We all know that the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro 2016 is its killer feature. It’s definitely far from a gimmick but is it worth the money? I’ve had my hands on it for two and a half weeks now and here is why I don’t think you should buy it.
Before I get to the bad bits, lets start off with the good parts. Apple really know their stuff when it comes to aesthetics. The Pro looks super sleek at 14.9mm thin and weighs just 1.37kg. However, to achieve this they had to make some compromises, which triggered a lot of anger and complaints. Where is the SD Card slot? What, no display port either? Surely there is a USB port at least? Nope, none at all. I welcome you to the #DongleLife. If you want to be able to connect your iPhone, your camera, your hard drive or any other external Hardware then you’re going to have to fork out for the adapters. I know, it’s not ideal but USB-C ports are the future and Apple have just taken us there before anyone else. It’ll be the norm soon enough.
MacBook Pro 2016: fantastic performance but extortionate prices
The lack of ports isn’t going to make up my whole opinion of the new MacBook Pro though. The laptop itself is as good as the previous Pro models, in terms of tech specs and overall performance. It’s fast, smooth and efficient; no complaints here. Saying that, the price is significantly higher than the previous Pro and I can’t see a justification for that. Yes, it has the Touch Bar (which I’ll come to in a minute) but an increase of £300 is a lot of money. £1749 for the most basic model (i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) is extortionate in my opinion but this can increase to over £3k when specced to the max. You most certainly can get a list of other laptops for this money with better specs but the Mac operating system is what drives its sales. You don’t go and buy a Windows laptop just because it’s cheaper, the operating system you want to use plays a part in that. It’s a huge factor for me anyway.
Is the Touch Bar a gimmick?
So, the new MacBook Pro 2016 ‘s biggest selling point is the Touch Bar. At first glance, you might think its just a gimmick because “I could do that without it”. Well, yes you can but this gives you a way of interacting with your laptop in a completely new way. The shortcuts it offers are really handy, especially when it saves you from having to drill into a menu to get to whatever it is you’re looking for. You can use it to send a text (I love the emojis), adjust the volume, increase/decrease the brightness, skip through a video, edit photos and you can even use it for video editing. I’ll be doing a video review on the latter soon, so keep an eye out for that but overall the Touch Bar is unbelievable cool. Whilst I love it, you can certainly do without it so you could probably save a few hundred pounds and get the non-Touch Bar version.
The keyboard sucks, big time
The keys on the new MacBook Pro 2016 are quite flat, so I expected almost silent typing but it’s the complete opposite. They’re so loud and I’m so disappointed, it’s like tapping on a table with your nails; it’s horrible. It’s really not ideal for when you’re working in a quiet room as it’s all you can hear. Since, using the keyboard is a massive part of using a laptop, it is a really big negative point.
Why you shouldn’t buy it
Overall, I’m happy with my purchase. I don’t regret buying it but would have preferred to have paid a few hundred pounds less. The Touch Bar is the best thing about it and I really like the force trackpad too. The lack of ports hasn’t phased me and I love how much lighter it is as it makes it so much easier to carry around. However, the keyboard still bugs me so I’m hoping for silent keyboards in the very near future.
If you’ve currently got a MacBook Pro and it is functioning well, keep it. The new one isn’t anything special and you could do without the upgrade because there is no significant change, other than the Touch Bar. If this will be your first Mac, however, then I would go for it as it will be a pleasant difference to what you’re used to and a great experience too.
Thank you for reading.