My MacBook Pro (Late 2016) Review along with a note on the LG UltraFine 5K display.
I have been using a late 2016 MacBook Pro 15” since December of last year. Here are some of my thoughts based upon my own experience.
There has been quite a bit of bad press about this iteration of the MacBook Pro. It’s a change from the previous MacBook Pros and that is to be certain.
The Touchbar… at first I thought it was gimmicky and while I have come to appreciate it I find that it really has not changed any level of productivity I had, for the better or worse. It is more of an enhanced row of function keys for me. I like the graphical interface and how it changes. It’s cool for sure but that is about it for me.
The display… holy crap I love this display. Being a photographer I love the color and clarity of this display. It’s amazing.
Ports… this seems to be everyone’s biggest complaint. Get over it! I have transitioned from an iMac for photographic editing to the new MacBook Pro. I have no less than, two USB external drives, external keyboard, external trackball, USB hub, DROBO 5Dt, thunderbolt external drive and a Wacom tablet connected to this thing. All via two connections to my MacBook Pro when it is at my desk. Oh, there is also an external display connected and many of the peripherals connect to the back of that. To be more exact… my MacBook Pro has a USB-C to Thunderbolt connecting my two thunderbolt devices, daisy chained. Then there is a USB-C cable running from my MacBook Pro to my display and all other devices are connected to the back of that via USB-C to USB connectors, two of them. BTW: my display charges the laptop via the single cable.
It all works and it all works great. I love this setup. To go portable I just disconnect from my drives and off I go.
The only snigglet I have is in regards to the keyboard. It is quite different than any other I have used. I’d actually have preferred something more akin to the previous keyboards or the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard which has a better feel to me anyways.
All in all it is a great setup and I am quite happy with it.
My external Display is the LG UltraFine 5k which Apple sells. It took months of research and hemming and hawing before I went this route. There are some lovely 4k displays out there which are much less expensive. However I love the color gamut of the DCI-P3 display (MacBook Pro has the same). Color on this display is spot on. I also loved the simple one cable connection to the display for charging, video and connectivity to all my USB peripherals. I wholeheartedly recommend this display now that I own and have worked with it.
So, bugs? Hmmm… I find that if I disconnect my MacBook Pro from the display, and later reconnect, my USB devices are not active. I end up needing to unplug the two USB-C to USB adapters from the back of the display and reconnecting them and then all comes alive. Annoying but not a deal breaker. Hopefully a firmware or OS update will resolve this problem.
So there you have my quick and dirty review. I have no regrets on this system. Oh wait, battery life… yeah battery life. Apple did us wrong there. I wish they’d have done a better job. I get adequate power but surprised at how quickly the charge drops over a short period of time.