I recently switched from the 12” MacBook to a 15” MacBook Pro. This was in part a change of convenience. Were I to purchase a new MacBook I would likely opt for a 13” MacBook Pro at this point, but due to a new iMac arriving in our household this upgrade makes a lot of sense. It’s a powerful machine and it will last me a few years before I need to consider upgrading again.
I previously used a 2013 model 15” MacBook Pro, the first generation to have retina displays. This machine is very similar in design, albeit with USB C/Thunderbolt 3 ports instead of USB A and MagSafe connectors. The lack of USB A ports is not an issue for me. I connect very few things other than power — almost all my needs are taken care of wirelessly now. The lack of MagSafe might be an issue if it weren’t for the significant battery life. I haven’t had to use the machine connected to power thus far except for to ensure that my initial backup and FileVault encryption were successful when setting up the machine.
The 2013 15” MacBook Pro was portable; slim, relatively light. This one is slimmer and lighter. It’s really slim — not a whole lot thicker than the 12” MacBook, at least at it’s thickest part. It is remarkably dense however, and even though it is lighter than the 2013 model I had it is surprisingly heavy given it’s size. It’s slim profile comes largely from the loss of ports; USB C ports are smaller than USB A, and the MagSafe connector.
The Touch Bar is interesting. It’s really useful for some things, but I don’t yet have the muscle memory to take advantage of it fully. It is definitely more useful than the old row of function keys (that I never used at all besides the volume controls). I think that given time I’ll find this to be a useful feature but it’s not game-changing.
One of my first experiences with this machine was a hardware issue. The bluetooth failed, and there was a mysterious popping sound coming from the left hand side of the machine when it got warm. I used the support app on the iPhone to have a text conversation with a member of Apple’s support team, and they booked me a slot at the local Apple Store Genius Bar. My motherboard (including SSD, memory, and graphics card) have been replaced as has the screen. I took the machine in on Wednesday evening and collected it on Friday lunchtime. Repairs conducted free of charge thanks to AppleCare. It’s almost a new machine, and I cannot find fault with Apple’s support process.
I also piked up a new space grey Magic Mouse to use when I’m sat at a desk or playing games.
I still kind of miss the glowing Apple logo on the upper case, but I also think that the new polished logo looks somewhat classier and more pleasantly understated. The metal hinge (which I’m familiar with from the 12” MacBook) is also much better looking than the old plastic one. This is a beautiful machine.