2016 sees the release of new MacBook Pro laptops, which are the thin, more powerful versions of their previous 2014 versions. The new versions have made Apple lovers excited because they have new upsides in their features. The design is sleeker and slimmer, the performance is improved in several aspects, and there is a version with Touch Bar that can improve the experience. The new laptops also come in 13-inch and 15-inch versions. However, it does not mean that the new MacBook Pro does not have some downsides.
By adding new features in the new MacBook Pro, Apple also removed some features that previously existed in the older MacBook Pro laptops. The removal of several features may affect how you usually use the older versions (and older Mac laptops in general), especially if you decide to upgrade your older MacBook laptop with the new, 2016 version. Make sure to understand what you will get the moment you shell out more than $1,400 for a new MacBook Pro.
Here are some illustrations of the new MacBook Pro 2016 laptops, including the features, new specs, comparison with similar product such as MacBook Air (for the 13 inch version), the downsides, and price.
2016 MacBook Pro New Design Aspects
The new 2016 Apple’s MacBook Pro definitely shows several improvements compared to previous versions. The new 13-inch and 15-inch laptops are way thinner and lighter than the previous version, and even lighter than MacBook Air, which was once considered the lightest Apple laptop. There are also two versions of these products; the most improved versions have Touch Bar, which is basically the combined function of keyboard and mouse.
One thing you will immediately notice from the two versions of Apple MacBook is the design and weight. These laptops are lighter and sleeker than the previous versions. Unfortunately, Apple decided to remove some essential design aspects that originally existed in the previous models, so you basically get new features at the price of old features that make the laptops user-friendly.
Here are the details of the designs:
• The MacBook Pro 13-inch has 14.9 mm of thickness and 3.02 pounds of weight. This makes the laptop thinner and lighter than the previous 13-inch MacBook Pro (2014). The footprint is also around 23% smaller than the 2014 MacBook Pro.
• The MacBook Pro 15-inch has 15.5 mm of thickness and 4 pounds of weight, compared to the previous model that has 3.5 pounds of weight. This makes the laptop 14% thinner than the previous model, with 20% smaller footprint. The portable element that hides powerful performance makes this laptop enticing for people who value portability.
• Both laptops have only two USB-C ports each plus headphone jacks, which are standard features that are versatile but do not offer flexibility. They also do not have slots for memory cards, HDMI outputs, or DisplayPort. However, the USB-C ports are located on both sides, so you have more flexibility to charge the laptop or sticking USB flash disk.
• Both laptops have the same “uni-body” design as their predecessors, with two shade options: space-gray and silver. The Apple logo is also not glowing, which is great for those who prefer more subdued look in the design. The subtle change from the previous products may be not noticeable at first, but the subdued look is great for more “professional and serious” look.
• Both laptops have flat yet stable keyboards, with the “butterfly” buttons that ensure stability when the users type really fast. The bounce and dip actions are also better than the previous series’ keyboards. However, early reviews said that these buttons are typo-prone, because you probably miss one or two letters when typing really fast or typing really long password.
• Both laptops have improved Force Touch touchpad, with wide size and more flexible finger maneuvers, although the flat shape and sensitive surface can make you accidentally click something on your screen that you do not intend to click. However, the surface is quite smooth and large, which makes it comfortable for your finger to tap or trace, especially if you have large finger (which can make the similar activities uncomfortable on smaller pad).
The new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar is located above the keyboard panel, in the form of smooth, black line. The flat keyboard may make it easier for you to accidentally tap on the Touch Bar instead of typing on the top row of the keyboard panel. However, the Touch Bar adds access to Siri, mute and volume buttons, screen brightness shortcuts, and emoji stickers (including the “frequently used” ones). Users also have flexibility to rearrange what appear on the Touch Button. When you are using email, you can use it to access text formats and text prediction.
In short, compared to MacBook Pro 2014, the new 2016 versions have better design elements. However, these new design features also come with design shortcomings such as lack of USB port variations and memory SD card slot. This definitely limits your ability to attach more than two tools or gadgets on your Pro laptop. Also, since there is no memory card slot, you must always get ready with external storage device to save and manage your files, which can be a hassle for certain people.
