Thinking of returning non-TB MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TriApple, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. TriApple macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2011
    I have a whole ecosystem of Apple products, watch, phone, iPad Pro, Apple TV, 3 cars with CarPlay... been using the rMB m5 for the past 5 months or so... rMB m3 from 2015 prior to that.

    Needed more power in my laptop, but not "a lot" of power... but I still have things that my Mac requires that take too much time (large excel files on the rMB could take 3-4 minutes to load - same file on a i5 Surface Pro 4 takes 1 minute)... FPS in WoW when I am away from home, casually (low settings gets 25-35 FPS on the rMB).

    So I bought the new MB, improvement from the m5 rMB is very small... Excel files that took a while... still take a while.. despite the CPU being similar to the SP4 test, WoW is MUCH better however (60FPS on low-to-medium settings, and 45-55 on medium).

    Thinking the whole thing through I'm sort of at a cross-roads.... buy the more expensive one and get more gains, or consider a SurfaceBook i7 which would be even faster than the SP4 (I'm convinced some of my Office problems are more about MacOS vs Windows than CPU speed - same issues with super large PPT files 100mb+)

    Additionally, the SB could replace the iPad Pro + MBP and even have dGPU for under the price of the two.... downside is the ecosystem efficiency from Apple is still MUCH greater than MS or Google. Watch unlocking of the MBP/rMB + iMessage (which I use extensively from my laptop) are not able to happen with the same level of integration with Windows... sure you can find a workaround (mighty text + windows hello), but that's just a small piece of the integration.

    Apple has really put many users at the same crossroads (and the one of ... is this really Pro - not as big a deal to me - I'm completely wireless other than power)... ecosystem vs best device for the job. The MBP is not the best device for the job for me, nor is the iPad for its job, but the sum of the parts is greater than the alternative for me.

    Not really sure which way I will go...
  2. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    It really seems the non-tb one was aimed more at price-insensitive air users than MBP users.
  3. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I would just wait for the more powerful MBP. Those will be more powerful than the Surface Book. I'd also be less than sure that the Surface Book could replace your iPad Pro. As a long-time Surface user I don't find that to be the case at all. The Surface devices are still really poor tablets. And frankly, at least for me, and how I use my iPad Pro/wanted to use the Surfaces - as references and as paper replacement - having a separate companion device, with a second screen is a much more natural workflow than trying to integrate everything onto one small screen.
  4. TriApple thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2011
    While I agree with this in many ways, I really don't think that my issues are completely CPU bound, and surely not SSD speed bound since that is exceptional. For what I do, the specs of the MBP entry level should be fine, but they just don't seem to be..
    --- Post Merged, Nov 7, 2016 ---
    I'm wondering about the iPad Pro vs SB tablet mode for more... my primary use case of the iPad Pro is 1) note taking and 2)watching movies on planes (I travel full time). 3) iMessage (which I mentioned is a big thing to me)

    I'm not an extensive app user outside of that. Oh, I do subscribe to HBR - which has not good windows version, so there's that too.
  5. protoxx, Nov 7, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016

    protoxx macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2013
    That macbook pro is 2 processor cpu. Is the surface a 2 or 4 cpu? That macbook pro is the low power version of cpu. TB models will have a higher power version.

    The function bar MBP has a i5 IT-6360 cpu 2ghz
    Surface 4 has either i5-6300U 2.4 up to 3.0 GHz, 3 MB cache or i7-6650U 2.2 up to 3.4 GHz, 4 MB cache
    Either one would be faster.
    Macbook Pro FB
    Surface 4 I5
    Surface 4 I7

    Comparison I5 to I7 Surface 4

    Is the excel file local or on a network drive or thumbdrive or usb drive? Same for both?

    If you open/close a number of times is the load time the same? Caching differences possible.

    Early benchmarks seem to indicate the macbook pro has a really fast ssd.

    Same version of MS Office?
  6. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Having used both my iPad Pro and Surface devices extensively for note taking IMO there is no comparison - the iPad is head and shoulders above the Surface. The only thing the Surface has going for it is that it has access to the most powerful version of OneNote. As a travel and companion device the iPad has the edge because of battery life, standby battery life (super important - if your Surface has limited best-case battery life and then it drains a bunch in sleep, you end up with almost no battery when you need it most). I can't see the tablet half of the Surface Book lasting more than about 1 movie.
  7. Macalway macrumors 68020

    Aug 7, 2013
    The base MBP is an Air replacement, as everyone says. It's not really a MBP.

