Real MBP Review

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CaptRB, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. CaptRB macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California
    Holy cow, there's a ton of trolling and clickbait from haters and folks who can't afford these new computers! The alarmist trolling is a new hobby that's gone supernova to be sure.

    But we've seen this before and this is no different than any other release where Apple will be just fine. So let's have a review of the 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar (base model with 8 GB) that I'm writing this on. I'm comparing this to the 15" MacBook Pro from last year and my beloved 2014 MacBook Air.

    Before I go down the list, I'd like to point out that I've had no issues of any kind. My friends out here in LA with the new units have had no issues. And I spoke with my friend at the Santa Monica store a few hours ago and learned that they've had zero uptick in returns that she knows about. Does that mean there's no issues? just means that the web blows this stuff into WWII via mostly people who can't get a life or a girl.

    So here we go...

    1) SCREEN - I find it amazing that people just blow past this improvement. I'm a pro photographer and I'm looking at an upgrade that matters. Nikon RAW files never looked better and there's also finally enough brightness.

    2) TOUCH BAR - I was sure this was useless and a gimmick. But I was wrong. Not only is it fun to use, but it makes a lot of things easier and faster. It's really something you have to use for a period of days to appreciate, but I'm looking forward to seeing it integrated into more software. The built in fingerprint lock and Siri round off a very neat piece of engineering. Gripe: I'd like the touch bar to be a bit brighter.

    3) TRACK PAD - Another item people pay not attention to, but this is finally a GREAT trackpad that offers the room I need and isn't a struggle. Good enough to replace my external pad.

    4) BATTERY LIFE - On par with my Air. And I've got the brightness cranked. Maybe there's a bad batch off batteries out there because I hear some folks are getting 3 hours? I've only "heard" these complaints online of course. I've read suspect posts like "Mine died after 3 hours after full charge so I returned it." Really? But we've already seen tests showing great battery life, so why would anyone not just get a replacement if they got a lemon? Hmmmm. I guess we'll see.

    5) SPEAKERS - Tiny speakers can only do so much, but they really did a nice job as these have a lot more detail while playing loud. Another nice improvement.

    6) PROCESSING - So far I'm using PS with massive TIFF and RAW files with multiple layers and this machine chews through them just like my quad core desktop. So who's crying over the faster processor not being fast enough? It's certainly just as capable as my 15" except this is nicer overall.

    7) KEYBOARD - Don't kid yourselves. Once you get use to this keyboard, it flies. Feedback is better. Keys don't wobble. And there's no light leaking at the edges. Last years MacBook feels positively CHEAP by comparison.

    8) DONGLE WARS - You know who cried the hardest when I saw the missing ports? That was me! Where's my SD slot? Where's my USB 3.0? Where's my slot for GameBoy cartridges? But the truth is that no "pro" cares a wit about this stuff. Pro's use D810 DSLRs and we carried CF readers anyway. No matter, because a tiny SD card reader and USB adapter cost me 30 bucks. Everything works and it works fast. I broke a SD card on the Air because I forgot it was in the slot. That won't happen again. There's nothing non-pro about these machine except the folks using them.

    9) GRIPES - Somehow my Air feels thinner and fits better on my lap. As sexy as the space gray case is, it still has hard sharp edges. I miss the logo lighting up and I still think the old charging setup was best and safer.

    10) ISSUES - I've had none. No one I know has had any. I'm sure there are some issues because I've NEVER seen a computer that didn't. But I suggest taking a deep breath before you buy into the typical online panic. As a person who makes money from this gear, I can't invest myself in cry babies who want to troll about gear they don't own. Even the reported problems aren't going to stop you from making money and you DO have a warranty. Like I said, ZERO ISSUES. As always this will all die down. A few real issues will get worked out and a few new ones will turn up. They always do. But I have work to do, so unless this thing melts on my desk, I can't get into childishness. It's a computer and a tool, not a status symbol. If my tool breaks I fix or replace it, end of story.

    This is the best MacBook Pro to date. It offers speed and refinement. The screen and keyboard are major upgrades as are the speakers. It has all of the processing power most will need for years. The 15" feels BIG to me and I don't like to carry it compared to the 13". If you like to work on a plane or the coffee shop, the 13" is much nicer. Both screens lack real estate for serious PP work in photography, so I prefer the benefits of the more compact 13", but video buffs will likely prefer the 15" and it's additional horsepower.


