The MacBook Pro 2016 / TB - Your Verdict?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iBrooker, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. iBrooker, Apr 7, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017

    iBrooker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Wales
    #1
    What's your verdict on the 2016 MBP?

    Here's mine...

    TLDR: It's going back. Doesn't feel like a cutting edge just-this-minute-released computer. Doesn't feel like Apple really thought it through. Doesn't feel £3,000 worth.

    I ordered mine soon after release and got it at the end of December. I changed spec a few times, and some of the replacements weren't up to scratch - so I've had several of these to date (and which is what has allowed me to send this one back for a refund - Apple staff as always were brilliant and helpful). Anyway, here are more specifics:

    Display

    I really like this display - when you get a good one. I believe there are two different panels used in these, and I have found the newer panel model to be the best when it comes to backlight bleed and colour uniformity. By my last machine, I could tell which panel it was just by looking.

    With that said, while the good ones are indeed lovely, I just wish they were 4K, so I could watch/edit 4K videos in native res.

    TouchID

    While there were some initial issues with this (the Mac kept losing my fingerprint!) I love it! It's SO easy to log in with! They just need an external keyboard with this now.

    Touch Bar

    Really not fussed on this and tbh, I found it to be a bit of a pain. It's just in the wrong place. What they should have done is made the trackpad a touch screen, or incorporated it nearer there. BUT, this is based on me using the machine in clamshell mode most of the time. It's just when you're in bed you need to lift your head to see what's on the touch bar, or worse, have to touch it or something else first to wake it up. Plus the sliders for brightness/volume etc just aren't as nice to use as taps. I would probably use it more on an external keyboard (particularly word suggestions as you type) but really, I think it should have been a touch screen trackpad (or both together) as I can see way more useful applications with the trackpad having a touch screen incorporated into it.

    The Keyboard

    Love it. Not much else to say really. Trackpad size is great too (but still think it should have been a touch screen!)

    USB-C ports

    Love them. They are the future. The only thing I'd have liked is apple creating a mag-safe connector on one end which is effectively 2 x USB-C ports. So could be used for very very very easy docking, and for those that want two usb-c ports there, an adapter would suffice. I reckon this would have been a huge hit - making it the ultimate dockable computer - Apple missed an opportunity here for sure.

    The Specs (15" 2.9Ghz, 4GB GPU, 1TB HD, 16GB RAM)

    This is where things go downhill. Battery life isn't what you'd expect for a Mac this price. CPU and GPU seem ok on paper, but when the CPU maxes out and the fans go into overdrive when working in Affinity Designer or Sketch you begin to feel this isn't quite a 'pro' spec as you'd otherwise imagine for a machine at this cost. Perhaps part of that is because the machine is hooked up to a 5K monitor? Either way I just didn't expect it to 'struggle' like this, I'd expect it to take it in its stride.

    It gets worse.

    The machine can't play 4K h.265 videos which I personally feel is insane for a machine costing £3,000!! Not only that (and I don't know whether this is Apple's or Google's fault) but you almost never get the option to watch a YouTube video in 4K in Safari - when the same is available in 4K using Chrome. So I'm finding I am frequently opening Chrome and then copying and pasting a URL in it to watch in 4K. Half of the time I don't bother. Meh.

    Even general 4K playback sends the fans into overdrive!

    Conclusion.

    I could go on, but I should wrap this up. This could have been an amazing machine (hard drive speed is awesome btw!) but it falls short in quite a few areas. The main being specs. These are meant to be 'pro' machines. They are meant to take things in their stride. Unfortunately, it feels like the 2016 MacBook Pro does not.

    I'm waiting for this year's model... hope it doesn't disappoint.
     
  2. M.PaulCezanne macrumors 6502

    M.PaulCezanne

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    #2
    Pass. Waiting for Kaby Lake and more/faster RAM. I don't think the Touch Bar should add much at all to the price of a non-TB machine.

    I agree. Pro means pro and this doesn't cut it, especially for the price.
     
