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Thresher
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Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:26 pm

I posted this over at Macrumors.com, but I wanted to share with you guys.  Here's the original at MacRumors.
Let me preface by saying this that I've owned 2 PowerBooks and 2 MacBook Pros. My current machine is a maxed out 2013 MPB 15".

I ordered my new MacBook Pro 15" a couple of weeks ago and received it this past Friday. It is now Wednesday of the following week and I've decided to return it. There are many reasons both minor and major (at least to me) for returning it. Many have been seen in reviews, but some are probably unique to me. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of buying one, but I thought I might share my experiences.

In no particular order, here are my complaints:
  • The Touchbar is mostly useless. This will probably get better over time, but at present, there is nothing gained by having the Touchbar.
  • TouchID does not work for initial log on. It only works if you have locked the machine and left it on. This is silly, since every Windows machine can use it for initial log on and I was looking forward to that on this machine.
  • The screen is excellent, but with other vendors offering 4K densities and similar color profiles, the screen is left wanting in comparison.
  • Keyboard travel is okay, better than the MacBook, but it's incredibly loud and clicky. Key feedback is not good. I can probably get used to it over time.
  • The giant trackpad is not a bonus. I can't tell you the number of times I've accidentally deleted text by accidentally brushing my palm against it. This might not be a problem for others, because everyone holds their hands differently, but it's a problem for me.
  • I don't really care for the non-tactile trackpad. Not a deal breaker, but I find moving files from one folder another to be a PITA now, with it often not recognizing the click and drag.
  • There are sharp edges all over this machine. From the notch used to raise the lid to the edges of the vents underneath, they all catch your hand in a way that my old MBP does not. These edges are sharp and snag your hands as they rub across them. It's very un-Maclike.
  • Performance isn't much better than my current MBP. It is faster, but not for most things. Unless you are using pro apps on a regular basis, you will notice the difference over a 3 year old MBP.
  • I'm used to paying an Apple Premium. I like the products and the OS. But this is ridiculous. After deciding I wasn't going to keep this, I looked around the competition and found similarly specced (and a little higher, actually) Dell XPS 15 was roughly $900 less. And it had more memory, a higher dpi screen, a better GPU, and a more recent CPU. While the MBP cast aluminum enclosure and OS are worth a premium, it's not $900.
  • Little things: No more Mac "bong" start up. No more lighted Apple. And lack of MagSafe. I didn't realize how much I would miss all of those, but I do.
  • Thinner and lighter do not take precedence over speed and capability. My MBP was light enough and thin enough and at the time was one of the fastest machines you can buy. This new one is lighter, but not faster. This is not something I want with a Pro machine.
So, I'm keeping my old MBP for now. I'm hoping Apple takes the criticism they have received over the new MPP constructively and fixes the problems with the next revision. I doubt they will, but I've said my piece.
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:31 pm

Some of your points highlight an issue with the corporate anorexia thrown at these notebooks. The newer notebook is thinner & lighter but at the expense of really not being noticeably faster even though it's got newer guts.  

HP and Dell -- while still trying to be slim and maybe still being too slim -- have both taken their foot off the gas on the OMG THINNER/LIGHTER bandwagon for their newer designs and I think it has had beneficial impacts on performance/battery life.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:32 pm

@Thresher,

I posted this link a while back in DYMT, in case you missed it: Benjamin Button Reviews the New MacBook Pro
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:40 pm

just brew it! wrote:
@Thresher,

I posted this link a while back in DYMT, in case you missed it: Benjamin Button Reviews the New MacBook Pro


That is perfect.
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:02 pm

I too was waiting all last year for the new MacBook Pros to be delivered, but after seeing what it is, I decided that for what I want, it just isn't worth it.  FYI, my main machine is a Hackintosh built around a i7-3770K, for a total of about $1000.  16 Gig RAM, SSD + HD.  It is a fine machine, though upgrading to a new version of OS X is an issue.  That was to be expected, and I deal with it.  But it isn't portable, and I wanted something portable with similar power.  I was going to give my main system to my kid, and buy the new MacBook Pro as my exclusive machine.  But after realizing the compromises it has, and at the cost, I can't justify it.  