  2. Essaux macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2014
    South of the Border, West of the Sun
    I'm a professional photographer and filmmaker who is also interested in upgrading to the new tbMBP (Totl), but the only thing holding me back a bit is the limited 16gb. I have it now and I'm sometimes running out of RAM due to the multi-layered editing in Premiere and After Effects.

    However, the new tbMBP looks incredible from what I have seen and the online complaints happen with every installment they release. Mind you, the price point is a bit steep (3200 euros where I live), whether you're a professional or not. At one point Apple needs to take a chill pill.
  3. Sam_S macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2016
    This may suit you, which is great!! I am glad you are enjoying your new machine. However for many users, this is a disappointing upgrade and not what we wanted to see. I am very disappointed and not to sure what I am going to upgrade to. This new MacBook Pro does not suit me or my needs very well, which is a shame.
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Your new MBP has some issues with the caps lock button it appears.
  5. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California

    Yet all of your gear is mid-line at best. What powerful processing did you require that's missing from this new machine? I can see the 16 GB argument for video editors to a degree. Though I'd like to point out that my friends award winning short, shot on RED, was edited on a Mac with less power than the new 15".
    Still, I know folks out there might need more RAM.

    But for a LOT of users these things are great. This is certainly better than my beautiful 15" pro and that's saying a lot. Apple stuff is never cheap. My 15" cost a mint.

    Let's put this in perspective: My wonderful and maxed out MacBook Air costs 1549.00 today. For just 250 dollars more the MBP 13" with Touch Bar CRUSHES it in every important aspect.

    --- Post Merged, Dec 5, 2016 ---
  6. Ma2k5, Dec 5, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016

    Ma2k5 macrumors 68020


    Dec 21, 2012
    You state that:

    Could you share some examples? Usually I find that people use it for things that can either be done very easily with a keyboard short cut - and even those who don't like keyboard shortcuts - they had the option to bind them to an F key anyway, so it was possible on the old keyboard, but with better tactile feed back etc.

    As for battery life, I don't believe it is to do with bad batch of batteries, you have 49wh capacity, if your average use is very low (5wh) you will get the 10 hours, if it is 10 wh, you'll get 5 hours. If it is more, well you'll see less. I would presume most people use around 9-15wh on average (though heavier users probably use >15wh easily), based on various use-case scenario's across a range of laptops. So my estimate on the touch-bar model is that people on the best end would get 6-7 hours, but many will have to recharge after 4-5 hours of actual use.
  7. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2008
    Yeah. Can't afford the computers. That's why people are upset with Apple over the new MacBook Pro.

  8. ag29, Dec 5, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016

    ag29 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2014
    Why do you feel the need to justify your purchase? Spend more time enjoying your laptop than attacking others who may feel the new mac's are not suited for them.

    I bought a new Mac with the touch bar. I like it although it does have its flaws. Would I recommend it to my friends? Not really. It doesn't really do anything spectacular that makes it worth the price.

    Things like no more apple logo, no more magsafe, and no more ports without an adapter are actually pretty frustrating.
  9. Sam_S macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2016
    Yes to be fair my gear is a little dated now. But I haven't been home in over 6 months so my iMac never gets used anyway. Since I travel so much I have really appreciated the rMBP and the built-in I/O that it offers the user. HDMI and SD card are the biggest things for me. I am a person that loathes adapters, in the past I would be lucky to 6 months out of an adapter before it either breaks or I happen to lose it.
    For someone that does as much travel as I do I really appreciate not having to carry those adapters, that is my first big turn off.

    The second thing I don't like it the keyboard, I have about an hour to play around with the new keyboard (I know that is not long enough to give it a fair chance) but I can't stand it, I prefer a keyboard with a bit of travel, it suits me and my typing style. It could be something I could get used to, but I am not sure.

    Third is the battery life, or lack of. Again something that will be fixed with time and hopefully software updates, but it is a little concerning the reports I have seen about the battery life.

    Fourth is no Magsafe, again something small, but has saved my MacBook a lot, and I mean A LOT. I am always charging in awkward places and often have lots of people around me so this was a life saver.

    Finally the price, although I am usually very happy to pay a premium for an Apple product in this case I think they are being a little greedy, especially when they have taken so much out of the device.

