Yesterday I got my new 15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. And my first day has been great. For perspective I migrated from the 15″ 2015 MacBook Pro. Here’s the good and the bad.
- Really fast. Booting up, launching apps, etc. are much faster than I was expecting for having only moved from last year’s model. Especially when it comes to launching Civilization 6 and SimCity. Though better gaming is expected because my last MacBook had Intel Iris Pro graphics and now I’m on AMD, so that’s not really a fair comparison.
- Faster charging? I don’t know for sure but it seems to charge faster. Especially topping off the last few percentage points.
- The screen’s wide color gamut is incredible. Especially with photos taken with iPhone 7.
- Luxurious trackpad. It’s enormous.
- Touch ID unlocks my computer really fast. Even faster than the Apple Watch unlock. It also works for giving apps admin access to install, and some third party apps like 1Password have already integrated.
- I really like being able to charge my computer from either side.
- I like that the power cord removes from the charging block. Since the cord is the most fragile part it’s great that it’s now easy to replace just that part.
- It’s significantly lighter and smaller with the same screen space
- The keyboard isn’t as bad as I was worried it would be. It took a few hours but now I’m just as comfortable with it as I was the last keyboard.
- The giant Trackpad isn’t giving me accidental clicks from my palms like I thought would happen.
- The Touch Bar is kind of cool, but until third party apps everywhere support it it’s not going to be used. If I don’t get to use it in every app I’m going to forget about it. I would LOVE Civilization 6 to support it. When a unit is active it could show me buttons for all of the available commands.
- The Touch Bar has a really cool screen capture button that can be added. It asks you whether you want to capture a window, an area, or the whole screen, and you can then choose to save it to your Desktop, clipboard, Mail, or Messages.
- Storage on 15″ models cannot be upgraded. Whatever computer you buy is the one you have until the end. Fortunately I think this is an incredible computer that will be useful at least on the used market for about 10 years.
- I’m going to miss MagSafe, even if I like that Apple is adopting an industry standard instead.
- The little USB-C connectors are harder to find in the dark. I wish they had tiny LEDs in them so you can locate them.
- Touch Bar seems to adjust brightness dynamically, but there is no where to change that. I find it to be too dark at night.
- The keyboard is a bit louder. Maybe I’m typing too hard. Or maybe it’s to compensate for the low movement compared to past keyboards, giving you aural feedback instead of tactile. It kind of sounds like the new iOS 10 keyboard click sounds.
All in all I am extremely happy with the new MacBook Pro. The Touch Bar may seem gimmicky, but I think as I get used to it I’ll find its utility. The new model certainly is not a must-have. But if you’re in the market for a new computer anyway or if every tiny bit of processing power matters to you I think you’ll be very pleased with it.