Design Matters, Design Review, LBTC Reviews

MacBook Pro 2016: First Impressions

If you are not already aware, I am an iOS developer and I recently got my hands on the latest MacBook Pro 2016 with touchbar and I have been having mixed feelings about it in the first two weeks of using it. And we thought we’ll quickly whip out my first impressions of the same.

Love it!

Or the features I wish I could get on my Personal 2015 MacBook Pro RN!

Macbook Pro 2016 Touchbar fingerprint sensor

The fingerprint sensor

LOVE IT! I am lazy AF and this is my guilty piece of happiness every single day. My Pixel was the first phone I had with the fingerprint sensor and I have been drop to the floor loving it. And now I enjoy it on my MacBook as well and is THE best feature in a laptop ever.

Macbook Pro 2016 Touchbar fingerprint sensor

The touchbar

The touchbar is an absolutely innovative technology and LBTC loves innovation. Replacing the less functional function keys with a context specific touch bar of options is a brilliant idea and that caters to the users’ needs at the moment. The keys include volume keys, screen brightness keys, and context specific escape functions amongst other things. The best part has to be the ability to customize this bar as per users’ needs.

Macbook Pro 2016 Touchbar apple logo

Apple Logo

The old backlit apple logo on the MacBook is replaced with a glossy metallic logo. And it looks as chic as the complete laptop. Though the backlit logo was pretty innovative at the time but had become an eyesore in the metallic look of the latest MacBooks.

Macbook Pro 2016 Touchbar volume slider

Continuity of touchbar buttons

The touchbar volume buttons allows you to continue the function from the button position eliminating the break in the workflow.

The overall look and feel

The overall feel of the MacBook has been changed, with the keys getting flatter, the MacBook feels sleeker and more robust.

Hate it!

Also, known as why I am glad I didn’t buy into the whim!

Macbook Pro 2016 Touchbar trackpad

Trackpad

MacBook Pro in 2016 launched the covers half the size of the keyboard. Though introduced to increase cursor precision, smoother scroll etc, the trackpad gets way too much in your way while typing. There is no way to rest your hands on the keyboard and access all the keys without accidental clicks on the trackpad. When the trackpad gets in the way of getting work done, it is not working.

Keyboard

The keys in the new MacBook Pro are paper thin, which as mentioned looks uber good. But the feedback of the keys is not up to par with the earlier versions. The arrow keys are messed up. The left and right arrow which used to be the same size of the down arrow are now double the size and are impossible to use them without actually looking at what you are pressing. No time for that when you are busy typing up a piece of code or anything as a matter of fact.

Macbook Pro 2016 Touchbar USB C Port

The Thunderbolt 3 ports

MacBook pro completely removed all ports including the original charging port, thunderbolt ports, and the USB ports. Replacing the ports with one port increases the laptop’s visual appeal but it requires multiple Thunderbolt 3 dongles or cables. Be it for your pen drives, hard disks, ethernet cable, VGA, SD card, HDMI or thunderbolt ports. The new dongles or cables are not only cumbersome to manage and travel with but are an additional expense part from the amount you spent on the system. Nope!

Macbook Pro 2016 Touchbar charging cable

Charging Cable

The MacBook pro replaced the traditional charging port with the Thunderbolt 3 port as well. Though that means you can utilize any of the four ports available, there is also a downside. There is no indicator on the charging cable. As far as memory serves all the MacBooks had a charge indicator on the connection that indicated if the laptop is charging or fully charged etc., but now you have to open that machine up. Sigh! Why does introducing new design means eliminating well designed, and working old ones?

The Touchbar

Touchbar earns brownie points for innovation but it is still far away for it to replace the original keys. First and foremost, there is no tactile feedback. Secondly, the lack of the escape button feedback causes a break in the workflow. Also, the volume and screen brightness buttons which used to be clickable buttons have been turned to sliders, which again is a break in the workflow.

And that’s it for our first impressions on the MacBook 2016 Touchbar version. Now if only I could somehow get that fingerprint sensor into my old MacBook, wouldn’t that just be great! Which laptop do you use? Have you tried out the MacBook Pro yet? Let us know your reviews and comments in the section below.

Until later,

Vani

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