    Just my thoughts, I respect that you may disagree with them. Every user is different and for me these things make a the device far less enjoyable and usable. I felt that the rMBP was an ideal balance between performance and portability and provided the best connectivity of any MacBook.
  10. 8692574 Suspended


    Mar 18, 2006
    How to lose credibility in the first sentence 101
  11. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    "Real Review"
    Here are my 100% biased opinions on why everyone else is wrong.
  12. c0ppo macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    People who love touch bar are OK. But personally, I will do the same job 5x faster then TB people using keyboard shortcuts. But yeah, I can't play doom using keyboard shortcuts :D

  13. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California
    So the trolling continues by people who don't own the computer, can't afford it or don't want to afford it and so on. Short memories plague every release. And EVERY release sees the same nonsense.

    Fanboy? Me? Nope. The minute Apple can't build me the best tool for my needs, I'll look elsewhere in a heartbeat. That's why I use a Samsung phone ever since Apple started to chase the market with their iPhones. I have no brand loyalty.

    If these machines don't do the job, I'll move on. But after using them I can see that they're a major upgrade.

    As for the keyboard, some guy says his fingers are HURT from the keyboard. As for keyboards, 99% of users will love this one once they get used to it. People complained about the Apple keyboards 5 and 10 years ago.

    This is how it works: When a premium expensive product comes out there is ALWAYS a vocal group pf haters. Some have valid points, but MOST have no direct experience. This is the web mentality, people who think Hillary murdered 40 people and sent e-mails to Hitlers brother's 3rd cousin. This is repeated each time.

    But the reality, based on actual experience with these computers and ownership, is that it's just another notebook. It will work for most people and miss the mark for a smaller group. That smaller group will have exacting needs that are far from common, though they're perfectly valid.

    Other than that...

    Fast computer? CHECK
    Better screen? CHECK
    Better keyboard? CHECK
    Better speakers? CHECK
    Touch-Bar? CHECK
    Great Build quality? CHECK
    Fingerprint ID? CHECK
    Great Battery life? CHECK

  14. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    Everyone that has complaints are just too poor to afford it apparently
  15. Macalway macrumors 68030

    Aug 7, 2013
    People actually attack the OP for being positive. :D

    From now on make it clear it's a 'positive only' thread. It's the only way. Otherwise it just deteriorates to the same old crap. So in essence you have like threads and hater threads. Then if this works, maybe we can discuss this like adults :D
  16. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    It's refreshing to read a positive review after countless negative ones.

    I wanted to try the 13" touch bar, However, with all the low battery life claims on the touch bar model, you are the only one that I have read that has good battery life. Since you note your battery is on par with your Air, I would like try and figure out how you are doing it:
    1. How many hours are you actually getting on average.
    2. What programs are you running, web surfing, etc.?
    3. What is your brightness level?

    Any other insight you can give will be appreciated

    Thank you
  17. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    The "good" news is on the RAM issue, the much faster SSD should make the paging significantly faster when it happens. Not saying that's a "solution" to 16GB being the limit, but the effects should be diminished over the same setup from last year.
  18. paaj macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2016
    I'm using the 15" for a few days now and agree on most points. Awesome machine.

    The sceen is absolutely beautiful. Biggest upgrade, even/especially coming from a 2008 MBP.

    The touchbar however... really still has to prove itself. It's not in my visual wokflow and when I do look most of what I see are things I know the shortkeys for. Other than that, it's okay since I didn't use the F keys anyway.
    I do miss he physical escape key because it now lacks feedback, but the touchbar version is ok I guess.

    Battery is fine for me, maybe I'm lucky or not expecting much. Normal use (developing, browsing etc) seems like expected. Gaming drains it much faster since the AMD is working it's magic.

    Absolutely love the keyboard. Took some time, but going back to the 2008 feels mushy. The new one feel solid even with the limited travel has enough relief to place your fingers and find the keys and is clicky enough to know what you're doing.
    It's not for keybashers but it's really not that loud once you get used to it.
  19. raqball Suspended

    Sep 11, 2016
    Typical hating on people who don't see the value and / or a justifying your purchase type post...

    I have the TB base version so I could afford it yet I fail to see the value in what I paid.. I posted this elsewhere but will repeat it here:

    Was this thing worth $1,936.93 after sales tax? No freaking way!

    Now just let that price sink in for a second...

    13" Base with touchbar:
    • 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    • 8GB 2133MHz memory
    • 256GB PCIe-based SSD
    • Intel Iris Graphics 550
    • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
    Is that worth $1,936.93? Nope, nada, not even close!

