New MacBook Pros "worth it"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Visionblue, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Visionblue macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2013
    Hey All!

    Contemplating going to school in the Fall with possible focus on Graphic/Web design. I've been considering an upgrade from my MBA 2013 for a while but never went through with anything because I was unsure what my future needs would be and my 11" base model is (usually) enough to get me thru the day. As my need for a better screen and more power may escalate an upgrade, I'm considering two paths.

    1.) 13" or 15" 2017 Macbook Pro, external display and set up, iPad Pro with Apple Pencil

    2.) 27" iMac base model, 2016 rMacbook

    I've been favoring scenario 1 for it's modularity and it's flexibility in future upgrades (getting a better external display later on instead of completely replacing the MacBook, etc). But I haven't heard a lot of good about the MBPs since their redesign. I don't know if it's a vocal minority but tech sites & average consumers seem to have found a consensus that they aren't as powerful as they once were.

    Not totally sure what my workload would look like, but I would assume certainly more intensive than web browsing and checking emails (current workload).

    Anyone have a similar setup and feel differently? All input appreciated! Thanks!
  2. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    You'll hear it a lot because "New MacBook Pro works fine" is not as catchy title as "New MacBook Pro, the hidden performance drop?".

    Basically new ones are more powerful than old ones, as is true of every year on year model. However Web/Graphic design isn't all that intensive, depends if you're doing front-end or back-end but you can do that stuff on a very basic computer.

    Your two options are very different and not really comparable. A 15" MBP + iPad will give you a powerhouse portable computer and a tablet for sketching/notes/research etc. Whereas the other one will be a more powerful computer with much larger screen and another notebook for portable work. If it was iMac/MBP + iPad it'd be better.

    Personally if you can make do and don't need portability then the iMac is going to be a much better investment for you. If you absolutely need performance and portability then the sacrifice you make is in getting a notebook computer.

    Either way those are incredibly expensive solutions to be considering, don't know how your funding it but think about other costs of school. It's also worth asking the tutor what computers they recommend/use/teach on, you should be okay for graphic design but you could be the only one sat there with a Mac whilst everyone uses a Windows specific application and stuff.
  3. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    MBP and IPP is my set up. Both compliment each other and the cross over is very valuable to me
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    How is the current MBA holding up?

    I wouldn't recommend EITHER a 2016 or a 2017 MBPro -- primarily because of the keyboard issues. An out-of-warranty failed keyboard is a $700 fix at Apple (yes, you're reading that correctly). The entire top case must be replaced to fix even one "bad key".

    It's -possible- that Apple may address this with a re-designed keyboard in the 2018 models, with an expected release in summer/late summer. But we won't know that UNTIL the new ones come out.

    Again, if you can hold out, I'd recommend waiting until the new MacBook Pro's come out this summer, and try one of those.
  5. raqball macrumors 68000

    Sep 11, 2016
    Disagree, kind of.. You can find some pretty good deals on the 2016 and 2017's right now. If someone is concerned (and BTW they should be) about the KB then just get Apple Care +. Some of the sales I've been seeing are $250 off for the 2017 (more for the 2016) which pretty much gives Apple Care for free..

    I would highly recommend that anyone purchasing a 2016 or a 2017 get Apple Care + though as like you said, a KB replacement is $700+
  6. Falhófnir macrumors 68040


    Aug 19, 2017
    You’ll certainly get more for your money with an iMac over a MBP, but I would pair it with an iPad rather than a MacBook.
  7. jerryk, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

    jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I would check with wherever you going to school, and see what they recommend. You do not want to add dealing with system issues to distract you from from doing your school work.

    But, I am going to guess a bigger display is in your future, and maybe a Wacom tablet.

    Oh, and before spending a ton of money at some art school make sure you check out the job market. Graphics does not pay like it used to, and a lot of companies are perfectly happy with pre-built websites that they just configure by adding images from a library.
  8. SteveJUAE, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68030


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Save your money for now and evaluate what you need once you have started the course

    There' is a lot to be said for toting around an old laptop on campus vs an expensive new one

    Just make sure it' cleaned up incase you need a Windows partition for course work

    If your old laptop falls short (unlikely) you can get a new/latest one in 24hrs
  9. R.Stoychev macrumors 6502a


    Dec 23, 2012
    A few days ago I got a macbook pro 13inch 2017 with touchbar, imo go with 13 inch if you will use it with a monitor. The 13 inch is portable, battery life is great and overall it is really nice machine for someone who will carry his laptop around campus.
  10. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    Totally agree, see how things develop and then make the decision. Temptation to buy big frequent, equally in the event of an issue far better to have some $$$$ in reserve unless cost is of little concern. Something as simple as a inappropriately placed glass of water has spoiled many peoples day, a point worth considering.

    As ever what impresses is the output, never the hardware...


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10 February 11, 2018