Review: MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

Review: MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

In 2012, I wrote the review of the latest major update to the MacBook Pro line; From then on, much has changed, and this has redefined several factors in the new generation.

Next, my new opinion.

Retina screen

In the latest version of the MacBook Pro, the screen was such a crucial novelty that it was present in the subtitle of the line: they were the Retina display MacBooks Pro. Today this has become a standard for Apple products, but that doesn't mean they have stopped refining it more and more.

There are several aspects behind the quality of a screen: brightness, resolution, pixel density, contrast, color gamut, and so on. The resolution, and hence the density, is what defines the Retina display itself. These numbers remained unchanged: 2560 × 1600 pixels on a 13.3-inch screen with a density of 227 pixels per inch; and 2880 × 1800 pixels on a 15.4 ″ screen with 220ppp. To get an idea, in the case of 5.5 ″ screens of iPhones Plus, we have a density of 401ppp. Why did you choose not to match these numbers on Macs?

Simple: A screen's resolution is directly related to its energy expenditure. By Apple's definition, a Retina screen when the user cannot see / distinguish pixels when using a particular product at a normal distance. Because our eyes are more distant from MacBooks than when using an iPhone, this resolution / density need not be as large as on smartphones.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The good part was that this was the only aspect unchanged in the new generation of MacBook Pro Retina displays. Another point for me much important screen brightness. He measured by the term nits, or candelas per square meter, is a complex but easily synthesized physics concept: the ability to generate brightness. Do you know when your curtain is open, with that summer sun outside, and you can barely see what's on television? Missing nits in her. We saw this term begin to be approached by Apple more recently recently, with the release of the Apple Watch Series 2 it has the brightest screen Apple has ever produced: 1,000 nits. The new MacBook Pro has half of that, 500 nits, and the difference is already quite noticeable.

But Thiago, why didn't they put 1,000 nits on MacBook Pro as well as Apple Watch? You will not use your MacBook on the signal, waiting for it to open to cross Rio Branco Avenue, with a scorching sun above you; At least it shouldn't, even when walking on the beach at noon. Such a bright screen is necessary in products which, in common use, are exposed to very high brightness. And in fact, it was unpleasant to use the original Apple Watch on the street in scenarios that resemble those described by me. With the MacBook Pro, even when I'm in the living room or in a cafe, quite clearly, I no longer have trouble seeing the screen. And that's great!

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

When I'm using the 12 ″ MacBook, I still have a hard time seeing the screen with the desired sharpness in even clearer places after getting used to the new MacBook Pro.

Advancing at this point, the color range has also been expanded by 25%. And that's great for users who edit images and videos. In addition, the contrast has also been improved by 67%. You just realize that as a table / email / web user, I can't determine as well as the most professional ones. Still, compared to other Mac screens, you might agree with Phil Schiller: In fact, the best Mac screen ever made!

Performance and battery

In terms of performance, how to have a BMW 2012 and exchange for a BMW 2017. The old was already amazing and left nothing to be desired. The new one is even more potent, but for everyday use, for traffic and signals, evolution ends up being barely noticeable.

Obviously, people using the new MacBook Pro for heavy graphics, 4K editions and the like, the evolution was more than necessary and welcomed; For the average user, Apple just kept the high level of satisfaction expected.

Still on the performance side, we have the notorious battery: as if its usual polemic was not enough, the launch of the new computer was shaken by a big surprise: for the first time in history, Consumer Reports * did not recommend its purchase. Of course, the story didn't stop there; Given the relevance and seriousness of the organization, Apple tried to get in touch and understand what had happened.

From what was explained, it was understood that it was just a big misunderstanding (a bug that is unknown until then by Apple) and that in fact the battery meets expectations. In an impartial CR, I endorse the positioning. In my normal use, surfing the internet, I get very close to 10 am; while when I'm doing basic indicator analysis on Numbers or a Keynote presentation I surpass them, even going beyond 11 hours of use.

I / O

I believe this is the biggest polemic of the new MacBooks Pro: but I disagree. When I got the first 12 ″ MacBook with only one USB-C port in 2015, I confess that I was quite apprehensive about that fact. I bought adapters and was very afraid of any regrets that never existed.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

In fact, I agree with the company's statement and speech that the wires are in the past. Today, cables are only needed for the synchronization / connection of high performance peripherals (high definition sound equipment, 4K / 5K screens, intense volume and broadcast storage centers, and so on) or for device charging. In that case, I think users, for now, really need the four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. In the near future, I hope that they don't even have to exist anymore and that we will live in an era without physical I / O.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

I work, read and study. I use my MacBook Pro about 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and until today I've used a total of zero times a port that wasn't even for the most obvious and cable-dependent function that exists today: the sad reality of the reloading.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

I set a goal for the next generation (a general rethink on the line) of the MacBooks Pro, expected to arrive in 3-5 years, so that wireless charging technology (which is being more than rumored for the “iPhone 8 ”) Reach them. Also, within that time, I hope that wireless connectivity evolves to the point of allowing intense transmission of high data, I can't wait for a single-piece Mac without even an input.

