macbook pro with touchbar?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Lastgreen, Nov 13, 2017 at 4:29 PM.

  1. Lastgreen macrumors newbie

    Lastgreen

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2017
    #1
    Hey guys i was just wondering how advantageous it is to get the macbook pro with touch bar versus the non touch bar.. I understand that a lot of users find the touch bar useless but what about the added benefits... I read that the touch bar model has a stronger wifi receiver, 2 fans (which would mean less thermal throttling?), faster cpu 3.1 ghz.
    Are these differences worth the price gap? Im a medical student and i plan to do web browsing, word document, power points, watching videos and maybe but not always a little light gaming (league of legends)
     
  2. Gaelic83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2017
    #2
     
  3. adamh10 macrumors member

    adamh10

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    #3
    I assume you are only looking at the 13-inch model if you're comparing TB vs non-TB, yes?

    While I have a 15-inch model, I will comment on the TouchBar itself. I think it's fantastic. Many dislike it and/or have no opinion on it, but I think it's great and has many added benefits to the computer and macOS. I am a photographer and use many applications for my work such as Adobe's Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver, as well as Apple's Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro X. All of these applications have very useful shortcuts and tools in the TouchBar, depending on where I am in the application and what it is that I am actively doing. The same goes for standard applications like MS Office and Apple iWork apps. The applications know what it is that I'm doing and provide useful tools that I'm most likely to need at the time within the TouchBar. Even within macOS the TouchBar is smart and changes depending on where I am/what I'm doing. All in all, I think the TouchBar is a great addition to the MacBook Pro lineup and do not have any complaints about it. Plus, it adds TouchID as well, which makes logging in as well as purchases with Apple Pay much quicker and easier.

    As for the specs, the TouchBar model does have a faster base-model CPU (3.1GHz dual core i5), and it also has four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports compared to two ports on the non-TB model.

    If you decide to go with a 15-inch model, you'll add a dedicated GPU as well as a quad core processor, but it sounds like you are only interested in the 13-inch?

    Let me know if you have any other questions, about the TouchBar or other things.

    Cheers!
     
  4. Gaelic83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2017
    #4
    I like the touch screen. It's great when mailing out a number of address, when using the calculator, correcting spelling etc. For changing volume etc. I find it very useful!
     
  5. adamh10 macrumors member

    adamh10

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    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    #5
    Agreed, the Touch Bar provides some great shortcuts in many applications and it's awesome to see that most third party applications also utilize it with tools and shortcuts specific to their applications as well. It's extremely versatile, highly customizable, and in my personal opinion, quite useful and time-saving due to quick shortcuts directly from the keyboard while typing anyway.

    Cheers
     
  6. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #6
    I despised the touch bar. It actively interfered with my workflow, even after setting it to mimic function keys, as it turns off after a while.
     
  7. adamh10 macrumors member

    adamh10

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    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    #7
    Yeah this is what I've seen with feedback on the Touch Bar: one either loves it (as I do) or the hate it. There seems to be no middle ground here, which is fine. It all comes down to personal preference, and I do think that it would have served Apple well to have had the function keys and then the Touch Bar perhaps above them, to please both camps.
     
  8. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #8
    People who used to rely on function keys will obviously have strong dislike of the Touch Bar. Of course, function keys have been obsolete on Mac for ages and are not part of the user design guidelines, so I don’t think that someone can really blame Apple for trying to replace them with something at least marginally more useful. Touch Bar shines in apps where sliding controls are relevant, such as photo editors etc (I use it a lot with presentations).

    As to your original question, the TB model offers better performance under load. If you at some point will have to do some stats that involve simulation (probably less like), edit videos or play games, then yes, TB model might be worth the extra price.
     
  9. Jimios macrumors member

    Jimios

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    #9
    I cannot comment on the usefulness of the touch bar as I haven't actually used it, but based on other users' experience and various reviews, it seems it is from complete failure at worst, to marginally useful at best.

    As for the other points you make:

    - stronger wifi receiver. While technically true, you will never be able to tell the difference in actual usage.
    - 2 fans (which would mean less thermal throttling?). True, although with the usage you describe, you are extremely unlikely to experience thermal throttling anyway.
    - faster cpu 3.1 ghz. See combined answers to the other 2 points above.

    Honestly, the difference in price vs the non-TB model is basically just for the TB itself and 2 extra ports. I personally don't think it's worth it, but others may like it.
     
  10. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #10
    I beg to differ. Using a decent router, the difference is clearly measurable. With my Mac laptop, I get essentially the same performance over wireless than I do over wired. It would not be possible on a 2x2 setup. And gigabit internet is becoming more widespread.
     
  11. Jimios macrumors member

    Jimios

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    Nov 7, 2015
    #11
    The difference is measurable with benchmarks like iperf if you stand next to a good 3x3 802.11ac router (which most people still don't have).
    However, I doubt the OP is moving around gigabytes of files on the local network all day long. Most people will be bottlenecked by their internet speed rather than their WiFi speed. For serious networking, wired gigabit is still the way to go.

    All in all, I personally don't think the slightly faster WiFi of the TB version should influence the purchasing decision.
     
  12. adamh10 macrumors member

    adamh10

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    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    #12
    Agreed, but the Touch Bar itself should. The Touch Bar is a revolutionary new feature. Function keys on Macs... come on. We only use them for volume, brightness, keyboard backlight, etc. anyway, all of which are just as if not more easily done with the new Touch Bar. It has other added benefits too such as the app specific features as well, incredible font controls in Office and iWork apps, even in this post as I'm typing the Touch Bar provides Bold/Italics/Underline and color support, and powerful tools for photo editing apps and even video playback apps like iTunes and Netflix. All in all, the benefit of the Touch Bar far outweighs the benefits of physical function keys (which can be pulled up at the press of a button, anyway).
     
