MacBook Pro with TouchBar. Should You Buy?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been using my MacBook Pro and watching other reviewers rush to put out review after review of the 2016 MacBook Pro with TouchBar. I wanted to wait and really use it for a month before spitting out my thoughts.
Most of what I had read really seemed like click bait. “Oh, the MacBook Pro is not worth buying.” “Apple really screwed up.” “Why did they remove the ports?” The ports are actually the first thing I want to talk about. Yes, it’s USB-C but so what. USB-C is the next evolution of USB and I personally feel that most ports are moving towards this type of adapter. If Apple would not have pushed for the Pro model to have all USB-C now, then when? People whined and complained when the Floppy Disk was removed when the CD drive was removed, and so on and so on. In the end, computer users always adapted.
When was the last time you burned an audio CD anyways? I haven’t in years. I remember the time when I was burning them all the time but one day I found a better way. I used my iPod and an AUX cable to listen to music in the car and I never looked back.
I know the dongle livelihood is not the best experience right now but now that USB-C is upon us, device manufacturers will create products that work using USB-C and the speeds will be increased. So it’s not like you have to buy a new dock — it’s that you are upgrading to a faster dock.
I try my best to be wire free in my home. I do everything wireless and I love it. The two biggest changes in the MacBook Pro design that affected me were the loss of the SD card and my 34″ Thunderbolt monitor not being able to be plugged in. One simple cable swap and I was using the monitor again and as for as the SD card yes it’s a pain not being able to plug the card directly into the computer, but I’ve found solutions that allow me to continue to push forward with little hassle.
The change of keyboard really tossed me for a loop. When Apple dropped the MacBook two years ago, I was not a fan at all. The butterfly keys were incredibly hard for me to type on and I can honestly say I hated that keyboard. I was nervous that with the new MacBook Pro I would have the same problems and without having the opportunity to test out the second generation butterfly keys I was flying blind on my close to $4000 order.
I can happily say that the new butterfly switches are wonderful. There is less travel but you still feel the keys press in enough and there is sound when you type. I feel like I’m typing on a computer and not like I’m tapping on a flat surface.
As for the Touch Bar, I actually find it quite useful. I love that it is customizable between apps and that more and more developers are starting to work with it. My one complaint is that when I’m not using my left hand I used to rest my fingers on the top left side on the FN keys. Why I have no clue just how my arm felt comfortable when typing. Now that the TouchBar is in the FN keys place I find myself tapping it from time to time mostly opening a new chat window or hitting the Esc key. It’s aggravating but a simple fix for me is just moving my hand. This is not something that everyone would have problems with.
Everyone is going to find something they don’t like and then others are going to find things they love so much that they will wonder how they lived without it before. That is fine. It’s just when you see the posts that are pushed out jumping on the ‘what’s bad’ bandwagon just to get views to their publications, that is what I find to be disappointing.
We are no better with having likes and dislikes and most of this review is on my thoughts of my experience. You can look up the detailed specs everywhere you look, from Apple.com to any tech site who has reviewed it as they mostly complained about how horrible it is that Apple did not wait for the next processor or a different graphics card or how they screwed up by not allowing 32GB of RAM. Yes, this is a Pro model but if you want 32GB of RAM, go buy a desktop.
What most forget is the combination of software and hardware is how Apple makes laptops last longer. That’s why you will find iPhones and Mac’s outperform PC’s completely specked out with newer hardware. We have seen this time and time again.
My thoughts on Touch Screen computers? I hate them. I feel my touch screen should be my iPad. I like my screen to be super clean. I enjoy being able to feel the keys as I type. I don’t need to reach up on my computer to tap the screen. Apple hopefully feels the same and that’s why they created the Touch Bar. They wanted to give users who wanted some sort of touch an experience without ruining their computers. The TouchBar is limited — yes, I agree. It’s up to developers to create a magical experience for users when using their desktop apps. I see it exploding in the future just like the iOS development did. It may be a slow road but it will happen. Touch ID on the Mac has been AMAZING! I don’t scream that loud enough. Being able to use Apple Pay from my Mac with a touch of my finger or just to simply log into my Mac has been brilliant. Years ago I had a Sony Vaio that had a fingerprint reader and it was horrible. It hardly ever worked so Apple’s Touch ID experience is just wonderful. Having one of my most used apps 1Password using Touch ID is great and I can’t wait to see how it’s used with other apps soon.
The speakers have been surprisingly good. I used to use Boom to beef up my sound on my older MacBook Pros because the sound was just lacking but I can get behind the better sound in the new MacBook Pro.
In the end, it is really going to be a personal preference about whether or not the new MacBook Pro is the right decision for you and your situation. I will recommend it as I think it is a step in the right direction and it’s the beginning of the next evolution of MacBook Pros.
For more information on the new MacBook Pro, visit apple.com/macbook-pro.