A year with MacBook Pro: reviewing Apple's 2017 pro laptop models

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  • Reply 41 of 241
    Also, the touchbar serves no purpose for me. One main reason why I bought the 13 inch non-touchbar model over the 15 inch or equivalent 13” with tb is because I don’t want a touchbar. Also, the touchbar model has shown to have less battery life also, on the order of 1.5 hours less.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 42 of 241
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,268member
    For me, the only real advantage I see to owning a MacBook over a Thinkpad is Apple's OS and ecosystem (including and especially security).   But hardware wise Thinkpads fill my needs the best. 

    Yes, the MacBook travels much better -- but since the furthest I move it is from the office to the patio, that's not a major selling point for me.  Conversely, the Thinkpad matches my priorities better:  the machine is essentially bullet proof, easily upgradeable and repairable, highly functional and the keyboard types like a dream.  I also like how it gives me the ability to add a second (even a third drive) -- right now I have it configured with an SSD as the main drive and a repurposed older harddrive used to back up my data files on a regular, automatic basis.

    It's NOT that I think the Thinkpad is a better machine.  It just meets my needs better.
    But I would love to have access to Apple's software and ecosystem.  It's just that the hardware comprises I would have to make  are just too great.

    I am hopeful that one day I will have the option of choosing the best of both worlds.   And, I think that may  be happening:  My gut feel is that Apple is rethinking the design philosophy behind their Mac and MacBook lines.  Hopefully they come up with something that meets my needs better than they have so far.

  • Reply 43 of 241
    kiowavtkiowavt Posts: 72member
    I don't hate Apple. But I DO hate the keyboard and the trackpad (more on the latter in a minute). Years of purchasing tons of Apple, got the 15" by spending the most ever and very disappointed. Some issues with short battery time unless I make very dim and barely use. Quiet typing while on a work call is not possible. Some keys have ceased to function for a time, and the space bar as well. They are working again for now. The trackpad is HUGE. Great for certain kinds of work. I mostly type. Brush the trackpad a bit and you have moved to another area, or typed over a paragraph. If not for the Command-Z I would have had to sell it and get an MBA. You can set many things on the trackpad, but not the active part. I never imagined I would have to be as careful as I have to be. I type better on my MacBook 12", use when travel, than my 15". So, overall, would not recommend and would not buy again without a serious trial. And, honestly, I would sell it, but being honest would have to tell them that other than the screen size and processing power I hate it--not ideal for sale.
    nunzyGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 44 of 241
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,906member
    The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was.

    Likewise, the 'thin at all costs' philosophy was another error which has backfired for all those that didn't need thin. Thin and Touchbar should have been an option in the lineup. Now, those users know their keyboards are potential timebombs which comes on top of the already known battery issues on some models. It's becoming clear that the keyboards are less tolerant of particle accumulation. Perhaps in a clean room, they can perform (noisily) without issue for years but in the real world, it looks like the longer you use them, you may have more issues than with previous keyboard designs. Time will tell but as things stand today, the situation doesn't bode well.

    Insofar as thin, even shortly after release, there were rumours that some voices within Apple disagreed with the direction the MBP was taking.

    In the same way that I can see a need for a small SE iPhone even though I would never buy one myself, I can see the need of an ultrabook design. However, having an ultrabook design philosophy as the be all and end all of your 'new' laptops is wrong.

    It seems as if Apple is more concerned about not making a 'boring' Dell than satisfying its customers' needs. At the same time, it is looking for any reason to keep prices high.

    So far, many people have been defending the lack of MBP updates on Intel. There is zero justification for this as competing manufacturers have been able to seriously upgrade their offerings and include 8th generation processors into the bargain.

    I will give the MateBook X Pro as an example of what can be done and should be well within Apple's reach. The move to a 3:2 aspect ratio has been applauded by the vast majority of reviewers and making it a touchscreen was the cherry on the cake. Fitting that almost 14" screen in a 13" frame was another design feat. No one has complained about the keyboard which is spillproof and it has room for a decent fast charging battery, compact charger and a USB-A port (due to user feedback). For $1499 you get truly excellent specs (discrete graphics, too) plus an adaptor for VGA, DVD and USB-C passthrough in the box.