  3. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #3
    Try another laptop running the same programs with a 5K monitor and let us know how it goes.

    The battery life is better for light and moderate use than the previous model, and any competitor that's going to run 5K monitors, I suspect. What issues did you have with the battery life?

    I thought you could play h.265 videos in Boot Camp. (Where are you finding such videos? They seem pretty rare.)

    Why? Won't affect performance much. Should make watching h.265 video easier, but only if it's not protected.

    I think everyone can agree with that, Dr. Tautologue!
     
  4. M.PaulCezanne macrumors 6502

    M.PaulCezanne

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    #4
    Several reasons. I admit partially because I can wait until later this year. Also, I just can't rationalize investing the kind of $ they want for the specs that thing has. Finally, 4K video editing will be much smoother with the hardware upgrades.
     
  5. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #5
    My verdict is that its the best laptop on the market for MY purposes. Its offers full day battery life (8-10 hours), the performance is a huge upgrade from the 2015 model (the statistical simulations prototypes I am running are 20-30% faster), and this thing also playes any contemporary game I throw at it with ease. All that in a laptop that is under 2 kg and easily fits into my small messenger bag. I am very impressed by the features, build quality and the execution of this laptop and I believe that it sets a new standard for what mobile computing means. The 2016 MBP is a clear statement that one can have portability, battery life, and performance — at the same time. I do not know of any other product currently on the market that can achieve the same. They either sacrifice performance or portability.
     
  6. iBrooker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Wales
    #6
    Should be 15% faster overall. Built in support for h.265 makes waiting a no brainer.


    http://www.4ktv.de/testvideos/

    I hope to archive my 4K videos in h.265 because it's a massive file saver. It will also be my preferred sharing format for the same reason.

    They said we could run two. I don't see why one should be an issue tbh (not like I am doing 3D work).

    Battery life isn't dreadful, just wish it was a little bit better (an extra couple of hours perhaps). Having said that, turning down the brightness makes a huge difference to battery life.

    I am not remotely interested in bootcamp.
     
  7. MrGuder macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #7
    Can you elaborate on the screen and how you feel the newer ones are better than the ones made at start of production. I only ask because this is my 3rd 2016 15" a refurb manufactured end of Oct 2016 and when I first looked at the screen it didn't seem like the same screen I had on my other 2. The first one I got was made in Jan 02 2017 and the 2nd one made end of Jan 30 2017 and I swear the 2 made in Jan 2017 screens looks amazing truly a wow factor but I'm not getting that same feel. Maybe I'm just imagining it? Or could they be 2 different screens?
     
  8. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #8
    The first thing you said makes especially good sense to me. Why get a new one if what you have is working fine? The specs probably won't change significantly, unless they offer 32 GB RAM, but then the price will be higher for that. If you mean editing h.265 will be smoother, that should be true, but otherwise I don't think it's likely to make a lot of difference for 4K video editing.

    What is that based on? That's not what the benchmarks I've seen for Kaby Lake have shown.

    That makes sense, and the sharing will make sense when enough people can accept what you're sharing in that format.

    You can run two. Please do test your 5K and software with another laptop and let us know how it goes if you can. I'm genuinely interested if the MBP is lagging as you seem to believe it is. (You'll need a dock to run one with an XPS, by the way.)

    OK, but you can indeed play h.265 video on the MBP that way.

    I have the earlier number screen, and no noticeable backlight bleed issues, at least.
     
  9. MrGuder macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #9
    Last night I was watching a you tube video and I noticed toward the bottom of the screen on the right side in the black area a very fine line about 1/2" this white line it was really fine but my eyes could see it. It was flickering in and out but also stayed on for about a min and then it went out. I thought it was part of the video but I backed up the video to that same spot I noticed it and the fine white line I saw was not there anymore so it wasn't in the video feed. I haven't seen it again but I'm going to keep an eye out. Is that what you mean by backlight bleed? Or is this pixels out?
     
