Apple’s New MacBook Pro: Fast and Smart, but Gimmicky

mac-book-pro-2016-review

After four years, Apple has finally released an updated version of its flagship laptop MacBook Pro. The new models are faster, lighter and thinner than the previous generation. They’re even fitted with a Touch Bar an innovative tiny touchscreen display placed on top of the keyboard. A couple of days ago the internet was flooded with reactions to the new computers, yet contrary to all expectations, not all of these are rave reviews. Some love the new machines; others criticise their high price (which isn’t much of a surprise), with reviewers also left dissatisfied with the lack of ports and low battery life. We’ve made a round-up of various opinions which may help us answer the million-dollar question: is the new MacBook Pro worth it?

USB Ports

Many Mac users miss regular USB ports because the new models have gone all in on the new generation of the protocol called USB-C. In the short term, this smaller connection, already used for most modern smartphones and pocket devices, is expected to replace the standard USB port used for laptops and desktops. It is probably the biggest inconvenience that users of the new MacBook Pro face, as right now all devices such as printers, monitors, chargers, card readers, etc. are connected through two or four USB-C ports depending on the laptop’s model. Ironically, you’ll have to use a dongle even to charge your iPhone, which has a USB-A port. However, experts believe that Apple’s transition to USB-C will help set the global standard and soon all devices will come with this kind of connection.

The Touch Bar: Extravagance or Necessity?

According to reviewers, the new second screen works fine, but it is hardly a necessity. Most users find the Touch ID handy for making fast purchases online, but the technology still has a long way to go. The buttons on the Tab Bar change based on the program you’re currently using, which may sound extremely convenient, but in fact many complain that Apple is far from correctly guessing users’ needs. On the other hand, you can customise the settings according to your own wishes rather than leave the job to Apple.

Memory and Speed Limits

Many regular Mac users have noted the memory limits and overall modest performance of the new MacBooks. The new laptops have the same maximum 16GB of RAM and almost the same processor as their predecessors, but are nevertheless way faster. While speed tests performed with standard apps show that they are in fact only 10 to 15 percent faster than the 2012 models, the graphics processor of the new MacBook Pro, which is crucial for heavy computing tasks, is twice as fast as in previous models. However, the RAM limit may be a red flag for many users because many modern apps require more than 16GB of memory, and they will never be able to expand it.

Lower Battery Life

Apple promises that the new MacBook Pro’s battery has a lifetime of 10 hours, however tests show that on average it can last only 6 hours and rarely makes it close to 10. Given that the old MacBooks have 12 hours of battery life, this fact is rather upsetting.

Is It Worth Buying?

Pros:

  • High resolution screen
  • Speed
  • Responsive keyboard

Cons:

  • Gimmicky Touch Bar
  • USB-C ports
  • Lack of storage
  • High price

All in all, the professional MacBook users at our company are split down the middle on their opinions about Apple’s new laptop. The MacBook has everything that a professional may require, but a casual user may consider it overkill. There’s only one way to know whose side you are on you should definitely try it out and decide for yourself!

November 16, 2016
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