Keyboard, trackpad and speaker

The Force Touch trackpad of the new MacBooks Pro is beautiful! It's simply giant, super comfortable for everyday use. As it is Force Touch, its entire surface can be pressed and makes use much more practical.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

To get an idea of ​​the size, the iPad mini's screen is 7.9 ″, while the new MacBook Pro's larger trackpad has 7.5 ″ of reability.

Since it's not all flowers, I wonder: Let's go two years from the release of the iPhone 6s (which debuted the 3D Touch technology). Why didn't Apple put something like that on the Mac trackpad? In particular, I even think that it makes a lot more sense to use 3D Touch on the Mac than on the iPhone itself, starting with the plethora of new gestures we can do today, we continue with the same 15 multitouch gestures that have been perpetuated since the original Force release. Touch.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

There are rumors and patents that show Apple's interest in deepening (literally) even more gestures, and creating a 3D gesture feature (with different outside strengths) with multiple simultaneous fingers. Once again, if this is ever released, it has everything to get to the iPhone first; but I feel too much for a quick migration to the Mac, since again it makes even more sense to have it on the Mac than on the iPhone.

We arrived controversial, having Achilles, the infamous: the butterfly keyboard. The obsession with increasingly thin computers has created the butterfly mechanism. And as we can see in the image below, it is very thin but this is not necessarily something positive.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

I'm on my third computer with this technology and all three had problems with sticky, unstable keys (on the first generation 12-inch MacBook, which I bought in April 2015, shortly after the release; in May last year) when I gave a second-generation 12 ″ MacBook as a gift to my husband (and lastly on the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar). Three generations, three years and the problem persists!

The two 12 ″ MacBooks have had the keyboard changed twice each, and I currently talk to AppleCare about what to do about the MacBook Pro. It may sound silly, but no: one or two keys that already have this problem more than enough to annoy anyone who uses your computer for a few hours daily.

My personal experience obviously interferes with my objective assessment of the keyboard. Even so, I say, when it's working perfectly, great. In fact, the second generation of the butterfly mechanism has improved and is even more solid. However, it is still far from the expected standard of an Apple product.

Speaking of the expected pattern of Apple products, I need to take my hat off to something I didn't even expect to impress as much as it did: the speakers. Of course the specifications alone are enough to raise our expectations for the ceiling: 58% more volume, 2.5x more bass and twice the dynamic range. And believe me, these expectations are met and exceeded at first use.

I've always been a fan of watching movies and shows on the computer, for the convenience of being able to bring it to the kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc., and the new Retina display set + new speakers made it even better.

In addition, as a worker and a fan of home officeI enjoy listening to music while I work, and nothing better than Adele and Ariana in the last volume, with a very clean and clear quality. All of this makes the speaker one of the high points of the new MacBook Pro, at least for me.

Touch Bar and Touch ID

The big news of the generation of new MacBooks Pro was the addition of Touch Bar and Touch ID. And I confess: at first glance, I thought it was all Apple's "cosmetic"; To my surprise, I was wrong.

Touch ID is an old acquaintance of ours and its Mac performance couldn't be more satisfying. The only thing that bothers me about it is something that is present in all Touch IDs of all Apple devices that have this technology: whenever restarted, it disabled.

I understand that there must be a ten-page safety list explaining why this happens, but I doubt very much that in almost four years of existence the company has not been able to shield it and otherwise solve this problem.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Already Touch Bar something new and that promises to be a differential in the use of the computer: and indeed,. As I said above, at first you are enchanted by her beauty but think that it is just that (something beautiful, which will not make a difference over time). However, I was positively surprised because, after we started using it, browsing Safari, Mail, Pages, etc. it becomes so fluid, so much more immediate than picking up the cursor and going to the function, which justifies the campaign made.

Another striking factor is that, in applications that are not yet supporting the feature, you miss and glimpse what could be there, in the bar, to make your life easier. However, of course, she is not perfect. My criticism is that she will not have Force Touch / 3D Touch (even for tactile feedback). Several times, while I am editing a photo, for example, I wonder how useful it would be an out / pressure sensitivity there; But the truth is that there has to be some news for the second generation of Touch Bar, no

Apple Watch and AirPods

Like the butterfly engine, when these accessories work together on the Mac, they are exceptional. I do not attribute the connectivity problem to the MacBook Pro itself, but to macOS in general. I use my Apple Watch and my AirPods on a daily basis, and the magic they both provide when using the iPhone (the Just works) just doesn't happen with MacBook Pro.

I was able to unlock my Mac using the watch at most a couple of times; and Handoff features work very late. Meanwhile, AirPods sync leaves much to be desired.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

On iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch, there's a smooth, fluid migration, without even having to worry about what device you're using; in the case of Mac, that story of disconnecting and pairing again


Among the polemics, stumbles, and positive surprises, it may seem uncertain whether or not to recommend the computer, but not: far from perfect or to meet safely and completely what is expected, still the best computer I've ever used.

Looking at the overall work, it is clear that the pros outweigh the cons, and that justifies the (large) investment with safety.