    While I am not happy that the Apple tax has gotten out of control, I paid it and have the computer. When I use the computer I am happy for the most part until I think about what it cost.. Realistically this computer should be about $400 less than what it is..

    Assuming, as you have, that the people who are complaining are trolls, haters or can't afford it is simply dumb. Plenty of people can afford it but passed because while it is a nice computer, don't kid yourself for one second that it's not overpriced... Some don't want to be ripped off, taken to the bank or overpay the now insane Apple tax..

    Anyways, I guess I am now a troll, a hater and someone who could not afford it right?
  20. CaptRB thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California

    Not everyone, but that's at least some of the people here. People LOVE to tear down products upon release. It happens with cameras, cars and pretty much anything. On the internet, you should be careful about what you read.

    I'm telling you POINT BLANK that some of the posts here are click bait and fake. And most of the complaints are unfounded. Sorry, but this has happened MANY times before and it's always the same.

    As usual, Apple will be just fine. And I'll have a nice time making money with my new laptops. If a better one comes out next year, maybe I'll upgrade. For professionals, the cost of these laptops is trivial and a write-off. For non-pros, you likely don't need a 2500 laptop anyway.

    Sorry. There are a lot of haters, trolls and cry babies here.

    --- Post Merged, Dec 5, 2016 ---
    --- Post Merged, Dec 5, 2016 --- paid over 1900 bucks. I ordered off Amazon from Datavision (authorized seller) and paid 1799.00 with shipping.

    You claim it's over priced? Let's take a realistic look:

    MacBook Air is 1549.00 with big drive and 8 GB. For 250 dollars more I got a massive upgrade in speed, screen, sound and this is smaller than the air, has the touch bar and nicer in virtually every way. 250 dollars is not a lot of money to pay. for so much more laptop.

    The new MacBook also lags in virtually every respect with the top tier model and getting the superior new Pro only costs 200 dollars more.

    So maybe there's some new math around, but I fail to see how a new release like this is priced too high when it's clearly superior to Air and MacBook top tier models for a couple of hundred dollars. It doesn't even make sense to buy those laptops anymore unless you go with the base models.

    Like you, I'd like my computer to cost less. I wish my Charger Hellcat cost less too! I wish my wife liked Chinese take-out. Life isn't always exactly what we want, but I'm working on this wonderful new MBP today and looking the lovely screen and feel spoiled. It's worth the money because I AM worth the money.

    I think we're all pretty spoiled.

  21. motime macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2015
    Honestly this has been a joke of an upgrade given the amount of time they had to produce something worthwhile. I mean all that waiting and anticipation just to see so many features being taken out and only a minor upgrade in performance is disappointing to any rational individual.
  22. paaj macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2016
    Maybe, but coming from a 2008 machine it's absolutely amazing and on most points better than 2015. :)
  23. motime macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2015
    Yes, but you could have upgraded to 2015, saved a whole lot of cash and been just as good. Also it is highly debatable whether the latest model is better than the 2015 on most points.
  24. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    I don't understand why you are keeping a computer that you think doesn't offer the value you expected. No one would criticize your decision to take it back for not meeting your needs. What we'd criticize is coming back to complain that you overpaid for a computer on multiple posts. If you think another computer does this at $400 less, you should buy it. This circular logic is making me dizzy. Why do people bitch when there are many viable solutions? Apple does not own us. The investment in software is moot at this point with the proliferation of subscription models. Why are you doing this to yourself?
  25. raqball, Dec 5, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016

    raqball Suspended

    Sep 11, 2016
    1. I like MacOS and am willing to overpay for it. Features like continuity and handoff are important to me.
    2. I have a TON of paid programs and apps on the Mac platform.
    3. Sure I can buy a 2015 version for less but I am a tech junkie and like the latest and greatest.

    Apple sells these at this price because they are the only MacOS game in town. If other companies were allowed to sell PC with MacOS, Apple would be in serious trouble and most of these machines, at this price, would be sitting in a warehouse collecting dust...

    Putting people down who are not overzealous fanboys is getting just as bad as what the OP complains about.. It goes both ways and Apple brought this upon themselves..

    It's a fine computer but if you don't think you overpaid for it then you are only kidding yourself..
    --- Post Merged, Dec 5, 2016 ---
    I refuse to buy from Amazon because of the way they treat their employees AND because I like to support local brick and mortar stores.. To each their own...

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