I’ve been using the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, recently launched by Apple, and I decided to share with you my impressions about the machine.
Apparently, Macs are no longer the center of attention at Apple, but I will try to be as impartial as possible and list what I thought was the best and worst when comparing it to the previous generation.
The product itself is very beautiful! It’s amazing how they manage to improve a product so much that you can see the old ones after just one day and already consider their design a bit “out of date”.
Touch ID is very cool. A lot, really! I would say that it can be even more useful than the Touch Bar for a large portion of users (even in Brazil, where Apple Pay is not yet supported). And some great apps have already integrated with it, like 1Password.
All dialogs offer buttons for actions on the Touch Bar. Example: when closing a document in the Text Editor (TextEdit), the same buttons in the dialog window are displayed on the Touch Bar. One hand on the wheel!
Since macOS Sierra was released, you can unlock your Mac without having to enter your password if you have an Apple Watch. If you don’t have a watch but you’ve got on board with the new MacBooks Pro, you can now use Touch ID.
Being able to connect any cable (including the charger’s), from any side (as well as the Lightning connector), in any of the Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports is very nice and solves the cable mess going from one side to the other.
Most native macOS apps support Touch Bar, such as QuickTime Player, which displays recording time and video size in real time. The Touch Bar is ideal in this case because, when recording a screencast, you don’t want that information to appear on your video.
The tabs of some windows, such as those for the Activity Monitor (Activity Monitor), are displayed on the Touch Bar, making it easy to access any of them without having to use the mouse / trackpad.
FACILITY vs. CUSTOM
Increasing or decreasing the brightness / volume were different, but more accurate and easier to change – even if it takes time to adapt.
The performance and sensitivity of the Touch Bar are something for anyone to fault, as are most (all?) Of Apple touch screens. The Touch Bar screen is OLED and this was a great choice, just like it was on the Apple Watch.
The performance improvement was not significant and, at least for the tasks I perform, I did not notice any difference. That’s right, none! To be more impartial, I did some tests comparing the new machine with my previous Mac, a 15-inch MacBook Pro with 2014 Retina display.
I converted videos, I ran scripts and analyzed the Activity Monitor. Result: the performance was very similar in general. However, what surprised me was that, in some cases, the performance was unbelievable and slightly slower on the new machine.
I then talked to a Genius / Expert at an Apple store to understand what could be going on. He said that this is common on newly launched Macs and that Maça engineers work hard after a release to optimize drivers and other things related to the performance of the new models. Regardless of this promise, it is a very negative thing, especially when considering prices.
The keyboard (with second generation butterfly mechanism) is excellent in itself: yes, after two days you will get used to it and say that it is in fact better than the previous generation. But two things about it are annoying: the Esc key (because it has no tactile feedback) and the arrows (which no longer allow them to be located just by moving your hand to the bottom right of the keyboard until you feel the gaps that previously existed above those of the left and right – similar to reading in Braille).
The keyboard is also noisier than the previous one. This may make little or no difference to most, but it is not cool for anyone who has a baby sleeping nearby. ?
TOUCH BAR RESOLUTION
The Touch Bar’s resolution may disappoint a little. The definition of Retina screen takes into account the distance between the screen and our eyes, that is, the pixel density of an iPhone is higher than that of a Mac because we use the iPhones closest to the face.
However, in some moments, we want to look more closely to see some detail and then you notice the pixels – something at least strange for the company that created a beautiful Retina display almost 7 years ago and that should maintain this quality.
Legend has it that his battery is quite bad, which even made Consumer Reports for the first time not recommend the machine.
I think I was lucky at that point because I’m not having any problems with that. My MBP’s battery lasts the same as my previous Mac, but it may just be my impression. On the other hand, I think everyone currently agrees that it could have room for a slightly bigger battery instead of getting thinner.
Having to carry adapters all the time is kind of annoying. You get used to it, but it’s still boring. Imagine how long it will take before everything becomes compatible with the USB-C standard: pendrives, TVs, cars, etc. An idea that can help in this transaction is the one below SanDisk: a pendrive that has two ports (one on each side – USB-A and USB-C).
Is it worth buying one? The answer is, as always, It depends. If you already have a MacBook Pro with a recent Retina display, the answer is no, at least for now. I would recommend waiting a little more time to see if the improvements in macOS will solve the problems listed above (which do not depend on new hardware, of course) or even wait for the next generation (who knows to leave until the end of 2017), which probably will bring the new seventh generation processors from Intel.
If you urgently need a new Mac but can’t afford to spend a lot (the new one is expensive, even buying abroad), consider buying one from the previous generation. As I said, the performance is very similar. If you can spend a little more so you don’t have to change again anytime soon, choose the new. Just don’t forget the adapters (at least USB-C to USB-A, I’m sure you’ll need it).
Although my assessment was not extremely positive, I have already ruled out the possibility of returning mine. ?
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Final tip: to capture images in the Touch Bar as I did above, just use the shortcut ⌘⇧6.