I'm out of the loop - Mid 2018 MBP Any good?

BaldyUK

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 16, 2008
183
8
Hello chaps,

I'm currently rocking a mid 2009 MBP with SSD and 8gb RAM. It's been a right trooper of a machine but is beginning to creak under the strain of things. Web pages are slow to load sometimes and video playback really can be a bit slow at times - even 1080p it struggles with.

However, it was a cracking machine and easily upgradeable which I believe the newer machines are not. I've got the chance to buy a new mid 2018 512gb MBP and am tempted. But is this release a 'good' MBP? I know some years of MBP are looked on very favourably and some not.

I'm a casual user but really the MBP line doesn't actually look like they're really for the Pro user in particular.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Cheers
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,537
25,262
If you use your keyboard for more than a few sentences a day, stay away from this generation.
OP, this is utter hyperbole. Many people don't have any issues with the keyboard and Apple have taken steps to address the comparatively high failure rate in the 2018 model.

Personally I find the DELL XPS keyboards cheap and plasticky, with keys that are way too small, and far too much flex. I struggle to touch type on them and I wouldn't ever use them. They're not for me, but I wouldn't speak for everybody. Many here like the XPS keyboards. Each to their own.

OP: try one in the store.
 

macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
3,838
3,389
OP, this is utter hyperbole. Many people don't have any issues with the keyboard and Apple have taken steps to address the comparatively high failure rate in the 2018 model.

Personally I find the DELL XPS keyboards cheap and plasticky, with keys that are way too small, and far too much flex. I struggle to touch type on them and I wouldn't ever use them. They're not for me, but I wouldn't speak for everybody. Each to their own.

OP: try one in the store.
Just trying to save him some trouble and heartache. :oops:
 

BaldyUK

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 16, 2008
183
8
So apart from the potential keyboard problems, is the current CPU/GPU line up OK? I know in previous years Apple have not really kept up with what's available, I don't want to be paying out for something that is already out of date.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,760
5,256
This is a very weird question. What are your criteria of "good"? There are people who like them, there are people who don't. They are not upgradeable and they don't have any legacy ports, so if you are a user who values that kind of thing, then I guess for you they are "not good". If you want to play modern games at high resolutions and settings, then they are "not good". If you absolutely can't stand low-travel keyboards, they are "not good". But its not like these things will change with next generation of MBP, so if you dislike any of the above, you should really look elsewhere.

For a professional user who needs a no-nonsense, truly mobile workhorse that offers best-in-class components with least overall compromises, you can't really do better than the 2018 MBP - my opinion of course. There are certainly faster laptops out there (at the expense of size/battery) and there are cheaper laptops out there (at the expense of some "premium" features that might or might not be interesting to you), but that again is nothing new, since that's how it has been since the first MBP was ever released.
 

travelsheep

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2013
575
591
I've been in love with my workhorse MacBook Air 2011 until last week. That's when my MacBook Pro 13-inch TB 2018 arrived. I was VERY reluctant to transfer. The first two days of moving I had them open side by side. I still work on my Virtualbox machine to have an image of my MacBook Air on my new Pro (old CS3 licenses on El Capitan). Started to use Affinity Foto instead of Photoshop though.

Thing is, my beloved MacBook Air 2011 sits now next to me closed. I'm typing this on the Pro (which I named "MacBook Bro" lol) yeah touchbar.

Thing is, I totally love this new Bro machine. It's sleek, it's sharp, it's fast. I even love the frikkin TB. I use the fn key to conjure up the regular function key layout. Only that I customized the key order, and it's so much better now (keyboard backlight on the far left, screen backlight on the far right).

Haven't written a new book or longer text yet on the new keyboard, but I like it. There's not much key travel, but it has an ok feel. I think the silicone layer makes it nice and soft, compared to the previous two models.