Touch Bar is cool, but it isn't a 'must have', or even a 'nice to have'.  More of a novelty.  Same with Touch ID.  I actually don't want it to boot the computer.

So, I bought a used MacBook Air off eBay.  $500, $100 for a new battery.  I'm keeping the Hackintosh as my main system, and use the Air when traveling.  It won't game (at all), but I can live with that.  I'm hoping the 2017 MacBook Pros are worth it.  
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:11 pm

The Kaby Lake XPS 15 looks like a real MacBook Pro killer. It's a shame you're not happy and can't have your choice of OS, but on paper alone I think you'll really like it if you go that route. I'm about to pull the trigger on the XPS 13 myself, which also puts the 13" MBP to shame for a lot less money.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:49 pm

Only being able to get 16GB (and that's the max...) on the top model is kind of lame IMO. (talking the XPS 13 here) And even though it's probably not a big deal for near everyone, I still wish they would have used Intel ac wireless instead of Killer. I'm sorry, but I just prefer Intel networking.

And to be on point for the thread. Yeah, I think most of us are in agreement with you. I'm sticking with my 2015 13" rMBP until they release something that doesn't have some many compromises. I did read some reports that they're updating some of the lineup with Kaby Lake this year (and at least one model with 32GB RAM), but if those are the only changes they make I still don't think that'd be enough to move me off my 2015 version.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:41 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
The Kaby Lake XPS 15 looks like a real MacBook Pro killer. It's a shame you're not happy and can't have your choice of OS, but on paper alone I think you'll really like it if you go that route. I'm about to pull the trigger on the XPS 13 myself, which also puts the 13" MBP to shame for a lot less money.

Costco had a nice XPS 13 with a 7th-gen i5 or i7 and a large SSD inside I was playing around with. Seemed like a surprisingly decent machine for $800. It's not on their site and I don't remember the exact specs to give them, sorry. 

Edit: Oops, was thinking kaby lake was 7th gen. Can't keep it straight anymore.
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:45 am

Asus' Zenbook lineup is also likely to take a chunk out of Apple's neglect.

I'm closely looking at the new Zenbook 3 Deluxe, that's shoving a 14" screen and a decent keyboard into a really small form-factor, but their larger laptops would give anything from Apple a run for their money quality-wise, that is, whenever Asus gets Kaby Lake and Pascal in the rest of their lineup.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:01 am

Kougar wrote:
Edit: Oops, was thinking kaby lake was 7th gen. Can't keep it straight anymore.


Isn't it?

Man, I can't either, but I think you were correct.
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:02 am

It is. I keep forgetting Costco has electronics. We're already members, so I should go wander around.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:03 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
It is. I keep forgetting Costco has electronics. We're already members, so I should go wander around.

There are some good deals but the tradeoff is that you won't get a wide selection.  They generally don't sell crap though, so at least there's that.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:51 am

I've got a maxed out broadwell 13" MBP and I think it'll definitely be my last mac laptop. I bootcamped it a couple weeks ago for kicks and W10 feels a lot snappier than MacOS on the same machine.

The trackpad alone is almost enough to keep me- my desktop is W10 and I constantly find my self about to 4-finger swype on my mechanical keyboard :) There are things that really annoy me about both OSes, and things I prefer on each, but requiring me to buy another set of dongles, and rendering EOL my three magsafe chargers that I had accumulated over time is just enough of an annoyance that I'm no longer able to stomach the price delta.

Should probably just put the MBP on ebay and buy 1.5 XPS13s :)

edit:typo
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:27 am

Thresher wrote:
TouchID does not work for initial log on. It only works if you have locked the machine and left it on. This is silly, since every Windows machine can use it for initial log on and I was looking forward to that on this machine.

This is the standard behavior taken from iOS. This is what you want. Biometrics can be /are treated differently from passwords under the law. I power off my devices before going through airport security precisely because my devices require a password before Touch ID is enabled.


Thresher wrote:
The screen is excellent, but with other vendors offering 4K densities and similar color profiles, the screen is left wanting in comparison.

I run my work supplied 15" MBP at its native resolution (2880x1800) which I find to be just right.


