebook is definitively "superior" to the 13" Air in all respects barring one, run time on battery. As for the Air, correct it`s EOL, Apple will likely continue the Air as it literally owes them nothing, equally Retina, IPS, Force touch, USB C, TB-3 will not be a part of it`s future, CPU bumps yes. As for design it`s already here, any new design cues for the MacBook Pro will be taken from the Retina MacBook...

  16. Queen6, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Equally much of your post makes no sense, to those that own/owned both rMBP & MBA in comparison...

  17. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    Am I the only person who bought a 13" MBP and actually liked it?

    Also I laughed out loud when you tried to claim the Air was faster and that you didn't believe the Apple store told you it was performing normally and that they should do "more tests" when you can't do it yourself definitively (hint: it's not difficult and the results are as obvious as you would expect).

    Still 4/10 for the attempt. You got a lot of people to bite.
  18. vickar macrumors newbie


    Jul 11, 2015
    I can't agree with ChrisDB & throAU regarding the on-chip graphics performance. I'm still on '12 MBP (non retina) and in everyday work i'm driving 2 displays, the internal @ 1280 * 800 and the external 30" @ 2560 * 1200 – same resolution (and thus, graphics demands) as solely rMBP 's 13" retina, and it's just Haswell HD 4000 graphics, not those Iris or 4XXX graphics found in the '15 rMBPs.
    So, i have no interface lags as well as no performance issues, but only if i'm running dozens of Safari windows with multiple tabs, AND!, some MAMP (Apache + PHP + mysql), AND!, PHPStorm IDE, AND!!! starting to debug some JS... The 2x mail clients, Messages, Google Drive, Dropbox, torrent client and some smaller helper apps are always there, too.
    I've got i7 and upgraded with 16Gb RAM and 256 Samsung 850 Pro SSD from day 1, but it's obviously weaker in every performance-related aspect, than the current custom built rMBP with "same" or kinda higher specs.

    If your new mac lags, you really should have it returned or replaced, but i hardly believe the newer and higher spec'ed machine performs worse than the 3 years older one...

    Attached my 30" display Mission control with Safari windows and some apps in background – the blurred windows have 8 and 17-18 tabs...
    Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 0.22.11.png
  19. macs4nw, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015

    macs4nw macrumors 601


    Sorry to hear about all your troubles. I can relate to them. Once spent literally hours trying to get 5 (Five) different people, including two supervisors, over a three day period to change my mailing address, after I had changed it myself on my Apple profile page, and items were still getting delivered to the old address still in their files. After being exasperated by all the difficulty for such an innocuous little profile modification, I told them point blank that it seemed incredulous that the most profitable tech company on earth was unable to make a simple customer mailing address change in a timely and efficient manner. They're always very pleasant, but sometimes I wonder if they've just become too big to be efficient.

    Can't comment on the capabilities of the 13" MBP, but for screen real-estate reasons I ended up choosing the 15" MBP, and I'm having absolutely zero issues. So far at least, I'm more than pleased with it.
  20. alpinadvl thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    Queen6...sent you a PM...

    macs4nw - yes. exactly ! ... and I am wondering about the 15" as well now...
  21. macs4nw macrumors 601


    I do have to mention that I have the discrete graphics option on that 15" rMBP.
  22. VesselA, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015

    VesselA macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2015
    To the TS (Thread Starter) - it sounds like you got a faulty unit or the "maxed out" 13" has issues because its trying to do things too fast, who knows. I have the entry level 13" i5 with 256GB and I don't notice any lag at all, resizing a finder window is instant, running photoshop and logic pro is smooth and seamless. I've been very impressed with the performance, such as it able to run 4K video on a 42" external 4K tv effortlessly, and more remarkably without the fans kicking in.
    It seems a trade off for faster processor is more heat and thus more fan noise kicking up - for me silent performance for more tasks is a major feature

    I have a MBA (late 2010) also and there is not much difference in weight now with the 13" MBP that the MBP's were redesigned and slimmed down, the two negatives I see with the air are 1. worse display, jagged text and lots of colour and contrast shift if you move slightly up or down or screen tilts. 2. as soon as you run youtube video for a minute or two or have lots of tabs open the fans start up and soon become like a jet plane which I find very annoying, 13" i5 MBP can handle all that in RMB silence with no fans
  23. bobbytomorow macrumors 6502


    Nov 10, 2007
    Left Coast
    I would never pay $1k+ for a computer with only integrated graphics. Apple never should have attached "Pro" to the 13" MacBooks, big mistake and I think it has tarnished the cachet that Apple's Pro line of computers once carried. You have all of these people now that have griped of a lack of graphical grunt with their 13" "Pro's" ... heck theres even 15" models without discrete graphics now too. Terrible.
  24. Barna Biro, Sep 21, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    I can't relate to the OP's experience either. I have a 1st gen maxed out 13" rMBP ( since the day it first came out ) and I've been very satisfied with how it feels / looks / performs. The only issue I had with it was a bit of ghosting, but nothing serious ( I did decide to get a replacement screen roughly 1 month before my warranty expired - just for the sake of having a new one ). I use it mainly for programming and gaming ( Thunderbolt + eGPU - slightly overclocked GTX 760 - hooked up whenever I play games ), but I do occasionally edit photos / videos in Photoshop, AfterEffects, even used to do some Illustrator work and I do many other things as well. While there are surely better notebooks out there for more hardcore photo / video editing, the 13" rMBP was never laggy or slow ( considering its specs of course ).

    It definitely sounds like you were unlucky and you got a faulty notebook. The 13" rMBP has superior performance to the MBA... this is measurable and it is a fact. Personally, I could not get used to the MBA's screen... after ~1 hour of use, my eyes and head were almost always hurting like hell ( considering I spend at least 10-12 hours a day in front of a screen, this was quite a deal-breaker for me... funnily enough, the MBA was, so far, the only device I ever had such issues with... no idea why my body was rejecting it so "violently" ).

    The only impression I can agree to is point a) ( all the other point are either far fetched, false or extremely subjective - I do understand it's an impression, but the way you're exaggerating about certain things makes the other points feel more like a "this is fact, because I say it so" than an impression ), the MBA does indeed seem to be better at creating a "much lighter than it is" feeling due to its design. That being said, the 13" rMBP is far from bad and personally, I like its form more than the MBA's... I tend to use the notebook on my lap 99% of the time and for whatever reason, I find that the MBA simply doesn't feel as good / comfortable in my lap for extended periods of time. Perhaps my posture is just bad, but my neck and eyes definitely appreciates the 13" rMBP more.
  25. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You bought something, it didn't suit you, you are sending it back. Ok that seems fair enough to me.

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