Review: Apple's late-2016 15" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 95
    Is there a way to add menu items to the Touch Bar? Like in Safari, could I add "Enter Reaponsive Design Mode" from the Developer menu?
  • Reply 22 of 95
    Education pricing will cut the prices by $400 or so and even better if you can pick it up in a tax-free state. Mine came to $3450 or so with everything but the 2TB option.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 95
    Monty KMonty K Posts: 3unconfirmed, member

    Interesting review

    edited November 2016 watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 95
    People also forget that the current (Late 2015) iMac is already a transitional machine. It has Skylake architecture, but with legacy ports.

    Next year's iMac won't have those ports. Only Ethernet, which isn't actually legacy. Otherwise, all USB-C. Could still be Skylake.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 25 of 95
    Nice review, thanks.

    I'm hoping for a performance boost despite Intel's priorities being elsewhere: surely that 25% faster RAM and faster SSD will improve real-world performance even if it does less for benchmarks.

    The Touchbar I'm reserving judgement on. It could turn out to be just a new place for a window's toolbar but the physical ergonomics sound good to me so I'm hoping that we we see some ingenious thinking to exploit it. I'm convinced that it's a lot better solution than a touch screen and I do miss iOS's text suggestions when typing on my current MBP so there's one small improvement. A very fine display has got to be good and I'm sure, sight-unseen, that I'll be fine with the keyboard. The trackpad looks like another win: quicker to find and easier to use (less thinking about where to put your fingers when you start).

    On 16GB RAM I'm relaxed. I upgraded my current MBP to 16GB a little while ago and it's more than I need (Lightroom and Xcode development being my big consumers). Those who are heavy on the video front might disagree but the backing store is so fast that I doubt there'll be too many genuine complaints. And the ports? They're forward-looking. I have an issue with Apple's handling of the interim situation but the ports on the machine are probably right; hopefully in a year or two there will be plenty of choice of USB-C native peripherals and most of us will have had a chance to upgrade some of our key devices.

    My BTO 15" is due in the first half of December, I'm looking forward to trying this stuff in practice.
    williamlondonmacpluspluspulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 95
    nhtnht Posts: 4,487member
    command_f said:
    Nice review, thanks.

    I'm hoping for a performance boost despite Intel's priorities being elsewhere: surely that 25% faster RAM and faster SSD will improve real-world performance even if it does less for benchmarks.

    The Touchbar I'm reserving judgement on. It could turn out to be just a new place for a window's toolbar but the physical ergonomics sound good to me so I'm hoping that we we see some ingenious thinking to exploit it. I'm convinced that it's a lot better solution than a touch screen and I do miss iOS's text suggestions when typing on my current MBP so there's one small improvement. A very fine display has got to be good and I'm sure, sight-unseen, that I'll be fine with the keyboard. The trackpad looks like another win: quicker to find and easier to use (less thinking about where to put your fingers when you start).

    On 16GB RAM I'm relaxed. I upgraded my current MBP to 16GB a little while ago and it's more than I need (Lightroom and Xcode development being my big consumers). Those who are heavy on the video front might disagree but the backing store is so fast that I doubt there'll be too many genuine complaints. And the ports? They're forward-looking. I have an issue with Apple's handling of the interim situation but the ports on the machine are probably right; hopefully in a year or two there will be plenty of choice of USB-C native peripherals and most of us will have had a chance to upgrade some of our key devices.

    My BTO 15" is due in the first half of December, I'm looking forward to trying this stuff in practice.
    Speedmark used to be a useful benchmark for this but I don't think it's been upgraded since mavericks (speedmark 9).  Today looks like you just get Geekbench and OpenGL benchmarks in reviews and no indicator of real life workflow speeds.
    command_f
  • Reply 27 of 95
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,358member
    I find notebook input unusable, adding another bar even further away won't help.
    A notebook keyboard is unusable and cumbersome because it's behind a large area used by a touch pad (in Apples case that's huge so keys are unreachable), the touch pad itself is unusable because it's located wrong, it should be to the right (slightly below) the keyboard.
    Power (or pro) users know this, a keyboard should be detached and you type with your hands slightly around it, so Apples iMac keyboards (the one without the numerical input) are perfect ...