Thresher wrote:
Keyboard travel is okay, better than the MacBook, but it's incredibly loud and clicky. Key feedback is not good. I can probably get used to it over time.

When I got my personal 12" MacBook 2 years ago the new keyboard was radically different. I don't notice it now.


Thresher wrote:
I don't really care for the non-tactile trackpad. Not a deal breaker, but I find moving files from one folder another to be a PITA now, with it often not recognizing the click and drag.

I find the trackpad on my 12" MacBook to be very tactile. So much so that I have the "click" option set to the lowest sensitivity. I've had no issues with clicking and dragging.


Thresher wrote:
Performance isn't much better than my current MBP. It is faster, but not for most things. Unless you are using pro apps on a regular basis, you will notice the difference over a 3 year old MBP.

Spec wise the biggest failing is that it does not have a GTX 10x0 class GPU.


Thresher wrote:
No more Mac "bong" start up.

The startup chime can be enabled.


Thresher wrote:
No more lighted Apple

Thank goodness for that. The modern (unlit) logo looks far better.


Thresher wrote:
And lack of MagSafe

Having a port that does one task is rather archaic. I'm happy with my BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable.


Thresher wrote:
So, I'm keeping my old MBP for now

As someone who has a 2013 15" MacBook Pro I see no reason to upgrade to the new model as there is no 32GB option and the GPU is mediocre. To be really picky, even though Intel's CPU progress has slowed to a crawl, I would like to see Apple try and keep pace with Intel's current product release schedule.

From a visual standpoint I love the new MacBook Pro.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:17 am

End User wrote:
Thresher wrote:
No more lighted Apple
Thank goodness for that. The modern (unlit) logo looks far better.


Mah, should have been either lit or engraved. The current one is just bland.
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:17 am

nico1982 wrote:
End User wrote:
Thresher wrote:
No more lighted Apple
Thank goodness for that. The modern (unlit) logo looks far better.


Mah, should have been either lit or engraved. The current one is just bland.

It is in line with the iPad/iPhone design language.

When the 12" MacBook arrived I loved the new design direction. The logo looks amazing on my Space Grey MacBook.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:19 am

At least the logo isn't upside down these days.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:37 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
At least the logo isn't upside down these days.

That was a fad at one point.  I have an Acer with the upside down logo, and it is only 5 years old.  I don't know how old that photo is, but I'm thinking it is at least 10 years old
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:52 am

As a huge fan of the MBP's (for Bootcamp) but a hater of Apple in general, I have to agree with your sentiments here:

  • They're charging $300 more for the same hardware, when the competition is charging no more than they used to, but have upgraded their hardware.
  • The keyboard and trackpad have gone from being best-in-class to 'below average, and quite annoying'
  • I have no experience of the Touch Bar. It looked like a huge gimmick to me and the F keys are far more useful to me.
  • The focus on making it thinner and sexier just means the edges are sharper. Very noticeable. As is the reliance on adapters for everything :(

I don't want a 7lbs, 2" thick gaming laptop with RGB lights, but I'm seriously thinking that Apple has lost the performance race, hard. 

In terms design quality, some of the carbon Windows laptops are far more powerful, have nicer keyboards and screens, are more ergonomic to use with a sensible port selection and most importantly, I think they LOOK better too. The Thinkpad X1 Carbon and the new XPS with Infinity edge display make Apple's efforts look dated, tired and unoriginal - and that's even if you don't care about the price (which I don't, because I'm buying the MBP's on the company card, not my own).

Steve Jobs innovated and drove the whole market forward.
Tim cook is just flinging mud at the wall and seeing what sticks, with paying customers as the experimental guinea pigs.
Last edited by Chrispy_ on Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:59 am

toastie wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
At least the logo isn't upside down these days.

That was a fad at one point.  I have an Acer with the upside down logo, and it is only 5 years old.  I don't know how old that photo is, but I'm thinking it is at least 10 years old

That's either a 1999 or 2000 PowerBook G3 (they looked alike). It's so the logo was upright when it was closed and you sat at the desk. Nowadays the logos are upright when the lid is opened instead of closed. I had the 2000 model (supported in Mac OS X up to 10.3.9) in the days where the aluminum PowerBook G4 was new but the G3 was plenty fast for most things.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:49 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
That's either a 1999 or 2000 PowerBook G3 (they looked alike). It's so the logo was upright when it was closed and you sat at the desk.

