I’m not alone! Though not as eloquent or productive with my mbp as the others, I too ditched a new MacBook Pro touchbar stellar grey almost bland HP-like thing for the tank that is the 2012 15” MBP Retina.
exactly right. One additional detail: only the 2014 (which I own) and 2015 are brand-free on the hinge, below the screen. All the others are branded “MacBook Pro”, feeling in your face… in a Samsung way.
I love this. I’ve got a brand new iMac that I adore and a 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro that needs a new battery. With the keyboard stuff with the TB MBP, I’m almost tempted to get another one. (From 2015 like you)
I agree with Marco. Mine has been a beast used every day all day for 4 years. But yeah my 2006 17” I still have (used by my daughter as a backup) and besides batteries that sort of exploded a few times it still works great!
I’m in the minority, but I prefer the new one. Hated having unused ports (HDMI, SD) - much rather have 4 that can adapt. I now bring two charges when traveling, USB-C (MacBook/Switch) and lightning (iPhone). Also planning to get an egpu when they’re better supported this Spring.
Fully agree here, and makes me a bit sad to see design principles go haywire with the tbMBP.
Worth mentioning imo that the 2012 rMBP started the non-upgradable components trend for the MBP line (e.g. RAM, SSD, battery).
Same here. Best Mac laptop I've ever owned. I guess if there had been one with 4 USB ports and no Touch Bar, MAYBE I would have picked that... But in the end, when I read the horror stories with the keyboards and the dongle life, I'm more than happy with my 2015 !
I’ve got a 2015 MBP and a 2013 MBA and end up using the MBP far more often. What I miss about the MBA is Apple’s willingness to give a low-end model *much* better battery life than the high-end model in the name of ultraportability - wouldn’t see that now.
[see also the unused empty space in the current day non-touchbar MBP’s chassis]
the ridiculous excellence of iOS devices today makes me wish the Mac were actually becoming more and like a truck - it has more freedom to go in that direction than it used to
I still have my 5 year old top-model MacBook Pro and there is no way I can part with it.. The only thing which lets it down is the battery after all this time. It still has more horsepower than many new laptops on the market!
“It’s designed for us, rather than asking us to adapt ourselves to it.” Forcing us to adapt is unfortunately the state of all Apple products right now. There is a clear lack of vision company wide and we’re all stuck being beta testers while they try to figure out what works.
Totally agree. For many reasons, especially the gap between trackpad and space bar to rest my fingers while using the trackpad. I like the glow of all the little Apple logos on tech tables in a dark auditorium during theatre production rehearsals. Be sad when that’s gone.
I love my 2015 MacBook Pro. I will be really sad the day I need to get a new Mac laptop. For a video editor on the road, it’s damn near perfect.
I’d love to have an Nvidia GPU for the CUDA core benefit, but other than that it’s absolutely perfect.
Despite completely disagreeing with the premise and conclusion of this piece, I enjoy your love for the Mac.
Great photography, well reasoned arguments, and a nice homage to a great machine.
You’re wrong about the new machines, but you’re right about these machines. Thanks.
I run the (2017) 13” touchbar Mac, not the 15”... so maybe it’s the bigger ones. Dunno, but I love this 13” Mac.
Small as an 11” Air (my all-time favorite), but as fast as the 15”. I sometimes walk back to my desk in the evening because I panic and think I forgot to pack it.
Understood. I personally prefer not having to remember to keep the external card reader but we can have our own preferences. On another pt, iPhone X RAW perf is great so I can see using it more and syncing it via iCloud.
I’ve heavily used both the 7 plus and the 8 plus. It’s a great system. The X is even better.
It’s not a traditional system, but once you get the feel of it, you can make some incredible photographs with it.
I tend to have camera vibration when I hit the button on the phone. On a DSLR it's relatively easier to hold it steady. I haven't tried iPhone rigs or sth like that so my experience is from hand holding only
Same, but I also use it on the go quite a bit. I'm holding off on upgrading a '14 MBP at work and a '09 MB at home, _entirely_ because of the keyboard. Tried new one at the store, low travel makes me hit keys harder. Serious RSI concern. :(
The new TB3 only models went too far with their vision of "purity" or "simplicity". I have to admit that the older MBP's, with their large variety/quantity of ports LOOKS less modern than the current ones - but are WAY more practical.
