Upgrading 2016 MacBook Pro.. Has it improved?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kylek14, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. kylek14 macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2010
    Looking at jumping from my old 2012 15" non-retina MBP to the 15" 2016 MBP. I've been reading site reviews and customer reviews and stalking apple forums ever so slightly and all I keep seeing is early reviews with complain after complaint. With it being a few months after launch, how is everyone's MBP holding up? Have things improved or gotten worse?

    Looking to jump ship as the keyboard has finally gone bad. Replacing the keyboard plus the cost of previously replacing the battery, hard drive and RAM means I'd now be putting more into it than it's worth. At first I was disgusted with the idea that Apple replaced the function keys, but after being in best buy recently I started to warm up to the new MBP when I noticed how clear and crisp the screen is and liking the way the keyboard feels (apparently I'm in the minority on this from what I gather). But the thousands of reports I'm seeing on the battery life and keyboard malfunctions are off-putting to say the least. I plan to purchase Apple Care if I purchase it, but I really don't want to be sending it back into Apple every six weeks and/or replacing it frequently.
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    The new 15" 2016 MBP is a delightful machine. It's an engineering marvel and is by far the best MacBook Pro Apple have ever shipped.

    There will always be a few hiccups when it's brand-new from launch. But all of the main issues have already been resolved. Sure there will still be the odd problem, but that's the nature of hardware. And most people on forums arrive to mention problems, rather than how happy they are about their product. :)
  3. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    You're not in the minority. Most people like the new keyboard, and the new track pad as well. Websites like this attract and collect complaints, but that doesn't mean most people have those complaints.

    The reports about bad battery life are mostly wrong, in that they confuse the different models. The 13" with touch bar does have a hard time reaching its spec of ten hours with light use--hardly anyone achieves that--but the 13" without touch bar and 15" models do fine. I got over 11 hours with my 15" in my test, which included browsing with 17 tabs open, watching HD video streaming for several hours, listening to an iTunes stream, and light text editing. There are relatively few complaints about the battery life for the new 15". The most careful tests by professional reviewers back Apple's claims, and more.

    Early issues with speakers being blown with Bootcamp and graphics problems were fixed early on with software.

    You can browse the threads here to see what still bothers some users, but don't assume they represent a majority, or even a sizable minority in most cases.
  4. JMacHack macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2017
    15" tbMBP owner, presently I love my machine, wouldn't trade it for anything.

    Addressing common complaints:

    Keyboard: I actually like the feel of it, but apparently I have a different typing style to most people, so I guess it depends on whether you care about "chiclet" keys or not.

    Touchbar: It's a gimmick, no doubt. However, I never realized how little I actually used the function keys in day-to-day life, so I guess it's okay. I do like being able to use a slider for color selection, brightness and volume control though.

    Battery: Not so good in my experience, but this is my first MacBook Pro, so I have zero reference point other than an old MacBook Air (which got FANTASTIC battery life). I'm usually using Photoshop and Illustrator along with several finder tabs open and an external HDD and disc drive, along with several safari tabs open. I usually get ~3-4 hours of battery life, but it only takes 20-30 minutes to charge so I'm happy.

    I went with the top-of-the-line model though, and I have zero experience with the lower-end models, so I don't have any advice there.
  5. smallcoffee macrumors 68000

    Oct 15, 2014
    North America
    Love it. Got one about a month and a half ago to replace a 2015 MacBook. Keyboard is suburb, as is the track pad.

    As others mentioned, the touchbar is basically a gimmmick as far as I'm concerned, but using your fingerprint to unlock the Mac is a godsend. I almost forget my password because I don't use it to unlock my laptop anymore.

    Check for a corporate or education discount. I'll say this though: it's an expensive machine and if you're just web browsing and not really putting it to task, you're kind of wasting money unless you have money to waste.

    I bought mine for iOS development and it's great so far.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Look, Apple is estimated to have shipped 5.4 million Macs on Q4 2016. And a healthy proportion of those Mac were the MBP models. If you sell over a million computers and even a tiny fraction of it has some defects (due to a systematically bad batch, or an overtired QA workers, or whatever reason), you are still looking thousands and thousands devices with issues. So of course people who were unlucky and got a problematic unit will write about it (especially since it is so easy nowadays). All the polls, external reviews etc. show that the laptop has been a great success (despite some controversy) and that a overwhelming majority of users are very satisfied with the product. We now own around 10 of these laptops and their users are very happy with the machines.

    The thing is: nobody can answer your question. Nobody here has access to relevant data (and if someone does they are not likely to talk about it). Yes, there are less complains now, but it might be simply because the initial boom of sales is over, so people are less likely to get a lemon.

    Anyway, Apple has one of the best consumer services in the world and they offer you a free no questions asked return period. You can buy a laptop, test it out, and return it if you are not convinced. Not to mention that you can get some quite good refurb options now.
  7. Dave245 macrumors 604


    Sep 15, 2013
    Can I ask what do they think of the Touch Bar?
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I think the consensus is somewhere around "cool, but existing utility is limited". It does bring some very situational nice improvements though. For instance, when you work with presentations or whatever, having quick access to colours on the touch bar is extremely convenient. Same for video player controls etc. Other features like predictive text are less useful (except for emoji replacement, where its kind of nice). Personally, I think that TouchBar is a neat thing to have and that it can improve your experience, if the devs of the apps you use figure out how to utilise it well. And in the worst case, the touch bar simply replicates the functionality you already had before with the function keys — so you don't lose anything. And of course, there is TouchID, which is universally loved :)

    P.S. At first, I was worried about the escape key — I am using TextMate as my main editor and it relies heavily on the Esc for context-based autocompletion. But after few months of using the laptop I can confirm that my fears were ungrounded — transition to the touch-based Esc was a bit awkward at first, but actually proceeded very smoothly.
  9. kylek14 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2010
    Oh, I'm not buying it for web browsing. My earlier MBP was bought for college and used for graphic design, video editing and other school related activities. It's still a good machine, but its past the point its worth to repair it so it'll get used somewhere else for something else. I'm buying a new one to replace my current one as it'll be used for editing photos and videos for the volunteer fire department I do public information for, as well as personal life.
  10. smallcoffee macrumors 68000

    Oct 15, 2014
    North America
    Well, here, I hope this works and saves you $300 :)

  11. James.K.Polk macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2015
    Had both the 15" and 13" and have had no problems with either (besides, I suppose, the cost).
  12. Porkchop Sandwich macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017
    Although I ultimately returned the tbMBP 15" due to the fact it wasn't playing nice w/the LG 5K..I miss it and look forward to picking up a new one in the near future.

    I found the touchbar quite useful personally. The shortcuts in word processors is great (bullets, fonts, etc). I was knees deep in a project that required frequent navigation through my calendars (by year) and the touchbar was a real timesaver. I'm a big fan of Better Touch Tool & it's my understanding that the app is very good w/the touchbar.

    Very nice machines if you ask me!

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11 March 23, 2017