MBP 13" 2016 TouchBar - Quick review

reserves

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2009
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45
Hey,

Purchased a 13" MBP custom order 2.9ghz /16GB / 512GB

I'm pretty happy to be honest, it's my 4th MacBook Pro, and I upgraded from a 2012 15" Retina.

Great

  • Size

    Love the size, it's so much easier to carry around, I do use it plugged into an external monitor. I know the 15" is better but prefer the 13" for form factor, I take it home and back to the office everyday so size matters.

  • USB-C

    Mostly as I use this on my desk or just on my lap with nothing plugged in, I actually find this more convenient as I purchased a MINIX NEO C, USB-C Multiport Adapter https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N2LYC5P which means I only plug in one cable now. The adaptor works perfect, but I have reservations that'll it'll last a long time. USB-C will mean better 3rd party accessories over a Mac propriateary input. Also charging from either side is nice.

  • Touch ID

    It's nicer than typing a password, makes the machine feel newer, I don't use Apple Pay

  • Keyboard

    Try typing on your old retina after the new keyboard, it feels ancient, so all good (Except for the hardly acceptable noise levels, see below)

OK
  • Screen

    Is good but not that amazing upgrade coming from a retina

  • Trackpad

    Works good but I don't use it that much over the basics, and never found myself using all those swipes etc.

  • Touchbar

    Is ok, it's not amazing, it works well for Emoji's, that's about it. Actually I customised it so I can lock the screen, doesn't save much time as I knew the short cut for this anyways
Not so great
  • Trackpad

    Click is annoying & noisy, set it so I don't have to actually 'click' it but would prefer right of trackpad instead of 2 finger tap

  • Battery Life

    Isn't great, 4.5 hours in my tests using an external monitor and doing day to day stuff

  • Speed

    Quite honestly doesn't feel much faster than my old 2012 retina
Bad


  • Keyboard

    It's noisy, others in the office have said the same, probably the worse thing about the laptop

That ended up way longer than I thought, hope it's useful. Any questions let me know.
 
Last edited:

fokmik

macrumors 68040
Oct 28, 2016
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Regarding the noisy keyboard...trust me, you were used to type like me, on the last gen...after 1 month you will adapt and the keyboard can be silent or if you want to type loud,you can. Is that the brain must adapt for it
When you bought the laptop?
 
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reserves

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2009
86
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Regarding the noisy keyboard...trust me, you were used to type like me, on the last gen...after 1 month you will adapt and the keyboard can be silent or if you want to type loud,you can. Is that the brain must adapt for it
When you bought the laptop?
Could well be, only had it a week so we'll see, happy to be wrong
 

iRabbit

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2007
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What do you run day-to-day that you're only getting 4.5 hours battery? (I'm genuinely curious). I have the 13" touch bar (lower specs - 8gb 256 SDD) and I'm easily getting 8 hours every day, with heavy internet use and running Photoshop CS6 and Bridge regularly.
 
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reserves

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2009
86
45
What do you run day-to-day that you're only getting 4.5 hours battery? (I'm genuinely curious). I have the 13" touch bar (lower specs - 8gb 256 SDD) and I'm easily getting 8 hours every day, with heavy internet use and running Photoshop CS6 and Bridge regularly.
Interesting, it's running an external display, when I tested it I was using the Apple HDMI adaptor. Maybe this has a big effect?

In terms of applications, it's mostly Safari, Skype, Slack, Dropbox in the background, nothing heavy.

I'll try running a test without the external monitor, 8 hours would be great.
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2009
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England, UK
It's noisy, others in the office have said the same, probably the worse thing about the laptop
We have a couple of external contractors in the office with these machines at the moment - we often tease them about the ridiculous noise from their keyboard. When music/conversation isn't flowing, it's quite frankly irritating.

They must be reworking the keyboard mechanism for the next gen. It's been awfully received and plagued with issues. Disappointing, given the first-gen version of the 'butterfly keyboard' was absolutely fine. You seldom see a day go by without someone reporting another 2016 MBP keyboard issue in this forum alone.
 
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iRabbit

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2007
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Interesting, it's running an external display, when I tested it I was using the Apple HDMI adaptor. Maybe this has a big effect?

In terms of applications, it's mostly Safari, Skype, Slack, Dropbox in the background, nothing heavy.

