20 April 2017


I recently got a top-of-the-line MacBookPro and I’m not completely happy. My previous MacBookPro was more powerful in many respects, but it died, necessitating this purchase. It had a 17’ screen (the last of its kind) versus a 15” in screen on this one, and had 1TB and 2 TB SSD disks inside (which I added) versus 1 TB total on the new one, with no possibility of expansion since the SSD is soldered to the motherboard. I already had 16 gig of memory, which this one comes with and an  I7 processor, although this one is faster.  Still I resent having to spend over three grand for a new machine that isn’t all that more advanced than the old one, despite the passage of years. But when you fly with Apple you have to pay the price. 

Then there is connectivity, or lack of it. There are only four Thunderbolt 3 ports (I was just getting used to Thunderbolt 2, which is incompatible) and nothing else;  there’s no USB, no Firewire, or Ethernet. so all your peripherals are obsolete. Thus, to physically connect to anything you have to go out and buy adapters or converter cables, some of which are costly, since Apple doesn’t provide any, Otherwise you have to connect wirelessly, which seems to be the prevailing assumption here. The ports do double as USB 3, if you buy an adapter, but I was appalled to find that it was impossible to migrate easily from the old SSD, which I salvaged,  since migration only works with Time Machine, which I don’t use since it doesn’t work well wirelessly over a network. As a result I had to configure everything manually and reinstall all my applications. It does, however, pick up everything from iCloud seamlessly, so that all of your  preferences, favorites, email, contacts, calendar and passwords show up as expected. Worst of all is the power supply, which is enormous and heavy, and connects to the computer via the Thunderbolt ports, so your old power supply is useless as as backup. 

On the plus side it also comes with a new touch bar with contextual menus, changing according to what program you’re using- something basically ported over from the iPad, which has word choices to shortcut when using Pages. I don’t find it very convenient due to the break you make when you remove your hands from the keyboard. It’s also hard to see if you’re using the computer on your lap. The keyboard itself is located in the top half of the machine, while the touchpad now takes up the entire bottom half, meaning your wrists are constantly above it when typing, although it doesn’t seem to have an effect. Once you get used to the new configuration the keyboard isn’t bad, and the huge touchpad presumably has some additional features I haven’t discovered yet. 

There is a security feature on the touch bar that reads your fingerprint, finally with accuracy, as opposed to the nonfunctioning touch feature on the iPad and iPhone. It is situated for right-handers, located on the extreme right, and I had to adjust to it being left-handed. An annoyance is the Siri button that is right next to the security portion of the touch bar, which is easily inadvertently triggered either by that or every other time you reach for the delete key. I find Siri to be useless for most things on the iPad and the same applies here as I often have to stop what I’m doing to get rid of its unwanted help, although it can be disabled. 

Speed-wise the computer is fast, really fast, so that you can work quickly, and even with a limited 16 GB memory it seems able to run multiple tasks without a hiccup. It runs quiet and cool and won’t burn your knees off. This is also the first Apple laptop I’ve had that actually lives up to its official specs in terms of battery life, which does last near 7 hours without a charge. For these reasons, and generally silky-smooth handling, I am warming up to it. For the price I would like to have seen even more power and versatility, as well as easier connectivity, as I wait for more adapters to come online. If you don’t have another working laptop and you need the level of power this provides, I can recommend it, albeit as an expensive purchase.