    You also get a lot more. This from a company that is relatively new to the laptop world and for an unbeatable price. What is more telling for Apple is that many of the reviewers are existing users of new generation MacBook Pros and I have yet to see one who would snub the MateBook X Pro as an upgrade (OS preferences aside).

    Apple has its work cut out for it and claiming the company is a 'phone' company is not valid reasoning to justify the current state of affairs.

    There are lots of issues to deal with but for me personally, the price is simply too high for the features I need. Making me pay more for a TouchBar that I simply don't need just adds insult to injury.






    edited June 24 stevenozGeorgeBMacelijahg
  • Reply 45 of 241
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,408member
    avon b7 said:
    The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was.
    How much should it be for a very custom OLED display powered by Apple designed silicon running its own version of OS X built from a stripped down version of watchOS that  also contains a Secure Element and Secure Enclave for Touch ID and Apple Pay?
    StrangeDayschiatmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 241
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,906member
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was.
    How much should it be for a very custom OLED display powered by Apple designed silicon running its own version of OS X built from a stripped down version of watchOS that  also contains a Secure Element and Secure Enclave for Touch ID and Apple Pay?
    Try $0.

    Make a 15" non-TouchBar version. Not everyone needs ANY of that but the Matebook X Pro also manages a 5-second cold boot to login with secure enclave.
    edited June 24 stevenozelijahg
  • Reply 47 of 241
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,408member
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was.
    How much should it be for a very custom OLED display powered by Apple designed silicon running its own version of OS X built from a stripped down version of watchOS that  also contains a Secure Element and Secure Enclave for Touch ID and Apple Pay?
    Try $0.

    Make a 15" non-TouchBar version. Not everyone needs ANY of that but the Matebook X Pro also manages a 5-second cold boot to login with secure enclave.
    All that technology costs nothing. Got it. Well, at least you're showing your true colors today.
    GeorgeBMacpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 241
    superk9superk9 Posts: 11member
    entropys said:
    Well he does have a point, Soli. Apple users have very high expectations. For long periods macs were the best computers you could buy, so they tend to expect perfection.

    But the Mac line is not really worth the list price at the moment. And I believe Mac sales are much, much less than they could have been.

    I honestly can’t recommend one at present. I also desperately need a new machine for myself but am really hoping and hanging out for some decent choices ASAP, or I will regretfully have to move to the dark side, after more than thirty years of macs. I stuck with Apple during the dark days of the nineties, but it seems Apple hasn’t stuck with me. 

    In the eighties, the last half of the nineties, and the first twelve years of Mac OSX machines, macs were the best machines available at the time. You can’t say that now.

    While I don’t expect a redesign every year, at the very least keep them up to date graphics and processor wise.  It sticks in my craw to have to consider a full priced machine with a previous generation(s) processor.  To be honest, it’s a bit insulting. and if I feel insulted, am I going to recommend macs, get family and friends to switch to the Mac, like I have done most of my life?
    And also, once switching to the dark side, am I going to recommend iPhones? Apple should think very carefully about that. Maybe I will be a jilted lover and bad mouth Apple every chance I get? I would hope I am more mature than that, but a lot of people aren’t.  And who are Apple’s greatest, most committed promoters? People deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem, or some temporary instant instagram influencing it girl? Perhaps Apple could just stop treating its oldest and greatest evangelists like shit.

