Macbook Pro 2017 (with Touch Bar) review

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macbook pro 2017

MacBook Pro 2017

The MacBook Pro has always been the best and most powerful offering from Apple when it comes to laptop computers. As every year, Apple greatly improved upon earlier models, and included a bunch of new stuff. Eager to find out more? Dive in!

 The Features

  • Powered by MacOS Sierra
  • Touch Bar – a touchscreen strip that replaces the function keys
  • TouchID – Apple’s fingerprint scanner
  • A very fast Intel CPU
  • PCIe SSD
  • Thunderbolt port
  • USB 3.1
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Comes in two variants: 13” display and 15” display

The Specs

  • Screen Size: 13” and 15”  (depending on the model) Retina display
  • Screen Resolution: 2560×1600 for the 13” and 2880×1800 for the 15”
  • Processor: 2.9Ghz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost up to 3.3Ghz (13” model) or 2.7Ghz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.6Ghz (15” model)
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR3 running at 2133Mhz (13” model) or 16GB LPDDR3 running at 2133Mhz (15” model)
  • Storage: 13” model: 256GB PCIe-based SSD (can go up to 1TB SSD) or   15” model: 512GB PCIe-based SSD (can go up to 2TB SSD)
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 550 (13” model) or Radeon Pro 455 with 2GB GDDR5 + Intel HD Graphics 530 (15” model)
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible; Bluetooth 4.2 wireless connectivity
  • Camera: 720p FaceTime HD Camera
  • Average battery life: 10 hours

Overview:

The Macbook Pro 2017 improved quite a bit from the previous generation. As per usual, it has great build quality, using only premium materials – it is after all Apple’s trademark. It comes in two variants: 13” and 15” and two colors: Space Gray and Silver. There are some differences in specs between the two, but they are both clearly high-end computers. They are both powered by powerful Intel Skylake CPUs, and the speed that the system achieves is stunning. The 13” model is for more common, everyday usage due to its weaker CPU and absence of a strong GPU, but still it’s great for doing office/school work. The 15” variant, with its more powerful CPU and a dedicated GPU is more suited for professional usage. They both use the astonishing Retina display, which is one of the best display panels around.  Both versions of the Macbook Pro 2017 have an amazing keyboard, which makes typing very comfortable, especially for a laptop. Some may think that the big touchpad would pose an issue for typing, but have no fear! Apple has done a great job with anti-ghosting, making accidental clicks a thing of the past.

The most interesting feature about these laptops however, is the addition of the Touch Bar. It is a multi-touch strip which replaces your usual function keys. But not only that, the Touch Bar adapts to the application you are currently using – for example: if you’re watching a video the Touch Bar will show playback controls. When editing a video with Final Cut , the Touch Bar will show you a timeline of your project, making navigation trough it very simple and natural. Some apps even allow the customization of the functions on the Touch Bar. Aside from that, Apple included its TouchID feature, that you are probably all familiar with from the iPhones and iPads. It can be used for Apple Pay, to unlock your Mac, and even switch between users. As with their other iDevices, TouchID is quite fast. The MacBook Pro 2017 is also incredibly light: just 1.37Kg!

MacBook Pro 2017 TouchBar

MacBook Pro 2017 Touch Bar in action

However, it has some down sides. Apple opted to remove most of the common I/O ports. Both versions come with just 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports with NO normal USB-A ports. This can be frustrating, as most tech  is still running over regular USB-A, but this should change in the future due to the fact that more and more devices are switching over to USB-C. Therefore if you wish to use your plain old ethernet or USB flash, you’ll need to buy some adapters, as Apple doesn’t bundle any with the MacBook Pro itself.

 

Consumer reviews (from online reviews):

“Definitely worth the upgrade, if you can afford it.”

“I looked at Surface, Surfacebook, and many other laptops to give all a fair shake. At the end of the day, I bought this one, and have not regretted the decision one bit!”

“This machine is awesome. Everything here is very well crafted, responsive, quiet, and has a gorgeous look. I’m very satisfied with all the characteristics.”

 

Conclusion for College Students:

The MacBook Pro 2017 is definitely one of the best laptops around currently. It’s beautiful aluminum body houses beefy specs, which translates into high speeds in the OS, with the most common tasks only taking a second to complete. Furthermore, the screen is great, and the keyboard and the touchpad are very comfortable to use. Also, the sizes and the weight make it perfect for students, as it’s easy to carry around. The biggest issue for most students, however, will probably be the high price: 1799$/1999$ for the 13” and 2399$/2799$ for the 15” (depending on the additional features you can include).

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