Bought a Late 2016 recently to replace my Early 2013.
New screen is nice, keyboard is fine, but battery is a massacre. For the same tasks, the duration on battery is less than half of the old one with a fresh batt. I really don't get what happened with this gen...
Agreed! I'm still kicking myself for selling my 2012 15" rMBP to get this "supposedly better" 2017 MBP with its touch bar. Yes, its fast, thin, quiet and light... but man... even after almost 5 months, I still hate the keyboard.
I never realized the new ones have it on the right. That is awful. I have headphones like Marco mentioned with the cord off the left side. I would literally have to wrap my headphone cord around the back of the laptop so it doesn’t get in the way.
Apple user since 1985. Former Lisa & NeXT owner. Ex Apple staff. The best laptop I’ve ever laid hands on was the original Chromebook Pixel. Years too early, but it made all other laptops look like greasy pizza boxes. My only complaint on this MBP was I got too small a HD.
Love my 13” Pro from 2014. The skepticism about the new laptops (and the price tag) have made me hesitate about upgrading- hoping they’ll either fix the keyboard concerns and go all in or bail on the Touch Bar.
Largely agree, but:
- in 5 years I went through for 4 them (various internal component failures),
- lots to dislike about the OS,
- I perceive the chime (or rather the lack of an option to turn it off) as a middle finger to the user; interesting to see you celebrate it.
Totally agree with this! Bought a fully upgraded touchbar Mac a few months ago, but I am still using my late 2013 regularly not feeling it being inferior at all, even though I was planning for it to be replaced entirely.
Seems Jobs' externally projected reality distortion field collapsed onto Apple with his death. Apple, no longer able to see Pro users' reality, went on a minimal design spree that failed to address Pro users' needs. Apple shows faint signs awareness but the field is still there!
great blog, but Im one of the few (or maybe the apple greater mass) that owns and adores the 2016 Touch Bar MBP. Sure it is not perfect but I would not go back to the 2015 model. Admittedly my definition of "pro" will be very different to you as more akin to a power user than I
I bought this laptop in 2012... top spec... it kept crashing and was very disappointed. On eBay 4 weeks later. Now have an awesome Alienware which would kick the arse if ANY apple product! Still very happy with my 256gb iPhone 7 though!
Thanks for writing this, it started my descent into a rabbit hole of research that made me realize a 2015 MbPro is my future video editing laptop vs a Windows laptop. The used prices on this model are too sweet to ignore.
I have the mid 2012 model but it’s getting sluggish especially while editing video. I’ll have no choice but to upgrade. Also the speaker blew on this model, and I have a staingate screen so I won’t say the greatest ever. My 2010 model was flawless and upgradable.
The ending was really powerful. I have saved bottles and cans for a new MacBookPro to replace my mid-2009 one and truth be told I am getting a souped up mid-2015 one because it is the only one worth getting. The TouchBookPro is Not My Apple.
Couldn't agree more. I was apprehensive at first with a non-user-replaceable battery. But I grew to love this thing and loath the day I must replace it. Hope someone at @Apple will bring a true successor to the 2015 Retina.
The original MBPr design is great, I like smaller so I still use a 13" retina. I bought another 13 used but battery serviced one for my fiancee. I now have the touchbar at work, but still vastly prefer the OG retina design, mostly for ports & keyboard.
You're absolutely right @marcoarment. Whenever I play with the new ones, the keys feel wrong, no magsafe scares me, and dammit I need an escape key (vim). I have a 2015 dGPU personal one and an iGPU early 2016 for work. I'm very happy. I'll use them until they croak.
I'd say the Panasonic Toughbook CF-5x series is the best laptop ever, at least for heavy-duty (200K+ miles/year) road warriors like me. It comes installed with Windows, for those who must suffer the low quality thereof, but makes a dandy Linux box, if you can get away with that.
It's my favorite. It's an amazing work horse. I have yet to see another machine that lets me run 4+ virtual environments simultaneously, w/ 50+ tabs open, alongside countless other software, while being portable and nice to look at. I really hope they stay true to their vision.
I've got a Late '15 13" MacBook Pro and Early '16 MacBook. MacBook is the best laptop computer as a whole. True portability (size/weight). Exquisite display. Excellent battery life (10-12 hrs). Solid keyboard. No extraneous ports. Simple.