Reviews of the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar are beginning to roll in from around the web, and the reviews can at best be termed “mixed,” with raves about the new Touch Bar, but a general lack of excitement when it comes to its performance/features ratio to its high price.
The new 13” MacBooks — even the base model without the Touch Bar — are costly. And they may make pros unhappy. But, for everyday Mac lovers — users of the Air or maybe the older low-end Pro — they are now your only thin, modern, option with a full-fledged processor. The Touch Bar has potential, but it’s not magic. The battery isn’t likely to deliver on Apple’s claims. You can’t count on liking the keyboard. But, if you’re a Mac devotee ready to move past the Air — not back to a lower-powered MacBook — this is what Apple is offering. Take it or leave it.
Plenty of virtual ink has also been spilled on whether or not these new MacBook Pros are “pro” enough. Beyond “dongle-geddon,” some photo and video pros have lamented the fact that these machines are limited to “only” 16GB of RAM, reportedly to conserve battery life. That’s been a disappointment for the cadre of Mac-loving design professionals who feel that life begins at 32GB — and that they’re being driven to Windows machines as a result. (Apple’s desktop machines, the iMac and Mac Pro , did not get updates in 2016.)
But for the other 95 percent of the laptop market, the MacBook Pro remains a compelling choice. It’s far and away Apple’s most-advanced laptop. The touchpad has double the surface area of the previous model, it’s about as light as a MacBook Air but much thinner (14.9mm versus 18mm), and the flatter butterfly style keyboard has been subtly tweaked to work better here than it does in the 12-inch MacBook.
… this light, thin powerhouse with an iOS-inspired touch interface panel, fast Touch ID fingerprint authentication and an incredibly fast architecture and connectivity options will spark excitement among those who can afford to pay Apple prices for Apple designed gear.
Touch ID and a thinner design are nice, but give me back my ports. (And my Function keys.)… I’m one of many Mac owners out there who has been waiting for Apple to upgrade the MacBook Pro line. Now that it finally has, I find the new laptop isn’t quite what I wanted. For me, the ideal MacBook Pro is actually a mashup between this and last year’s model.
Third-party support for the Touch Bar is sparse but growing. Expect apps focused on design and coding to adopt first… Touch ID on the Mac is awesome… Performance is top notch across all of our benchmarks but if you’re getting the 13-inch, consider spending the extra $200 on 16GB of RAM now, since you cannot upgrade later.
Do you invest in the present—the “old” MacBook Pro with performance, good-enough portability, a keyboard to cherish and lots of ports? Or do you invest in the future—a beautiful, highly portable machine with new tricks? Or maybe you do what I’m doing: Stare down at your three-year-old laptop and wonder if you can tough it out another year or two while this sorts itself out.