I switched from rMB to rMBP, first impressions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kajje, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. Kajje macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Location:
    Asia
    #1
    I just made the switch from a top spec 2015 rMB to a brand new 2016 rMBP 13" non-touchbar base model and wanted to share my first impressions.

    My rather preliminary switch was somehow a forced one. I was mostly a happy camper with this laptop, for all the good reasons; beautiful craft and design, nice retina screen, sufficiently fast, abundant storage in a tiny form factor. I travel a lot and a couple fewer pounds matters a lot.

    I've read many threads on this forum where early adopters (but also a lot of people who probably never used it, let touched it) had bad words about the lack of ports or the crappy keyboard. Obviously mileage does vary but personally I never had to much problems with the lack of ports - or - the butterfly keyboard. In contrary, I think the keyboard is actually one of the best features about the newer generation Macbooks.

    But sadly the rMB had to go. I had very bad mileage on my battery. People blamed my working environment, that I used the wrong applications, or that I couldn't/shouldn't expect serious battery life out of a paper thin device. While I had significant hands on time with virtually every single Mac and Macbook model since the last 10 years, my work was mostly done on a couple cMBP 13's, a couple MBA 13's and the rMB. My working environment hasn't changed too much over the years: Little Snitch, MAMP Pro, Sublime Text and Firefox. While the MBA battery easily got me through a whole day of working, the rMB was bound to the power supply since day one.

    My impressions of the switch

    While I went for a top notch fully spec'ed out rMB model, I came back to my old habits and bought a entry level base stock model. No SSD expansion, no better CPU. 256GB is IMHO a sweet spot, I never used more than half of the 512GB SSD on the rMB anyway. I also didn't go for the touchbar version. This might give me second feelings in the near future, but as of today it doesn't.

    - It's significantly heavier. It's like comparing a feather with a brick.
    - The screen looked a bit strange in the beginning, a bit cramped with the larger default font. After changing the resolution to the maximum and making the fontsize smaller I feel home again. I do love the extra screen estate that extra inch comes with.
    - The trackpad is huge for the eye, but doesn't intrude at any point. Compared with the rMB trackpad it does sound like clicking a tin can. The rMB trackpad feels (or sounds) of a much higher quality. I never got the feeling the rMB trackpad was too small but I'm not complaining it being bigger now.
    - The keyboard claims to be improved, 2nd generation of butterfly design. I had to adapt for an hour or so. The keys also don't sound as qualitative as the rMB. It does makes a lot more noise and it feels a bit 'clickier'. I have the feeling it gives me a couple extra characters a second typing speed.
    - The bottom casing being significantly thicker than the rMB does require a little repositioning of your wrists. It didn't bothered me for more than a couple minutes.
    - Battery life is a significant improvement. I feel again I can leave my power adaptor home.

    Overall I couldn't be happier with the transition. I still feel bad for the early retirement of the rMB. It doesn't deserve sitting in the back of the drawer at his young age. But he let me down.

    Without wanting to be a prick, what does bother me a tiny little bit is the design of the power cable. While Apple is renowed for their eye for the smallest detail, the edge of the cable comes out half a millimeter above the edge. While I openly admit this really is a non-issue, it is hard to unsee / unfeel this little insignificant overseen detail.

    At the end I am very happy with my new toy, it came available just at the right time for me. While I don't have hard feelings against the old banger the new rMBP grew amazingly fast on me. I wouldn't want to go back to the rMB even if it offered me good battery life.
     
  2. ManuCH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #2
    Nice review. Glad you like your new toy.

    I also own a 2015 rMB 12" and I'm keeping it. It will remain my on-the-road laptop, as it's so incredibly light.

    I use it for light office work on the train or to watch TV shows. At my desk I'm using the new rMBP 15" and I'm eagerly waiting to order the LG Ultrafine 5K display.

    So I guess both devices have good reasons to exist :)
     
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    Interesting to hear that you don't seem so impressed with the 2. generation butterfly mechanics.
     
  4. Kajje thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Location:
    Asia
    #4
    Impressed, no. But impressed with the whole butterfly technology, yes.
    It's not that I dislike them. They just feel and sound different. It didn't take me long to get used to though. I'll try the old rMB in a week or so to get a 2nd opinion.

    Bottom line for me, if Apple would have put 1st generation butterflies in the rMBP I would be absolutely fine with that.
     
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #5
    Sure, that's also what I got from reading your post. It just seems from early reviews, that the 2. generation reviews that the keyboard was markedly better.
     
  6. Kajje thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Location:
    Asia
    #6
    I could be wrong, but I have the feeling many of these keyboards reviews were done by people who didn't use the butterfly (1st or 2nd generation) for a significant time. Keyboard technology change as big as this one just cannot be assessed on a short trip to the Apple Store, or on a freshly unpacked demo review unit. I also cannot believe the rMB was a huge seller also.

    Now the butterfly becomes more mainstream - there isn't too much ways to avoid it unless you want to buy yesteryears model (for any reason, one mustn't judge).

    I had the odd sticked key on the 1st generation, an issue which I suspect now being solved by a more sturdy and powerful push-key-back-up-after-release mechanism. So I guess at the end, it might be an improvement.
     