    Anyway, now that I have that off my chest, I am hoping for a Mac hardware event in the next month or so, at the Steve Jobs Theatre. I really expect hardware events to be there from now on.
    My thoughts exactly!  I'm also a thirty-year Mac user and am presently posting via my mid-2012 MBPro 15" Retina.  I've owned practically every Mac since the mid 1980's except during a dark period between 1997 to 2000 when I changed employers that only had PCs -- and Apple then, was offering nothing great, so I happily went with Dell.  I do understand that Apple is currently making 70% of their revenues on their iPhones, apps and iTunes, but come on, computers are the core of what users absolutely need! 
    Oh, and I don't want a $3,000 price point for a shiny new laptop.  My wife just got a 15" 1Tb memory Dell for under $500.
    My Mac-nut loyalty and $$$ investments over three+ decades is deserving of more from Apple and its current troop of millennials, Chinese hardware factories, & Tim Cook's social activism. 
    We need better, and more and now.
    elijahg
  • Reply 49 of 241
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,906member
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was.
    How much should it be for a very custom OLED display powered by Apple designed silicon running its own version of OS X built from a stripped down version of watchOS that  also contains a Secure Element and Secure Enclave for Touch ID and Apple Pay?
    Try $0.

    Make a 15" non-TouchBar version. Not everyone needs ANY of that but the Matebook X Pro also manages a 5-second cold boot to login with secure enclave.
    All that technology costs nothing. Got it. Well, at least you're showing your true colors today.
    OK. I will try a second time:

    "The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was."

    That means I don't care if it cost 1,000€. My problem with the current lineup is that if you want a 15" model you have to swallow the cost - whatever it may be.

    The problem is not how much it costs or how much it is worth. The problem is that if you don't need it, you still have to pay for it. 
    superk9croprelijahg
  • Reply 50 of 241
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,408member
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was.
    How much should it be for a very custom OLED display powered by Apple designed silicon running its own version of OS X built from a stripped down version of watchOS that  also contains a Secure Element and Secure Enclave for Touch ID and Apple Pay?
    Try $0.

    Make a 15" non-TouchBar version. Not everyone needs ANY of that but the Matebook X Pro also manages a 5-second cold boot to login with secure enclave.
    All that technology costs nothing. Got it. Well, at least you're showing your true colors today.
    OK. I will try a second time:

    "The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was."

    That means I don't care if it cost 1,000€. My problem with the current lineup is that if you want a 15" model you have to swallow the cost - whatever it may be.

    The problem is not how much it costs or how much it is worth. The problem is that if you don't need it, you still have to pay for it. 
    First of all, that's not the case and you fucking know it. You can buy either a 13" or 15" MBP with a physical Fn keys if you so desire. Your complaint is that Apple isn't letting you piecemeal certain features of the latest MBP with the old Fn keys. Womp. Womp.

    But let's assume that Apple will drop this old design on the next revision making the Touch Bar the only option going forward. For example, here's your exact argument with a simple HW change…
    That means I don't care if it cost 1,000€. My problem with the current lineup is that if you want a 15" model you have to swallow the cost - whatever it may be.
    The problem is not how much it costs or how much it is worth. The problem is that if you don't need [a Retina, IPS display that exceeds the colour gamut of sRGB with 500 nits of brightness], you still have to pay for it. 
    You see how dumb that sounds? That's the fucking product!
    edited June 24 StrangeDaysRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 241
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,056member
    mindwaves said:
    As an owner of two of the newer MacBooks and MacBook pros with butterfly 2 keyboards, I have to say that I am disappointed. The keyboards don’t stink but surely aren’t good. The single USB port on the MacBook is just an embarrassment. Cannot charge and use a usb device at the same rime. No usb A port means dongle life forever. And a quite big power adapter for the MacBook pro13” that I have which is even heavier than the MacBook Air it replaces. And charging the MacBook under dim lighting conditions is a hassle with no MagSafe. For my personal company, I invested in. Huawei matebook Pro which alleviates most of the issues I discussed for hundreds less also. 
    Why are you using dongles instead of USB-C cables?
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 52 of 241
    One thing for certain. Resellers are having a hell of a time unloading those 2016 and 2017 models. It's not just the keyboards, it's the thermal issues that make those new laptops no better than 2013-2016 models. Once under load the machine cannot dissipate the heat, so it throttles. So the spec look great on short tasks but it suffers for sustained loads...

