New Macbook Pro improves, but imperfect

Despite updates, battery, cost problematic

Sam Orloff

Apple’s most recent update to its Macbook Pro line, the first since 2012, included the release of three new computers, with two 13-inch versions, as well as a 15-inch version. All three are packed with a laundry list of impressive improvements, but the most notable, the Touchbar, is only available on two of the new Macbook Pros.

The Touchbar, in the place of traditional function keys, tailors to specific applications. Although customizable, the Touchbar works best on Apple’s own applications, like Safari, as opposed to those from outside developers, like Microsoft Word.

The Touchbar is also equipped with Touch ID, allowing users to login to their Macbook Pros using a fingerprint, as they would their iPhones.

Equally impressive are the new keyboard and Trackpad, found on all three models. The new keyboard lives up to its expectations. It is comfortable to type on the new Macbook Pro.

The large Trackpads also improves the user’s experience, allowing for various new interactions. However, its large size means it is very easy to accidently click on applications when not intended.

The sound on the new Macbook Pro is remarkable. Not only are the speakers quite loud, but they have a tremendous range. This, along with the bright retina screen, is among the most apparent of the updates.

Without a fan, the new Macbook Pro is also incredibly quiet, a major benefit for consumers. It no longer feels as though there is an airplane engine in your lap, as was the case with historical interactions of the Macbook Pro .

Although these additions and improvements do all improve the Macbook Pro update, none of the changes are so fundamental they radically change the user’s experience.

At times, these changes even seem detrimental to the user. Many have pointed out that because the new Macbook Pro only has USB-C ports, it is no longer possible to use the iPhone’s factory charger on the computer, created for a USB port, without purchasing a separate adapter.

The biggest liability on the computer is its inconsistent battery life. At times, the battery seems to last endlessly, living up to Apple’s promise of up to 10 hours of battery life. Yet, at other moments the battery drains at an incredible rate.

As is always the case with Apple products, price is also an issue. Given that even the most affordable model has a price tag of $1499, and lacks improvements such as the Touchbar and Touch ID, the new Macbook Pro can easily be cost prohibitive.

As magnificent as the various improvements and changes are, none are significant enough to merit a purchase of the new Macbook Pro given its current pricing.