  10. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #10
    That doesn't sound like backlight bleed, which doesn't come and go like that, as far as I know. Backlight bleed can be slightly less dark edges when the backlight is turned up and the screen is mostly dark, or also can be light peeking through the edge by where the gasket is. Normally you do get some degree of backlight bleed of the first kind, but it shouldn't be noticeable under normal conditions. The second kind is less common, judging from the number of reports.
     
  11. iBrooker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Wales
    #11
    Sorry I should have been clearer. Although I say 'newer' (as the model number is one number higher than the other one) I would guess that both were being used in the manufacturing process at the same time from the outset - as often is the case with LCD panels (usually because they can only source so many from a single supplier).

    You can see the model number of yours by going to:

    Sys prefs > Display > Color > Open profile, then right at the bottom:

    Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 02.36.20.png

    I believe the model number for the 'older' model ended in A030.

    I found the A030 to suffer with bleed - on one unit, if you imagine the screen cut in half diagonally, the bottom left had a pink tint and the top right had a green tint.

    I find the A031 displays to be much more uniform (and less of the pink/bleed).
     
  12. MrGuder macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #12
    Ok I think I know what you mean now...I just tested this and opened an iTunes movie I have it's widescreen so there are black bars at the top and bottom, I then turned the brightness up about 75% and the corners which should be black are lighter it almost looks purplish, I can see the color is not black and looks like light bleeding through, its only on the corners though. Then with the movie still playing I turned up the brightness to about 90% brightness and it's very evident the corners are very light while the middle of the black bars to the movie are blacker. It's like a light gray purple color on the bottom corners and a lighter gray/whitish color on the top corners. Dang I don't remember seeing this on my other (2) 15" ones.
     
  13. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #13
    You probably wouldn't have seen it with your current one either if you weren't looking for it. If it bothers you, you can try out some others at an Apple Store to see if they're any better. All screens of this type have this to some degree.

    That isn't backlight bleed, if that's what you're saying.

    How big is your sample? My A030 is fine.
     
  14. MrGuder macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #14
    I just checked and mine says the exact same as yours it's an A031, my 15" was manufactured Oct 31, 2016.
     
  15. iBrooker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Wales
    #15
    Look at an all-white, and all dark grey (so not pitch black). You want it to be pretty uniform on the white and you can check the bleed on the dark (but most LCDs won't be perfect on darks).


    Think I've had 6 of these MBPs in total now.

    What would you call it? I think it (the pinks at least) might be related.
     
  16. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #16
    I call it uneven color, but I'm sure there's a more technical name! Don't know what causes that.
     
  17. monkeydax macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    #17
    There also lots of uniformity issues with the colour of the screen (visible on whites) across both A030 and A031 panels.
     
  18. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a

    FattyMembrane

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    bat country
    #18
    I had exactly the same machine and ended up returning as well. TLDR: Not quite ready for prime-time, manufacturing issues, graphics hardware issues, and Intel issues.

    Display: fantastic
    Keyboard: great, except part of the spacebar didn't work, which was a deal-breaker. Lots of reports of faulty keys ever since the new design. I have a colleague who has been through 3 rMB machines, all of which have developed dead-key problems.
    USB-C: Feels like a step forward. I don't have to plug into a lot of devices, but I don't understand the dongle-gate drama. Replace a few cables with ones that terminate in USB-C instead of A, maybe buy a hub if you need lots of different connections. I understand if you're doing lots of photo shoots or presentations on the go that it would be useful to have SD/HDMI though.
    Touchbar: Didn't have the machine long enough to get used to it. Seems like it's waiting for a killer app. No strong feelings one way or the other.
    Graphics card: Besides the keyboard, this was the other big deal breaker. Switching to the dedicated card caused the machine to lock up for 3-4 seconds every single time. This isn't normal but there have been lots of reports of graphics glitches this generation, and dedicated GPUs on the MBP don't have stellar reputations for reliability. Intel doesn't produce Skylake or Kabylake chips suitable for the MBP with anything above an integrated Iris 530/630 chipset, so a dGPU is basically required for anything particularly intensive. Even if you're just doing basic editing in something like Pixelmator, the dGPU will kick on and kill battery life.
    Portability: Great. I came from a '13 MBA and was worried about the size/weight. It's definitely bigger and heavier, but really not by a huge amount, and you're getting a lot more in a not much bigger package.

