Macbook Pro late 2016 no thanks

Dec 10, 2016

Quick follow-up after I cancelled my order for a new MackBook Pro: yes, it’s slick and the screen is fantastic, but it’s still questionable and fraught with limitations.

The Good

Fantastic screen and insanely fast PCIe SSD (both read and write).

The Bad

TouchBar: see here and there or there. The layout changes in each app, so you can’t use your muscle memory. Reviewer found no feature that can’t be done with a shortcut. Limited use at best, and draining some battery power. Why not a touch screen like on the Dell XPS? I’m still convinced it’s even worse for developers that heavily use function key as shortcuts.

Trackpad: so large it can swallow a squirrel but your right palm will rest on it, triggering unwanted clicks. See here or there

CPU: hardly better than the old gen.

GPU: slightly better, but less than what you would expect from a new generation. Would prefer nVidia, although they’re not friendly to GNU/Linux

Battery life rant. In theory, it is as good as the last gen. In theory.

Upgradeability: Everything is soldered. RAM, battery, SSD. Not that I remember changing components a lot on my Mac, but it happened to me in the past. Should any part need to be replaced, you’d be forced to return the laptop to the store and find a replacement for days, maybe weeks.

Stability: Lots of bugs (that emoji bar showing on the screen!). Maybe he got unlucky.

Don’t be fooled by the reviews telling you the USB-C connectivity only is okay, and that it will become standard next year. You’ll still have to put your GoPro SD card in a dongle. Same with your Nikon/Canon camera SD card. And you won’t throw away your USB 3 hard drive either if it’s still functioning, so you’ll need an adapter. The projector in the meeting room won’t magically accept USB-C - be grateful if it has an HDMI port. So no, that’s not a future-proof choice, unless you plan to start using you MBP in 5 years, or to replace every other connected device.

Still overlooked by most reviews: the lack of on-site next-business-day warranty.

Finally, the price is ridiculous.


Conclusion of a long time Apple user (we’re talking 30 years): “I’ll be holding to my last generation one”. For Snazzy Labs, it’s a decent computer but with terrible value for the money and he suggests you skip it for now.

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