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13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 2017 version


Julia Falling
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Who has one?  Do you like it?  Would you buy again?  Thinking about lobbying my husband for a refurb.  That way I can get a maxed out one for less $$$.

 

Looks like my maxed out MacBook Air – in excellent condition – can still fetch a decent price on eBay.

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I have the 2016 model. I really like the computer design, performance, look, and feel. I'm not completely sold on the Touch Bar and I really wonder if it will be able to justify its continued existence in the next couple of years. It is nice in some applications that have put thought into how to utilize it (Word, Powerpoint, Pages, Keynote...). It is pretty much blank in Accordance. I have not given a lot of thought to what might be added to it though to make the Accordance experience any better. I would recommend the computer but for me, the Touch Bar has not been a game changer.

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Thanks, Joey.  Your input is helpful.

 

The Touch Bar is cool-looking.  The issue is that we can't get the best processor without it.  Processor makes a difference!  I probably spend more time in Accordance than in any other app on my laptop, so it would be very nice to have Accordance functionality in the Touch Bar.  I can also understand why Oaksoft wouldn't want to put the hours into developing it for just the Mac when it wouldn't benefit Windows users at all.

 

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I find the touch bar occasionally frustrating.  In that I hit it accidentally. I am also still feeling iffy about a virtual esc key... That said I for the most part like the touch bar. and hope you enjoy it and while I often bring up siri when i hit the delete button I suppose it is not the end of the world.

 

-dan

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I find the touch bar occasionally frustrating.  In that I hit it accidentally. I am also still feeling iffy about a virtual esc key... That said I for the most part like the touch bar. and hope you enjoy it and while I often bring up siri when i hit the delete button I suppose it is not the end of the world.

 

-dan

 

I really want to like the Touch Bar, but I have the same two frustrations (lack of real escape and always hitting Siri accidentally).

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I have the 15-inch touch bar.  It is super snappy.  I love it.  I do have the occasional problem with Siri and sometimes with my trackpad due to its size, but I love it.  It is a great machine.  It has enough power to do what I want it to.  I would make sure to get at least 16GB of ram.

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Daniel & Rich –

 

Do you use your laptop most of the time with its own monitor, or connected to an external monitor?

 

Mike – The MBP I'm looking at has 16GB of RAM, twice what I have in my Air.  Wise advice to go for the maximum RAM.  Long gone are the days when we could do the upgrade ourselves a year or two after purchase.

Edited by Julia Falling
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I use it most of the time without a monitor - mostly when I travel or hooked up to a digital piano for praise & worship on Sundays.  I use an iMac when at my desk.  I imagine if you use an external keyboard / monitor the touch bar wouldn't be an issue.  To note, I sometimes feel if my MBP was my full-time computer, I would probably get more accustomed to it — and in every other way, it has been a wonderful laptop.


Huh.  I just learned that you can remove the Siri button from the Touch Bar without disabling Siri on your computer.  That's interesting and may help.

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I recently purchased a 13" MacBook Pro 2017.  I opted for the 16G, 500G HD w/ 3.1GHz and love it.  I upgraded from a late 2008 15" MBP which had.a 2.8 Core Duo processor.  All in all, I'm very happy with the purchase.  I don't miss the extra real estate.  I love the portability of the 13" and the machine has plenty of power for my uses.  I do think you are paying a premium as compared to Apple's competition for a similar spec'd computer, but Apple wins hands down interns of form, fit, function and quality - like I said, my last laptop lasted almost a decade and still works.  I'm not one to upgrade too often so I'm glad I spent extra to get what I wanted. I can understand why some would think the Touch Bar  is unnecessary, but I like using it.  The most annoying feature I must admit is that it only uses USB-C ports. The advantage of getting the 15" is it has a higher powered graphics card and quad-core processor.  That said, you can still get 4K @ 60Hz screen resolution with the 13" if you use the right cable or adapter.  The apple adapter is limited to 30Hz which for bible study isn't an issue but the  apple adapters are a bit pricey.  I was able to pick up a 28" 4K Samsung monitor from Costco for $280.  That gives me plenty of screen real estate when needed.

 

I don't regret my purchase at all.  I primarily got it to study God's word and would purchase it again.

 

Blessings,

Cliff

 

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Cliff, while I have been happy with my MacBook Air, it is my main machine, not a secondary one.  I usually have a lot of apps open.  Accordance, always.  Same for Mail & Safari, Numbers, Calendar, Messages.  Often iTunes.  I'm seeing the pretty little spinning beach ball too often, and expect that to increase.  I think one can expect more "mileage" out of a "pro-level" machine.