    Apparently the GPU cannot handle sustained loads, and must be severely throttled back after at most about 30 seconds.
    https://macperformanceguide.com/MacBookPro2017-sustained-performance.html


    stevenoz
  • Reply 53 of 241
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,906member
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    Soli said:
    avon b7 said:
    The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was.
    How much should it be for a very custom OLED display powered by Apple designed silicon running its own version of OS X built from a stripped down version of watchOS that  also contains a Secure Element and Secure Enclave for Touch ID and Apple Pay?
    Try $0.

    Make a 15" non-TouchBar version. Not everyone needs ANY of that but the Matebook X Pro also manages a 5-second cold boot to login with secure enclave.
    All that technology costs nothing. Got it. Well, at least you're showing your true colors today.
    OK. I will try a second time:

    "The Touchbar in itself wasn't a mistake but making it the only option (at a speculated $300 increase) on pricing definitely was."

    That means I don't care if it cost 1,000€. My problem with the current lineup is that if you want a 15" model you have to swallow the cost - whatever it may be.

    The problem is not how much it costs or how much it is worth. The problem is that if you don't need it, you still have to pay for it. 
    First of all, that's not the case and you fucking know it. You can buy either a 13" or 15" MBP with a physical Fn keys if you so desire. Your complaint is that Apple isn't letting you piecemeal certain features of the latest MBP with the old Fn keys. Womp. Womp.

    But let's assume that Apple will drop this old design on the next revision making the Touch Bar the only option going forward. For example, here's your exact argument with a simple HW change…
    That means I don't care if it cost 1,000€. My problem with the current lineup is that if you want a 15" model you have to swallow the cost - whatever it may be.
    The problem is not how much it costs or how much it is worth. The problem is that if you don't need [a Retina, IPS display that exceeds the colour gamut of sRGB with 500 nits of brightness], you still have to pay for it. 
    You see how dumb that sounds? That's the fucking product!
    "First of all, that's not the case and you fucking know it. "

    Not at all. It is the case.

    I am talking about the new generation. What makes you think otherwise? I mentioned the 'new' keyboards, the 'new' machines and of course the Touchbar itself.

    What makes you think that if I make a specific point on the current lineup and limited to the current lineup, it is somehow resolved by the availability of a years old, non-discounted machine that is completely irrevelant to what I am saying?

    The old machines have nothing to do with my point. My whole point is that the new lineup specifically impedes you from avoiding the TB at 15". That was crystal clear from the first paragraph of my post.


    stevenozelijahg
  • Reply 54 of 241
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,379member
    Soli said:
    [...] You can buy either a 13" or 15" MBP with a physical Fn keys if you so desire.
    Well, if I want a 15" without the Touch Bar my only choice is a three-year-old model with none of the updates available in the current version.

    Like you, I am overall more satisfied than disappointed with my MBP, but the Touch Bar has been a feature without a benefit for me. The software I use most doesn't access it at all, and I haven't found much value in it for casual use. In fact, because Pro Tools relies so heavily on function keys, I wind up switching the Touch Bar to dedicated F-keys.

    The concept seemed really good and I was looking forward to it, but the uses developers have come up with for it so far have been, well, pretty lame, and more easily accomplished by means other than the Touch Bar. I might use it If it could be improved so that I can put whatever I want on it, like a combination of a few F keys and custom buttons that reproduce key combos (like "Shift+Command+3"), but I don't think its utility justifies its cost at its current level.

    I applaud the effort, but I would be inclined to describe the Touch Bar as more of an expensive novelty than a productivity enhancer. If it makes sense to offer a choice of with or without Touch Bar at the 13" size, it's illogical to not offer a choice on the 15" model.
    avon b7stevenozelijahg
  • Reply 55 of 241
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,417member
    Tsk, tsk! I must have seriously inflamed the management here... my brief critique of the soft review and expression of my own feelings about the 2017 MBP (which I own) was deleted... and not by me!
    edited June 24
  • Reply 56 of 241
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,408member
    Soli said:
    [...] You can buy either a 13" or 15" MBP with a physical Fn keys if you so desire.
    Well, if I want a 15" without the Touch Bar my only choice is a three-year-old model with none of the updates available in the current version.