    I think they are getting rid of the Air and sticking with the 12" MB 'type', which makes sense. Maybe they will come out with larger versions of that. Just some odd choices on the their part, but I think the 12" is a HUGE seller, which might have something to do with it.

    But meanwhile they've got this odd non-TB MBP that's not a PRO.
  8. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Yep - if this machine had been labelled as a new MacBook Air I think we'd have only a fraction of the complaints. It's everything people have been asking for in an updated Air. The change to ports has been written on the wall for nearly 2 years.
  9. TriApple thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2011
    I'm wondering if the TB version will be a better Office Computer for a "power user" - I struggle with it because I don't consider Office as something you need a "pro" designation for, but some of the files I work with are very, very large such as 250k row XLS with extensive pivot tables - I can make a change in the pivot table and need to wait 2-3 minutes as Excel "calculates". As I mentioned, I find it odd that the i5 SP4 a colleague has is significant faster side to side with the same files - but my new MBP "benchmarks" better.

    ETA: the form factor of the new MBP is astonishing.

    ETA: I'm shocked to hear the poor reviews on the SB for note-taking, several colleagues really like it, I do like the Pencil/iPad Pro combo for note-taking and it is the ONE area I can think of where the eco-system for Apple is worse than Microsoft - OneNote is hands-down better than any of the "apps" you can use when you consider cross-device as a total necessity.
  10. Ma2k5 macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2012
    Windows vs Mac optimisation of Microsoft Office surely?
  11. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Yeah, I agree this has to come down to the optimization of Excel on each respective platform rather than representative of the raw power of each device. The SP4 is nothing special as far as power goes.

    The Surface is great if it's your first experience with digital note-taking, but the lag and offset of the stylus just makes it never feel quite natural to write with. I tried for years to use my Surface(s) as paper replacements and it never really worked that well. I always felt like the technology was hindering me as much as helping me. Not so with the iPad Pro.

    OneNote works great on the iPad. It's not as powerful as the Windows version, but it's plenty powerful enough for me to take lots of detailed notes with. And outside of OneNote there are a TON of other great note apps on the iPad and very few in Windows.
  12. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    I feel the opposite.

    I definitely don't think the iPad Pro is head and shoulders above the SB for note taking, and use the SB in clipboard mode if you need more battery life.
  13. zhenya, Nov 7, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016

    zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    So the solution to poor battery life is to turn your tablet into a 3lb brick? That's comfortable to carry around...

    The shortcomings of the Surface Pen are demonstrable. We aren't talking preferences here - there are technical differences that can be clearly demonstrated. The prime ones are pen to ink offset which is never on-par with the iPad and on the Surface varies depending on the orientation you are holding the device, and lag. Having taken hundreds, if not thousands of pages of notes on each, the differences are stark when you are just trying to keep up with a speaker.

    I take all of my notes on squared graph paper. I keep a clear plastic ruler in my bag that I use along with the devices. On the Surface, it's pretty much impossible to make precise drawings with the method - place the ruler on a graph line, and the ink will always have considerable offset from where I place the tip - and worse - vary depending on how you hold the device and how you hold the pen. On the iPad the lines follow the pencil tip exactly - every time. It's as easy as working on real graph paper.
  14. xb2003 macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2016
    I think this is strongly dependent on how fast you move your hand when you write. I'm kind of a spaz when I write, and there is a noticeable difference in reposivness between my iPP and my friends SP3.
  15. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If you haven't seen this already, definitely looks like a Mac vs Windows Office optimization, at least for Excel 2016.
  16. Macalway macrumors 68020

    Aug 7, 2013
    My Surface 2 cents

    I own the SP4. I've owned all of them. I dislike the pen. I used to love the Wacom pens they had, but those are now universally gone with all Windows machines, replaced by battery versions. The Apple pencil is much better, BTW.
  17. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    Are you talking about drawing or note taking?

    The Pencil is definitely better for drawing, but for general note taking - I've used both just fine.
  18. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    My drawing ends at basic sketches in the midst of taking notes. The differences show up in both places though. It's really un-natural to work with a pen that has a visible offset between tip and ink location.
  19. TriApple thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2011

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