Topic: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

I'm ordering one, but I'd love to hear your (un)educated thoughts on the notebook.

I'll write a more detailed assessment later tonight, but I'd love a proper discussion on pros and cons, and why you want one, or absolutely don't want one.

Let's keep the Mac vs PC discussion out of here. I've got both systems already.

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

There is no escape. Literally there is no escape key.

Hurroo

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Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

It's right there on the touch bar.


Thoughts on the new MacBook Pro (2016).

First things first: I’m getting one. More specifically, the 15", with an upgrade on the graphics card to a 460.  It’s happening, and unless you can convert me to get a PC(more on that later), it’s happening.


First off, the new MacBook Pro finally did what I’ve been aching for for awhile now; reclaim the Pro name. There used to be a time when Macs were either Power, or not. There was the iMac, which was aimed at the general consumer. Pricey, yes, but not really packing that much of a punch. Then you had the PowerMac, which was a pro machine, aimed at pro customers, such as graphics design, video production and/or audio production. Same with their notebook lineup. You had the iBooks, and the Powerbooks. The iBooks were basic notebooks, aimed at every guy/girl out there just wanting a laptop with great battery life, and OS X. The Powerbooks were the same thing, better built and with much higher performance.

This continued for a little while after Apple discontinued the PowerPC CPU’s, and adopted Intel. The name changed to Pro instead of Power, and for a couple of years, it had a point to it. Then, suddenly, the basic line MacBook simply disappeared, and the MacBook Pro took its place. it used the same unibody design, but was in reality basically the same machines, albeit with the word «pro» added to them. It was about that time the pro name started dying.

The desktop computers saw the same thing happen. The good old PowerMac G5 was replaced by a Mac Pro, borrowing the same design, because, you know, if it ain’t broke; don’t fix it.
It wasn’t until 2013 the Mac Pro was redesign, and while I like the bucket, it’s lacking in ways of expandability, which was fairly easy back in the day. I owned a Power Mac G4 MDD, which was a breeze to upgrade. The bucket is nigh-impossible to upgrade after purchase, and although it’s a fairly powerful computer, the only reason I’d get one over a PC, is size. If I want a PC of that caliber, I’m probably looking at a fairly large tower, that simply would take too much space.

Anyway.

The new MacBook Pro is kinda neat. It may be playing a bit too much on the 2009 Unibody design, but again; If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s slimmer, which means nothing, and it’s about 20% smaller in volume, which again, means nothing.

The reasons I’m getting one are many. I’ll elaborate:
Dedicated graphics card.
This one is about fucking time. My current laptop, a 1" MacBook Pro (2014), is lacking exactly that, which is too obvious when working inside AE, Premiere, or even FCPX and Nuke. The lack of hardware acceleration is very apparent when rendering effects for real time playback, and for a $2000+ laptop, it’s pretty insane that it comes with Intel Iris Pro graphics. Which isn’t pro at all. The new model starts off with a Radeon 450, which isn’t bad at all. I’ll await reviews to tell whether or not it’s a Mobile version of it, as it’s not cited anywhere on Apple’s websites. Radeon’s current flagship is the 460, which is available on the 15" model.
Super-fast storage.
Gone are the days of HDD’s, and thank the maker. Granted, my three previous computers have been SSD machines already, but Apple is currently using PCI-e SSD’s, which are super fast, which is nice for having quick access to files and apps. We all know what the hell these things are already.
The goddamn Touch Bar.
Say what you will. It’s a gimmick, it can’t work, etc, I’m not seeing it. Today, my workstation uses a MacBook Pro, and a Logitech mouse. I also have a Magic Mouse in handy, should the need ever rise. The good thing about the Magic Mouse, is that is has a smooth sideway scroll. It’s great while working in NLE’s, to scrub timelines. It’s also a fucking piece of shit, when it comes to working in Photoshop/AE, as it’s a fucking touch panel that A) uses way too much battery(we’re talking 1 month battery time here), and b) when palms are resting, the damn thing will randomly zoom all over the place.
This is why I prefer a standard issue Logitech, but it lacks sideways scrolling, which is a sore loss. The Touch bar is adaptive. It reacts to whatever software/app you’re running, which means in Photoshop, you can have it be a color switcher, and in NLE’s, it displays the timeline, for some uber-smooth scrubbing.
Thunderbolt.
Yes. I actually don’t mind the fact that the machines lack virtually every port thinkable. It’s got 4 thunderbolt 3 ports, all working with USB3.1(USB C) peripherals. This is a good thing. It’s thinking ahead. Do I hate the fact that I have to replace every add-on I’ve ever bought, or add adaptors? Yes. But to be fair, some of my stuff is USB2 already, which means it’s slowing me down already, and my Mini DisplayPort to DVI probably needs a replacement for a better monitor anyway. The lack of basically every port except the 3.5mm Audio jack isn’t *really* a problem, and you probably already know that. All your USB peripherals will still work, they just need an adaptor. And if you’re like me, you have a lot of stuff connected to your laptop already, essentially making it a desktop anyway, so the dongles probably won’t be in the way.