...because everyone likes to sit at their desk and stare at the closed lid of their laptop, right?
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:50 am

just brew it! wrote:
...because everyone likes to sit at their desk and stare at the closed lid of their laptop, right?

How else to enter the Zen of Steve?
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:59 am

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
...because everyone likes to sit at their desk and stare at the closed lid of their laptop, right?

How else to enter the Zen of Steve?

Do you really want to see people's answers to that question?

Re: The thread - MBP is essentially competing with itself... and losing.
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:23 pm

just brew it! wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
That's either a 1999 or 2000 PowerBook G3 (they looked alike). It's so the logo was upright when it was closed and you sat at the desk.

...because everyone likes to sit at their desk and stare at the closed lid of their laptop, right?

I think it was more for people who were taking it with them, who'd then pull it out of a bag and try to figure out "which way is up". Then, of course, form overtook function and the logo got flipped.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:29 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
...because everyone likes to sit at their desk and stare at the closed lid of their laptop, right?

How else to enter the Zen of Steve?

The Macintosh Portable set the precedent of the upside down Apple logo back in 1989 - 4 years after Steve left Apple. While the iBook of 1999 also had the upside down Apple logo it was a legacy design at that point and, early in the 2nd reign of Steve, replaced by the right-side up Apple logo on the 2001 iBook G3 Snow.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:58 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Thinkpad X1 Carbon

Style over substance. Weak dual core U series with Intel graphics. Can't compare that to a quad core MBP with discrete graphics.


Chrispy_ wrote:
XPS with Infinity edge display[/url] make Apple's efforts look dated, tired and unoriginal - and that's even if you don't care about the price (which I don't, because I'm buying the MBP's on the company card, not my own).

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That 15" XPS looks fugly to me. I'd rather get a a T470p if I was in the market for a Windows based quad core laptop.


Chrispy_ wrote:
Steve Jobs innovated and drove the whole market forward.

Jobs had his share of mis-steps.


Chrispy_ wrote:
Tim cook is just flinging mud at the wall and seeing what sticks, with paying customers as the experimental guinea pigs.

Hardly.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:30 pm

The more MBP 15" 2016 news/reviews I read, the more I love my 2015 15". I really lucked out, the best of breed.
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Thu May 04, 2017 9:00 am

With the move to retina people were already complaining about the sharp edge at the palm rest, some even filed it down! Can't imagine them going even sharper is a great decision...

4K screen though, ehh, not with the battery life complaints already existing.

I feel like the next one, with the terraced battery and Kaby lake, will be the one they actually wanted to build, had the new battery and Intels roadmap not been delayed.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -loyalists


I'm not actually *too* down on it besides the price hike and battery life, but I wish there was a Macbook Actual Pro above it, like I've said on the main site. Old Unibody thickness, more ports, 99Wh battery, 75W GPUs again.

Naming should then be
Macbook 12 - Macbook Air
Macbook Pro - Macbook (TB/NTB)
Macbook New - Macbook Pro
 
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Re: Disappointed with 2016 15" MBP

Thu May 04, 2017 9:14 am

Even on my older MBP (work), the edges are sharp enough that the corners have worn holes in the bottom of my backpack. Looks like a job for duct tape... should've probably lined the bottom of the notebook compartment with duct tape earlier, to prevent the holes from forming in the first place. :roll:

If the 2016 ones have even sharper edges, I can understand why people are pissed off. Maybe Apple should also supply a free roll of duct tape, for people who transport their laptop in a backpack. :lol:

The next time my employer does a refresh I'm gonna see whether it is practical to go with a non-Apple native Linux solution. I spend most of my time in a Linux VM anyway (since we develop for Linux), but when I originally started working there the non-MBP option was an unwieldy DTR Dell. (After they got acquired about a year ago the new IT overlords switched the non-MBP people to a Lenovo something-or-other that seems to have some serious reliability issues, so that's a non-starter as well.)
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