I’m Buying A New 15″ Macbook Pro Despite The Negative Backlash

2016 Macbook Pro with Touchpad. Photo: Apple

As I watched the Apple event announcing the Macbook Pro that I have been waiting for Apple to release for over a year, I loved what I was hearing. I preordered the 15″ version almost immediately, then had some buyer’s remorse and almost canceled the order. In the end, I did not cancel. So why did I consider cancelling in the first place, and why did I not cancel? I will explain below. My thinking and rationale might not resonate with everyone and that’s okay. I’m not here to debate — I’m just giving my story and reasons to buy the new MacBook Pro.

I must start by stating that I have only recently crossed over to Apple products. As an outsider, I never bought into Apple and didn’t really see the draw. The products are expensive too. But then I started to read about Steve Jobs and became fascinated with him. I read his biography after his death, watched videos and interviews with Jobs, and then I knew it was only a matter of time before I would buy my first Apple product. In 2015, I bought an iPhone 6 and an iPad. I also decided in 2015 that I would buy the next MacBook Pro that had major updates, so here we are.

While my interest in Apple grew, so did my disdain for Microsoft and companies associated with it. Windows can be so frustrating to use sometimes. And the laptops I’ve had from popular laptop companies that run Windows have literally fallen apart, after 2–3 years. I’ve seen the screen just become loose and detach! I have had speakers literally smoke and burn out on one side and a power jack go bad on the motherboard. It’s always the same story with the past 4 laptops I’ve owned. The last thing I’ll state about my influences are that all my friends that use MacBook Pros love them. They claim even after 6–8 years, the machines are still running strong and fast.

Why I almost cancelled

I almost cancelled for the following reasons:

  1. High Price
  2. Amount of hard drive space — 256GB
  3. No Kaby Lake processor
  4. No SD card/USB 2.0/3.0 ports
  5. The Apple logo doesn’t light up, though a minor issue

A couple days after preordering and reading others’ opinions, I decided to look at alternatives such as the newly announced Microsoft Surface Book and laptops from HP, Dell, ASUS, and Lenovo. These are mostly cheaper options, with the exception of the Surface Book, which is not even available as a 15″ screen. But I have had most of these brands before and have been disappointed. They look nice, but they do not seem to hold up well under my frequent use. Most of these machines address the concerns I had with the new MacBook Pro, but there was just one problem — they run Windows 10, and that is an OS that I do not like! Because of this, these alternatives bore me. I think Windows 10 is okay after the learning curve, but there are still odd things that just happen to me using Windows OS, from printer issues to the settings page not coming up because some file became corrupted for whatever reason. I pretty much dismissed these alternatives as possibilities. As a side note, I have not been a fan of touch screens on laptops or doubling as a tablet. I already have an iPad, so I don’t need another tablet. And I wouldn’t like fingerprints on my laptop screen.

That left previous versions of the Macbook Pro to consider, as well as any laptops running something like Ubuntu. But I am not that familiar with Ubuntu and I did not really like the look of some of the laptops I saw. I am concerned about longevity and don’t really know anyone that owns one. Apple released an update to the MacBook Pro around June 2015, and I almost bought that one. But it was a minor upgrade from the previous year, and the rumors were stating that the next one would have major changes (they were right), so I decided to pass on the 2015 one and wait. When I compared 2015 vs. 2016 by price, they were pretty close. But the 2015 processor chip in the 15″ is a Broadwell chip and in the 2016 it is a Sky Lake.

How I addressed my concerns

Once I decided that I really do not want a laptop running Windows, the decision became much easier. Should I get a 2015 or the 2016 MBP?

Price — I am able to get a discount on Apple, which brings the price on the 2016 to ~$2200 and the 2015 is not much cheaper with older technology. At this point, price difference becomes a nonissue for me.

Amount of Hard Drive Space — 256GB does not seem like a lot, especially in comparison to the Windows laptops. However, I contacted Apple to see how much disk space the pre-installed software uses. I found out it is less than 5GB of space. On top of that I will probably eventually install Adobe products, which might be 10GB. That still leaves about 200GB for files, etc. I also have cloud space from iCloud, Google+, Box, DropBox, One Drive, etc. to store things like photos or videos. Even on my current laptop with a 750GB drive, in over 4 years, I have used less than 200 GB. So really for me, 256 GB will be plenty of space.

No Kaby Lake Processor — I read that processor speeds are pretty maxed out, but that the new processors usually extend battery life. But the Kaby Lake processor does outperform the Skylake by a little bit, and I am not sure I would even notice the difference. In this article, http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/intel-7th-gen-kaby-lake-specifications, it considers Kaby Lake a minor upgrade.

No SD Card/USB 2.0/3.0 ports — At first this was disappointing. And like so many others, I was thinking about all the dongles and adapters I will need to buy. Or will I? How many will I actually need? The biggest impact for me will be the SD card reader missing. But what do I use SD cards for? Photos from my digital camera. So I have a few options. 1) Move all the present photos to cloud space 2) buy the usb2.0 to usb 3-c cord or adapter (I prefer the adapter because it just extends the plug) to connect my camera to the MBP or 3) Buy a new wifi SD card — yes, such a thing exists. With a wifi SD card, no cords are needed. I will probably need a usb 2/3 to usb-c adapter for a couple other things like my Garmin watch, but nothing extravagant like some may need. For me, the impact of 4 usb-c ports is minimal. I rarely charge my iPhone by plugging into the laptop because the battery life is so great that it usually lasts most of the day on its own.

The Apple logo doesn’t light up — This one really does bother me! I know it is minor, but it is such a cool feature. It’s not enough to select the 2015 over the 2016 though. It is disappointing, but what’s done is done.

In Conclusion

So that’s my story. Yours may be different. You might disagree with some of my points, and the new MBP might not be right for you because everyone’s situation is different. For me, I think Apple is thinking for the future. They see some technologies becoming obsolete, and they like to stay ahead of the curve. The USB 2.0 will continue to die out, and eventually everyone will need an adapter to run that old device that has a 2.0 plug. More and more things are going wireless and that will continue. Most people demand thin and lightness, so there are trade-offs. For example, the HDMI and Ethernet ports are huge, and it is impossible to get the MBP as thin as Apple managed if they kept these ports. By the way, I don’t normally use HDMI or Ethernet ports. It really just comes down to what your requirements are and whether you can adapt to the MBP changes (or want to adapt). But I seriously doubt you will ever see another MBP with a usb2/3 port, HDMI, or ethernet port.

There is so much negativity around this MBP that I wanted to give my perspective because I seem to be in the minority. I do think Apple carefully planned every move they made with the new MBP and hopefully over time, people will begin to understand the reasons for it, even if they don’t like it. No matter who you are, I think adapters or dongles are in all of our futures, as more companies might follow Apple’s lead.

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