By: Craig Kotilinek
I recently upgraded from an early 2011 MacBook Pro to the new Late 2016 MacBook Pro (they were backordered, so I didn’t get it until 2017) and these are my impressions. I’m a professional videographer and editor, so this review is justified toward those uses.
First of all, the reasons I wanted/needed to upgrade my Early 2011 MacBook Pro:
- The battery lasted about 13 seconds.
- It was glacially slow. You could notice the earth spin while this poor relic attempted to open Premiere Pro. Paint dried faster. I trimmed my finger nails when I hit the application and had to trim them again by the time it opened. Gross.
- I couldn’t properly edit 4K for lack of RAM, even though I had it fully maxed out. It was just too old.
And that’s it. Those are the only reasons I needed to upgrade, but unfortunately those were compelling enough to make it worth dropping $4,000, which brings me to my complaints about the new MacBook Pro:
- It’s really friggin’ expensive. I bought a working, full-size truck for $2,800 (granted that was a screaming deal) and this stupid computer that I’m typing this review from cost another third more. That’s insane.
- It crashes. Like way too often for something this shiny and new. I get way more of the dreaded “general errors” with this machine than my trusty, battle-tested early 2011.
- The Touch Bar blows. It forces you to hit three buttons to turn down the brightness or music volume rather than the single button you used to hit. Don’t be fooled by Apple’s marketing, this thing is just a gimick that you won’t use. The color picker in some applications is sort of cool but there are so few uses for the Touch Bar that you don’t rely on it so it just ends up getting in the way when you accidentally skip a song you like because the thing is so damn sensitive.
- The keyboard is horrible. I don’t care if it’s 1mm thinner if the shallow keyboard makes me type like a palsy victim. I’m hoping I get used to it but a month in we’re definintely not there yet (yes that was an ironic typo, but I originally made it because of an honest error and just chose not to correct it).
- USB-C blows. It could be cool and it might be cool in the future because there is no up or down (unlike the old USB that made you look like the monkeys at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey every time you tried to plug it in) but for now, NONE of your devices will work with it so you need a dongle for EVERYTHING. Annoying and expensive.
- The track pad is almost too big now. The way my yeti hands have to sit on the keyboard I end up engaging the track pad when I don’t intend to.
Whew. I’ve been saving that up for the last two months and it felt good to vent to someone other than Apple customer service (they don’t give a damn). Now for what I like about the new MacBook Pro:
- It’s faster than my 2011 MacBook Pro. The solid state drive opens apps extremely quickly, even if they crash shortly after opening. It exports video a lot faster than my old computer so I can up my productivity a bit.
- The fingerprint scan is AMAZING. It’s super reliable and quick. Works every time, unlike my phone, which has to have a case and the film over the touch sensor gets stuff stuck in it and has to be cleaned pretty often. It’s so nice to be able to walk away from your computer and know it’s safe but still easily access it.
- Siri is pretty cool. I haven’t used her for a lot yet but just asking her to open applications you don’t have mapped saves a lot of time.
- It’s lighter, which is kind of nice but I still would rather have my old keyboard back.
And that’s it. I’ll update this post as I think of more things but those are the main pain points and high points. As you can see, I don’t think it’s even close to worth the money to upgrade to the new MacBook Pro unless you absolutely have to but that’s life. RIP Steve Jobs, Apple had a good run while you were alive and now it’s probably time to sell their stock because their products are going downhill.