    edited November 2016
  • Reply 28 of 95
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 190member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    Is there a way to add menu items to the Touch Bar? Like in Safari, could I add "Enter Reaponsive Design Mode" from the Developer menu?
    In the keynote, they showed how you can customise the touch bar, but what menu items are available are limited by what at the developer of the app in question provides.
    pulseimages
  • Reply 29 of 95
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 190member
    Education pricing will cut the prices by $400 or so and even better if you can pick it up in a tax-free state. Mine came to $3450 or so with everything but the 2TB option.
    My VAT (err... Tax) was €600 - oh the pain... I am going through therapy to get past it
    pulseimages
  • Reply 30 of 95
    Eric_WVGG said:
    Is there a way to add menu items to the Touch Bar? Like in Safari, could I add "Enter Reaponsive Design Mode" from the Developer menu?
    Hi Eric - the Touch Bar is configured like an app's Toolbar, so you can customize the buttons, but the options you have for customization are up to the developer of the app. 
    pulseimages
  • Reply 31 of 95
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member
    knowitall said:
    I find notebook input unusable, adding another bar even further away won't help.
    A notebook keyboard is unusable and cumbersome because it's behind a large area used by a touch pad (in Apples case that's huge so keys are unreachable), the touch pad itself is unusable because it's located wrong, it should be to the right (slightly below) the keyboard.
    How nice for you. You've just made things harder for left-handed users.

    After years of study and careful consideration, I've found that it's possible to place my hands up close to the bottom of the keyboard, even touching the touchpad while typing. Surprisingly enough, the cursor doesn't seem to be affected by this usage. In point of fact, if there were no touchpad/trackpad set below the keyboard, using a laptop would be much less convenient when using it in my lap, being moved 'way too close, and thus making typing much harder.
    /s
    knowitall said:
    Power (or pro) users know this, a keyboard should be detached and you type with your hands slightly around it, so Apples iMac keyboards (the one without the numerical input) are perfect ...

    What a wonderful idea you've presented to us! Make a laptop not easier to manage, but more difficult, what with now having two (or more) disconnected parts to manage when you're not using it on a desk top.

    Not to mention blowing off the numeric keypad, which a number of users oddly enough find useful.

    It looks as though you're not a good candidate for using a laptop computer, and should probably still with a desktop of some sort.

    After all, they have their uses, too.
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 95
    People also forget that the current (Late 2015) iMac is already a transitional machine. It has Skylake architecture, but with legacy ports.

    Next year's iMac won't have those ports. Only Ethernet, which isn't actually legacy. Otherwise, all USB-C. Could still be Skylake.
    iMacs use desktop CPUs. Even though many other components are mobile. 

    So so they won't be skylake. 

    Theyll also be full USB C. 
    williamlondonpulseimages
  • Reply 33 of 95
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    nht said:
    avon b7 said:

    Your comment is at odds with itself.

    Legacy? You realise that the overwhelming majority of the Mac line still uses ALL of those 'legacy' ports. The current lineup. Late 2016 AND 2017 has all of them.

    No sir. They are not legacy at all and that's by definition. Or perhaps we should say Apple is flogging premium priced 'old' equipment as modern?

    Yep legacy by definition (top google hit which is from wikipedia):

    "A legacy port is a computer port or connector that is considered by some to be fully or partially superseded. The replacement ports usually provide most of the functionality of the legacy ports with higher speeds, more compact design, or plug and play and hot swap capabilities for greater ease of use."

    Higher speed?  Check - USB-C Ports support both TB3 and USB 3.1.  USB-A only supports USB 3.1.  40Gbps > 10GBps.  TB2 ports only support TB2.
    More compact Design?  Check. USB-C is more compact than USB-A
    USB-C fully or partially supersedes USB 3.1 and TB2?  Check.

    The first mac to use USB-C had no USB-A.  
    The second mac to use USB-C has no USB-A.  

    For Apple USB-A is certainly legacy and replaces both TB and USB-A.  USB-C is a vast improvement because of versatility and reduced cost for the average Mac user.

    The next iMac might keep a USB-A port but I doubt it.
    The "by some" statement is pretty wishy-washy. How many have to consider it superseded? 20%, 5%, one? That wiki article also lists "Common legacy ports" but doesn't list USB-A...yet.

    I'd be willing to accept that in the Apple walled garden USB-A is legacy. Not sure I'd consider it legacy for the broader computer industry. Not quite yet anyway.

    Regardless, the 2016 models are nice machines, but some (including me) will prioritize port convenience differently than others. To each his/her own.
    edited November 2016 williamlondon
  • Reply 34 of 95
    Now I'm really starting to worry. Not only have I praised Apple's design choices for this machine while (so far) failing to come up with the one thing I hate that ruins it for me, now I read an entire article by Daniel without even once muttering "oh give me a break..."

    With complete respect for Mr. Dilger, I usually find his articles to be so heavily pro-Apple biased that I'm suspicious of every observation and conclusion he offers, wondering if he's putting positive spin on things that may actually deserve some constructive criticism. The fact that I didn't feel that way while reading this has me wondering if I've pick d up a fan bug somewhere. What are the symptoms and treatment?