    I'm planning on trying again with the next revision, but I'll go with a 13" to avoid dealing with the dGPU, even though I'd love to have the extra screen real estate and processor cores of the 15". If Apple would fix the dead-key problem and Intel would ship a better iGPU in the 45w Kaby lake chips, I'd buy another 15" in a heartbeat.
     
  19. monkeydax macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    #19
    Certainly we know the Kaby Lake chips are coming with the upgraded Intel HD Graphics 630 iGPUs. Wonder if that will solve much of the issues, but no where close to the dedicated chips still - it will kick in the same. Hoping that it will solve some of the UI lag.
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #20
    Here's my verdict, which I came too prior to purchasing it.

    Display
    Gorgeous display, definitely one of the best, even if its not 4k

    TouchID
    Nice addition, though I do wonder if its a solution in search of a problem. I'm not down on it, and I think it will enhance the security and make things more streamlined. I'm not down on it and if my next computer had it, I'd use it

    Touch Bar
    Gimmick at best, I can do nearly everything that the TB can do with keyboard shortcuts and/or the mouse and in both cases I don't have to stop what I'm doing, taking my eyes off the display to initiate the action.

    The Keyboard
    Not sold on it, and my opinion sinks even lower when I see threads about it leaving marks on the display, its collecting oils on it from people's fingers, keys snapping off, keys suddenly stop working and how the replacements are even worse when the people get them fixed.

    Ports
    Nice addition with USB-C, but the missing ports is what impacts me. Mag-Safe has saved my computer a number of times and its loss means a lot to me. SD card slot and the HDMI are also ports that are a not legacy (in that they've been replaced by newer versions) yet apple dropped them from a so called "professional" machine.

    The Specs
    Overall, the specs are probably the best in the market, Apple has probably the fastest SSD out there, the GPU is decent enough, at least for me..

    Conclusion
    For me the new MBP has a mixture of positives and negatives, but given the high price and how Apple markets this as a premium product I don't think I want to spend 3k on a premium product and then make compromises to make that computer work for me. I'd rather spend 2k on a laptop that works the way I need it to work. Will I wait to see what 2017 brings for the MBP? Maybe, I'm in no rush, provided my 2012 rMBP continues to work.
     
  21. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #21
    It's not there to replace keyboard short cuts but to further supplement applications like multi touch did. Try it in Logic and video editing. There's no keyboard shortcut that lets you keep one hand on a synthesiser while adjusting instruments with the Touchbar.
     
  22. lordjimy, Apr 8, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017

    lordjimy macrumors member

    lordjimy

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #22
    I think that 2016 mbp 15" is a good machine but overpriced. Keyboard is ok but i like older keyboard. Touch Bar is nice but not a must have. I think that old Fn keys should be also physical. Track Pad was and still is the best on the laptops but it can be smaller. I don't do 4K editing and 3d renderings so for me the specs are ok. Speakers also very good for a laptop I like Touch ID but it seems a little bit slow after wake up from sleep (has anyone else notice that?).

    Overall it's great machine but it could be a little bit cheaper. I speak for 2.7/512/455/16 model. Thanks god i got 12% discount when i bought mine otherwise i will wait for announcement of the new model.
     
  23. Queen6, Apr 8, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #23
    Keeping it short & sweet, wrong direction, little interest, no sale...

    Apple is just opening ever more opportunities for the competition. Another two years for a practical Mac Pro; never has Apple has greater resources, yet it does indeed seem that they are incapable of little more than Phil Shiller's Ass...

    What a waste

    Q-6
     
  24. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #24
    The software issues with graphics were addressed early on, and there haven't been many reports of issues lately.
     
  25. iBrooker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Wales
    #25
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page