Well, I couldn’t wait any longer. What I really want is a MacBook Pro with 32 GB RAM. But Apple haven’t delivered and I can’t be sure they’ll release one by the end of 2017. So the other day I bit the bullet and got the latest, fully-loaded Apple MacBook Pro 15.
Here’s my review and experience running TradeStation on the latest MacBook Pro with Parallels.
Pro #1: The screen is amazing. Charts look really crisp on the latest MacBook Pro. Blacks are darker, colors are brighter and the resolution looks even more “retina” sharp. I’d rate the screen 25% better than the “old” MacBook Pro 15.
Pro #2: Performance is better, but only by 10%. The new machine does open charts quicker, handle more simultaneous open charts and I’ve experienced fewer RAM “issues”. But it’s not night and day – I’d estimate about a 10% improvement. Still, worth having.
Pro #3: Noticeably smaller and lighter. The footprint of the newest MacBook Pro is only slightly smaller. But it’s noticeably thinner and about 0.5 Kg lighter. It’s now very portable – and I end up carrying it around the apartment with me and working from different places.
Pro #4: Really great sound. The speakers are really good. And I’ve now switched from my iPad to the MacBook Pro for watching movies and TV shows. I only use my iPad on flights, because it still has better battery life than the MacBook Pro.
Pro #5: Beautiful build. The build of the MacBook Pro is beautiful. The screen bezel is tight; the hinge is very neatly tucked away; I’ve only ever noticed the fan running a couple of times; there’s nothing extra, no silly design elements; just elegantly simple.
Pro #6: Touch ID is nice to have. Keeping my tech secure is more and more important to me. I worry about having my phone stolen, I worry about the data on my computer and online accounts being compromised. Any security improvements, like 2FA and Touch ID, are welcome.
Pro #7: Two-sided power is handy. With the new USB-C inputs you can now plug in the power cord on either side of the computer. It’s a small thing, but nice to keep the cables neat and tidy – either at your desk, on the couch or in bed.
Pro #8: I like the new keyboard. The new keyboard has very little vertical travel. It takes a little getting used to – and it is quite noisey (at least to start with). But going back to the “old” MacBook Pro keyboard feels like going back in time now.
So those were my Pros. Now onto the Cons.
Con #1: The up and down keys are ridiculously small. Apple let design trump functionality here. And the result is two ridiculously small and close together up and down arrow keys. The two smallest keys on the keyboard – and probably the two most used. Stupid and maddening. In addition, it feels like mine are both broken – their vertical travel feels smaller.
Con #2: Touch Bar is worthless. I’ve effectively switched the Touch Bar off. It gives me no extra utility. In fact, it’s worse. Up volume or down volume now requires 2 finger touches instead of 1. One touch to “wake up” the Touch Bar and one touch to either increase or decrease the volume. Apple are in love with this technology – let’s see how long it will take them to admit it was a folly.
Con #3: More spinning beach balls and funny crashes. My “old” MacBook Pro was a work of genius. It ran forever without requiring re-boots and it never, ever crashed. (My Dell of old couldn’t even last 24 hours without re-boot.) This new machine has had the odd spinning beach ball; when plugging in headphones a couple of times the speakers have burst; I run CleanMyMac every other day and re-boot daily. The new machine just doesn’t give me the same confidence the old machine did.
Con #4: Battery life sucks. I know I could nurse the computer along to get much better battery life (dim the screen, turn up the power saving options, etc.) but I don’t want to. It’s good and solid for 2 hours, maybe a little more. Luckily that’s really all I need it to do.
Con #5: I miss the MagSafe power connector. MagSafe was such a clever idea – stopped you pulling your laptop off your desk if you accidentally yanked the power cord. Maybe I’ll invest in one of the third party MagSafe options for USB-C. Maybe I’m stressing about a non-problem.
Con #6: Why are the accessories all white? This time around I opted for the space gray MacBook Pro. It shows up the dirt less than silver and looks like it’ll look better, longer. But why can’t Apple offer space gray or black power cables, chargers and dongles? The white ones just don’t look right – it was OK with silver, but with space gray it’s just wrong.
Con #7: Wireless is not ready yet. Apple wants us to go wireless – and I get it, I want to go wireless too. But right now, the wireless accessories are just not as good as the wired ones. In an effort to avoid a dongle for my Sennheiser headphones, I got the latest, greatest Beats X wireless earphones. They look good, the battery life is good – but the sound (output and input) is “tinny”. And that’s the most important thing!
Con #8: It’s expensive. For me, not the most important criteria. I live and die by my tech, so I’ll spend whatever it takes to get a better outcome. But it just feels like the extra cost of this machine went into the Touch Bar – and I would have rather got $500 off or an extra 16 GB RAM.
So there you go. My 16 pros and cons. Some of the cons make me look crabby – although overall I’m happy and really like the new machine. But maybe next time around Apple – if you’re listening – a little less design and a little more performance, please. Give me 64 GB RAM with a processor/graphics card combination that really screams. Come on, I know you can do it.
Good luck with your Emini trading this week.