Finally, while the separate USB-C ports give larger space for whatever gadgets you want to attach on the laptop, they can also be precarious. People may unexpectedly brush past or knock the attached gadget because they do not expect the position.
Check out more customer reviews on Amazon:
- Apple 13 ” MacBook Pro / MD101LL/A / 2.5GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD
- Apple MacBook Pro MLW72LL/A 15.4-inch Laptop with Touch Bar (2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 256GB Retina Display), Silver
- Apple MacBook Pro MLUQ2LL/A 13.3-inch Laptop (2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 256GB Retina Display), Silver
- Apple MD212LL/A (Late 2012) 13.3″ Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Intel Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR3, 128GB Solid State Drive, 802.11n, Bluetooth, Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion (Certified Refurbished)
- New Apple MacBook Pro MF839LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (2.7GHz Core i5 Processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, OS X El Capitan)
- Apple MacBook Pro MNQG2LL/A 13-inch Laptop with Touch Bar (2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 512GB Retina Display), Silver
MacBook Pro 2016 and Improved Performance
While the new MacBook Pro laptops may receive some criticism in their design elements, they also come with improved performance, from the audio visual aspects to the hardware. One prominent aspect of the new MacBrook Pro visual is the new Retina Display, which presents users with high quality, high definition images. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display provides sharper colors and details, which are great when you use the laptop to watch and edit videos, play game, or work on designs. The Retina Display has set the new MacBook Pro from its previous versions.
The improved performance of this new MacBook Pro comes in various aspects, such as:
• Performance support by the 6th generation of Intel Core CPU, which gives faster loading and overall performance on the new MacBook Pro laptops. The 13-inch MacBook Pro has 103% increased in graphic performance compared to the old model, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro has 130% faster performance. A good option if you often open multiple browsers or multitask at once.
• 1.36 GB disc size in the 13 inch version and 1.84 GB disc size in the 15 inch version. This makes both laptops have faster performance than their previous predecessors. You can also multitask better with improved performance, such as opening multiple browsers, listening to Spotify and turning on Wifi while typing, or playing game.
• Faster boot-up process since the laptop is turned on; it takes 15 seconds until the laptop shows the display. You also need shorter time to click open images, videos and other files, which is small but significant change if you often open multiple files at once.
• Improved speakers with 58% higher volume and double dynamic ranges, which produce clear, crisp audio quality from the double speaker grills. The improved audio is great if you listen to music, watch videos, or make video/voice call with long-distance caller.
• SSDS sequential read speeds reach 3.1 GB/second for both models. Also, the 13 inch laptop has 2.1 GB/second speed of sequential writing speed, while the 15 inch laptop has 2.2 GB/second.
Basically, the MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch offers slightly improved performance compared its predecessors, and so does the 15 inch version. While this does not sound so special, the specs make the new MacBook Pro a great laptop for students, general professionals, designers, video editors, and people who just love doing everything on the laptop (watching videos, playing games, browsing, and many more).
Battery Hours and Heat Issues in New MacBook Pro Laptops
Good battery performance is one thing all laptop users want, including those who prefer the new MacBook Pro. These two new laptops are hailed as having improved battery performance compared to their predecessors. Apple declared that both MacBook Pro 2016 laptops (the 13 inch and 15 inch series) have up to 10 hours of battery performance after one charge. However, this does not seem to be the case for the two laptops. While actual battery hours of a laptop may be a bit different from the advertisers say, these two MacBook Pro 2016 laptops have noticeably shorter battery hours than the previous series.
The battery hours seem to be varied depending on how you use the laptops. For example, reducing brightness and simply using the laptop for surfing the website, video playback or typing can make the laptop lasts for as long as 11 hours. However, heavier uses can make the laptop lasts no more than 8 to 9 hours (especially if the audio and screen brightness are on). The Touch Bar version generally lasts shorter than the non-Touch Bar version, thanks to extra graphic the version uses. Nevertheless, these new MacBook Pro laptops seem to give quite satisfying battery hours with their thinner, lighter design, providing that you only use them for regular daily use (not the tech-centered use).
