MBP 13" 2016 TouchBar - Quick review

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by reserves, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. reserves, Apr 26, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017

    reserves macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009

    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.


    • 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)

    • 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

    • 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.
  2. fokmik macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2016
    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?
  3. reserves thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    Could well be, only had it a week so we'll see, happy to be wrong
  4. iRabbit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2007
    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.
  5. reserves thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    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.
  6. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    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.
  7. iRabbit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2007
    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.
  8. reserves thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    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.
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    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.
  10. reserves thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    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??
    --- Post Merged, Apr 27, 2017 ---
    Just looked, it's more detail so thanks.

    It says Safari 17% impact and Skype 6%, I have those 2 open all the time
  11. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
  12. iRabbit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2007
    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.
  13. fokmik macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2016
    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
  14. reserves thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    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.
  15. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    My 2013 still gets 8 hours battery life on light use.
  16. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    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.

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