Review of the 2016 tb rMBP 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by facemeat, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. facemeat macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2016
    Hello everybody,

    For quite some time I contemplated between buying the 2015 15 inch and the 2017 13 inch nTB. I ended up ordering the 2015, with luck though I was able to buy a mint condition 2016 512gb 13 inch TB from a relative for next to nothing, the deal was too good to pass up.
    Here are my impressions after a week of use.

    The last Macbook I used was the Macbook Air. I couldn’t stand it. I had the rMacbook before (2016) which I adored, but it was too small for my only laptop as I can’t rely on my desktop anymore. The Airs grainy display was a sore to use, reading on it was terrible. I’m not that good on the technical terms, but this display is gorgeous! It’s not like the 5k iMac displays, but dear god is it better than the Air. I don’t know how much better it is than the 2012-2015 rMBP models, but the difference isn’t as noticeable when comparing to my partners 2014 rMBP.

    Display size
    The actual computer is small, portable and will surely be fantastic once classes begin in august. The 15 inch would surely be heavier, but I honestly think that I would have preferred it. 13 inches can feel slightly cramped, especially when photo editing. Whilst working when I have a few word documents open, some pdfs, safari, messages and mail I wish that I had some more screen estate. Multiple desktops help, but it’s not optimal. 15 inches would be slightly better. I’m considering picking up a portable monitor, has anyone used one? If so, which one? I’ve been eyeing this one:, keeping it at my parents cabin when I’m working.

    I don’t game so I can’t really answer that, but so far it’s handled everything I’ve thrown at it (512gb 16gb i5). It handles my Capture One 10 catalogue of around 250gb images adequately, my graduate and work tasks are handled with ease (pdfs, word, excel, powerpoint, scanned documents etc). I want to try some swift coding in time, but for now I haven’t been able to test it. Sadly I’m not that fond of Capture One 10, is it possible to still purchase Lightroom without a subscription?

    Louder than the older models, but I quite like it. The typing experience is different from the 2012-2015 models, but I don’t mind it. I was able to type without any major quarrels on the rMB 2016, albeit I preferred the older keyboards. The second generation of butterfly keys are a lot better than the first generation, a welcome improvement.

    USB-C only
    I have a HDMI and SD-Card USB-C adapter (with x2 USB-A adapters on order). I have an external HDD which is USB thankfully and a NAS which I connect to whenever I’m at home at my apartment through. A question, is there any software that will automatically syncronize changes made on my Mac to the external drive? E.g. if I’m working in capture one, importing and deleting images on my HDD, can a program mimic that on the external HDD, deleting and adding images from the internal HDD?
    Carrying around a bunch of adapters isn’t fun, but I’ll manage. In a few years USB-C will hopefully be a lot more common so I hopefully won’t need to carry the same amount of adapters.

    Touch Bar
    A week in, the Touch ID is the only useful thing with it. I’m actually glad that I never ended up ordering the nTB 2017 as in the few days I’ve owned the machine used the charger regularly on both sides and used 3 ports actively at the same time. On topic though, so far the touch bar feels like a gimmick. I’m faster typing and keyboard shortcuts get the job done a lot faster (I don’t have to look down on my keyboard to type). As it stands I wish there were options of 4 port Macbook Pros without the touch bar, but with Touch ID somehow implemented.

    Overall this is a fantastic laptop. Battery life is solid, the display is stunning, build quality is extraordinary, macOS is a blessing to use. I hope that it lasts for years to come, next time I upgrade though I’ll probably opt for the 15-inch model, for now though an external monitor will have to do.
  2. macintoshmac macrumors 68030


    May 13, 2010
    Every good thing you have focussed on is well, but the 2016 doesn't support 4K HDR 10 bit which the 2017 models do, and in 2017 this is a must have, otherwise Apple sucks. You seem to be enjoying the laptop, quite happy with it, apparently. Are you sure you aren't under Steve's RDF?

  3. Dubadai macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2015
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    YES! A fantastic program called Carbon Copy Cloner. Been using it for years with my Lightroom catalogue and about 40,000 RAW files.

    What you do is setup a schedule to clone whatever folder(s), or drives, that you're working with, and whatever you do to those folders or drives, it will do the exact same thing to on the secondary or backup drive. Pretty much keeping the drives in sync.

    For instance, I deleted a whole bunch of a photos of my main photo drive, when I ran the Carbon Copy Cloner cloning later that night, it removed those files on my secondary drive since I removed them on my main drive.

    When you delete something on your source drive, it puts them in thing called SafetyNet on the secondary drive, which is basically a quarantine in case you change your mind :)

    Fantastic program when it comes to syncing drives and making backups (and much more).
  4. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2012
    Why is 4K HDR 10 bit a must have?? I've never needed it, past or present. Don't even know what it is! Please explain how a regular, everyday joe-bob computer user needs this.
  5. macintoshmac macrumors 68030


    May 13, 2010
    Does not. It was just a sarcastic remark (ended with /s) to the whine brigade for whom the 2016 books pose greater problems than the 2017 Kabylake ones. :)
  6. facemeat thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2016
    I'm happy with it, though I'll definitely go for the 15 inch next time I upgrade :) But hey, thats a few years down the line, my use cases might change. I also take it that you were a bit sarcastic ;)

    Thanks, this looks like just the sort of program I was looking for! Any idea if it works with a NAS as well? The NAS is connected with an ethernet cable to my router, but the computer is only connected with wifi (5GHZ if it matters).

    I believe that he was sarcastic :)
  7. macintoshmac macrumors 68030


    May 13, 2010
    I was. :D

    In truth, I find my 2016 machine to be fantastic, and per mixed emotions here, it seems that the 2017 ones do grandfather almost all issues from the 2016 ones. There is a thread about 2017 notebook hinge too tight, and I have it on my 2016 as well. So, the notebooks are roughly similar in tolerances and quality control, only the specs have been bumped. I am happy with my 2016 in any of my use cases. I am not happy with this hinge issue. Keyboard is a delight, with occasional stuttering and that I believe is because I have not typed on it enough to develop a muscle memory.
  8. facemeat thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2016
    Aye, the keyboard is quite different from the old style, but I used the rMacbook for a few months so I got used to it back then, making the second generation butterfly keyboard feel a lot better. Haven't had any QC issues yet as you've described or from what others have posted here on the forum, but I don't think theres ever been a model that hasn't generated a lot of complaints from users regarding quality control. I guess it's just the nature of the beast when it comes to technology, not all of them end up perfect.
  9. macintoshmac, Jul 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017

    macintoshmac macrumors 68030


    May 13, 2010

    My first Mac, the 15" MBP Late 2011 has been perfect. The graphics time bomb is just that, time bomb, that has never affected me, so it is perfect for me in the use sense. Have had 0 issues with graphics so far. Consequently, did not even go for the repair program. But the notebook itself cannot be called as perfect because of the flaw in/ of that AMD graphics chipset.

    My second Mac, the 13" MBP Late 2016 has been "nearly" perfect. The USB-C donglegate is definitely not a dongle gate in the sense if you replace your cables, like I did. The keys of the keyboard are fine, except when a couple have misbehaved for a while. The second issue and rather a more permanent-looking issue is this hinge. It is really bad. That's it. Nothing else is a problem for me in this notebook and I have been very happy with it for my use cases.

    So, in both cases, for over 5 years, I have been a very happy user of the platform, hardware and software both.

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