The bottom line is this; Yes it’s expensive. It’s ridiculously expensive, and if I put together a windows based desktop for the same price, I’d have a much more powerful machine, but then there’s the issue of the OS. I prefer Unix over windows. And while there’s an argument that I could just install Linux, and still be on the cheap side, there’s a bit of an issue with software. I use Adobe products on a daily basis. These all work with Windows. I also use Logic Pro X, GarageBand and FCPX very often, which means I’m pretty much stuck with macOS. Of course, I *could* stop using FCPX, and stick with premiere. But clients often use FCPX libraries, which makes it hard. I could also switch to Reaper, Reason or Pro Tools instead, but I’ve tried Reaper, and while it’s good, I also like the creativity I can get going in GarageBand with automatic drum beats and other instruments, that actually help me a lot. There’s always MixCraft, you could say, but anyone who’ve tried both, know that MixCraft sucks sweaty donkey-scrotum.
Of course, it should also be noted that I happen to like Apple’s ecosystem with Apple TV and iOS as well, both products I own and use daily.


Now feel free to try and convert me to Windows. If you can do it, I’ll even give you a hug. I own a gaming computer which arguably is more powerful than the MacBook I’m writing this from, but I can’t stand Windows 10, and it’s only used to power on, and start Steam/Origin.

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

Isn't it like four years old, in terms of actual performance specs?

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

I've ordered one. Maxed out 15". I don't actually have a functioning personal computer right now, so I needed to do something about that. I've been waiting for this revamp for a couple years now. It's disappointing how Apple has left us hanging for so long. People are complaining about a lot of little things, but I can really only go off of the things that will affect me personally. So, my personal pros, cons, and whatevers:


Yes please:
It runs macOS. This is the single biggest factor for me. Yes, there are many other finely crafted machines out there, but they don't run macOS. I need it for my work, yes, but I also just love the OS, and I'm happily ingrained in the Apple ecosystem. I can't see myself switching to Windows any time soon, no matter how awesome PC specs may be. Not trying to start a discussion on this, it's just my preference.
The Touch Bar. It does look pretty cool, and really useful for a lot of apps. I'm thinking about making a simple brick breaker game for it just for fun.
Gigantic Trackpad. SO MUCH SPACE.
Touch ID. No more typing my password to unlock my computer. It's a little thing, but when you do it 20 times a day, it's a pretty big deal. Also, less filling out credit card forms on the internet.
Wide color gamut display. For my viewing pleasure.
2TB SSD. Yeah, it's expensive, but it's worth it to me.
It's thin and light. People complain about Apple's obsession with thin and light, and I often agree with that, but I'm excited about the portability of this laptop.
Skylake processors. I know, of course they're using the latest available processors. But it's a big reason for me not to buy the cheaper previous gen MBP instead. I don't want to miss out on any future macOS features that are only supported by this new generation of architecture. I've been there before. It's not a fun place to be.


