New 2016 Macbook Pro | Are They Worth Buying?

Yes, I did wake up at 4am (I live in Australia at the moment) to watch this Apple event live so I can find out what are the latest products Apple have in store for us. The last time I was so excited about an Apple event was for the launch of the original iPad. I still remember how good my first iPad made me feel when I first picked it up. It was my first ever major purchase so naturally it felt like a personal milestone of some sort. I felt special being one of the first people in the world owning an iPad.

 

What I mean is that I will always have a soft spot for Apple products. Having said that, you won’t find me lining up days ahead of a product launch (nor do I have the time to do so). Since I am not a hard core tech blogger, I am going to give my thoughts on the new Macbook Pros as a general user ( and I imagine the most of you are). The big questions is, are the new Macbook Pros worth buying?

 

There are numerous rumours about what will be revealed in the event. First of all, the event invitation prints “Hello Again”, which is likely a reference to the original Mac advertisement. It is said that this event will unveil a new line up of MacBooks, especially the Macbook Pro line since it has not received any refresh for over a year. In recent years, Apple have focused a lot more on a it’s entry level products, namely iPhones and iPads  and for good reasons. These products provides an entry point for non-Mac users and are quick to sell. So after such an over due for a refresh, naturally fans are happy to see that Apple is finally giving the Macbook Pros some over-due love.

 

So what’s New? Essentially a lighter, thiner, smaller Macbook Pro with more power. 

 

Here’s the big reveal.

 

With the update, the 13 inch model now weights the same as the Macbook Air at 3 pounds; where the 15 inch model clocks at 4 pounds. The new 13 inch and 15 inch Macbook Pro features the all new Touch Bar with multi touch in retina display that replaces the function keys at the top of the keyboard, which adopts to the application currently in use. For example during the Apple Event, they showcased how Adobe Photoshop has built in features with the Touch Bar. As you work on an image, the Touch Bar will show application specific tools that allows you to adjust settings in real time. So you can change the size or the colour of your brush as you are brushing with your trackpad.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-3-04-09-pm

The Touch Bar has a dedicated Siri button and is customizable to specific needs. On the far right of the Touch Bar, you will find that Apple has added the Touch ID technology that is embedded in so many IOS devices into the laptops. Users can now log in to their Macbook Pros using the Touch ID function. Having Touch ID also means that Apple Pay is now available for quick online purchases.

 

Watch the Touch Bar in action below.

 

Macbook Pros now feature USB C ports with Thunderbolt 3 for higher bandwidth. Each port can be used for multiple purposes such as AV output and charging the device (click here to read more about USB and Thunderbolt ports). You will no longer see a dedicated charging port with Mac Safe like the ones featured in older MacBooks.

 

Aside from the major changes, users will now be typing on the 2nd generation Butterfly Mechanism keyboards, which essentially are slimmer to cater for the thinner designer. The Force Touch trackpad is also double the size from its predecessor. Of course, the new generation Macbook Pros will feature a brighter display with more colour and contrast. The 13 inch model has a dual core Intel i5 or i7 chip; the 15 inch model features a Intel i7 quad core chip.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-2-34-37-pm

 

The Verdict

 

Will I buy the new Macbook Pro? In short, No. I am writing this post on my 2011, 15 inch Macbook Pro, which works perfectly fine. Although I recently had to replace the swollen battery, it still holds up very well to my everyday use. Aesthetically, the Macbook Pro has not change dramatically; we get the same aluminium uni body and very similar form factor. And quite frankly, the updates does not impact my usage heavily. Sure the image on my current display does not look as sharp and my heavier machine is not as portable as the updated version, I am willing to overlook them until I find a real need for an upgrade.

 

Like every Apple product though, it comes down to what you will use it for. If you never owned a Macbook AND you need to do graphics work or video editing, you will likely enjoy the horse power these machines will give you. However, if you are like me who uses a lap top for general web browsing, word processing and streaming videos, you will be absolutely fine with an entry level 13 inch Macbook Air, which is lot more affordable.

  • 13inch starts from USD $1,499
  • 15inch starts from USD $1,999

The New Macbook Pro is now available for order.

Watch the Apple Event in Apple’s Web Site.

 

All photos from Apple’s official site.

 

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