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yansanxan
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2017-04-26 11:21 Reply
Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2016,15-inch) review
 

THE GOOD The larger version of Apple’s MacBook Pro has a big, bold display, a thinner, lighter body, an AMD graphics chip by default and a massive trackpad. The inventive Touch Bar second-screen display saves clicks here and there, and now works with apps like Photoshop and Spotify.

THE BAD Even the base 15-inch model is painfully expensive. The Touch Bar is a fun add-on, but not a necessity, and the move to USB-C ports means potentially carrying a bag full of dongles.

THE BOTTOM LINE With a slim bezel around its 15-inch screen and a thinner, lighter body, the top-end MacBook Pro packs a real visual punch. But if you miss the traditional HDMI and USB ports, consider the older 2015 model that Apple still sells.

THE trend line points toward ever-smaller computers, with premium systems diving below 10mm thick, and screens dipping down to 12.5 inches from the more common 13-inch or larger versions. But sometimes you want a big, bold, laptop with a large screen to match, especially for photo and video editing, design work — or even just spending hours each day staring at endless text in a word processor.

Apple no longer makes a 17-inch laptop (although we get reader emails a few times per year lamenting the loss of the 17-inch MacBook), so the new, updated version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro is as big as you’re going to get without jumping to an iMac all-in-one desktop computer. And while we’ve already spent a lot of time writing about and testing both new versions of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, we haven’t dived as deeply into the larger 15-inch model before now.

macbook-pro-15-inch-2017-touchbar-16.jpg
Even though these are all part of the same family, the 15-incher offers important differences from the 13-inch models, starting with the configuration options. There are two base configurations of the 13-inch Pro — the less expensive stripped-down model, with only two USB-C ports and lacking both the new Touch Bar control strip and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and a premium version, which includes the Touch Bar and Touch ID, better specs and twice as many USB-C ports. The two base configurations of the 15-inch model, however, both include Touch Bar and Touch ID and both start with roughly the same premium features, including four USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, an Intel Core i7 processor and a discrete Radeon Pro graphics card.

Which is the configuration tested here. It makes the 15-inch models, which start at $449 and $499 seem very reasonably priced in comparison.

macbook-pro-15-inch-2017-with-touchbar-60.jpg
The 13-inch and 15-inch models, side by side.

Of course, there’s also another 15-inch option that’s a little less expensive. For the time being, Apple is still selling the 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro, which misses out on some of the newer features, but still has traditional USB, HDMI and other ports.

APPLE MACBOOK PRO (15-INCH, 2016)

Price as reviewed$449 Buy Now
Display size/resolution15-inch, 2,880×1,800-pixel display
PC CPU2.7GHz Intel Core i7-6820HQ
PC memory16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz
Graphics2,048MB Radeon Pro 455 / 1,536MB Intel HD Graphics 530
Storage512GB SSD
Networking802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2
Operating systemMacOS Sierra 10.12.1

Mostly new, inside and out

Much has been written, blogged or Tweeted about Apple’s newest MacBook Pro laptops, first unveiled in late October 2016. Despite it being a near-total refresh of this decade-old line, a good deal of the focus was on complaints about the (still) high price and the switch away from traditional USB and HDMIports to USB-C/Thunderbolt ports. The inclusion of a slim touch strip for commands, called the Touch Bar, was also polarizing — it’s moderately useful in many circumstances, amazingly so in a handful. At launch, it didn’t have the software support to be a must-have productivity tool, but that’s slowly changing. You can read much more about the Touch Bar experience here.

Beyond that, there are a lot of other updates and upgrades that got lost in the noise about USB-C ports and the Touch Bar. The MacBook Pros, including this 15-inch model, have newer Intel processors, the aluminum unibody chassis is both thinner and lighter, the keyboard has been shifted to a flatter design, akin to the 12-inch MacBook, and the trackpad (Apple’s touchpad) has doubled in surface area. On this 15-inch MacBook, it’s larger than even an iPhone 7 Plus screen.
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