Today a number of publishers have released their reviews for Apple’s new MacBook Pro with the new TouchBar interface.
The release of these reviews come as the first pre-orders will be coming to customers who ordered them this week, with the retail launch at various Apple Stores.
But what does everything think about this? You can find out via our review roundup below.
Do you desperately need a new laptop right this second? If not, wait. Run your current (and probably still excellent) machine into the ground, then buy a new one. In a year or two USB-C accessories will be everywhere, developers will have figured out what the Touch Bar is good for, and Apple may even give the Pro spec bump.
‘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. Let me keep my full-size USB ports, and my function keys, and my longer battery life, but stick with this thinner and lighter design. Stick with this improved display, Touch ID sensor, fast disk performance and more robust audio quality. For me, this is both a step forward and a step backward.
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.
Apple will never wins awards for affordability. This 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, Core i5 system starts at $1,799 — $300 more than the entry-level, traditional function-key sporting MacBook Pro. There are cheaper Windows 10 systems out there that offer better specs and full touchscreens. A 13-inch Core i7 HP Spectre x360, for instance, lists for $1,149.99 (the Mac offers slightly better graphics, an Intel HD Graphics 550 as opposed to the 520). If, however, you are a Mac fan, this is an excellent upgrade with a fascinating and highly extensible new Touch Bar.
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.)
The less celebrated spec bumps are what make the new Pro a worthy upgrade, particularly for those who, like me, have been suffering through their old system’s death rattles (or fan buzzing, at least), waiting for a significant update from the company. Better processors, more storage, a brighter display and better speakers are all wrapped up in a sleeker and lighter package than before… The Touch Bar feels like a nice bonus for the time being. It’s a compelling new input device that has the potential to alter the way we interact with applications on a laptop.
We will update this roundup as more reviews are released.