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Macbook Pro with Touch Bar: 2-week impressions




So I’ve made the switch in 2017. After using a PC for the last 3 years (Aspire S7, Asus Transformer Chi T300, Alienware 13, Dell XPS 13), I wanted to try out the Macbook Pro with Touch Bar as my main computer.

I’m not really a convert thru-and-thru — I still use a 2013 iMac 27″ at home for the casual video editing and, for about a month, I was using the 12-inch Macbook last year until the motherboard conked out beyond the warranty period.

This time though, the Macbook Pro (late 2016) will be my main machine, both for the usual productivity work and the regular video editing for our YouTube channel.

So, after a couple of weeks of exclusively working on the Macbook Pro with Touch Bar, I’d like to share the things that I really liked about it and the ones I did not like:

Great Build Quality.

Build quality is still Apple’s strongest suit. The entire Macbook line-up has a simple but solid design, outstanding build quality and the attention to detail is impeccable. Nobody else can bend and shape metal like Apple does with the Macbook.

They may no longer claim the thinnest or the fastest laptops in the market but they continue to be revered in terms of design and aesthetics. Without a doubt, the Macbook Pro is the best in terms of build quality.

The 3.0 lb. weight and 14.9mm thin profile is up there in terms of sheer engineering feat.

Glorious Display.

Apple went to great lengths in order to make the display of their Macbook the best in the market. And it definitely shows.

The 13.3-inch Macbook Pro has a 2560×1600 pixel resolution. It’s very bright, very crisp, and the colors just pop out. I have not seen any other laptop close to the display quality of the Macbook.

Great Keyboard and Trackpad

A good looking, great performing laptop is nothing without a nice set of keyboard and trackpad. With the Macbook Pro, both the keyboard and the trackpad are impressive.

The Macbook Pro uses a second-generation butterfly mechanism that was first introduced in the 12-inch Macbook. This helps reduce the footprint of the laptop yet provides a similar distinct feel. Having gotten used to this type of keyboard in the Macbook 12, the ones in the Macbook Pro is equally good or better.

The same can be said with the trackpad. It’s the largest trackpad I’ve ever seen in a laptop, taking about 40% of the area between the palm rests. It’s responsive, accurate and just the right amount of tactile precision.

Impressive Battery Life

Like many other Macbooks and Macbook Pros before, the new one can handle a lot of juice for an almost all-day workload. I’m getting 8 to 9 hours of battery life most of the time. I think I can even push it beyond 10 hours if I pulled down the brightness to the lowest level and turn on Airplane mode.

When editing videos though, the battery life is cut in half due to all that taxing work-load rendering and playing full HD and 4K videos.

It’s not all heaven in Macbook-land. There are things that I personally did not like though I guess, in time, I might get used to them.

Dongle Life

The new Macbook Pro has nothing but 4 Thunderbolt ports. That means all your old peripherals will need a USB Type C adaptor before you can use them.

You’ll have to buy a dongle for the portable USB drive or flash drive. The SD card slot is also gone so you’ll need a dongle for that as well. If you have an iPhone, you also need a dongle if you want to connect it to your Macbook Pro.

Touch Bar is meh!

I must admit — the Touch Bar really intrigued me. So much so that when I decided to get the new Macbook Pro, I went for the one with the Touch Bar despite the Php17k price difference.

After using it for regular productivity work, I did not find anything compelling for it to be there. Even after a couple of video editing with Premiere and After Effects, I found myself not really noticing the Touch Bar.

The Touch ID is another thing though. I like the fact that it can substitute for a password when logging in to my laptop. A few more updates and it should be able to assist me in logging to all my other accounts and websites in the future.

Crazy Expensive

Get this — Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD — all for a whopping Php99,990 (Php83,990 for the one with no Touch Bar). That’s crazy expensive! I bought my Dell XPS 13 (2015 model) for about Php65,000 and that one has a Core i7, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD too. The price difference is like 54% more for the Macbook Pro with Touch Bar. It’s hard to believe the Touch Bar contributed that much to the total cost of the machine.

It’s not for everyone

So, yeah, that should be pretty obvious. The prohibitive price tag alone should keep anyone thinking of upgrading to the new Macbook Pro at bay. If you have money, then by all means. But if you’re looking at a better deal, might as well stick with the older Macbook Pro.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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19 Responses

  1. pekto says:

    OC lang sa math Abe.

    difference is like 35% more for the Macbook Pro with Touch Bar -> pag sinabing more, ang comparison is from point of view ng Dell. So (99,990 – 65000)/65000 ~ 54% more.

    Yung 35% is when you say Dell is 35% cheaper than Macbook Pro with Touch Bar.

  2. bern says:

    Good for you Yuga, you can afford to buy that kind of crazy expensive machine, though I’m planning to have one too, but not with that fancy touchbar, which is just nothing more than a bells and whistles, that no practical use for me.

    I support your idea that Mac book is tough when it comes to build quality, because I have proven it when I bought MacBook air 2010 model, despite almost 7 years of use, it is still in very good state of repair, though its battery is no longer up to par but overall it still serves me well.

    Secondly, I like the ecosystem of apple where all the softwares you need come from only one place, and to say nothing of its based OS which is Unix compliant and certified, which is a very good environment for engineering, and it has a whole lot of free productive tools at my disposal.

  3. Mirror says:

    Hi Abe! The first laptop I had was a macbook pro mid 2011 edition. As it grows slower, I decided to replace it with a 2015 15′ macbook retina display. Unfortunately, I cannot find a cheap retailer. Widget city and Kim priced it like 86k yet they have no stocks. Can you refer me to any stores with almost similar price as these 2? I am temporarily using a 28k asus for the meantime, the screen resolution is just too dull for me. Thanks!

  4. Rabbitkun says:

    So not worth the money :/ I’m sticking with my dell 7559 for now then jump to a 1060 or higher equipped dell or asus later this year if budget allows and wife approves hehe. :D

  5. Ntm says:

    I am still rocking my 2015 mbp 13″. Never had a problem with usability or updates. Experienced some crashes and beach balls but i never had a problem that would make me hulk out on my lappy. What drove me to mac is when i had to reinstall my windows 10 os but during the process, it asks for the product key which i dont have. I am not spending money on that when its supposed to come with it.

  6. SpiderWak says:

    “Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD — all for a whopping Php99,990 ” price sucks.. Got the 2015 model for the same price but with i7, 16GB RAM 256GB SSD

  7. SpiderWak says:

    “Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD — all for a whopping Php99,990 ” price sucks.. Got the 2015 model last year for the same price but with i7, 16GB RAM 256GB SSD

  8. Carlo says:

    Hi Sir Abe, may I know the specs of your macbook pro?

  9. Carlo says:

    thanks for the info. i was planning to get the 13 inch w/ touch bar and upgrade the specs to i7 16gb but it will take a huge jump to almost 135php. i do a lot of spreadsheet and data analysis and afraid if it will be able to handle it. currently, i have an old 13in pro late 2011 with 8gb 512gb.

  10. Carlo says:

    ok thanks. i am planning to get a 13in i7 16gb 256gb but it will take me up to almost 135T which is quite too much. i am quite torn between this and a razer stealth at this point. I currently have a 13in i5, 8gb, 512 late 2011 macbook pro.

  11. Innovative design and specs. Best for hard user like me. Hope they made more light weight for this edition

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