Yeah. I would say go for it. ❤ (yeah, emoji touchbar! haha )

btw, I upgraded to 16GB RAM, because Apple recommended it in the shop options. Not sure if useful. Activity monitor never shows any mem usage above 8-9 GB. One more thing: the price was killer, I paid almost EUR 2800 in total, including EUR 120 worth of cables and dongles). But then again, other people buy car wheels or bicycles for that price. And I ride my Bro 6-10 hours a day.

ps: hey! Macrumors removed all the many emojis I inserted in this post. Touchbar much macrumors?? haha ;-P
 
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BaldyUK

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 16, 2008
183
8
Thanks leman. You are right and know it was a bit of a general question hence the 'good' .

I guess my main question is has Apple released something with current hardware as I know at some points in the past the have lagged behind updating the product line.

Cheers
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,760
5,256
I know in previous years Apple have not really kept up with what's available, I don't want to be paying out for something that is already out of date.
They always used fastest Intel CPUs mobile CPUs in the appropriate TDP bracket (one exception being delayed transition from Haswell to Skylake, which most likely had to do with Intel not being able to deliver Iris Pro equipped Skylake parts), and they currently use fastest mobile GPUs — in the appropriate TDP bracket — that AMD has to offer. Some argue that Nvidia has better performance per watt, but for whatever reason Apple doesn't use Nvidia chips for now.

That said, current CPU/GPU are just minor refinements of architectures that have existed for years. Even though the Coffee Lake CPU offers a substantial performance increase due to very aggressive clock and two extra cores, it's still old tech. It is possible that next year we will see new chip generations from both Intel and AMD that will hopefully come with a boost in both performance and efficiency.

By the way, the above its true for any computer currently on the market. For instance, Nvidia Pascal GPUs are 2.5 years old at this point — fact hidden by multiple rebrands and possibly minor efficiency improvements. In fact, Nvidia's marketing is great — they sell an under-clocked GPU and charge a premium for it, but since they call it "Nvidia Max-Q" rather than "Nvidia slowed down edition", people are seemingly happy to pay money for it.
 
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AnotherSoftwareEngineer

macrumors member
Sep 9, 2018
50
72
Thanks leman. You are right and know it was a bit of a general question hence the 'good' .

I guess my main question is has Apple released something with current hardware as I know at some points in the past the have lagged behind updating the product line.

Cheers
There's always another newer, faster, better chipset coming.

That being said, they were updated recently and right now they have the appropriate current generation Intel processors.
 
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BaldyUK

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 16, 2008
183
8
Thanks guys, appreciate all the responses. You've all managed to explain what I was after despite my vague questioning.

Cheers
 

semistandard

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2018
55
39
It seems that the main problem with current line is not the hardware and even not insufficient cooling... But unpredictable behavior caused by T2 chip which can result in system instability... Given that, would you still advice on buying the 2018 model?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,690
33,576
Boston
is not the hardware and even not insufficient cooling
I can only speak of the base 2.2 model, but I'm seeing decent temps, without needing to go the route of using Volta (to manually throttle). Since the last supplemental update I found my MBP to be running a lot cooler then before. I'm not pushing my MBP, i.e., not computer the mass of the universe ;) but its running very nicely.

But unpredictable behavior caused by T2 chip which can result in system instability
This is the big bugaboo, I'm fortunate enough to not have this issue, but had this been reported and known at the time I was buying it, I would have held back.

Another point to consider - the keyboard, its the third generation and it should be ok, but the more I use it, the more I feel that its not a keyboard that will be durable. I hope I'm wrong, but I do have concerns. So far for me, its been problem free
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,444
6,741
OP:

Try the 2018 keyboard, see how it feels to you.
If you don't mind it, and you want the touchbar version, you might consider a 2018 MBPro.

Be aware that the non-touchbar version is still the 2017 design (with an earlier-revision keyboard). The keyboard on this one is more prone to failure, BUT... it's covered by a 4-year free replacement program from Apple (think of it as an extended warranty, insofar as the keyboard is concerned).

If it was me, I'd wait until the 2019 models come out, probably middle of next year.

But then again, as the old saying goes, "if you need now, buy now"...
 

zoom25

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2018
34
16
the keyboard, its the third generation and it should be ok, but the more I use it, the more I feel that its not a keyboard that will be durable. I hope I'm wrong, but I do have concerns. So far for me, its been problem free

Hi, what makes you think that from your day-to-day interaction with the keyboard? Has anything changed since day 1?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,690
33,576
Boston
Hi, what makes you think that from your day-to-day interaction with the keyboard? Has anything changed since day 1?
No its a fantastics computer but I don't have the warm and fuzzies with the keyboard. I do hope those silicon doo-dads that were added is sufficient but I don't know.
 