    Thanks for the article. It helps me suffer through the Mac suspension I'm serving while I wait for the new machine after already having returned the old one.
    DanielEranpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 95
    Does everyone else buy new peripherals just because one company has decided to make a specific port the only option? I do not. Backwards compatibility is desirable (and probably more environmentally-friendly) but not necessarily the best for a commercial enterprise.
  • Reply 36 of 95
    dtb200 said:
    Does everyone else buy new peripherals just because one company has decided to make a specific port the only option? I do not. Backwards compatibility is desirable (and probably more environmentally-friendly) but not necessarily the best for a commercial enterprise.
    Who is buying new peripherals?  I did pay $9 for a 2-pack of USB-A to USB-C adaptor plugs though.  One I added to the thumb drive on my keychain, the other I'll use for those times I have to use a USB-A device.  
    williamlondonration al
  • Reply 37 of 95
    knowitall said:
    I find notebook input unusable, adding another bar even further away won't help.
    A notebook keyboard is unusable and cumbersome because it's behind a large area used by a touch pad (in Apples case that's huge so keys are unreachable), the touch pad itself is unusable because it's located wrong, it should be to the right (slightly below) the keyboard.
    Power (or pro) users know this, a keyboard should be detached and you type with your hands slightly around it, so Apples iMac keyboards (the one without the numerical input) are perfect ...

    There's a learning curve, sure, but I think most people are happy with them. The trackpad would be a problem except that Apple's palm detection/rejection is pretty good (on my current MBP anyway): try it.

    I can't agree about an off-centre trackpad. I use both hands at different times and some people, I'm told, are left-handed  :-) Centre has to be the right choice.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 95
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,901member
    nht said:
    avon b7 said:

    Your comment is at odds with itself.

    Legacy? You realise that the overwhelming majority of the Mac line still uses ALL of those 'legacy' ports. The current lineup. Late 2016 AND 2017 has all of them.

    No sir. They are not legacy at all and that's by definition. Or perhaps we should say Apple is flogging premium priced 'old' equipment as modern?

    Yep legacy by definition (top google hit which is from wikipedia):

    "A legacy port is a computer port or connector that is considered by some to be fully or partially superseded. The replacement ports usually provide most of the functionality of the legacy ports with higher speeds, more compact design, or plug and play and hot swap capabilities for greater ease of use."

    Higher speed?  Check - USB-C Ports support both TB3 and USB 3.1.  USB-A only supports USB 3.1.  40Gbps > 10GBps.  TB2 ports only support TB2.
    More compact Design?  Check. USB-C is more compact than USB-A
    USB-C fully or partially supersedes USB 3.1 and TB2?  Check.

    The first mac to use USB-C had no USB-A.  
    The second mac to use USB-C has no USB-A.  

    For Apple USB-A is certainly legacy and replaces both TB and USB-A.  USB-C is a vast improvement because of versatility and reduced cost for the average Mac user.

    The next iMac might keep a USB-A port but I doubt it.
    Exactly. Replacement port. would you like me to find the definition of that for you? The iMac, the Mini and the Mac Pro don't have them. Apple is still shipping NEW machines with the existing ports and will continue to do so into 2017. They will be legacy ports on those machines when they get phased out. Right now that isn't the case at all and won't be until some unknown moment in 2017.
  • Reply 39 of 95
    command_f said:
    I can't agree about an off-centre trackpad. I use both hands at different times and some people, I'm told, are left-handed  :-) Centre has to be the right choice.
    I just realized, there’s basically no reason why a future Macbook won't have the entire space below the keyboard as trackpad. Seems almost inevitable.

    With complete respect for Mr. Dilger, I usually find his articles to be so heavily pro-Apple biased that I'm suspicious of every observation and conclusion he offers, wondering if he's putting positive spin on things that may actually deserve some constructive criticism. The fact that I didn't feel that way while reading this has me wondering if I've pick d up a fan bug somewhere. What are the symptoms and treatment?
    I feel the same way. It's very difficult to take him seriously when he comes down on the side of Apple on virtually every issue… yet I never really find any specific points that I disagree with him on. 
  • Reply 40 of 95
    dtb200 said:
    Does everyone else buy new peripherals just because one company has decided to make a specific port the only option?
    No, but it was no big deal to replace the cables used to connect those peripherals. I bought ones that have a USB-C connector at the computer end to replace the old ones that had a USB-A connector.
    Solipscooter63ration aldtb200
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