As for the heat, MacBook Pro 2016 laptops handle it quite well. Unless you use the laptop for gaming, the two versions grow quite warm after a few hours, but not overly hot. The 15-inch variant has extra split-blade fan inside to reduce heat even more.
Comparing MacBook Pro VS MacBook Air
Comparisons have been made between MacBook Pro 13 inch and Macbook Air from the same version. Both laptops seem to have their own perk and downsides, from the design to specs and price. There are many good reasons to either choose MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, and wrong purchase design can make you regret it for a long time. Let’s take a look at MacBook Pro VS MacBook Air comparisons to see which one that may become the best option for you:
• Weight and dimension.
MacBook Air used to be the lightest Mac laptop, but now, the title has been snatched by MacBook Pro. The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 (without Retina Display) is around 0.01 pound heavier than the 2015 MacBook Air. However, the dimension of MacBook Pro is thinner than MacBook Air (although this is probably a small difference for some people).
• USB ports and memory card slot.
A distinct characteristic of MacBook Pro is the lack of external features that we normally find in other laptops; namely, the USB ports and memory card slot. MacBook Pro only comes with a pair of USB-C ports, but not USB-A or HDMI ports. Meanwhile, MacBook Air comes with more complete arrays of USB ports and memory card slot.
• Processor and memory.
MacBook Pro wins in processor and memory, thanks to its 2.0 to 2.07GHz processor speed. MacBook Air only has 1.66GHz processor speed. Also, MacBook Pro has 8GB 1866MHz memory, which makes the performance even better than MacBook Air. The Air only has 8GB 1600MHzm memory. While MacBook Air is a decent laptop when it comes to processor and memory, you may want to consider the Pro if you need constant fast performance and often save numerous files in the laptop.
• Battery hours.
MacBook Pro and MacBook Air have tight competition when it comes to the battery hours after one full charge. Most of the reviews mention MacBook Air has slightly longer battery hours compared to MacBook Pro. Depending on how you use it, MacBook Air can last for 12 hours of regular using such as surfing the web and video playback with the Wifi on, while MacBook Pro can only last 9-11 hours at best.
• Retina Display.
Retina Display is one of the most famous MacBook Pro specs, and even the earlier versions have this spec. Retina Display makes the graphic even sharper and brighter compared to regular Apple screen. Meanwhile, MacBook Air does not have Retina Display. However, if you do not actually need (or never need) Retina Display, this should not be a problem.
• Touch Bar.
The 13 inch MacBook Pro 2016 comes with the version that has Touch Bar under the screen, while MacBook Air definitely does not have such customizing tool. The MacBook Pro Touch Bar gives the ability to access several features, although the features are not the most urgent ones such as emojis, Siri, and brightness/volume adjustments. However, this may be a simple but defining additional feature for some users.
MacBook Air is definitely a winner in the price department, compared to MacBook Pro. In the UK, the upgraded version of 2015 MacBook Air costs around 950 Pound (now it is around $999), while MacBook Pro 2016 starts from around 1,500 Pound (now around $1,799), and it does not count the price upgrade if you buy the version with Touch Bar. Meanwhile, the 15 inch version can cost more than $2,000. Certainly, MacBook Pro is the more expensive option than the MacBook Air.
The latest MacBook Air, which was released in 2015, seemed to only have slight feature tweaks compared to the previous versions. Meanwhile, MacBook Pro 2016 still has possibilities to get upgraded features in several years. Therefore, if you prefer relatively good performance with good battery life and cheaper price, opt for MacBook Air. However, if you really need power, slimmer design and extra features, MacBook Pro is the option.