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SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,279
4,244
Highlands Ranch, CO
Hi, what makes you think that from your day-to-day interaction with the keyboard? Has anything changed since day 1?
I had issues with one of the new keyboards starting with day 10. Another forum member has gone through 3 units now with keyboard issues? I am not convinced that history will show that all the past issues with the butterfly keyboard have been solved with the addition of the silicon barrier.
 
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zoom25

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2018
34
16
No its a fantastics computer but I don't have the warm and fuzzies with the keyboard. I do hope those silicon doo-dads that were added is sufficient but I don't know.
Ok, thanks. So far I've dealt with graphics issues (Nvidia) in my previous two 15" MacBook Pros. I never had problems with the keyboard. Never really had to think about the keyboards. Today, I am getting another 15" to get alongside a 2012 Retina 15" which works perfectly except for the few times where it crashes due to the dedicated graphics card. It feels like I'm swapping out my current almost-perfect but non-reliable MacBook Pro with another almost-perfect but non-reliable MacBook Pro.

I really hope I don't get screwed again. I just want one MacBook Pro that can be as reliable as my iPads, iPhones, iMac, iPod Touch. I'll be going for a base model as well for quick swapping if any problems come and to keep the heat down with the 555X.
 

Webster's Mac

macrumors 6502
Dec 18, 2016
275
205
Hello chaps,

I'm currently rocking a mid 2009 MBP with SSD and 8gb RAM. It's been a right trooper of a machine but is beginning to creak under the strain of things. Web pages are slow to load sometimes and video playback really can be a bit slow at times - even 1080p it struggles with.

However, it was a cracking machine and easily upgradeable which I believe the newer machines are not. I've got the chance to buy a new mid 2018 512gb MBP and am tempted. But is this release a 'good' MBP? I know some years of MBP are looked on very favourably and some not.

I'm a casual user but really the MBP line doesn't actually look like they're really for the Pro user in particular.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Cheers
Good:
  • Revised keyboard (doesn't break but it will not change your mind if you hate the butterfly switches)
  • Specs are really good
Bad:

  • Still not very repairable (and might get worse due to T2 chip)
  • Expensive
 

rehlers

macrumors member
Feb 13, 2006
76
21
Phoenix, AZ - USA
I've got a 2016 15" MacBook Pro Touch Bar. The keyboard I've already had replaced once, and it was to the newer 2017 design, although not the latest 2018 design. Considering they have modified the butterfly keyboard every year since releasing it on MacBook in 2015, I'd say it is pretty fair to call it a bad design. If it was not, they would not have to keep "fixing" it every year.

I type a lot on my MacBook. I read reviews that people didn't like the new keyboard, and I blew them off, as I generally just get used to whatever I am using. I've had this Macbook for almost 2 years now and it still just sucks. I think the keyboard has actually gotten worse to me over time. It feels not much better than typing on a hard board. The worst part to me as a touch typist is that I cannot get a good feel for the keys and make more mistakes than I do on any other keyboard.

The Touch Bar is also a big negative for me. It increased the price of the laptop by 100s of dollars. It has served no use for me at all. I am constantly barely touching it while typing, causing Siri or iTunes or some other crap to launch. Also, as a programmer not having a physical ESC key is a daily frustration.

The laptop itself is nice otherwise. The weight is very low, the screen and build quality are good (outside of the keyboard). I actually like the 4x USB-C ports, as it makes a single cord for power and video possible. Plus I can plug it in either side. A USB-A port would have been nice, but I don't miss it any more.

As others have said, if you can try out the keyboard and somehow find you don't hate it, then you may not feel too bad about paying $2500 for this laptop. If my work didn't provide this laptop to me, I don't think there is anyway I could justify the purchase due to the horrible keyboard and worthless Touch Bar. I've been using Mac exclusively for around 14 years now. I am completely integrated with iCloud, iPhone, iPad, MacOS. But despite all that, I hate this crappy keyboard enough that I would try out a windows laptop if I had to pay for it myself.
 