I dunno, man:
The keyboard. This is my biggest worry. I've tried out the keyboard on the little MacBook and it's terrible. This one is supposed to be better. We'll see.
16GB RAM max. I really wish there were a 32GB option. I use around 13-14GB on a regular basis, so there will be times when I'll have to be conscientious of the apps I have running.
No MagSafe. I can recall a few times when MagSafe saved my computer from 3-4 foot drops, so having to use Thunderbolt makes me nervous. I know Griffin makes their own little dongle for it, but I don't want that sticking out of my computer at all times.


Not really pissed about this:
All the dongles. I've owned two laptops in my life, and the SD card slots in both of them wore down and became just about unusable. So I figure I'll end up using a dongle either way. And for display output, dongles are all I've ever known.
The price. Lot's of people are shocked by the price tag on this thing. I understand if people are angry over it, but they shouldn't be surprised. This is standard for a revamp of this line. The 2012 Retina MacBook Pros were the same price as these. So, any less would have been a bonus to me.

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Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

I think the only real issue I have with it is the price. I'm not saying it's too expensive; it's a powerful computer, but when you look at the amount of PC you get for that price, You get a semi-pro workstation. Which is insane.

Granted, you'd need to get a pretty good monitor as well, but still.

I don't know, I'm actually slightly leaning away. I know I'll be satisfied, but it's a $3000 laptop, which scares me. I could get a decent car for that price tag.

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

MacBook Pro

Semi-pro workstation

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

I'm unsure what you're aiming for here.

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

Well, you want a new computer, and you've said you wanna stick with macOS, so I'm not sure that there's much need to go beyond that. You have your one option for a new computer, which you seem to mostly like. *shrug*

Me, if I had one of these, I'd immediately sell it and buy two or three gently-used previous generation Macbooks. Why? Personal sense of value. With the exception of the "giving-a-shit-is-optional" touch bar — which I do think is a pretty neat idea for a control surface — there's no whizz-bang "future" shit on this computer that I actually want more than I want the "past" features that I can't have with it, but would easily get with any of the cheap last-gen Macbooks on eBay. Not to mention that those are Macbooks which I would find completely satisfying to my needs — they're fucking excellent laptops, they're all fucking excellent laptops, it's not 1997 — and which happen to come featured with other pleasantly-familiar eighteenth century technology, like ports for peripherals I already own, and a robust, low-profile magnetic power cable instead of a thin flap of metal. And, I repeat: two or three of 'em. Render nodes, servers, what have you.

There's just so much more you can do with that amount of money, shopping for a computer. This new Macbook strikes me as being the least you could do with it.

But also I'm an idiot.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

I'm a bit late to the party here, and the specific question has already been answered, but my thoughts are as a long time Apple fan (I've had apple computers in the house almost constantly since the mid 80s) is that Apple is currently fumbling around in the dark a bit trying to find it's footing. 

If someone asked me directly if it was a good deal I'd say that unless you need MacOS for some reason the Dell XPS line is almost there in terms of physical build quality, provides more computing power, and is offered at a better price, and that the optional XPS touch screen in probably more useful in the overall than the touch-bar.

If a friend was currently looking for a media production machine and didn't explicitly need some Apple Exclusive software or to build IOS apps, I'd say an XPS that can dual boot into Windows and Linux would be a much better deal than a Macbook at this point. If I understand everything correctly, currently with Apple you'll spend a little more money for a less powerful machine that is much harder/impossible to repair, the upshot being it can boot into Windows, MacOS, and or Linux, so you're basically bullet proof on software needs. 

There's half a dozen ways to generate an escape character without the key relying on the touchbar to display it when required. Control + [ should throw an escape in any situation where you need to.

Here's hoping Apple's engineering team comes up with some more interesting inovations on the laptop line in the future.

--
One Time @ Bland Camp...

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Re: The New MacBook Pro (2016)

I love, love, love my XPS 13

Witness me!

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