  13. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 65816

    New_Mac_Smell

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    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    UK / China
    #13
    I am completely indifferent to it... I find it hard to 'love' something that is essentially "Oh, that's cool", and equally I can't hate it for just changing a row of keys I never used anyway.

    It is far more practical than the physical F keys and occasionally has some use (Which I only spot on the rare occasion I look at it). Vaguely useful for PS layer mode... Otherwise could live without it. It's much better for changing volume on the computer however, but I wouldn't pay extra for that! Adds something at least to those keys.
     
  14. Jimios macrumors member

    Jimios

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    #14
    I understand the novelty, and that some people may like it. I personally find it easier to just use keyboard shortcuts (cmd+B for Bold, etc.) rather than tapping a button on a touch bar. The video playback controls are nice, though.
    Ultimately the TB is not worth 300€ to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  15. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 65816

    New_Mac_Smell

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    Oct 17, 2016
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    #15
    It is always easier to use shortcut commands. However I'm not convinced it added €300 to the price tag, seeing as it was introduced at the same price as the previous model. The 13" may be different however.
     
  16. Jimios macrumors member

    Jimios

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    #16
    I was referring to the 300€ difference between the TB and non-TB 13", which is what the OP is considering. Not worth it, IMO.
     
  17. Nick Milner macrumors member

    Nick Milner

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2017
    #17
    I love the Touch Bar. I have it set up like this:

    Untitled.jpeg

    I have my main productivity apps maximised in various spaces and use buttons to jump to them. I also have a number of commonly typed phrases ready to quickly insert, plus the date and time.
     
  18. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 65816

    New_Mac_Smell

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    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
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    #18
    That's fair, but they're hardly the same spec machine. TB model has better CPU/Cooling/Wireless/Ports etc., probably not a noticeable difference when you add up the other more important differences than just the visible ones.
     
  19. Poki macrumors 6502a

    Poki

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #19
    But you actually get more battery life due to the lower TDP CPU and only having one fan. That may certainly be worth giving up some power for, depending on your use case.
     
  20. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 65816

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #20
    Longer battery at lower CPU usage true, but still doesn't mean you're paying for that TouchBar. They're different products anyway, I just wish they didn't call it a 'Pro', changed the case slightly, and called it the 'Air'.
     
  21. PeterJP macrumors regular

    PeterJP

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #21
    Disclaimer: I don't have a TouchBar Mac (yet). But I tried it out extensively in several shops to find out if I can get used to it. There's much more to the TouchBar than the fact that it replaces the functionality of the F-keys. It replaces 14 keys (12 of which are an F-key) with a flat piece of glass. There are a few negative consequences:
    - TouchBar also replaces the ESC key. I use vi as my editor. In VI, ESC is the one key you really need. I've remapped the key below ESC as an ESC key on my current MBP to see if I can get used to it.
    - TouchBar isn't tactile. I can feel where my volume buttons are without looking at them, just like I type blind. With touch bar, there are no edges around the buttons. So I always need to look where I need to touch it.
    - Some things require more actions. I can increase/decrease volume and brightness immediately by pressing the F-keys. With TouchBar, I first need to hit the volume/brightness icon, then use the slider. That's two steps.
    There are also several positives:
    - Sliding goes much faster than the buttons.
    - App specific buttons are great. They could've implemented that with a screen in the button, like in an OLED keyboard. But those buttons are fixed size. With TouchBar, there's more flexibility.
    All in all, I like the TouchBar. And because I can probably work around the main problem (no ESC key), the TouchBar wouldn't stop me from getting an MBP.
     
  22. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 65816

    New_Mac_Smell

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    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    UK / China
    #22
    You can change volume/brightness by pressing the keys and sliding, you don't need to press - wait - slide, it's actually much quicker to change the volume with the TB, try it. Whilst there's no physical feedback for the button placement, when exactly is it crucial that you immediately adjust the volume? Assuming it's a working environment??

    The escape key is still there, still top left, and has a large hit area. So if your fingers go to the same place they did before it's in no way a problem to find that key. If it was F1 then it'd be different, but the esc key is just top left keyboard.

    One thing to note as you said you didn't actually own one, remember if you're playing with it in stores then you're on a weird angle. It's much more comfortable to use in a normal work situation than it is hunched over the thing.
     
  23. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #23
    It is even more comfortable to not have to deal with the TB at all. It actively interferes with workflow. Pure frippery.

    And would you care to estimate how much it will cost to replace when it breaks?
     
  24. green86, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:43 AM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 12:57 PM

    green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #24
    It interferes with everyone’s workflow everywhere??? :p:p:p

    You can’t make blanket statements like that. Your wrong. It enhances my workflow.
     
  25. PeterJP macrumors regular

    PeterJP

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    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #25
    You see, that's not how it works. When you type blind, you rely on the edges of the keys to find your way around the keyboard. That's also why the f and j keys have that funny protruding line on them: when your index fingers don't feel that, you know you're in the wrong place.

    Having an area where you can hit something you can't feel is just not a substitute for a key that I use as frequently as ESC. However, remapping the ESC key is.

    From what you're saying, you can change the volume by keeping your finger down? Touch & slide immediately? That's nice. I didn't know that. That's one of the reasons I actually like the cnncept of the TouchBar. It has the potential to do a lot of nifty things. Whether the potential has already been achieved is another matter entirely :)
     

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