 

From what I can tell from MacRumors, updates for MBPs are not expected this year.  Perhaps a good time to buy a refurb and get a decent price for the Air?  Will pray.

 

Thanks, guys, for all the good input & for the reviews.  It does help in decision-making.

Edited by Julia Falling
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I am on a 15" and have no external monitor, I too also second the large track pad as an annoyance.. Hitting the command or space bar a bit off and suddenly you have clicked and have to cut and past a sentence or hit undo (I am one of those people who often looks off while typing and invariably thats when i hit the pad and have created chaos.

 

-dan

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I usually switch between the smallest and lightest option, to the most powerful and largest option. I had a MacBook Air. Right now I have a 15" MacBook Pro with Touchbar. It's the best computer I've ever used. I used the Touchbar occasionally, but seriously question Apple's commitment to the technology. You'd think they'd have a Bluetooth keyboard with a Touchbar if they thought it was a great idea. 

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When I'm running the MBA closed, I use a Magic Trackpad – it's much easier on my hand than a mouse.  I'm hoping I could adjust to the larger trackpad more easily because of that?  Dan, have you ever used a Magic Trackpad?  Of course, that set-up puts the trackpad next to the keyboard, not below it.

 

I had 15" MBP before the Air.  I have liked lighter and thinner.  At this point, however, the two 13" machines weigh pretty close to the same (Air = 2.96 lbs; Pro 3.02 lbs), so weight is no longer an issue like it was when I bought my Air.  Size-wise, they're also close to the same, though slightly different profiles – a non-issue.  The Pro specs are much better, and the price is considerably higher.

 

I can see little point in moving to an upgraded Air.  I'll either stay with what I have a little longer or buy a Pro.

 

Mark – Your review is very helpful.  Do you think that putting a Touch Bar in a bluetooth keyboard would not work because of the power required to run it?  (I'm finding myself wanting to go back to a more powerful machine rather than sticking with a less powerful one even if it is less expensive.)

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The power issue is a possibility Julia. I know that Apple was supposed to release a bluetooth keyboard with a Touchbar in 2017. Perhaps power issues were the reason they missed their target. I personally think they'll release one this year. I've heard rumors that they'll discontinue the MacBook Air, and feature the Touchbar on all their portables. 

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Cliff, while I have been happy with my MacBook Air, I it is my main machine, not a secondary one. I usually have a lot of apps open. Accordance, always. Same for Mail & Safari, Numbers, Calendar, Messages. Often iTunes. I'm seeing the pretty little spinning beach ball too often, and expect that to increase. I think one can expect more "mileage" out of a "pro-level" machine.

 

 

I’ve noticed a lot of comments about ram but what about the core processor if you have a lot of apps open? The 15” seems to have a better processor than the 13” and you may want to consider it.

 

I tend to spend more time with the iPad these days to get round the weight issue but still find the 15” mbp great as a laptop and just use It for heavy lifting though do move to a desk when I need an external keyboard for things like sibelius or Wacom tablet for photoshop/lightroom. (Im still using our original one but am slowly migrating to the new one my wife has been monopolising and totally happy with its reduced weight over our original one.)

Edited by ukfraser
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Tom –

 

We've kinda felt that the Air was on its way out and that we'd be left with MacBook and MacBook Pro.  It's had a good run.

 

Frazer (UK?) –

 

I really do want smaller, and don't want the expense of the 15" or need its power.  If I move to a maxed out 13" Pro, it would be a very big improvement over the Air.  And, honestly, even if money were no object, I think I'd still stick with the 13".

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I have the 2016 and 2017 MBP 15" touch bar computers. My wife and I love it, and have absolutely no regrets and would repurchase it instantly. It is a great laptop. 

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Thanks, Keith.  The refurbs come with the same warranty as a new machine, so there's no extra risk there.  In fact, the laptop probably has had a more thorough going-over than a brand new machine.  And it saves quite a bit.

 

Now I just have to decide about doing it now or waiting a bit …

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We ordered a 13" refurb today – 3.5GHz i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage (+ Touch Bar, the only way I could get the better processor).  I wanted the silver, but the silver one sold before we had decided.  So it'll be Space Gray.  Since the refurb saved us $380, I'm not complaining!  It's supposed to arrive on Wednesday, 31st.

 

EDIT:  And thanks again for all the advice.  It really did help.

Edited by Julia Falling
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Hello Julia

 

I have the smaller MacBook Air mid 13 than you but I would love to hear about the speed improvements you experienced!

 

Thanks

 

Greetings

 

Fabian

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 So it'll be Space Gray.  

 

 

In my opinion the Space Grey looks absolutely gorgeous and I have to admit that the touch bar is a really cool feature. I have not got used to it yet but so far I like it.

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