Check out more customer reviews on Amazon:
- Apple MacBook MLHE2LL/A 12-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (1.1GHz Dual Core Intel m3, 8GB RAM, 256GB HD, OS X), Gold NEWEST VERSION
- ProCase 13 – 13.5 Inch Sleeve Case Cover for Macbook Pro 2016/ Pro with Retina/ Macbook Air/ Surface Book, Ultrabook Laptop Bag for 13″ 13.3″ Lenovo Dell Toshiba HP ASUS Acer Chromebook -Black
- Apple MK0X2AM/A USB-C to Lightning Cable (1M)
- ACdream Macbook Pro13 inch [2016 Version] Case, Wallet Leather Sleeve Cover Case with Stand for Apple Macbook Pro 13 inch Laptop(2016 release), Blue
- Inateck 15-15.4 Inch MacBook Pro 15 Retina Case Ultrabook Netbook Bag Carrying Case Cover with Pocket, Gray
MacBook Pro 2016 Price and Release Date
So far, the new MacBook 2016 series have been flaunted as the powerful laptops with sleeker design. The MacBook Pro price for basic 13-inch laptop without Touch Bar and Retina Display costs around $1,499, and that may already be considered high by some people. However, once you get to the Touch Bar version, the price increases dramatically to $1,799, not to mention the 15-inch version, which costs around $2,399. You can find various price deals at stores such as Amazon or eBay, but you definitely will have to stick with the higher price tag.
The 13-inch laptop without Touch Bar has just been released at the beginning of November, followed swiftly by the Touch Bar and 15-inch version. Rumors said that the upgraded version will shortly followed in 2017, but there is still no detailed information about the (supposedly) upgraded MacBook Pro 2016 release date.
Since the possible upgrade may include improved RAM and lower price, you may want to you’re your purchase until 2017, to see if the new version worth the money. Nevertheless, you can choose between buying it now and enjoy some of the new perks, or simply wait for the upgraded version while collecting your money.
Should You Buy MacBook Pro 2016 Laptop?
The MacBook Pro 2016 sounds like a great laptop, with its improved performance and sleeker design. However, there are definitely some misses in the design aspects, not to mention the price. Should you buy this laptop? Let’s see the recap of MacBook Pro 2016 pros and cons:
• Has faster, more powerful performance, thanks to improved processor performance and memory. Perfect for those who work with a lot of files or often multitask.
• Sleeker, slimmer design with light weight. MacBook Pro 2016 is hailed as the thinnest and lightest Apple laptop, perfect for those who prefer portability with performance.
• Retina Display option for sharper display and graphic. A good feature if you often play game, edit videos, or work with visual designs.
• More customizing ability with Touch Bar. You can access various features such as Siri, volume and brightness, and various emojis.
• Larger, more flexible Track Pad. The Track Pad also offers more flexibility when you maneuver by tapping or tracing its surface with finger.
• Decent battery life, even if you use it to play games, connect it with Wifi all day long, or watch videos in loop.
• Decent heat management, with the 15-inch model equipped with extra fan inside the laptop.
• USB ports are located on the right and left side of the laptop, so you can attach gadgets or external devices without having to “fight” for space.
• Improved, more stable keyboard. The bouncing action is better and more stable, and you can feel more “assured” when typing.
• Only have 2 USB-C ports, and not much else. Giving you limitations of what you can do with the USB ports, such as the numbers of gadgets or tools you can attach, or what gadget you can recharge using the laptop.
• The butterfly keyboard model may feel stable, but can make frequent typos if you type really fast. It can be hassle if you have habit of typing without looking at the screen (and find out that you must go back), or if you type long password.
• Does not have memory card slot. You must always carry your external memory storage or flash disk to use and save various files. This may be a hassle for those who prefer carrying as little burden as possible in daily activities.
• Battery life is shorter than cheaper model. While it is not a big problem, it may matter for those who think that every hour is important when working with laptop.
• Touch Bar is easy to use, but does not offer much for the added price. The display of Touch Bar is also not too sharp (especially under the screen light or direct light). For some users, Touch Bat may be not an essential addition that worth extra money to pay for.
After weighing both the pros and cons, the decision is up to you. If you want a sleeker, thinner, more powerful MacBook by sacrificing some “old familiar things” such as multiple USB ports and memory card slot, and have no trouble with the decent battery life, MacBook Pro 2016 may be for you.