Late-2016 MacBook Pro – long term review

For the last few years, I’ve been wondering what would be the best laptop for my needs. I’ve gone through a number of macihnes – the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 had a good crack at the whip, for example.

In November 2016, I went ahead and ordered a 15″ MacBook Pro. My old 2012 MacBook Pro had done many miles and was barely alive, and whilst I didn’t love the new MBP, it seemed like the best of what was out there.

To add to this, my first MBP was a lemon that crashed constantly, and before the end of 2016, Apple had replaced the machine. It hadn’t exactly built my confidence, and many reviewers were calling the new MacBook Pro as a poor machine – not good enough for pros.

6 months later, I’ve put in many hours, and the MBP has travelled with me over 200,000 miles… and here’s the kicker: I love it. It’s the best laptop I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t switch it for anything. Here’s why:

It’s powerful enough for anything

It doesn’t matter if I’m moving 10,000 emails around or doing complex business intelligence analysis, the MBP has plenty of power for anything I throw at it. I’ve never had a machine this fast, and for most things I run, it never breaks a sweat. Occasionally it will get warm, with heavy use, and when it does, it doesn’t crash. Ever.

The LG UltraFine 5k display is out of this world

One of my jobs is to run our global forecast, and I regularly need to see spreadsheets with 50 columns and 100 rows. Enter the LG 5k display. It has perfect colors, it’s 27″ huge. It’s the best screen ever made, and it was available at a 25% discount.

USB-C is the new black

A lot of people have been complaining about USB-C, but I love it. Here’s what’s in my laptop cable pouch:

  • Apple 85W USB-C Charger with 2m USB-C – USB-C cable
  • 1m USB-C – Lightening Cable
  • 0.5m USB-C – Micro-USB Cable
  • USB-C – HDMI Cable
  • USB/USB-C Memory Key

That’s it. Sometimes I use the Mac as a charging station (it has 4 USB-C ports) and sometimes I use the Apple charger just to charge a phone.

You have a 15″ laptop without the weight

In my line of work, you need to be able to work wherever needed. My eyes aren’t as young as they used to be, and the 15″ screen really helps when working on complex tasks. And because the MBP is so light, there’s no downside to carrying a big screen.

Battery Life

My first MacBook Pro had terrible battery life, but the second one, following a few updates from Apple, is perfect. I’ve flown from New York to Phoenix, 5 hours, and had 40% left. What more do you need?

Final Words

A lot of blogs on the MacBook Pro have been complaining about the lack of it being a “Pro” machine. As someone who drives a laptop hard, I’m struggling to see that.

A laptop has to balance battery life, screen size, weight, and power. Given the current technology limitations, these are a set of levers, which can be pulled. More power, less battery life. Bigger screen size, more weight. To me, the 2016 MacBook Pro is the perfect balance, given what the engineers had to work with.

P.S. I don’t get the point of the Touch Bar. It’s a gimmick, so far.

One thought on “Late-2016 MacBook Pro – long term review

  1. Shane

    I was going to ask you about the touch bar – we’ve got some kids at school with these and even though they’ve been brought up on iPads, even they don’t use it.
    A gimmick is definitely what it is, as well as a poor excuse by Apple to provide touch ‘capabilities’ without making the device directly compete with their other devices.
    Also, the Surface Pro 4 has just gone from strength to strength – all issues I’ve had with the Pro 4 are now non-existent and I’m 100% confident rolling it out to staff.

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