I'll try running a test without the external monitor, 8 hours would be great.
Would definitely be an interesting test to see. I might blame Skype if you're using it a lot, but really other than the external monitor, I'm not sure what else would cause such a difference.

I was actually pretty worried about the battery life (even though I'd probably be fine with 5 hours or so), just because of reports I read... but my experience has been a solid 8 hours. I'd expect it to be shorter if I was doing a lot of video editing, but I rarely do that.
 

reserves

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2009
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Would definitely be an interesting test to see. I might blame Skype if you're using it a lot, but really other than the external monitor, I'm not sure what else would cause such a difference.

I was actually pretty worried about the battery life (even though I'd probably be fine with 5 hours or so), just because of reports I read... but my experience has been a solid 8 hours. I'd expect it to be shorter if I was doing a lot of video editing, but I rarely do that.
Ran a test from last night, to today.

I got 5 hrs 18 mins, this was no external monitor, about 1/2 to 2/3 screen brightness.

Usage was Safari, You Tube <1 hr, Skype (one 45 min call) but on in background, that's about it, no Office, or Development, Video, Photoshop etc.

This test was fairly loose, it was me making notes of battery % and time. Also I was closing the lid from time to time (not counting this time) but I'd say it was within 10%.

Considering this is way below 10 hours, or even 7 hours, either I have a duff machine, doubtful as this is my second one, and the last one lasted even less.

Is 5 hrs 18 mins acceptable considering usage? I'm within my 14 days return period, but I doubt another machine would be any different.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
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Ran a test from last night, to today.

I got 5 hrs 18 mins, this was no external monitor, about 1/2 to 2/3 screen brightness.

Usage was Safari, You Tube <1 hr, Skype (one 45 min call) but on in background, that's about it, no Office, or Development, Video, Photoshop etc.

This test was fairly loose, it was me making notes of battery % and time. Also I was closing the lid from time to time (not counting this time) but I'd say it was within 10%.

Considering this is way below 10 hours, or even 7 hours, either I have a duff machine, doubtful as this is my second one, and the last one lasted even less.

Is 5 hrs 18 mins acceptable considering usage? I'm within my 14 days return period, but I doubt another machine would be any different.
Have you used activity monitor to work out what is using your battery so heavily?? It has an energy section that should tell you which apps are drawing all that power.
 
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reserves

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2009
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Have you used activity monitor to work out what is using your battery so heavily?? It has an energy section that should tell you which apps are drawing all that power.
Assuming it's the same as when you click the battery icon.

The only 2 things it's ever said are "Safari & Display Brightness"

Most of the time it doesn't say anything.

Is everyone getting way more than 5 hours then??
[doublepost=1493303067][/doublepost]
Assuming it's the same as when you click the battery icon.

The only 2 things it's ever said are "Safari & Display Brightness"

Most of the time it doesn't say anything.

Is everyone getting way more than 5 hours then??
Just looked, it's more detail so thanks.

It says Safari 17% impact and Skype 6%, I have those 2 open all the time
 

iRabbit

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2007
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You test was interesting. You don't by chance keep Facebook running constantly do you? The only time I saw a big battery life difference was a day I was running Facebook for a while for work. I've gotten in the habit of closing it now and not leaving it going all the time (it's garbage anyway LOL).

Battery life is so variable it's hard to say you're situation is normal or not... but it certainly doesn't match my experience. It also depends on you and how much you need 8 hours of battery life. I'd probably live with 5 or 6 since I'd rarely be away from a power source for more than a couple of hours anyway. But a student who really needs to get though classes or someone who works without access to power, they might feel different.

I alway have Apple Care of my machine so I figure I can wait out problems like that as long as they don't impact my day-to-day experience.
 

fokmik

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Oct 28, 2016
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All of users with 8 gb ram are getting over 7 hours with light usage. And those with 16 gb ram are getting max 5-6 hours
 

reserves

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 10, 2009
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All of users with 8 gb ram are getting over 7 hours with light usage. And those with 16 gb ram are getting max 5-6 hours
Actually I've had 2 machines. A 13" non touchbar with 8gb and the current 16gb 13" machine, both got under 5 hours. However, my tests were not under the same set up, the non touch bar I had an external monitor for example.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
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UK
good run down.

battery life is my concerns as my 2015 MacBook pro 13 inch battery life isn't too bad at all. obviously when on youtube it goes down quick but thats to be expected.