    Like you, I am overall more satisfied than disappointed with my MBP, but the Touch Bar has been a feature without a benefit for me. The software I use most doesn't access it at all, and I haven't found much value in it for casual use. In fact, because Pro Tools relies so heavily on function keys, I wind up switching the Touch Bar to dedicated F-keys.

    The concept seemed really good and I was looking forward to it, but the uses developers have come up with for it so far have been, well, pretty lame, and more easily accomplished by means other than the Touch Bar. I might use it If it could be improved so that I can put whatever I want on it, like a combination of a few F keys and custom buttons that reproduce key combos (like "Shift+Command+3"), but I don't think its utility justifies its cost at its current level.

    I applaud the effort, but I would be inclined to describe the Touch Bar as more of an expensive novelty than a productivity enhancer. If it makes sense to offer a choice of with or without Touch Bar at the 13" size, it's illogical to not offer a choice on the 15" model.
    Overall we agree, but look at what Avon wrote. He said it was the only option when it's clearly not. He also made a silly comment about how he shouldn't be charged for something he doesn't personally want, as if he's being forced to buy anything from Apple at all.

    If not for my display going bad I'd still be on my old MBP because I don't care for the new keyboard. I couldn't replaced the cable or top cover (whatever the issue is), or bought an older MBP, but I weighed the pros and cons and got the new one because it was overall a better experience. I'm certainly not going to act like entitled and declare that Apple should let me pick and choose the components that are important for me without incurring any cost when I ultimately make the decision as whether to buy or not to buy.
    edited June 24 watto_cobra
  • Reply 57 of 241
    cpsro said:
    Tsk, tsk! I must have seriously inflamed the management here... my brief critique of the soft review and expression of my own feelings about the 2017 MBP (which I own) was deleted... and not by me!
    Resellers are having a hell of a time unloading those models. 
  • Reply 58 of 241
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 190member
    The Apple Mac landscape sucks right now. I have a 2013 MacBook Pro Retina 15". I want to update it, as it's getting long in the tooth running FCP X. However, there is NOTHING compelling in the lineup right now; the thousands I'd have to spend would get me very little in return over what I have now. 

    Sad! 
    edited June 24 commentzillastevenoz
  • Reply 59 of 241
    mtbnut said:
    The Apple Mac landscape sucks right now. I have a 2013 MacBook Pro Retina 15". I want to update it, as it's getting long in the tooth running FCP X. However, there is NOTHING compelling in the lineup right now; the thousands I'd have to spend would get me very little in return over what I have now. 

    Sad! 
    I feel your pain. I have the same model. I bought top of line in the summer of 2013 and it is getting long in the tooth but I see nothing compelling. I can't use a desktop, so I have no options for 32GB. It's not like wow, wouldn't it be wonderful to have 16GB, it's just that I keep hitting the 16GB ceiling and everything goes into slow motion. Also, I'd like to move down to a 13" even if it is 16GB (the vastly improved  SSD should make up for some of it) but I'd need at least 4-cores, so it's a no go there too.
    stevenoz
  • Reply 60 of 241
    mtbnut said:
    The Apple Mac landscape sucks right now. I have a 2013 MacBook Pro Retina 15". I want to update it, as it's getting long in the tooth running FCP X. However, there is NOTHING compelling in the lineup right now; the thousands I'd have to spend would get me very little in return over what I have now. 

    Sad! 
    In all fairness, the lack of 32GB on any model and 4-Cores on the 13" are squarely on Intel. They have a low-power 4-core chip perfect for the 13" but that just arrived this year. This cannot go on much longer. I'd really like to have something new by this time next year or sooner, preferably before Xmas.
    SoliStrangeDayslamboaudi4elijahg
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