Hey, how’s it going guys, this is Dave 2D, and this is my review of the 2016 13 inch MacBook Pro.
So when they first announced this thing, I had mixed feelings.
One, I was excited because it’s the new MacBook Pro, but then I looked at the paper specs and the price tag, and it was a little less appealing.
$1,500 with no OLED strip, but I’ve had it for a week; these are my thoughts.
OK, right off the rip, the build quality on this thing is the best in the business.
I’ve handled a couple of laptops on this channel, and no one makes a laptop that has better craftsmanship than this MacBook.
The tolerances of all the machining are very tight, the hinge is perfectly tuned, and there’s next to no flex despite being super thin.
But for $1,500, you’re gonna have to bring more to the table than just build quality, and that’s where things get a little less awesome.
This specific model has two ports.
Both USB-C, both supporting Thunderbolt 3.
The fact that they’re all USB-C bugs me a bit that means adapters for a lot of stuff that people do right now.
In a couple of years that’ll be different, but right now you’ll probably need some adapters.
Regarding the missing SD card slot, I think a lot of reviewers and journalists are gonna be bummed by this, because, well, we depended on this port for video and camera work.
But a big chunk of MacBook owners just never uses that port.
And same with the HDMI port.
So, yeah, it’s easy for camera users to be super annoyed by this, but for the average MacBook Pro user, it’s not a big deal.
But what does bug me: a professional laptop or a laptop with productivity in mind shouldn’t have two ports.
If you’re plugged into power, you’re looking at one port.
The MacBook Air had more ports than this when it was plugged in.
Now, I use this adapter.
It’s my favorite because it spreads heat well.
I’ll link it below, but the fact that owners need to purchase an adapter or two, or five, is pretty disappointing.
The keyboard uses second-generation butterfly switches.
It’s improved a bit.
It’s still a half millimeter of key travel, but it feels slightly more responsive than the 12 inch MacBook keyboard.
Some people love these butterflies switches and prefer them; I still prefer the older generation of keyboards.
But this is a personal preference thing, and I think most people can learn to like this keyboard over time.
The display is amazing.
The resolution hasn’t changed, it’s much brighter with a wider color gamut.
The image is a little cool before calibration, but once you’ve calibrated it, it’s perfect, it has wide viewing angles, and the bezels are relatively thin.
They’re not the thinnest, the XPS 13 is thinner, but regarding overall display quality, this is arguably the best-looking 13-inch screen on the market right now.
The Webcam up top looks like this.
It’s better than the 12-inch MacBook, but it’s still not very good.
I found the trackpad on the 12-inch MacBook pretty big already.
This is bigger, and if you use a lot of gestures, you’ll probably like this.
I only use a few of the full hand gestures, and I find this trackpad a little too big.
It’s a personal thing.
I get the occasionally failed palm rejection because of its size, but it’s still the best trackpad I’ve used.
The speakers are also ridiculously good.
Once again, best-in-class.
Put it this way: these speakers have set the bar so high it annoys me that have to review other laptop speakers.
Some of the bigger gaming laptops are louder and have stronger bass, but these MacBook Pro speakers sound incredibly clean with almost no distortion, even at maximum volume.
Under the hood, there’s nothing we can upgrade by ourselves The RAM is soldered on, and storage drives – yeah, they’re removable, but they’re proprietary, so you probably won’t be upgrading those anytime soon.
Fortunately, the drive is fast, which helps to make the system feel snappy.
The base processor is a Skylake Core i5 6360U.
It has a slower clock speed than almost every Windows ultrabook at this price point.
It’s kind of disappointing to look at this chip and then realize that it came out in September of 2015.
It’s over a year old and performance is similar to the base model 13-inch MacBook Pro from last year.
It’s just a lot more power efficient.
But the truth is, it’s more than fast enough for what most people would do on this machine, and because the faster drive this year, the whole system does feel quicker.
The integrated GPU is a nice step up from last year’s model.
It’s now running an Iris 540; it’s similar in a graphical computer to a 930m or 940m.
You can play some games, nothing super crazy, but if you want to see a dedicated video on gaming with this system, let me know in the comments below.
The graphics chip also has connectivity to 4K and 5K screens.
As for external GPUs, the Razer Core doesn’t connect right now, at least not well enough for me to do a video.
But it’s a work in progress, and some other external GPUs are coming down the pipe.
I’ll be doing a dedicated piece on that, so subscribe if you wanna see that video when it goes up.
The fans are silent on idle, and on load, it’s audible but not too loud.
It throttles when it’s under heavy loads, like rendering a video.
Now, I’m an Adobe user, so I can only speak about video editing with Premiere, and it’s pretty good for 1080p edits, but 4K edits are pretty choppy.
The battery life is good.
The battery’s been shrunk down a lot.
It’s now only 55-watt hours, but because of the more efficient CPU, I’m still getting over nine hours of regular use with the screen at around 250 units.
And because you can use any of the USB-C ports for charging, we’ve lost the MagSafe connection.
OK, this device cost fifteen hundred dollars, and despite the paper specs looking a little lame, it’s a very solid device.
Great build quality, fantastic screen, speakers, and trackpad.
But what isn’t great is, of course, the price tag, and for $1,500 it’s not that it’s an overpriced machine.
It’s Apple premium pricing, but you’re forced to purchase things in this system that you normally may not want to purchase, or you may not need, so, like the super wide gamut screen and the fantastic speakers.
You’re forced to buy into this system just because it has the “Pro” moniker.
dongles, adapters, proprietary storage drives, these are all designed to generate revenue for Apple, I get that, but as a consumer we kind of get screwed for it.
Now, would I recommend this laptop to the average person? Obviously not.
There are a few people I would recommend this to people that don’t want the OLED strip, this is, of course, the only other option, but for the average person that’s looking for a 13-inch MacBook that’s above a MacBook Air, look at last year’s model.
It’s going to be like thirty or forty percent cheaper than this, like, the refurb model, and it’s gonna have very similar performance to this.
Maybe not in the GPU element, but the processor is gonna be very similar to this.
That’s the end of this video, hope you guys liked it! Thumbs if you enjoyed it, subs if you loved it! It’s been nice; I’ll see you guys next time.