Macbook Pro 2017 Thoughts

As a long time Apple user and Apple fanboy, this review may be very biased…

Ever since completing uni back in 2016 I have thought that it was time to upgrade my 13 inch 2014 retina macbook to the 15 inch model mostly because I thought the 13 inch screen was starting to be a bit too restricting and switching between a low resolution external monitor display and   the retina display was very bothering. I was a bit disappointed when the new macbook design was released in 2016 mainly due to the unnecessarily large trackpad and the various issues that plagued it since its release. I was seriously considering the Dell XPS 15 but was concerned about the battery life with the 4k display but also didn’t feel like going back to a 1080p monitor since using retina displays for so long. Furthermore, I wasn’t a big fan on the dual modality of Windows since Windows 8. So after careful consideration I recently bought the 2017 15inch base model Macbook Pro for almost $1000 off rrp!

So I have used the Macbook Pro for about two weeks now and here are some of my thoughts in comparison to the last generation model in no particular order…

  • The chassis is very slim but I do feel it has a bit of compromise with build quality especially when I grip the macbook from the hinge when moving it so I also had to get a plastic case to increase its rigidity and protect the finish.
  • The keyboard is rather shallow but it took me about a day to get used to it and I can type as fast as I did on my old macbook so it doesn’t bother me.
  • I quite frankly can not tell the difference between the old retina monitor and the new one but they are equally nice to view.
  • The trackpad is ridiculously large but still a pleasure to use and has not affected my typing at all, although I do type with my right wrist lifted and my left palm does occasionally bump onto the trackpad but it does not move the mouse about.
  • I do find the the touchbar useful particularly the screen shot button and being able to scroll through video even when they are in picture in picture mode, but the touch id is not so useful because so far I can only use it to unlock from sleep but can not use it to buy apps from the mac store nor gain super user privileges in terminal.
  • Only having usb-c ports hasn’t been quite an issue as a matter of fact its been pretty nice because I can potentially use around 8 or more usb ports through various dongles.
  • There has been an issue with some dongles interrupting wifi when plugged in. This is a known issue which I have unfortunately encountered but thankfully its not a big issue as it seems to only be caused by third party dongles when connected to the left side ports as they are closer to the wifi card and have bad shielding. After a bit of research, it is known that this only affects the macbook when connected to a 2.4ghz network so switching over to a 5ghz network stops the problem. Using a dongle which has a cord in it and wrapping it in aluminium foil or connecting the dongles to the right side solves the problems I had completely.

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