  7. Ma2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    #7
    I am betting on the refresh 12" coming sometime around Spring 2017, will be a pretty impressive device. Battery concerns should be resolved by upgrading to the P3 screen, which uses 30% less energy. With Butterfly v2, thunderbolt, and most likely I would presume Kabylake Core-M CPU, it will be the only MacBook which can naively play 10 bit HVEC 4K videos. Let's hope they improve the webcam to 720p!
     
  8. Kajje thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
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    Asia
    #8
    I'm afraid the piggy bank is empty for now :)
     
  9. Ma2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    #9
    I actually just bought a non-touch myself. I won't lie, I might be tempted to trade it in for the new 12" when it is released. I loved the form factor of the 12" (I returned it in the 14 day window only because I thought new MacBooks were due to arrive back in June/July)
     
  10. creamz macrumors member

    creamz

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    #10
    I tested the 1st gen and the 2nd gen new mbp keyboards together at the store. The 2nd gen feels very familiar even if the keypress is much flatter. It is comfortable and nice. It feels like I could type like I always did but speedier.

    However, for the 1st gen I typed a few words and I find it unbearable, something that might need a bit of getting used to. I guess the 2nd gen butterfly is built closer to the tactile feel of the older keyboards that my fingers still feel familiar and not so much of a problem.
     
  11. Kajje thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Location:
    Asia
    #11
    Haven't thought about that but you could be spot on! If you look it your way the 2nd generation indeed balances a bit between the gen 1 and the classic keyboard.
     
  12. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #12
    I've had a *lot* of those. I think about 20% of the keys on my keyboard has been weird. Several of them I fixed with a vacuum cleaner, but I still have about 5 of them that's acting up. I'm going to try the dual-needle approach this weekend, although I am not so sure it will work magic on my space bar..
     
  13. 09mac macrumors newbie

    09mac

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2016
    #13
    I returned my 13" NTB MBP and went with the latest 12" MB. I also love the form factor of the 12".
     
  14. polee macrumors 6502a

    polee

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    #14
    How long does the battery on your non-touch bar macbook pro last for?
     
  15. Macalway macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    #15
    I had both. In spite of the pretty crappy keyboard, I stuck with the 12. The 12 is the best computer i've ever owned. I also have a 2016 15", which is awesome, but obviously another story.

    I will grab any decent refresh of the 12. They should add another port though ;)
     
  16. Ma2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Ma2k5

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    Dec 21, 2012
    #16
    Too long.
     
  17. borgusio macrumors regular

    borgusio

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #17
    I did the opposite. Given all the problems with the new MacBooks
    Pro I went for a almost new MacBook 12 1,2 512 GB that I bought for less than 1.000 EUR. I will keep my Mac mini and use this for travels until the situation is clearer next year...
     
  18. thesaint024 macrumors 6502a

    thesaint024

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Location:
    Republic of California
    #18
    Wow, what a prick! jk. I agree that these little details are what we're paying for. Good comp though. I didn't realize that the rMB had a weak battery. I was seriously considering it in the past but decided against because the throttled processor scared me. That form factor is second to none though. ntMBP looks like the sweet spot for you. Congrats.
     
  19. Kajje thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Location:
    Asia
    #19
    It feels like there is dried up coca-cola under it. With the classic I'd remove the keys and clean under with a cotton bud and some alcohol, but I don't dare to pull off those butterflies. I always fixed them with some hard smashing until they released. It's a bit like the midwife tapping a freshly newborn baby on the ass; it looks rough and cruel, but it's for their own good :)
    --- Post Merged, Dec 2, 2016 ---
    I never had the feeling there wasn't enough umpf in its processor. Yes you're right, there won't be a laptop on the market that could match that sweet form factor for a long time. My experience with the rMB was overall, over positive. Except for the battery.
     
  20. malikkamran macrumors 6502

    malikkamran

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Location:
    Pakistan
    #20
    Great comparison What is charging time of 12 MacBook
     
  21. Kajje, Dec 2, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016

    Kajje thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Kajje

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Location:
    Asia
    #21
    I never really timed it, but charging feels quite fast.
    It doesn't look there's too much difference with having the lid down or up. I'd say 1,5 hours.
     
  22. malikkamran macrumors 6502

    malikkamran

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    Oct 6, 2016
    Location:
    Pakistan
    #22
    Thanks
     
  23. Music Lover macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2015
    #23
    Hi, I thinking of doing the same.
    Have a MB 2015 (loving it) with the fastest CPU and likely buying a MB Pro 2017 (nTB model due to battery life time)

    Normal office work but the MB is a bit slow.
    Also work often outside and the increased screen brightness is needed. The MB often turn itself off due to heat outside (direct sunshine)
     
  24. borgusio macrumors regular

    borgusio

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #24
    Hi Music Lover, I own a MB 2015 and never experiences shutdowns due to overheating... that's weird. Are you sure that with this particular use the MBP is gonna work properly?
    Also consider that the new MBs 2017 are considerably faster then the 2015s and come with 16 GB of RAM. So if you like the form factor the new MB seems to be a quite valide alternative.

    However the big minus is the lack of TB3 on the MB.

    I am in the same situation, but I decided to wait for the 2018 revision.
    If the MB will get TB3, I will stick to it, otherwise I will switch to the MBP.
     
  25. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #25

    Check that nothing is stuck in the port that you use to charge. My cable its completely flush with my rMB, and recently a small chip of wood got stuck, making the cable stick out a millimeter.
     

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