Natzoo

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,245
129
Not sure where i am
Simple answer: if you do not type a lot, this is the best MacBook. If you use your keyboard for more than a few sentences a day, stay away from this generation.
I agree, I previously had the 2015 15" retina and recently upgraded to the 2018 15" and I hate the new keyboard (no, not about the keyboard gate), but because it feels so weird to type and i can no longer type as fast as i can and regret upgrading from a 2015. Its a nice computer, but coming from a 2015 version, it just feels like a downgrade. Also, its way louder
 

zoom25

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2018
34
16
I have a 2010, 2012, and a 2015. All 15 inch.

Today, I spent quite a bit of time typing on the 2018 13" and 15", as well as 2017 13". I also got to play around and do a typing comparison with the Surface Laptop 2. The black looked great btw.

I definitely prefer the older MacBook Pros' keyboard over all of these new MacBook Pro models. I was surprised that there was a difference between the 2018 13" and 15" models as well that were present. I knew the 2017 would be different because it's second gen, but sure enough there was a slight and consistent difference between the 2018 13 and 15" across all the keys.

The Surface Laptop 2 was good. Although, I still prefer any of the 2010, 2012, and 2015 MacBook Pros keyboard over the Surface Laptop 2. Only the ThinkPad's keyboard I have is hands down better than all of the MacBook Pros or any laptop I've used.

The Surface Laptop 2 looked great and sharp. Although, it didn't seem to handle glare very well. Also, with PDFs when scrolling, I noticed there was a slight lag for the text to fully sharpen and thin out (resolve?) each time you scrolled. I've noticed this previously with almost all Android tablets with PDFs when I was comparing them against iPad Air 2 at the time. The iPad Air 2 and MacBook Pros handle text and PDFs perfectly without any lag in resolving sharpness when scrolling. Otherwise, the Surface Laptop 2 seemed great with Edge browser and opening multiple stuff. For a period of time, I was away from the Surface Laptop 2 and when I came back, it was undergoing a Windows update out of nowhere. I have heard of these automatic and forced Windows update. I really have no idea how the current situation is with Windows 10 and how stable/obtrusive Windows is atm.

The 3:2 aspect ratio actually made me want to work on it and be engaged. I'd prefer the Surface Laptop 2 over the 13" MacBook Pro. Need more vertical space so I'm not scrolling all the time. I think the Surface Laptop 2 is a good fit there. The 15" was business as usual. The keyboards though...

I'm going to have to decide between the 15" MacBook Pro and the Surface Laptop 2.
 
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LogicalApex

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2015
514
463
It is never an easy answer. The only real answer is to upgrade when it makes sense for you to do so because you have a real need and the new machine solves that need. No one here has the ability to see the future so it is only possible to look favorable or unfavorably upon the 2018 after later models come out and allow that retrospection to occur.

I really like the 2018 MBP and I'm still very happy with the purchase. The machine is powerful while being lightweight and fits all the needs I have for it very well. The only real complaint I have with the machine is the fact that the majority of its internals are soldered onto the board so replacement and upgrades are impossible after order. But this is a trend Apple has been expanding for years now so I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon.

The biggest complaint I read is for the keyboard and you'll see that here. I haven't used an older MBP so I can't compare, but the keyboard is a laptop keyboard with rubber domes. It feels just as bland as they always do. I use a mechanical keyboard on my computers so honestly all laptop keyboards feel extremely underwhelming. I couldn't imagine typing for hours on this keyboard or any laptop keyboard...
 

macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
3,838
3,389
I agree, I previously had the 2015 15" retina and recently upgraded to the 2018 15" and I hate the new keyboard (no, not about the keyboard gate), but because it feels so weird to type and i can no longer type as fast as i can and regret upgrading from a 2015. Its a nice computer, but coming from a 2015 version, it just feels like a downgrade. Also, its way louder
Well, I got accustomed to the keyboard really easily, and I liked it, but the unreliability of the keys is something I can not live with. I write to make a living.
 
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