Hey guys, this is Austin! Is the new 2016 MacBook Pro worth it? So, the new MacBook Pro is interesting. On one hand, it’s going to be a lot thinner, a lot lighter and immediately, wow. It’s sort of like the current MacBook Pro mixed with the 12-inch MacBook, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I think, for all it’s issues, the 12-inch MacBook is a really nice machine. This looks pretty similar if you’ve played with a MacBook before. Now there is a new keyboard. The trackpad is actually kind of giant, wow. The hardware of the new MacBook Pro has been updated in a few interesting ways. So probably the most noticeable difference is that the Apple logo on the back no longer lights up, which honestly, I don’t really care.
And you’re also no longer getting plastic on the build, so it’s pretty much metal all the way through. Now it also now does come in two colors. So in addition to the standard silver, there’s also now a space gray option. Yo, say what you want about Apple, but they can make a nice piece of hardware. This thing feels absolutely sturdy. You know it actually is thinner than the last MacBook. In fact, to put things in perspective, I have the last generation 13-inch MacBook Pro here. If I set it on top, you’ll see that it’s actually a fair bit thinner and considering that you’re getting the exact same size screen, that’s really nice.
On top of that, it’s going to be thinner. Now it’s not a huge difference, I mean, put them side by side and you will notice, however, it’s definitely nice that they’re kind of trimming things down. However, that thinness comes with a price. Take a look at the side and you’ll see a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports. Now these are nice to have, they’re based on USB Type-C, which means that not only can you charge with either of them, but that also means that you can adapt out to DisplayPort, HDMI, full USB. There’s a lot that you can do with these however, you need adapters to do pretty much anything. With the old MacBook Pro, you really didn’t need any adapters. You had full USB, you had a card reader, you had HDMI, you even had MagSafe.
You lose all of that with the new MacBook Pro. To make things even more complicated, there are multiple versions of the new MacBook. So what I have here is the base model which does come with the two Thunderbolt ports. However, if you get the upgraded 13-inch or pick up the 15-inch MacBook Pro, you get four Thunderbolt ports. Now that’s nice to give you more expandability, however it still doesn’t get around the issue of you’re going to need adapters for basically everything. Before we get too far into things, we probably should finish up the unboxing. So inside we get a USB Type-C cable. It looks like just the sort of standard Apple paperwork, Apple stickers. There’s also the new power brick, which is also using USB Type-C. Now it’s nice to be able to plug it into any port you want on the laptop, however, I’m definitely sad to see MagSafe go.
It has definitely saved my laptop many times. Just ask Ken, it would have saved his. Put the MacBooks side by side and won’t notice a huge difference. So even though the new one has a smaller footprint, it actually does have a much larger trackpad. I’ve got to give Apple props, this touchpad is really nice. So not only is it absolutely enormous, this might be the biggest laptop touchpad I’ve every tried, and you’re also getting front firing speakers as opposed to the kind of mediocre, bottom firing ones on the older MacBook.
The keyboard has also been redesigned. So it’s similar to what you would find on the 12-inch MacBook, which means that it has the new butterfly key switch. It isn’t bad. I think the thing is you just have to get used to the lack of travel. So it’s a very shallow key, however, it’s actually not that bad. I feel like I can get used to it pretty quick. The keyboard is actually the biggest difference between the two MacBook Pro models. So this has your traditional function keys, so you get an Escape key, you can adjust your screen brightness, next track, all that kind of stuff are actual keys. However, if you get the upgraded model, it comes with a Touch Bar. This is an interesting idea. It allows apps to take advantage of the Touch Bar to change what keys are actually on your keyboard. So while it’s still a touchscreen, what you can do is still get the standard function keys and all that kind of stuff, but certain apps such as Final Cut Pro, can actually take advantage of that to let you scroll through the timeline, add additional custom buttons.
It’s a cool idea. It also comes with Touch ID, however, if you want the Touch Bar version, it’s going to cost you. The new Macbook Pro starts at $1,500. However if you want the Touch Bar model, that’s going to run you $1,800. Now for that, you do get the Touch Bar, you get Touch ID, you get a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports in addition to the two that are already here, however, that’s a lot of money.
Across the board, the new MacBook Pro 13-inches are using either Core i5 or i7 processors. Now they’re all dual-core, however the base model has a 15-watt part. With a higher end Touch Bar model, it comes with a 28-watt chip. So since they’re based on the same Skylake process, there shouldn’t be a huge difference in normal day-to-day use, however, when you’re getting into heavier lifting such as video editing, having that extra thermal headroom is going to be a big advantage. So since we’re working with that lower wattage processor, I’m curious how performance stacks up. So to compare, I have the old Core i5 model as well as the i7. They’re actually surprisingly close. So both of the Core i5 models come basically within margin of error of each other, while the i7 has a slight lead, considering that it was a couple hundred dollar upgrade, that should be a huge surprise.
One thing the new MacBook Pro has going for it, is a super fast SSD. So it’s so quick in fact, it literally broke the speed test. With well over two gigabytes per second read, and according to Apple, it’s actually closer to three gigabytes. Now the old models weren’t exactly slow, however there’s no doubt this new MacBook Pro definitely sets the benchmark as far as disk speed goes. It also now comes standard with 256 gigs of storage, compared to 128 on the old model.
Now that’s not a huge difference, however when you consider the price difference, you would upgrade this to 256, this is only a hundred dollars more. Still expensive, but at least it makes a little bit more sense now. So while no one on their right mind should buy a MacBook as a gaming PC, it can handle some lighter titles. So here we are in Minecraft and you’ll see that it runs completely smooth.
So we’re getting a locked 60 FPS and this shouldn’t be a huge surprise, Macs have been able to play Minecraft pretty smoothly for a while, however, it is a totally usable experience. Performance-wise this actually isn’t too bad. It might not be quite as smooth as Minecraft, we’re definitely seeing a few dropped frames here and there, but you can play some sort of decent games on the Macbook. I’m kind of impressed. White, this one’s sort of a lighter blue. You know, the speakers are not bad. So with those two front firing speakers, we’re getting a much better audio experience and the screen has also been improved. So we’re still getting that same 2560 x 1440p resolution, however it now supports the wider P3 color gamut, we’re getting a much brighter screen at 500 nits and it also has better contrast. It looks nice, it sounds nice, it’s a big improvement. As far as the webcam goes we still have a 720p FaceTime HD camera. It’s decent. So there’s definitely some graininess, especially up here you can see and the audio is good but not amazing, however as far as webcams go, there’s really not a lot to complain about.
Now one of the downsides to going to a smaller chassis is that there’s less room for batteries. So while the old 13-inch had a 75-watt hour battery, the new has a 55-watt hour. Now Apple claims it still has the same 10 hours of battery life, and honestly the 13-inch actually has some of the best battery life of pretty much any laptop I’ve tried, however, a smaller battery is never a good thing.
So, is the new MacBook Pro worth it? Kind of? It’s a hard sell. I mean on one hand, you’re getting nicer hardware, you’re getting a much better screen, better speakers, performance is at least the same if not better, however, you are giving up ports and that’s gonna be a tough sell. Sure, I think USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 are the future, however, the future’s not here yet. You’re still going to need adapters and on top of that, this thing’s expensive. If you’re already looking for a MacBook Pro, it’s a decent option as long as you don’t mind adapters. But for most people, I think you’re better off passing. So what do you guys think about the new MacBook Pro? Definitely be sure to let me know in the comments below and I will catch you in the next one. .